A Shop Hop by the Bay map cited the locations and distances between participating shops. We visited shops in farthest to nearest order from our homes. I picked up my friend and drove about 75 miles and 1 hour and 20 minutes south to start shopping at San Juan Bautista. We worked our way north, in the map order FT, NT, SBI, QT, GSQ, G, ESB. We had no pre-allotted time limit in each shop but uncannily we were on the same wavelength as to when we approached the checkout register and were ready to move onward. Between these shops totaled about 50 miles. We collected seven stamps in our passport but ran out of time due to traffic in the final leg and had to skip the two shops in Fremont, NJQ and CMQ. Energy was beginning to lag as well – just a bit. It had been a great day, from initial pickup at 8:00 am to final drop-off after 6:00 pm, and we had a blast.
Each shop had snacking goodies and a small give away just for coming. These were some of the freebies. There was a 2½"wide batik strip at each shop and a pattern to sew them all into a tote bag. Also I picked up a ruler, a tape measure, a retracting tape measure, and a block of thread conditioner. But not everything is free! I did make purchases I will show and describe in the following photos. I combined purchases for two shops in one photo; so the accompanying text does not flow in visiting order. I took the photos before I started writing this post.
In the next photo, I've shown my purchases from Family Threads in San Juan Bautista, CA and Quilts and Things in Morgan Hill, CA. First stop of the day was Family Threads in San Juan Bautista. I've shown my purchases there in the bottom row. I love that their license plate reads Squirrel Moment. I really feel that way sometimes as my head whips around when a piece of fabric catches my eye, like the dog in the Disney move Up. At Family Threads I bought a ¼ yard of a blue and white pin stripe. I was looking for a broader blue and white cabana style stripe to use as a accent strip on two pillowcases but no luck at this shop. The day was yet young. The wild, almost obnoxiously bright, stripe came from the 50% off section as did the buttons and the EZpiecing star pattern. The stripe will add to my collection I reserve for quilt bindings. The buttons are earmarked for a sweater for on of my granddaughters. The pattern came preprinted on light weight interfacing so there is no paper removal after sewing. Maybe that is why it is named EZpiecing and not paper piecing even though it is the same technique. I had opened the pattern to check it out and, when my shopping partner spotted the convenience, she bought one also. The black and white book was 50% off too and the quilts inside are absolutely adorable. That says a lot for me who is a color fan and usually uses black and white in only small amounts. Wow – I had a lot to say about only the first shop! Fourth stop of the day was Quilts and Things in Morgan Hill, CA, and right before we ate lunch. In the upper row are purchases from there. From left to right is the commemorative license plate, appropriately named Joy of Quilting. Next are four flannels to help replenish my burp cloth stash and an adorable stripe by Debbie Mumm earmarked for grandkid pillowcases.
In the second store, The Nimble Thimble, in quaint downtown Gilroy, there was this awesome blast from the past up at the checkout register. It was an old fashioned yardage measuring device from a JC Penney store. I remember standing at my mom's side when I was a child as the store clerk would insert a selvedge side of the fabric into the slot of the machine and pass the yardage through a pair of rollers. The dial on the meter would spin around like the hand of a clock counting out the requested yardage. The lever on the right was depressed to cut a nick in the edge of the fabric. Then the clerk slid the cloth out from the machine and r-i-p-p-e-d it across the grain to give the customer the length she had requested. Nimble Thimble was not using the fabric meter for their sales but it sure was nostalgic to see it.
For thoroughness, I will add that the third stop of the day was Sew Bee It in Morgan Hill but we made no purchases there. Well, I did get a license plate and a stamp to say I had been there but that is not in any of the photos. I also bought a magazine at one of shops. Which shop? I don't know and the magazine is not shown.
All in all, I bought ¼ yard three times over for the blue accent strip on those two pillowcases. The bathing beauties are the main body and the orange is the band at the opening. Here is the comparison of all three candidates for accent. I never did find a wide blue and white stripe like I had in mind. The pinstripe seems too wimpy to me but I do like the mini-triangles on the far right. They have a sort of wave motion. The blue triangle print has a periwinkle tint to it also and not so clearly royal as the far left candidate. The far right fabric it will be. I am glad I kept an open mind.
I play a game with myself when I go on quilting outings or shows where I generally make several purchases. Soon after I get home, before I open any of the bags or empty any of my tote bags to admire my treasures, I sit down and attempt to write a list, from memory, without peeking, of all that I bought. Only then do I take it out and look at it. I informally grade myself on how much I remember. This is not a test of my brain but rather a measure of how many of the purchases were impulse lust at first sight and not a true everlasting love. If I can not remember it, I ask myself how much did I really want it. My performance this trip was that I remembered 27 items out of 30 for a score of 90%. Not too shabby. The items I forgot were a magazine, the typography pattern, and the color chip panel and none of them was a high ticket item. Would I have had regrets had I left any of those behind? Probably not. My count test is a reasonable indicator of my restraint. An even better indicator is that I bought NO kits.