As I mentioned in my last post I was on a two day bus trip visiting eleven Minnesota quilt shops. It is the 6th annual Minnesota State Shop Hop and my friend, Bev, and I once again hit the road!
Day One started early. The bus left Elk River and made its first stop in Stillwater at Charlotte’s Web. I’ve only been in this shop one other time and it was also on a bus shop hop with Bev. It’s located in a small strip mall and is pretty easy to find. The shop is small but has a variety of novelty prints, children’s prints, Christmas designs and the usual fabric fare you find at most shops. They also carry a number of embroidery designs which are scattered throughout the shop. The ladies were all very nice and if you are in the area it is worth a stop.
The next shop was Fabric, Fashions & More in Rush City. This shop has an extensive selection of notions and features Thimbleberries fabrics and patterns. They also have a variety of traditional prints and novelty prints. The shop is small but was well staffed and very accommodating. I have shopped here several times. It’s a nice little afternoon drive from my side of the Twin Cities.
After a quick stop for lunch we were off to Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake. I haven’t been to this one in ages! They have a Bernina dealership attached to the quilt shop so that is very convenient. The shop is full of samples. Be sure to look up! The shop carries batiks, Civil War prints, novelty prints, children’s prints, 30s prints and a variety of other prints and solids. They have a selection of embroidery and wool projects as well. We were all made to feel very welcome. The owner had a large bowl of small bottles of water, coffee, and trays of treats for all on the shop hop. They took the time to stop and answer our questions and to help us find what we were looking for. A shop well worth a visit. Plus, while you are in town take a walk around and visit the other shops and restaurants. It would be a lovely way to spend the day with friends.
Soon we were off to the next shop which was, unfortunately, in sharp contrast to Bear Patch. The shop is Twin Cities Quilting in Roseville. This is one of the newest shops around and is geared to the more contemporary style quilter. The shop is small and is full of batiks. The ladies working in the shop were very pleasant. The same can’t be said for the owner who was working the cash register. She has to be one of the rudest people I have ever come across. I had my purchase shoved across the counter to me with no offer of a bag or even a thank you. I was lucky. Others had very rude comments directed toward them. One woman tried to use a check card to pay for a small purchase and was nastily told she would need to use cash because she wasn’t going to pay the check card fee for that small amount. Another woman, also making a small purchase, was rudely asked, “What? Are you on a budget?” I could go on, but I won’t. The bottom line is this owner has a lot to learn about customer service. Every one of the 32 people on that bus were so offended by her that they won’t be back. And, like me, they’ll be spreading the word.
But on to more pleasant subjects! There are more shops to tell you about, but I’ll stop here for now. I did make a few purchases while on the hop. As part of the statewide shop hop a fabric line is designed and printed that features a Minnesota theme. At each shop we received a 5 inch square of one of the fabrics and a pattern for a block. In addition to those pieces of the line, I purchased a charm pack and a few fat quarters.
The shops are all divided into sections and each section has a little “prize” for those who spend a minimum amount at each shop and/or who visit each shop in that section. For this section the gift that came with a $10 purchase was a laminated card featuring quilting tips. If you spent $10 in each shop and collected all eleven cards, you were given a little plastic zipper pouch to hold them all.
I think it’s time for me to zip up this post! More next time!