What people are saying about their Quilt Across Texas trip:
Shop Hopping is Fun! Hi Everyone!
They're like a flying museum, only you're the one flying down the freeway toward the next shop on the hop shop list. We'd first learned about the Texas Quilt Shop Hop last September when we stayed on the eastern border in the town Texas calls Jasper. It was there that I met a husband and wife team at their quilt shop doing embroidery service to 95% of their customers but they were included in the state-wide, month-long event and introduced it to me. We were set when I chose which of the districts we would undertake for its big ticket drawing. Lucky for us, too, because it happened to be on our "way" home.
That last statement is what was first in our minds when we found out the places we would go, the things we would see along our way home. It was the largest of all the participating districts in the state and the most interesting...14 quilt shops in all to visit to get our guidebook validated for our participation. Warren got to revisit Houston and many of the towns around the Gulf area while in his college days. It gave him lots of pleasure to take me to Mustang Island, where we drove our Tahoe on the beach for several miles (as opposed to me in my bikini and he in his skivvies, running barefoot along the water's edge). The Texas Department of Transportation operates a free ferry service across a bay in the Gulf to Galveston...what a fun and unexpected surprise that was! The drive along the coast highway before reaching Galveston was unusually interesting in that all of the homes are built on two-story stilts for higher than usual tides! We guessed they were all of new construction since Hurricane Ike ravaged Galveston in 2008. Ultimately, we drove further south than we would have otherwise planned to Corpus Christi to complete the district of shops we'd validated and to turn in our guidebook for the district drawing.
Every shop had "treats" and a demonstration to share and was a covert just waiting to be discovered! It was the most unique feature of the hop that every shop had something new and different to offer. There were lots of learning technique, inspiration, products to inquire about and lots of opportunity to shop, shop, shop! I received a pattern and instructions to complete a quilt block from every shop along with a piece of material printed specifically for the State of Texas or other specially picked patterns as special thanks for visiting their particular shop. I love them all and hold dear what they could become, or imparted for our going the distance. There were a few shops that went out of their way to be the most hospitable of visits...some of who I now call "friends".
We had to present the guidebook at each shop to be validated...kind of like getting your ticket worked to go home. Besides it being the largest district in the state yielding the largest single prize of all districts and it being our choice of going its distance along our way home, we were amazed there were enthusiasts taking on all the districts throughout the entire state! We started out with that in mind and quickly came to the realization why it would take a month and much needed enthusiasm for competing (you could ad an "el" and use the word "completing" interchangeably here) for the largest prize of all! It certainly is an adventure worthy of consideration and preparing for, fully knowing our chances were pretty slim to none for our time was quickly running out. We remember it wasn't at all about winning but rather about the journey and the people we met along the way.
Today began Southern Arizona's Quilt Shop Hop to help commemorate the state's Centennial celebration. I visited one and the first of several for the week-long event and was quickly reminded what fun and a pleasure it is to participate in. I'll be visiting towns of Sierra Vista, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Tucson, and Casa Grande throughout the week and collecting more fond memories. The one shop visited in Tucson today gave a pattern for a project (mini oven mitt) using a piece of fabric which pattern is in observation of the Arizona Centennial and it's just too wonderful to cut up, no matter what its small size measures. Warren thought the pattern print would make a nice "Hawaiian" shirt, which I was quick to add "for my Hunny Bunch!" I guess that will be his Easter shirt this year and my gift from happy hands.
It takes just a little inspiration to raise the Holy Spirit in each of us. Hope you are enjoying Spring and the newness of life brought forth through this walk parallel to Jesus' life. Celebrating Easter is a happy time...putting to work your happy hands! At journey's end, may you be validated in your Guide's book and take Home the biggest prize of all!
~ Sincerely, Fran