Friday, July 20, 2012

The Road to Vermont, Part 1

Last month, Marion, Joannie, Sue and I made the trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival If you've never been to this show, you should definitely check it out. We've been going intermittently for years, even back when the show wasn't air-conditioned (whew!). They have a fantastic display of quilts, an extensive vendor mall and an award-winning list of teachers and classes.

Here we are trying to cram everything into the trunk!

Mission accomplished! This trunk holds four sewing machines, 4 overnight bags and class supplies.
The journey down began on Thursday. The idea was to shop our way to Vermont and then go to the Show Preview where we could shop some more! The first stop was Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH. You can see the sign for this shop from the highway, but finding it is a little bit tricky. We called the store and they gave us excellent directions.
If you look closely, you can see my reflection, taking the photo, in the window! This is not a quilt store, more of a fabric salvage store. They had a great deal of knit fabric and upholstery trim. There wasn't any quilting fabric. Sue found some inexpensive zippers, Joannie found some discounted out of print quilt books and I discovered some lovely hand-made buttons.

Next, we got back in the car and headed toward Vermont. The first shop we went to was new to us, called Hen House Quilts. Quite appropriately, the store is decorated with all kinds of chicken knick knacks! This was a small, but well-stocked quilt shop with  a wide variety of fabric. There was even an adjacent sewing machine shop! The owner was lovely and let me take lots of pictures of different samples in the store.

Photo by Sue so I can get in the blog!
Lots of gorgeous jacket samples. Most of them were for sale!

By now it was time for lunch, so we asked the shop owner for a recommendation. She sent us around the corner to the Crossroads Country Cafe.

It was delicious! All the sandwiches were on home-made bread! Definitely worth a stop!

Tummies full, we headed to our next stop, the Garden of Stitches in Bethel.

They have lovely flower beds outside!
Lucky for us, they have a large sign by the side of the road because we almost whizzed by... We've been to this shop in previous years and it's very nice. They are known for their "seed packs", which are custom cut bundles of fabric rectangles. Garden of Stitches has a whole line of patterns to go with them. Two years ago, Sue and I both bought a seed pack and a pattern for a lovely tote bag. Both tote bags are finished! Sue bought a few more patterns and seed packs on this visit. There were a lot to choose from. I'm not sure why I didn't take any photos inside any of the other shops, except for the Hen House, but group consensus was that all of the shops (except for poor little Fabric Fix) were definitely worth a visit. And if you're passing through Manchester, NH, you might as well stop at Fabric Fix and see if they have any hidden treasures that day.

Next, we went to A Quilter's Garden in Montpelier. This is a very nice shop and we met Molly, the shop puppy! Molly is going to be a big girl dog the next time we visit. I think she is a golden retriever (or maybe a yellow lab), can't believe I forgot to take her picture!

Joannie behind the camera

The girls rushing in before the shop runs out of fabric!
I know that I bought some lovely batik fabric here. I also created a detailed itinerary and review of our trip. I have a pdf available if you are interested, send me an email. I can't figure out how to link the pdf!

Time was running out and fortunately we checked our trip literature to find that VQF registration was located at Saint Michael's College and closing at 5pm, although the Show Preview, which was located at the Fairgrounds wasn't opening until 7:30 pm. So after we cashed out at A Quilter's Garden and petted Molly one more time, we pointed the car towards St. Mike's!

Fortunately for us, Joannie's daughter, Jill, goes to St. Mike's so Joannie knew her way around the campus. Signage was limited.

Registration completed, we hopped back in the car to go to one more quilt shop! We went to Stitched, formerly Strawberry and Rhubarb,, which ended up being one of my favorite shops. I wish I had taken some photos inside. Their fabric is super-contemporary featuring all the latest designers including Kaffe Fassett along with Japanese imports. Not a brown calico to be seen. Unfortunately, they were also in a rush to get to VQF, so they shut off the lights and air conditioning in an effort to encourage us to shop fast and GET OUT! I still liked it, though!

We ate dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, which shares the partking lot with Stitched. None of us had ever eaten at one of these (they're a chain) but the food was excellent. Regrettably, we didn't get a photo of Marion on the birthday was too dark inside for photos anyway.

I will write another post soon. Thanks for reading if you've made it to the end of this very long post!

Pugs and kisses,

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed that you packed luggage X4 into the trunk. It reminds me of the first VQF road trip although it looks like you didn't lose power and you went to all different shops.

    Congratulations on Larry. Now you need to get Darryl and his other brother Darryl. I'm sure that's not the first time you heard that joke!