I had to have a discussion with the hotel manager about how disappointed I was with the check-in delays and that the conference room wasn't reserved for us. He had all kinds of excuses but I really wasn't buying any of it. He dropped the ball.
We were all loaded on the bus and on the road a little early which was good since the day was going to be packed. Our first stop was Must Love Fabric in Grapevine. It is located in an old house but will soon be moving to larger quarters.
I really liked this shop right off the bat as there was a Dracula quilt hanging in the large windows by the entry. I've never seen a vampire quilt before so I was excited to see what other surprises were in store for us.
I wasn't in the store for 2 minutes and I spotted this great Christmas pattern of an old car pulling a vintage trailer. Picked that up right away. There were a bunch of small rooms filled with all kinds of cool fabric, patterns, notions and all displayed in really cute ways. I found two more patterns that I've never seen anywhere else: a cowboy Santa and a pieced quilt with a bike in the borders. Score, score, score!!!!!
The decorating in the store was very well done and they did a very good job of getting us through the checkout even though they only had one cash register.
We got a picture taken in front of the bus before we loaded back on to go to Quilters Country in Lewisville.
Quilters Country was high on my list before I even walked in the door. When I called to let them know I was bringing a bus load of quilters to their shop, they offered to provide lunch for us. That saved us a lot of money and allowed us to hit 5 shops in one day. The outside of the store looks like your standard mall quilt shop not too big and not too fancy. Boy, was that deceiving. This shop is gigantic with over 9000 bolts of fabric, a couple of artist studios in the back as well as 4 long arm machines that were running full speed most of the time we were there.
I loved the patterns by OCarol Designs and Carol Morrisey has a studio in the store. She wasn't there at the time we were which is too bad, I would have loved to talk to her for a few minutes. There was also a huge selection of Kaffe Fassett fabric and three or four of our ladies never left that corner of the store. The store was talking about the new Kaffe Fassett line that is coming in next week and their quilt kit for his stuff. I got the impression it is a huge deal and the quilt was lovely. They also carried a ton of Judy Niemeyer patterns.
The fabric choices in the store were overwhelming but so were the patterns which lined three walls and a few free standing cubes as well. They even had a little arbor in the middle of the store that was full of patterns. The samples on the wall were gorgeous. I really, really liked this store even though I didn't spend a lot of money. The previous stores had been very hard on my credit card.
Check out was speedy and we were still on schedule, maybe even a bit ahead. So with everyone on board the bus we headed to Fabric Fanatics in Plano which carries only batiks.
This store sits in an industrial office park and was a little tricky to find. A couple of ladies came out from the store and took our picture in front of the bus. They gave us a discount card, cookies, water, and an awesome gift bag.
Prices on the batiks were in the $10 range which I thought was great since most of the batiks I'd seen on the trip were in the $12 to $13 range. I bought about 4 or 5 more fabrics for the McKenna Ryan "Whiskers in the Wind" quilt which I'd been buying for throughout the trip. I also bought one of the store's precut packages.
They did have a drawing of a cute clock that Donna won but it all took way too long and we were late getting to Happiness is Quilting which cut our visit to them shorter than it should have been.
Happiness is Quilting is an adorable shop in McKinney Texas in their quaint little downtown area. The shop encompasses two store fronts. When you enter the store, the first store has exposed brick, beautiful cornice boards and a tin ceiling. So quaint.
The other half of the store has obviously had a remodel and lost all the charm of the first but the added space allows for a classroom, more fabric and patterns and wool. There were some really amazing wool samples in the store as well as some really beautifully detailed applique quilts. I loved it.
This was one of the few shops we visited that had male help. A cute young man was helping give out the thread we were getting as a gift. I commented that it was nice of him to help out today and he said he worked there 2 or 3 times a week. Nice!!! Their machine tech was also on hand to help.
I felt really bad that we could only stay about 45 minutes especially when I found out that they had arranged a demo by one of their wool artists but I was trying really hard to get us back on schedule since we were going to have a long drive home and had one more store to visit. They were very quick with the checkout and we were just a little late getting to Quilt Asylum.
Karen M. thought it would be a great idea for all of us to have our picture taken in front of the sign for Quilt Asylum in McKinney. Really it was her husband's idea and I thought it was pretty fun. I've been to Quilt Asylum before and I really liked it.
They have a nice bright selection of fabric with samples and kits to go with a lot of them.
By this time, I was running out of energy and out of money and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one but there were others that were still going strong. There were lines at both cash registers so I'm assuming not everyone was broke yet.
The 6+ hour bus ride home was pretty entertaining. I was sitting up front and I could hear those in the middle of the bus laughing really hard for a large portion of the ride. We did slip in a couple of bingo games between my naps. Did I mention, it was a long day. We pulled into Branson West Walmart about 1:30 a.m. and I was home by about 2 a.m. very happy and very tired and very broke.
Before the trip mom and I had decided we wouldn't do another bus trip but we got such great feedback and encouragement we are talking about doing another one next year. TBD.