As September began to wind down I realized that I did not have much time left to complete the Texas Shop Hop. Heck, I had only visited one shop (Heavenly Threads in Trinity) of the 91 in the hop.
All became clear to me when a Saturday Strippers gathering was cancelled which meant I had approximately a day and a half all to myself. Quickly I called Paul to let him know he was baby sitting Kelis for a couple of days and I contacted Alex's foster mom to see if a visit with Alex would fit into their plans. Both Paul and Liz and Sid were agreeable so I packed the car that Thursday evening and, after water aerobics and Knitting on Friday, I hit the road for this new adventure.
A couple of things first - I had FIVE things to navigate by - a traditional Texas road map, the directions from the shop hop people, a download from Google maps, my GPS and my new phone's navigation application. Despite all these instructions I got lost about twelve times and added about fifty useless miles tothe car.
But I digress..
My first destination was Lone Star Quiltworks in Bryan Texas. I saw a lot of magnificent homes while getting lost trying to get there and my visit started on a funny note. I charged into the store and asked for the restroom. Knowing I was in distress the clerk pointed me to a lovely restroom with lots of decorations for children and reminders to wash my hands. Imagine my embarrassment when I came out and realized that I was in children's toy/book store. With a very red face I left and went into the correct store, just one slot over in the strip mall.
Lone Star is a large, well lit and well stocked quilt store. They have a lot of patterns for accessories and lots of samples. They also have great little gadgets and notions and I will admit I picked up a few Christmas presents. One thing I noticed was their sale rack where everything was $4.00 a yard if you bought five yards or whatever was on the bolt. I found a lovely floral border print in brown that would be great as a backing for a quilt or as a quilt border or cut up into a One Block Wonder type quilt.
After restocking my water bottle I hit the road again for Taylor Texas and E-Jay's Trunk. This is a tiny store with a wonderful ambiance. No pressure here! I found a lovely piece of jacquard woven navy fabric of tiny school houses and stars that are the perfect weight for a house/sun dress or slouchy pajama style pants. I ended up having a wonderful conversation with the owner of the store next door on the relative merits of crocheting versus knitting. A great stop!
It was getting late in the afternoon so I only made two more shops. Both were sewing machine shops with a nod to quilting and other sewing activities.
Austin Sewing Machines in Round Rock was very hard to get to if you did not know the area. They had a lot of fabric but, after using their restroom, I realized that there was nothing that caught my eye so I moved on. Don't get me wrong, it is a big bright store and they had a lot of intriguing embroidery software but my brain just couldn't absorb any of it. Sorry!
On to the Ready To Sew Bernina store in Cedar Park. This store is in a very classy plaza and the parking lot was very full with people getting errands done before heading home for a quiet evening at home. Tress in the parking lot always get my vote for ambiance. When I walked in the store I was greeted with a comment from the owner 'You realize we are closing in ten minutes?". Of course I didn't know you were closing in ten minutes because I am a brain dead shop hopper who has traveled almost two hundred miles today just to get to your wonderful shop. I didn't stop for even ten minutes but got in, got my passport stamped and got out.
Back in the car I decided to call it a day and find where the next shop on my list was located and to find a motel nearby so I could start early in the morning. Ended up in an extended stay hotel for $39.99 (including taxes), didn't sleep well but enough that I know I won't stay there again! Never found the Holiday Inn that was supposed to be in the area.
The rest will have to wait for another day.