Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Suspense is Half the Fun!

If you are one of those quilters who loves to participate in a good Shop Hop, you might have found yourself counting down the days lately until August 3 -- tomorrow!  That is the kick-off date of the statewide MN Shop Hop, running for just over 2 weeks (ending 8/19).  If you aren't familiar with this concept, let me explain:  74 quilt shops all over the state have joined forces to spice up your August with a very fun event.  By visiting several shops and getting your "passport" stamped, you not only get a fun tour of the state, but also the chance to win some great prizes!  The state is divided into sections, and you can visit all or any portion that you choose.  Each area is offering further incentives with assorted ideas to add to your quilting pleasure.  You can read much more about it at the main website for Quilt MN.

Another big part of the fun, at least for our crew at Bear Patch, is preparing samples and displays that use the exclusive fabric designed and sold by Windham Fabrics.  We have plenty of inspiration for you to discover how you can use a bit of this Minnesota-themed fabric in a keepsake of your own.  And how great to make something that announces "Land of 10,000 Lakes" for a friend or family member.  Even for someone who has lived here or visited here, and has special memories of our great state.

Our front windows and entry are all decked out and gussied up for the hundreds of shop hoppers that are going to be visiting.  We have a special little goodie bag for each participant, containing the directions for a quilt block, a 5" square of the MN fabric, a pattern for a MN theme quilt label designed by Mary of MH Designs and the directions for a fabulous wool penny rug designed for us by Stacy of Buttermilk Basin.  The quilt label and penny rug are not available anywhere else, so you do not want to miss a stop at Bear Patch!  Here is an overview of what we have on display for you:

Left to right:  Take 5, Wild Child and Catch Me.  On the black table: Waffle Time.
On the white table:   Tumbling Mats and Classic MN embroidered pillow.

From left to right:  tablecloth and apron from I've Been Framed, Hot Stuff casserole carrier,  Two Timing Tumbler tablerunner, Quiltie Trio mini-runner, Midi bag, Cape Cod Carryall, Bridget's Bagettes, Cabin in the Woods, Cliff's Bear tablerunner and Bee's Knees towels.

This is the Bee's Knees!  I put on my pattern designer hat again and put together the directions for converting some plain old towels into something much more fun for drying dishes!

Here's the Cape Cod Carryall and the Midi Bag.  Last year Quiltsmart designed the Mondo Bag, which was a popular class and project.  This year they have reduced the size a bit for the Midi Bag but used the same techniques.

Come Fly With Me is Debbie's brainstorm, and it turned out great.  The pattern is designed to use multiple fabric strips to make the striped panels on the left and right.  Clever Debbie used the Quilt MN fabric that is a stripe with MN words and simplified the process immensely!

This apron, from the booklet I've Been Framed, is made from one tea towel and a little bit of fabric for pocket and ties.

Debbie has also been posting some good pictures of some of the individual items over on our Facebook page so you should really hop over there and become a friend if you aren't already.

In the next few days I will be posting even more info about the Shop Hop fun.  We will have cookies and bars on the weekends, and cold bottled water, and the coffee is always on!


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