You heard me. A Fabric Acquisition Road Trip. A FART.
Sometimes A lot of times I feel like a spoiled brat quilter. This last week was one of those times. I got to go to Gatlinburg, TN with a couple of friends with the sole purpose of fabric shopping and condo quilting. The trip wasn’t without a dose of guilt. The friend that originated the idea and plan wasn’t able to go at the last minute. My husband was home still recovering from being sick the week before. I just went to QuiltCon the week before that. The studio was waiting for me to fill it with creative goodness. A friend had to teach my early morning seminary class for me. For four days.
All so I could go out on a FART.
FYI & BTW- it was a lot of fun.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures, which is unusual for me. Perhaps a subconscious manifestation of quilt guilt.
Anyway, we did visit quite a few shops while we were there. We generally followed the East Tennessee Shop Hop list, and visited 9 of the 12 shops listed on their flyer. The dates for the shop hop are June 4 – 14, 2015, and you can click here to go to their Facebook page. I enjoyed all of the shops that we visited, but there were 4 shops that stood out to me enough to justify a whole post dedicated to them. If I didn’t learn anything else from this little FART, I learned never to judge a quilt shop by it’s exterior.
Gina’s Bernina Sewing Center
This was by far my favorite of the shops that we went to during our road trip. And honestly, I was shocked. When we drove up to the property, I was expecting a sewing machine shop more than a fabric shop. You know what I mean- mostly machines with just enough fabric to support demonstrating said machines, particularly with machine embroidery. Don’t get me wrong, I love a monogram as much as the next southern girl, but when I’m out on a FART, machines just don’t do it for me. I want fabric. I want color. I want inspiration. Well. Let me tell you, this place delivered. They have an amazing balance of traditional and modern. Everything from batiks to Tula, from Kaffe to HR. A little machine embroidery. A little smocking. Quilting cottons. Kids knits. Seersucker. Corduroy. Batiste. A little bit of everything. Even fabric with little piles of dog pooh on it, some of which I totally bought. All I can say is “I’ll be back.”
10816 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37934 ~ 865-966-5941 ~ www.ginasbernina.com
Machine Quiltin’ By Iva
This was the very first shop we stopped in, and one of only two shops that we visited twice. It appears unassuming, and maybe even small from the outside. But once inside I found treasures in just about every corner. This place was packed tight full of fabric, and while it definitely had a more traditional feel to it, it had a surprising smattering of modern designers thrown in here and there. Also, if you’re a Moda collector, this place is a little bit of heaven with both current and out of print lines tucked in here and there. I had difficulty deciding, and while I made off with a bag of goodies, I also had to exercise some self control and leave some behind for the next poor fool to walk in those doors.
1020 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37862 ~ 865-428-8008 ~ No website, but click here for Luann’s Loose Threads blog- she wrote about this shop in 2011 and took lots of interior photos. Some of it looks the same, some of it not, but still a good representation.
The Cherry Pit
I have been hearing about this shop for so many years it’s just straight up ridiculous. People love this place, and I have to say, I do too now. It does, as one might guess, have a pretty heavy bias towards traditional quilting, but I have to give props to these ladies for being open to innovation. I got the feeling that if I walked in the store with a Luke Haynes style portrait quilt, or a Denyse Schmidt improv, they would have fallen over with glorious revelry in the smartness of it. And the staff couldn’t have been better. Accommodating, but knew when to butt out and let me work through my own process of choosing fabric. And witty. And funny. I love a funny quilter. They are twice as smart as everyone else, if you ask me. However, I have to say that my dear strictly modern friends would have a hard time at this shop- I literally couldn’t find a single bolt of solid fabric. It was kind of odd, but gave me a challenge for the project I was shopping for. And I actually really like a challenge.
115 Bruce Street, Sevierville, TN 37862 ~ 865-453-4062 ~ www.quiltingatthecherrypit.com
Pappy’s Quilting Place
Don’t judge an LQS by it’s exterior. Or it’s name. Or that it is located in an old gas station. I think the funniest thing about this shop was that there was a sweet man working there- cutting fabric and running the register. Pappy, right? I’m not sure. I heard him say his sister was the owner. So is she Pappy? Or maybe she inherited it from Pappy? It’s still a mystery because I was too busy shopping to ask. This shop was definitely the most traditional of the four that I am talking about in this post, but I have to tell you that for this crossover quilter, it was totally worth the drive. If for no other reason than to try to figure out who exactly Pappy is…
3426 Sevierville Road, Maryville, TN 37804 ~ 865-980-0950 ~ www.pappysquilting.com
What a fun quilt guilt trip. Wonder when I can go again…