One thing I learned after writing my first post on the 2020 East TN Quilt Shop Hop was that all ten of the participating shops have something new to share — a new technique, a quilting gizmo to make your life easier, or new fabrics (lighter and brighter, by the way!) to liven up the quilts you create. And what fun to visit these shops when owners and employees are ready to show you what’s new! Here’s what I found at the last five shops on this 2020 tour.
1211 S. Roane St., #5, Harriman TN http://www.loosethreadsquiltshop.com
At Loose Threads, it was all about family members pitching in during the Shop Hop to share what’s new and different. Owner Lisa Lee smiled as she pointed out the on-display quilt made with pre-packaged doggie cutouts. If you have a favorite breed, you can find it in quilt form at Loose Threads.
Rooms and hallways of fabrics direct you through the maze of many bolts to the giant teaching room where award-winning quilts displayed at the Tennessee Valley Fair take center stage.
Family members pitched in while we were there, showing us new store items and fabrics for the free Blooming Blue in Tennessee quilt block patterns that every visitor to the Shop Hop received. Non only that, this could be the happiest group shot I took all week — even though they asked if we could waive the mandatory mask requirement just for the picture!
Bernina In Stitches
408 S. Roan St. Suite 100, Johnson City, TN http://www.berninainstitches.com
Fresh colors and friendly staff greeted me at this little shop in a newly developed urban area of Johnson City. Bernina In Stitches was all about great ideas from creating a strip quilt and tote bag out of beachy fabrics to fashioning little Tilda dolls based upon books by Norwegian author Tone Finnanger. I even found a sewing pumpkin made out of notions.
The easy chatter between customers and salespeople made me realize that there is a lot of repeat business here, mainly because the shop is so welcoming and friendly. Great quilts, little gifts, and a few funky things extended my shopping time, ’cause I just didn’t want to leave these nice people!
114 Boone St., Jonesborough, TN http://www.tennesseequilts.com
Housed in a classic two-story Colonial home, Tennessee Quilts may have the largest inventory of any of the shops in the East Tennessee Quilt Shop Hop. If not, they’re close.
A wall of animal motif quilts greets you and makes you smile . . . right at the front door.
Upstairs, teaching samples and instructions await — all using the Blooming Blue in Tennessee fabrics. (Also upstairs — a back room featuring fabrics at super sale prices.)
But it was the wall, the extensive wall, of brightly colored fabrics by American designer Kaffe Fassett that took my breath away. If anyone ever wanted fabric for a dynamic project, the whole back wall of Tennessee Quilts would make someone feel like a designer in a warehouse.
The Sewing Bee
222 Headtown Rd., Jonesborough, TN http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner Carol Mahar said she wanted three things when she came to live in Jonesborough, Tennessee: “. . . chickens, bees, and quilts.” And then she told me the story. “Well, I had the chickens and the bees in my back yard, but I always dreamed of having my own quilt shop. The owner and I sat down for a long talk. And a month later, I owned a quilt shop!”
She’s evidently done well with The Sewing Bee in the little over a year she’s been the owner. Her husband works with her repairing and selling Pfaff sewing machines, and her work on display in the shop is creative, artsy, and fascinating.
No wonder she had a dream that became a reality. And I believe she’s pleased a lot of area quilters, too!
Gina’s Bernina Sewing Center
10816 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN http://www.ginasbernina.com
My last stop and the shop closest to my home was Gina’s Bernina! Praising this shop is easy for me since it offers a wide selection of fabrics, classes in a spacious back room using Bernina sewing machines, a children’s dressmaking corner, and staff members who are helpful and knowledgeable. Gina’s is a teaching store all the time, but for the Shop Hop there were extra tips on half-triangle rectangles and how to use measuring boards.
Amazing to me are the samples hanging on every wall leading crafty people forward in their choice of fresh, new colors or a set-up display of long-arm quilting techniques.
Gina’s is a go-to place for new ideas, but I still love some of the wall hangings that have been around — and charming customers — for a while like this little yellow and blue VW bus.
But there are also new quilts that show off fresh fabrics and patterns . . . like this little row of houses done up nicely in farmhouse colors.
It’s always a treat to see what’s new at Gina’s!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sample of the 2020 East Tennessee Quilt Shop Hop, a true display of the talent, innovation, and clever artiness of the quilters and proprietors in our area. With so many of us staying at home now, quilting and sewing projects is seeing a resurgence. And you can find quality fabrics and talented, resourceful people in my area as well as in yours.
I’d love to know what you’re working on and what shops you recommend. So, drop us all a line in the Comments below — we just may need to stock up for future days ahead!
Thanks, as always, for traveling far — or near — with us!
You may enjoy reading East TN Quilt Shop Hop (Part 1) here.