East TN Quilt Shop Hop (Part II): Fresh new looks!

Fish quilt at Tennessee Quilts Johnson City TN

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.

two quilt blocks Blooming Blue in TN, Tennessee Quilts, Jonesborough TN
Two samples made with blocks from the 2020 theme of Blooming Blue in Tennessee on display at Tennessee Quilts, Jonesborough, TN

Loose Threads

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.

Doggie Breeds quilt, Twisted Sisters Quilt Shop, Alcoa

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.

Fabrics for Blooming Blue in Tennessee Shop Hop theme

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!

Loose Threads Quilt Shop crew
The family crew at Loose Threads — sans masks just for a moment: Phyllis, Eddie, Lisa, and Sidney!

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!

Wearing the Blooming Blue in Tennessee fabric, Patsy keeps her distance!

Tennessee Quilts

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.

Dog quilt at Tennessee Quilts Johnson City TN
Patchwork dog wall hanging behind a vintage Singer sewing machine at Tennessee Quilts, Jonesborough, Tennessee

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.)

Blooming Blue in Tennessee teaching samples at Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough TN
Project samples and fabrics for the Blooming Blue in Tennessee 2020 Shop Hop theme

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.

Kaffe Fassett fabrics at Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough TN
Lining the back wall of Tennessee Quilts: bolts of colorful Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

The Sewing Bee

222 Headtown Rd., Jonesborough, TN http://www.sewingbeetn@comcast.net

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!”

Carol Maha, owner of The Sewing Bee
Teaching a quick lesson on how to use a Dresden quilt pattern to create something new is Carol Mahar, new owner of The Sewing Bee in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

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.

A “free-form” quilt using a long-arm machine is on display in front of a wall of fabrics and finished quilts at Gina’s Bernina, Knoxville, Tennessee.

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.

VW Bus quilt at Gina's Bernina, Knoxville TN
Movin’ on at Gina’s Bernina, Knoxville, TN

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.

House quilt farmhouse colors - Gina's Bernina, Knoxville TN
Colorful houses and log cabin blocks fashioned from farmhouse fabrics — it’s a new look that’s catching on !

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!

Rusha Sams

You may enjoy reading East TN Quilt Shop Hop (Part 1) here.

9 thoughts on “East TN Quilt Shop Hop (Part II): Fresh new looks!

  1. CompassAndCamera

    What a great post, Rusha! The dogs quilt is hilarious! 🙂 And small world — I used a Kaffe Fassett fabric (called Jupiter, in red) as the pattern of a butterfly in a design project I did a couple of years ago. Turned out amazing. Love his fabrics!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I could not believe that there was a dog pattern for almost every breed if dog in the universe!!! What fun to look at them.
      I, too, am Jnane love with Jaffe Fassett. First found this designer when I was into needlepoint. His designs were wonderful even 40 years ago. Now I’m fascinated by hi fabrics and quilt designs. Some people are just talented!!!

  2. thegenxtravels

    Looks fun! I have been making way too many quilt tops and now have to get busy quilting them!!!! My favorite shop is in Ellsworth, Iowa. She has a little bit of everything and always friendly!!! It is a bit of a ways from Tennessee though!!!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I’d love to see Iowa!!! It’s been years since I drove through but I’d love to go back. I now have a better appreciation for all places, and long to see them all again! My mom was like you — loved making the tops, but not finishing the quilts. So guess what I’ve been doing — paying to have her quilt tops quilted! Then I bind them! Wishing you all the best.

      1. thegenxtravels

        Lol! I have been hand quilting them for years but it seems like after I hit 50 my eyes don’t cooperate with those little stitches!! I have tied a few of them but they don’t look as nice! If you ever visit Iowa I would be happy to give you a list of some great quilt shops!!!

      2. Oh, the Places We See

        My eyes aren’t as good as they once were either, but I can’t use that as an excuse for not quilting. I probably wouldn’t have the tenacity to complete a whole quilt anyway!! I’ll be sure to let you know if I’m passing through Iowa. Right now, I’m only going to the grocery store near my house!! Wishing you a good weekend ahead!

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