Shop Hopping is FUN!!! Especially if you have one of those Garmin navigator systems (it also helps if someone else drives!). Bernie and I hit 3 stores in just a few hours and had a great time doing it. First we stopped for lunch at a tea room in Mount Dora then hiked up the hill to the quilt shop, past antique, craft and cute little specialty stores. Remember, this is Florida, so the hike up the hill was probably all of 100 feet above sea level, and it was "sweater" weather and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Next we ventured over to Fireside Quilts. This is a new store, just a few months old. They are off to a nice start and the owner certainly has her own way of doing things. Nothing in the store was priced, .....nothing. When I questioned them about it, they said that was because all of the fabrics were the same price. Interestingly, the owner said they were $8.60 and later when I questioned one of the employees, she said the price was $8.40, but thought the batiks were more than that. Hmmmmm? It made me feel a bit better about the screw-ups we make sometimes! The patterns weren't priced either, which seemed odd to me. As a consumer, I want to know what I'm buying, as an owner, I know some of them should be $6 and some of them $10. The store was beautiful, bright, well lit, with gorgeous wood cabinetry, so I didn't understand the "dollar store" pricing strategy.
Our last stop was the shop in Deland. We wandered around the store for a few minutes before I heard Judy, the owner say "Karen Montgomery, what are you doing in my store"? So much for working incognito.
We explained the visit and Judy gave me a tour of her new location and a sneak peek behind the scenes at the work she does for Bennartex and the block of the month books that she publishes. I have to say that her finished projects are beautiful in person. We had originally talked at Quilt Market about her first book with a tropical theme. I thought it would be a tough sell in Pittsburgh, but now she has added 2 more, and one of them is a Christmas theme. I brought copies home so that Debby and I can take a more detailed look. You may see Judy's projects offered in Pittsburgh in the near future!