What is a Shop Hop? There are many kinds but in this article, we will stick to quilt stores. A Shop Hop is a group of quilt stores who agree to participate in a common program for a limited length of time to produce a common quilt. Each store might sell one block in the common quilt. There is usually many rules and a financial investment for each quilt store. The customers travel to each store to purchase each block and get a stamp on a card to prove they were in the store. At the finish of the shop hop, participants are entered into a drawing to win prize baskets from each shop.
In 2011, the Row by Row Experience Shop Hop was created in New York with 20 stores participating. By 2015 the Row by Row Experience Shop Hop includes all 50 states and Canada. Why is it so popular and has expanded so quickly? It has few rules, a small financial obligation for the store, and a free gift for the customer. How is this possible? Here are the rules:
- Each participating store creates an original row pattern for a quilt following the theme for the year. Last year’s theme was seasons. This year’s theme is H2O. The row must be 36 1/2 inches by not more than 9 1/2 inches. The row can go horizontal or vertical. The store must provide one pattern free to each customer who visits the store. The pattern remains the copy write property of the store and cannot be copied or shared.
- Most stores create fabric kits to sell to the customers. Also available are any special templates, rulers, thread, or supplies to compete that row pattern. Kits normally cost between $6 and $20. The more expensive kits include appliqué shapes cut with dies with fusible already attached to the fabric. It makes completing that row quicker.
- Customers can collect the free patterns by visiting any participating store. They do not have to purchase kits from the store. They can use fabric of their choice. Customers are encouraged to make a Row by Row quilt using at least 8 different rows. If they are the first customer to bring a competed quilt into a store, they will receive a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric. If they used that store’s row, the store gives an extra prize, usually a jelly roll or a gift certificate. The special prize is determined by the store owner.
- Also available are cloth license plates from most of the stores. Each store creates their own plate with their unique style. These are available for approximately $6 each.
- The dates for the 2015 Shop Hop is June 21 thru Sept 8th. Completed quilts can be returned to shops from June 21 thru October 31st. The shop owners can sell the patterns and kits to anyone who wants them after November 1st. That means that if you loved a pattern from a shop across the country but could not travel there, you are allowed to purchase it after November 1st.
To find all of the information and rules, visit WWW.RowbyRowExperience.com
Each state has its own Facebook page with pictures of each store’s row. For Texas, do a search on Facebook for Texas Row by Row Experience. Click on Photos. You will also find pictures of completed quilts and the stores they were returned to. Here are the quilt stores that support our guild:
Best of Bernina Plano, 340 Coit Road, Suite 500 Plano, TX 75075 BestofBernina.com
The Fabric Affair, 101 S. Coit Road, #339 Richardson, TX 75081 FabricAffair.com
Houston St. Mercantile, 126 N. Houston St. Grandbury, TX 76048 HoustonStMercantile.com
Not Your Mama’s Quilt Store 8300 Preston Road #150, Plano TX 75024 notyourmamasquiltstore.com
Quilts ‘n More Studio, 211 W. Ave F Midlothian, TX 76965 quiltsnmore.biz
Richland Sewing Center 850 West Pipeline Road Hurst, TX 76053 richlandsewing.com
Sew it up Bernina 740 Grapevine Highway Hurst, TX 76054 sewitup.com
Urban Spools Sewing Lounge 1152 N. Buckner Blvd., Suite 121 Dallas, TX 75218 urbanspools.com
Two friends and I participated last year by visiting about 45 stores in North Texas. This year we were more organized, using a spread sheet to list the information on each store, to create the most efficient travel routes to make it to more stores. This is important because some stores are not open on Monday or have shorter Saturday hours. So far, we have visited between 60-70 quilt stores, just doing day road trips. Before the end, we plan to travel to the San Antonio and Kerrville area.
Let me tell you that we have discovered quilt stores that we did not know existed and have been greeted by some of the most lovely people. We have been able to see the most beautiful store samples and patterns, not to mention the beautiful Texas countryside.
Two of us have completed Row by Row Experience quilts and have won the store prizes. I completed a quilt using the patterns and turned it in at “Not Your Mama’s Quilt Store” in Plano. For being the first person to turn in a finished quilt at this location, I received 25 fat quarters and a jelly roll of my choice. I have enough kits right now to make at least two more quilts. I plan to make them more themed quilts. One will have windmill rows and the other will be umbrellas and ducks. Even if you don’t plan to make a quilt, the patterns and people are so much fun. Hope to see you at either Quiltn’ B’s or Maggie’s Minions (EQ group)! Sandie Griego