The Heartland needlework shop hop took place this last weekend, and I survived it! It was my first needlework shop hop – apparently they do this every year, and from what I hear, lots of areas around the country feature shop hops. So if this is something that interests you, check with your local needlework shop to see if they participate in anything similar each year! Though, if you’re like me, at the end, you just might be sorry you found out! Let me show you the damage…
I generally budget for my needlework stuff – hobbies deserve budgeting, and I figure if I don’t budget for hobby-related supplies (or if I go into debt for them!), I could not enjoy them. That dark cloud of “I Owe You” hanging over my head would certainly dampen any pleasure I had in my hobby! So, I budget. And I have spent my budget for the next… oh, several months! So, enjoy looking at the loot, because it’ll be a while before I spend anything again on hobby-related supplies!
Depending on how you look at this pile, it can either look like a lot, average, or not much at all! For me, it was a lot to buy in one weekend! I console myself by saying that I got some really good deals on some stuff, and that I have prepared ahead with some gift-related items.
First off, I did get some Evertite Frames, which is really the only thing I convinced myself I needed. I need a variety of smaller (10″ – 14″) frames to set up fabric on for filming stitches, and if I’m going to spend money on frames, then I might as well get the ones I really like, that I can use for a variety of projects. That was my reasoning, anyway! And darn it, I’m stickin’ to it! (Two the Point in Overland Park, Kansas, carries the whole range of Evertite Frames, and they were 15% off, and I didn’t have to pay shipping! Yippee!).
I suppose I didn’t need these threads from Gentle Art – their Simply Wool line, a very nice, fine wool for embroidery. But I’ve wanted to try them for a while, and I thought it would be fun to do a wool thread comparison for everyone, so, yes, I bought a few cards. I picked these up at Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty, Missouri. In fact, I’m kind of twitterpated with that shop.
Of the five shops I visited, two had “atmosphere” – Stitch On in Lawrence, KS, and Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty, MO. Of those two, Old Mill Stitchery is the more atmospheric. It’s situated in what I think is perhaps an old mill (ingenious – I think that accounts for the name!), and connected to a few other shops and a restaurant inside the one old complex. It’s roomy – with a fantastic project room overlooking an outside little tree area full of birds – and the floors are slightly uneven. The shops adjacent include a bead shop, a wool rug-hooking supply shop (neat stuff), an antique and gift store, and a nice little luncheon-type restaurant. I would definitely make the long treck there again, just for the fun of going, on a day trip to KC.
Now, I realize this doesn’t look very exciting. But these are hanks of soie d’alger from Au Ver a Soie. That’s 45 meters at One Time of the same color of one of my favorite threads! But that wasn’t the appeal. The appeal was that they were 50% off. I use greens all the time, and I am certain I will have use for them as time goes by. The darker blue in the background is another question – but, one never knows…
I rarely buy threads from Rainbow Gallery. I don’t know why – I suppose I don’t often have use for them. They do have some weird, interesting, fun threads, though. And I bought a few. Each item in this photo, including that jolly spool of green Trebizond, was a dollar. What was I supposed to do? Besides, they’ll be fun to include in give-aways. And a dollar? Really, what was I supposed to do?
Oh, it’s another Bohin pencil, with all the lead colors available. I have come to really like this pencil for transfers. I bought the yellow, grey, and blue fills… and another pencil. I found this at a fabric store near one of the needlework shops through which I was cheerily hopping…
Now, this may not seem very thrilling to you. But it was the Only Thing I saw at one shop that really thrilled me to my toes! It’s a frame! And not just any frame! It fits perfectly my little miniature embroidery piece. I’m going to frame that for the Agéd M for Mother’s Day.
In this dark, dim picture you will see the only two things I ran into along the whole hop that were specifically surface embroidery items. I felt somewhat compelled to stand up for surface embroidery, so I purchased them. The fact that the table topper was reduced 50% helped – I wouldn’t have paid full price for it. And the towel was 40% off, I think. They are simply ironed-on motifs from Aunt Martha-type iron-ons. In fact, the dish towel is definitely Aunt Martha. One is a butterfly motif on a 35″ square table topper made out of 65% linen, 35% cotton, in a natural color, and the other is a vineyard motif on a striped dish towel. I’m admittedly not so impressed with them, but they are both something that the kids would enjoy stitching, so they won’t go to waste.
This is the only “elaborate” thing that I bought – completely unnecessary, with no purpose that I could pin on it at the time, and rather a bit on the pricey side. It’s a tray from Sudburry House (purchased at Two the Point). The bottom of the tray is glass, under which you can mount a piece of needlework. Truth is, it isn’t the tray concept that sold me. It isn’t that I even had a plan or idea for it. Quite simply, it’s the square redness of it. It is Square Red Perfection. There was not even a decision-making process involved. I saw it. I picked it up. I never even considered not buying it. I didn’t even try to justify it to myself. I still haven’t tried to justify it. In fact, if I think about it too hard, the only thing that comes to mind is, “…” … nothing. Of course I bought it. It’s as if I had walked past the shelf it was sitting on, put my right hand on the shelf, then walked away, taking my right hand with me. I couldn’t leave my right hand behind – I couldn’t leave the red tray behind.
If they hadn’t made it so very red, and so very square, with such perfect rounded edges and handles, I probably could have left it. But under the
circumstances, what else could I do?
Oh, here comes some justification: it was 15% off. And it would look beautiful with a nice Jacobean something under that glass…. or something.
I bought a bit of floss – probably at least one kind in each store I went into, and in some stores, several. By the way, what’s the difference between Weeks Dye Works sold in Topeka and Weeks Dye Works sold in KC? Thirty cents per skein! It’s more expensive in KC! I liked coming across “discontinued colors” in different stores – I was able to pick up some skeins of different types of silk for 50% off. The only other interesting thing (to me, anyway) that I purchased was wool roving in bright colors and some felting needles. I’m thinking it might be fun to do some felting with the kids this summer.
So, that’s the damage. I’ll be enjoying all this for a while – which is good, because “fun spending” on needlework-related stuff just came to a screeching halt!
You’ll also be seeing the benefits of my shop hopping in little upcoming give-aways, so keep an eye out!