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Summer days and road trips go hand in hand. For me, that means heading out on shop hops, near and far, especially after two summers of covid ‘hibernation’. High gas prices make this a bit more of a challenge this year, but hard to resist the lure of a quilt shop visit. Am I right?

Many of you have already headed out to shop for your summer projects – perhaps for the items you’ll be selling at our Quilt Show boutique. Nearby shops like The Woolworks, Lynn’s Quilting Studio and Avonport are on everyone’s lists and rightly so – we rely on them!

For those who choose to wander further to do a bit more fabric shopping during this great weather, there are other lovely shops to be found locally, here in the Maritimes. With that in mind, my friend Jan and I recently headed out on a day trip to explore and/or revisit shops within a few hours of home. We had hoped to do this in 2020, but well, we all know why that didn’t happen…

The Fabric Cupboard, Moncton

We decided to head to New Brunswick for this first shop hop trip. First stop was The Fabric Cupboard in Moncton. What a treat – a friendly shop owner surrounded by wall to wall beautiful fabrics with a colourful display of quilts on an upstairs railing. We found a wonderful selection of fabric lines, precuts and lots of notions in a bright friendly atmosphere. If you visit, don’t forget to ask where the sale fabrics are – they were well priced and there was a nice selection.

Covered Bridge Quiltery, Riverview, NB

Our second stop was The Covered Bridge Quiltery in Riverview. Quite the surprise! We headed to the original store, which had been fairly small with an emphasis on sewing machines. The Quiltery now has a new owner and a new storefront, just across the street from the original store. We found a store 5 or 6 times larger than the other location, filled with fabric and notions. There is also a fabulous classroom with adjustable, mechanized sewing tables. Long arm quilting is done on site with local drop offs but also for quilts mailed to them. Icing on the cake is that the Quiltery has an on line shop. Check it out here.

Covered Bridge Quilteery, Riverview, NB
Spruce It Up Quilting, Port Elgin, NB

Last stop in New Brunswick was a visit to Spruce It Up Quilting in Port Elgin – Jan has been a frequent visitor (and teacher) there, but it was my first visit to the store. Though a bit out of the way (unless you’re headed to PEI), the shop is well worth the detour. The staff were friendly and helpful, with lots of fabrics to choose from. They are known for their one metre fabric bundles – thoughtfully chosen, with coordinating fabrics in the store and a web site where you can also purchase them. The owner has beautiful examples of her wool applique hanging in the shop and lots of hand-dyed wool fabric on site.

We had planned to stop in Amherst but sadly the two shops there – Mrs. Pugsley’s Emporium and Sunrise Trail Quiltery – have very limited opening schedules. Be sure to check before you plan a visit.

Our last stop was Atlantic Fabrics in Truro. This store has apparently become the provincial clearing house for Atlantic Fabrics – discontinued fabrics from other stores end up here at discounted prices. The staff were exceptionally helpful and the selection was great. The fabrics felt new and fresh. The Discount Section offers even better prices.

We had a busy but wonderful day going from shop to shop. Admittedly, the cost of gas for the day competed with the amount we spent on fabric, but we are already planning the next shop hop. Maybe we will just need to squeeze more people into the car to share fuel costs!

So, will you be hitting the road this summer or fall? Going to a Maritime quilt shop that many of us don’t often get to visit? Send us a photo and let us know what you found.

Colleen and Jan