This month, Appalachian Quilt and Craft in Hazard, along with several other local quilt shops across the region, organized and participated in the area’s first “Quiltin’ in the Mountains Shop Hop” to promote small businesses in each participating city. The theme of this year’s Quiltin’ in the Mountains Shop Hop was a patriotic theme using the colors red, white and blue. The event was held from July 9-17.
Participating shops included Appalachian Quilt and Craft in Hazard; Bridgett’s Quilting and Fabric Shop in Pikeville; The Pink Bobbin Quilting Shop in Pikeville; The Fabric House in Pound, Va.; Sew-N-Love Shoppe in Prestonsburg; Gran Gran’s Quilting in Paintsville; and Quilter’s Play House in Ulysses. Each of these shops had two special block patterns, except for The Pink Bobbin Quilting Shop and Sew-N-Love Shoppe which had three blocks for sale. Customers were able to purchase the $5 quilt blocks from each shop. Appalachian Quilt and Craft had two blocks; one was named after the Buckhorn Log Cabin and the other block was named the Mother Goose Square.
During the shop hop, customers picked up a passport at the first shop they visited and got the passport signed at each shop they stopped at. The passports were free this year, but won’t be next year, said event organizers. Customers turned the passport in at the last shop they visited for a chance to win prizes. Each shop had prizes that anyone had a chance to win, including gifts baskets. Grand prizes included a Brother sewing machine or a gift certificate from each shop. Customers were required to visit all shops for a chance to win a grand prize.
Carolyn Davis, owner of Appalachian Quilt and Craft, said the shop hop was a success and plans are being discussed for next year.
“It was a smashing success for everybody involved. All the shops feel like we’ve found customers who didn’t even know we existed in the area,” said Davis.
Many customers, she said, traveled from farther parts of Kentucky, and even other states such as Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio.
“We all feel like it was a really good experience for all the shop owners,” said Davis. “As shop owners, we all feel like we got to meet new customers who might never have come. We’ve already begun planning for next year.
She said the group plans to hold the event around the same time next year. Shop owners, said Davis, will meet in October to discuss further planning details and how to implement the feedback they received from communities and participants.
“We want to make it fun for the customers, that’s why we’re here,” said Davis. “We feel like we had a really good response. I hope we can make it a bigger and better event next year.”
In total, 196 individuals filled out passports for this year’s event.