Free gifts, a chance to win dozens of prizes and helping out the needy await customers walking through the doors of 10 area sewing stores during the dog days of August.
The Second Annual Charming Quilt Shop Tour will be Thursday, Aug. 23, through Saturday, Sept. 1. The tour takes shoppers to Cortland, Champion, Niles, Fowler, Garrettsville, Chardon and across the state line to Albion and Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.
More than 400 people visited sewing stores in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania last summer for the first Charming Shop Hop Tour event and raised more than $800 for local food banks and shelters.
“This event is a fun adventure for stitchers. They are helping local charities and picking up all sorts of freebies for themselves to encourage their sewing,” said Kori Turner of Olive Grace Studios in Fowler Township.
Sewing shop hops, as they are called, have been happening all over the country for many years. Each has its own guidelines. ”Shop hops are a way to introduce shoppers to sewing stores they may not know about,” said Turner.
In the local Charming Shop Hop Tour, shoppers buy a passport for $2 at any of the 10 participating stores. “The shops want 100 percent of that money to go to a local charity of each shop’s choosing,” said Turner.
Just for walking through the door of each shop, passport holders receive a free tote bag and a free quilt block pattern. The quilt block is made up into a quilt project and will be unveiled the first day of the tour. In addition, each participant receives free fabric squares, a treat and chances to win many prizes.
The grand prize is a Viking H/Class 100Q sewing machine valued at $500 arranged for by Joyce Francis, owner of the Viking White Sewing Center in Niles.
Each of the 10 stores is donating two $100 value prize baskets and two $25 gift certificates. Sewing manufacturers from around the country have donated bundles of fabric, patterns and sewing tools for the event.
Anyone can join the shop hop by picking up a passport at any of the participating sewing stores. To qualify to win many of the prizes, participants must visit each of the shops on the tour and turn in their completed passports. Anyone visiting all 10 stores, receives a silver charm for finishing and is eligible for many of the give-away prizes.
Participating shops include:
• Cottonpickers, Chardon; • Designers Two Quilt Shop, Cortland; • Just Quilt It, Warren; • Megen’s Quilt Parlor, Albion, PA; • Olive Grace Studios, Fowler Twp.; • Quilting B’s, Cortland; • Quilter’s Fancy, Cortland; • Shaffer’s Country Side Quilting, Sharpsville, PA; • Shaker Tree, Garrettsville; • Viking White Sewing Center, Niles
To receive a free brochure describing the shop hop tour with all the participating shop address, web site addresses, contact information and store hours, stop in at any of the shops.