July 9, 2012

Shop hop for quilters

Shopperscan get freequilt patterns

By ROBIN CAUDELL, Staff Writer

---- — ROUSES POINT — Carole Prevost-Meier’s whipped up “Set Sail,” a quilt pattern for Row by Row, a statewide shop hop of quilt shops.

“The triangles are half-square triangles,” said Prevost-Meier, who owns Fibre Junction in Rouses Point.

“Patchwork is a combination of pieces that make the pattern. If you put all half-triangles together, you can create a pinwheel. That creates the movement.”

Her choice of fabric was blue-hued batiks, which are hand-dyed fabrics from Malaysia.

“I have a technique of doing half-square triangles that is really, really quick. There are different methods of doing it. I used the strip method which is really quick. Most people do it with a square. I chose to do a space row meaning that a lot of the quilt shops have a lot of scenery and huge blocks (for rows). I chose to do my block a little bit smaller.”

Janet Lutz of Calico Gals in Syracuse started the shop hop last year with 20 participating shops, who created rows.

“This year, I became aware of it and got a hold of her,” Prevost-Meier said. “What we ended up making it statewide across New York state. Right now, there are over 62 shops participating.”

During the Row by Row shop hop, participant can score free block patterns from quilt shops.

“People collect block patterns. They will piece the patterns they get from the quilt shops and then they will make a quilt. Each shop is designing one row of a quilt. This quilt is not constructed by blocks. It’s constructed by rows.”

Quilters can visit as many as five shops in a weekend.

“Every shop carries something different. I specialize in 19th century reproductions. I have wool for penny rugs. I’m a folk-art hand embroiderer.”

Lutz’s Calico Gals has more mainstream fabrics.

“Some contemporary, some children fabric, all different things,” Prevost-Meier said.

During the shop hop, participants will receive row patterns.

“We don’t kit the row. It’s strictly the pattern because everyone has their own style of fabric they like. We’re just offering the pattern. Quilters go shop to shop to acquire the patterns. For the contest, they need to put eight different rows together. They have to visit at least eight different shops.”

The hop includes Loose Threads at 164 Boynton Ave. Suite 304 in Plattsburgh. “Moose on the Loose” is the title of the 9 x 36 inch row, which features blue sky, trees, pine coast, grasses, water, and of course, a moose. The shop is owned by Jacquie Barshow, Lora Barshow and Dorothy Colby.

Prevost-Meier’s shop has a warm ambiance with oak furnishings made by her husband, Stephen, from an old oak gifted to him by Dr. Southwick.

“Quilters look for that. Every shop offers something different.”

After more than 18 years in management at Toronto Dominion Bank, she needed a career change. She got a master of arts in history and philosophy of religion.

“Once I had to pay for my masters, I had the opportunity to open a quilt shop. I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Quilting was my hobby; I got into it 16 years ago.”

She studied photography professionally but was ordered by a doctor not to play in chemicals once she became pregnant.

“I had to find a hobby I could do that wasn’t harmful to the child I was carrying. I got into quilting. Recently, I got back into photography with a really nice Nikon.”

Quilting and other hand arts are a link to the past, to history.

“Dr. Southwick chopping down the tree gives a human element to the quilt shop,” Prevost-Meier said. “When a customer comes in, I want them to fill inspired and enjoy being in the shop. Each shop has a different element in that. Even if you are not a quilter, you will see that each one offers something different. That’s why shop hops are so much fun.”

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