Traveling quilters: 'Shop Hop' provides summer fun

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By Suzy Smith
For Blount Today

Area quilters have a reason to "shop until they drop" during the East Tennessee Quilt Shop Hop. Their "travels," which are verified by their Shop Hop passport, make them eligible for prizes that will make them "sew happy" this summer.

A Shop Hop is an event that involves a group of shops customers are encouraged to visit during a specific time frame. Each
shop verifies the customer’s visit by stamping their passport.

Pappy’s Quilting Shop is one of the 16 shops where quilters can purchase their Shop Hop passport for $5. Starting on June 21 and ending on June 30, quilters can get their passport stamped at the 16 different shops. Quilters who have all 16 stamps on their passports are eligible for the grand prize of $1,600 in the form of a $100 gift certificate from each participating shop. Sixteen stamps on the passport also allow the quilter to be eligible for the drawing for second and third place prizes, which are valued at $800 and $400 respectively. Quilters who have at least 10 stamps on their passport are eligible for fourth through sixth prizes. Anyone who gets their passport stamped and turns it into any participating shop will be entered into a drawing for a prize gift basket from that store.

Some of the other quilting shops participating in the Shop Hop are as close as Rooster’s in Alcoa, The Cherry Pit in Sevierville and Gina’s Bernina Sewing Center in Knoxville. During last year’s Shop Hop, many area quilters carpooled to all 16 locations in three days, said Tina McCarter, quilt designer at Pappy’s Quilting Shop. Some of the shops are located as far south as Chattanooga and as far west as Crossville and north to Johnson City.

When the quilter gets his or her passport stamped at each location, he or she also receives a pattern block. On display at the stores is a quilt made with that pattern block. At Pappy’s Quilting Shop, they have a quilt displayed that features all 16 pattern blocks from each store.

"We wanted to do something special with the quilt," said McCarter.

Northcott, a fabric company who donates a portion of their proceeds to fund breast cancer research, donated the backing fabric for the pattern block quilt. The backing features the pink ribbon breast cancer awareness symbol. McCarter stitched the words "love, hope and courage" into the quilt.

In looking for something special to do with the quilt after the Shop Hop, McCarter said she learned from a co-worker about the Sisters in Love Scholarship fund. Sisters in Love provides scholarship funds to cancer patients and survivors who attend the Thompson’s Women’s Wellness Center Retreat. McCarter learned that at the end of the retreat, three balloons are released. Each balloon has a word of encouragement inside: love, hope and courage, the same words McCarter had stitched on the quilt.

"That was where (money raised through the quilt) was meant to go," McCarter said.

McCarter said she had sewing and piecing help from Joy Bivens, Kay Blankenship, Marcella Emrick, Jean Holder, Sue Treadway, John (Pappy) Harrison, Shirley Harrison and Rick McCarter.

Pappy’s Quilt Shop will be accepting $1 donations for the quilt and on August 1, someone who donated money towards the Sisters in Love scholarship fund will receive the quilt.

For more information about the Shop Hop or the Sisters in Love quilt, go to

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