In January 2006 I asked my mother if she would be interested in road tripping with me to Keepsake Quilting during the fall, and she was gungho. Many of our friends heard about our trip and one thing lead to another. Before we knew it, we had 48 quilters that wanted to go along. Guess we needed a bus for that one!!!
The first trip will always be special to me, we had so much fun. We visited 16 shops, saw Niagara Falls, New York City, of course Keepsake Quilting, and Lancaster County, PA. Our bus was packed to the max, every nook and cranny was filled with fabric. I know some of the ladies were leaving clothes behind just to make room for more fabric. I made some amazing friends that week that will be with me forever and I realized that I loved doing the "organizing" thing.
Since then, we've traveled to a different part of the country each fall, looking for the best deals, the most beautiful fabric, and any sites along the way that we can fit in. We've met some of the most interesting people and the friendliest shop owners in the world. More than half of our original 48 quests are still traveling with us each year and many of the rest jump on the bus every other year, depending on where we are going. As I visit quilt shows in the area, it's fun to recognize the fabric the artist is using and know where she got it from. It's amazing the difference in fabrics from each region of the country.
In 2007, we were so lucky to visit Mama's Quilt Shop in Independence, LA. Their owner, Brenda Wages, welcomed us with open arms. We had a wonderful time with her and the girls in the shop. We have since organized multiple tours for Mama's Quilt Shop and are looking forward to future tours. More friends to add to the basket!!! Then in 2015, while on our annual Fall Tour on the west coast, we stopped at an unscheduled quilt shop called the Whistlestop in Sacramento, CA; we gained another group called our Cali group.
My whole family is involved in the tours, and I am so blessed. My children help with the website, finances and joining the tours, while my husband is our coach bus driver each time...it makes for a great family experience. With the support of my family and friends, we are growing each year.