Last year many North Carolina quilt shops participated in an event called "Row by Row Experience". Unlike a shop hop where you pay to participate and are required to visit as many places as possible in a weekend, this crazy event starts June 1 and goes through August 8. Quilters go to any participating quilt shop (this year in almost every single state!), pick up a FREE pattern, make 8 rows, quilt them together, bind the quilt, and return to one of the quilt shops where you got a pattern to show off your quilt. If you're the first to show off from that shop, you win a prize. Be the first to finish in your state, and you win a big prize. It's quite cool.
We allotted extra time on our trip to Gettysburg to do just this. I couldn't help but laugh in one of the shops as I was looking at their fabric, and a small group of ladies came into the store. The sales clerk asked if she could be of assistance, and they happily chirped "We're ROWING!"
We stopped at three shops in Virginia (one actually twice, but that's a different story), and my favorite by far was Lib's Place.
But these sweet people who had teenage boys - excuse me, young men - coming in to say hello to friend and grandparents, so kindly asked what other shops I had rowed to on my way, and when I mentioned that the last one I had visited was closed, they became very alert and concerned. "What? Was there not a sign on the door?" I told them the closed sign, along with the hours for when the store would be opened was there. "You mean there wasn't another sign telling you...."
And that was when our trip took a very bizarre and interesting turn.