For crafty folk who like a good excuse for fabric, good food, and a fun drive, we invite you to the NH Scenic Summer Shop Hop from Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 22. This quest takes you to six quilt shops sprinkled across New Hampshire, an English Cream Tea, and a brew fest to boot. Alas, we do not live by fabric alone.
For an $8 registration fee, ye quilters will receive a passport/shop guide and an Olfa 45 mm rotary blade. You will also receive one-sixth of a yard of fabric at each stop and be entered to win a daily door prize. When you complete your passport, you will receive a pillow pattern as your completion gift and be entered into the grand prize drawings which include a sewing machine and Oliso Iron. For more on the Scenic Shop Hop, visit http://www.nhshophops.com/scenicsummerhop.html.
If you are coming from the south, your first stop is Pine Tree Quilt Shop, 224 North Broadway, in Salem. Get off Route 93 at Exit 2, turn right on Main Street and left on Route 28. For more details, see http://pinetreequiltshop.com/. You can register at your first shop.
From there, you will want to visit Patches Quilt Loft and Embroidery. Drive up Route 93 to Manchester. Take Exit 6 and turn right on Candia Road and your first right on East Industrial Park Drive. You’ll find the shop at #649, Unit #17 and at http://www.patchesquiltloft.com/.
Your third stop is Thread in Hand at 143 Raymond Road, Candia. To find this shop, get back on Route 93E and when Route 93 heads north, you bear right on Route 101E toward the seacoast and get off at Exit 3. Turn right on Old Candia Road (Route 43) and keep driving. The road will become the Raymond Road and then Route 127 (in that quaint New England way that old roads have of acquiring ever shifting names). For details, visit http://www.threadinhand.com/home.aspx. This shop caters to quilters and tatters.
When you are ready to rest for the night, consider Riverland on the Merrimack, a bed and breakfast on the Concord-Canterbury line, a perfect hub for the last three shops. Riverland is 1.5 miles from Exit 17, about 30 minutes up Route 93. For details, visit: www.riverlandonthemerrimack.com.
After a leisurely, home-cooked breakfast and perhaps a walk to the beach, head out to visit the Quilting Corner at 322 West Main Street, Tilton. Head north on Route 93 to Exit 19. Go left on Route 132 (Park Street) into Northfield and left again on West Main Street (Route 3). You’ll find the shop in a restored mill on the left. For details, see http://www.thequiltingcorner.net/
The next shop is the Constant Quilter, 139 Pancake Road, Andover. It’s a good country drive between these two shops. Turn left out onto Route 3 and travel into Franklin. You will cross the Winnipesaukee and Pemigewasset rivers (the headwaters of the Merrimack) and follow Route 3 south (left) once over the bridge. Look for Route 127 on the right (and make sure to stay on Route 127 as it makes a hard turn to the right.) When Route 127 reaches Salisbury, turn right on Route 4. When Route 4 reaches Andover, turn left on Route 11. Just keep going, you’ll find the shop on the right, with a sign selling quilts and tack! For more information, see http://www.constantquilter.com/.
Now, if your timing is right and the weather cooperates, you can stop at Tarbin Gardens on Route 127 between these two shops. Tarbin Gardens offers a peaceful stroll through five acres of English gardens. They also sell an English Cream Tea between 1 and 4:15 p.m. with scones and clotted cream. http://www.tarbingardens.com/
Depending on stamina and the hour you leave the Constant Quilter, you could continue to the final shop and fill up your passport, or you could return to Riverland for the evening and tackle the last shop on Day 3. In either case, return down Route 11, and Route 4, from whence you came. In Salisbury, continue straight on Route 4, which will eventually cross the Merrimack River on the Hannah Dustin Bridge, just at Exit 17 on Route 93.
The final stop on the quilting part of this quest is LizzyStitch, 49 Sheep Davis Road, Concord. Follow Route 93 south about two exits to Concord and take Route 393/202/4 East. Get off at exit 3 on Route 106 South (Sheep Davis Road). Pass the big box stores on the right until you stop at a light at the corner of Sheep Davis and Pembroke Road. The shop is on the right, in a small plaza on the corner of these two roads and the driveway enters from Pembroke. For details, visit: http://www.lizzystitch.com/.
All of these shops also participate in the Row By Row Experience, a summer-long hop of sorts. For more information, see https://www.rowbyrowexperience.com/nh.htm.
Dare we mention it, but you will finish this tour just down the street from the Fourth Annual NH Brewers Festival, on Saturday, July 22 from noon to 4 p.m. Would a wet whistle be a worthy reward for a steadfast companion? Details at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-nh-brewers-festival-tickets-34061359443.