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The Traveling Quilter

Quilt Shops in North Georgia

By Lynn Holland

I had the opportunity to visit the North Georgia mountains the last part of November and of course all the free time I had I spent searching for cool quilt stuff. Since most of the tiny towns in the North Georgia mountains are geared for the tourist trade that arrives in the summer and then again later during apple season in October, I wasn't expecting to find much in the way of quilt stores, but I was pleasantly surprised.

My first afternoon in the tiny town of Hiawassee I was too late to get to Log Cabin Patchworks, located in, of course, a log cabin. However, down the road was Linda's Quilts, which offers a huge selection of (close your ears) imported handmade quilts and tons of decorative accessories. But the real treasures, in my opinion, were next door at the Okra Patch, operated by Joy Peppinger and her husband, Dave. Joy has won several major prizes in competitions sponsored by Alleene's Creative Living on TNN. She had a fine group of unique vests for sale, and the must-have for me was the silver lame' biscuit quilted tree skirt that was just the thing for the Victorian Christmas tree I put up each year in my bedroom. (Not to mention a fine value at $25.) There were also some ornaments and other decorative items made from Okra pods, just to keep things authentic! The shop also has a website at http://www.okra-patch-crafts.com

Since it was late in the day, I found Log Cabin Patchworks closed, but at least I found where it was for the next day. I headed down the main street "strip" and happened upon a fine group of shops that were still open. In addition to a Christmas store, a computer place and a nice home decorations shop, was The Hen's Nest. To my surprise and delight, this shop had the most fantastic selection of doll and Santa patterns, along with appropriate accessories, that I have happened upon in any of my travels. Although devoted primarily to unusual gift items and a charming coffee and sandwich shop, the Hen's Nest offers a carefully chosen array of quilting fabrics, felts and unique fibers. Shopping with me at the Hen's Nest was a fellow quilter from Florida, who was on her way home from a workshop with Georgia Bonesteel. This quilter was stocking up on some novelty prints before she headed southward.

The next day on my way home, I finally stopped in at Log Cabin Patchworks. As one might expect, this cozy shop has lots of flannels, folk-look and primitive fabrics, all tucked tidily into the genuine antebellum cabin. They also carry some nice quilty gifts along with a selection of notions and books. Contrained by its small space, it's not the kind of place that makes you say "wow!" when you enter, but if you like the primitive style this store meets your needs in an unpretentious way.

The small towns in the North Georgia mountains are not only picturesque, they are filled with wonderful hidden surprises for quilters and other fiber crafters.

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