I learned from Sandy over at Quilting for the Rest of Us that the emotional toll of sending your child to college can be slightly tempered by the proximity of a local quilt shop, so I've been keeping an eye out for the university with just the right balance.
On our rounds I have been testing out one of the smartphone apps for finding a fabric fix, aptly named Quilt Shops. It was developed by Quilter's Club of America and the publisher of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting Magazine. It's a good starting place if you are looking for a quilt shop near you.
For example, when we visited Auburn University (War Eagle!), I did a quick search for shops near me and found this:
It looks like there are a few shops right on my way back to Atlanta! Awesome.
But wait...one of them turns out to be a fabric manufacturer. (And not even quilting cotton. How'd that get in there?)
Hmmm...this one looks good...but there's no website listed. Luckily there's a phone number. I call and find out that they are open and are an actual quilt shop. Jackpot!
Likewise, when we visited Florida State University (Go 'Noles!), my search turned up a shop that looked perfect. There was a live website, although it hadn't been updated in awhile. Luckily I called before I drove out there, because this shop is now closed. Bummer.
I don't have screen shots of the Tallahassee shop because it has already been removed from the app. There is a feeback button so you can report shops that are closed and add locations that haven't been listed in their database yet.
As I said, a good starting place, but be sure to call before you go out of your way. Send feedback when you find information that needs to be updated; the more we all help fine tune the data, the better it will be for all of us quilters when we're on the road again!
Have you tried any of the quilting apps for your smartphone? Which ones are your favorites?