First, we are in the middle of the first Northern Illinois Quilt Fest which involves activities in almost every town across northern Illinois with barn quilts, shows, QOV, a three month shop hop, quilt appraisals,etc. Hundreds, maybe thousands of women are participating. One the Fons will be speaking at an event next weekend.
Now remember you have 3 months to do a 22 store shop hop plus all the other activities so it's not like you are rushed to make it to the next store before they close.
My little town is doing something but I think it could be made alot better...none of the people on the committee this year were quilters.
I suggested an idea to the committee chair for next year and before I get too deep into it I wanted to pass it by you guys. It would be like solving a puzzle.
We have no quilt shops in our town but they have to pass through our town to do the shop hop no matter which direction they are coming from. My proposal is that we set up five quilt gardens with coordinating wooden quilts in parks and businesses along the main highways--no GPS needed. I dont want the quilters to be driving all over town. I want to make it so the quilt gardens are essentially along their shop hop path. From one end of the town to another is only probably three miles so it would be pretty compact.
At each one we have a sign explaining the game and where you can redeem your prize.
We do a word scramble puzzle. At each quilt garden we have the name of the quilt square and we circle letters. Visit all the gardens and put all the circled letters together to form a "quilty" catch phrase.
Then when you say the catch phrase at ANY or ALL of the local participating restaurants, gas stations, ice cream places, etc, you get a discount or freebie. For example, buy a donut get a free coffee, 50 cents off of an ice cream cone. You could get little discounts at five local businesses and not spend more than an hour in town.
I figure it would be small but a little fun and the businesses could make a couple bucks while the quilters could get some freebies. It is about 20-30 minutes to the next set of shops on the hop in any direction.
Would you stop by and do this if you saw it in a brochure or were driving through a town and saw big banners for it? You wont break my heart if you say no, I would rather know now than after I have proposed it to the Chamber.