Quilt Tours in and Around Houston
We offer 9 different 8-hour quilt tours, including a variety of 8 out-of-town tours and 1 Houston quilt tour. Tours A – H begin at 9:00 AM and end at 5:00 PM. Each out-of-town tour goes to between 2 and 5 historic and unique towns, thus, making these tours great excuses for day tours of Texas. Each out-of-town tour visits 4 to 5 sites so that the tourists will have sufficient time: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to look and shop at each location, while the local tour covers 5 or 6 quilt stores. Tour I is a local Houston tour that begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 6:00 PM. Each tour includes local stores and or a museum (The Texas Quilt Museum on Tour D) plus at least 1 of the following:
- Hancock Fabrics – Tour G and I. Hancock Fabrics is also used as an alternative stop on Sundays when most quilting stores are closed and or if another quilting store has gone out of business on any day for Tours A, D, E, and F.
- Hobby Lobby – Tours A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H. Hobby Lobby can be used as an alternative or additional stop on Tour I.
- Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts – Tours C, D, F, G, H and I. Jo-Ann can be used as an alternative stop on Sundays when most quilting stores are closed and or if another quilting store has gone out of business for Tour A.
- Michaels, The Arts & Crafts Store – Tours B, G, and I. Michaels is also regularly used on Sunday for Tours A, C, D, E, F, and H.
We want to have a balance of the stores that you know and love and the local boutiques that reflect the indigenous charm of towns and cities. The furthest we drive from Houston will be approximately 110 miles/177 kilometers in one direction.
Unfortunately, quilt stores seem to be a dying entity. This may be due to:
- the economy,
- the Internet marketplace,
- owners who have retired,
- Hurricane Ike's destruction of coastal area towns and businesses on September 13, 2008,
- people under the age of 50 who do not have much interest in quilting, and
- owners who had a passion for quilting, but not for business.
At least 20% have closed since 2008. We have included so many stores, over 40, that to keep up with all of them is a challenge. This series of tours took us a year to create. However, several quilt stores closed within the formulation and we had to repeatedly redesign the tours. Please try to give us a few days advance notice if you want a tour so we can confirm that all of the stores are still open. Thank you.
Please feel free to inform us of any quilt stores that we have overlooked and new ones that have opened, especially if the stores are open everyday. Include the contact information with telephone numbers, complete addresses, and website information.
Bring $10.00 to $20.00 for lunch money as you can choose what kind of food you want from the local cuisine.
- Quilt Tour A - Southeast
- Quilt Tour B - South
- Quilt Tour C - Southwest
- Quilt Tour D - West
- Quilt Tour E - Northwest
- Quilt Tour F - North
- Quilt Tour G - Northeast
- Quilt Tour H - East
- Quilt Tour I - Houston
Quilt Tour A — SoutheastThis tour includes Dickinson, Kemah, La Porte, League City, Texas City, and Webster. Most of these towns are along I-45 South and State Highway 146. Our first stop is in Webster, close to the NASA. We then go to League City. Three hundred years ago, the cannibalistic Karankawa Indians lived here. Our third stop is in Dickinson, named after one of the survivors of the Alamo. The next stop, Texas City, is home to dozens of petro-chemical industries. We stop for lunch at the beautiful Kemah Boardwalk on Galveston Bay. Our last stop is the former resort town before World War II of La Porte. With 5 quilt and fabric stores allow 45 minutes per shop. This tour has a late lunch and involves driving 99.2 miles/159.7 kilometers or about 2 hours 25 minutes.
- In Webster, we visit Sew Contempo. Closed on Sunday.
- In League City, we visit Hobby Lobby. Closed on Sunday.
- In Dickinson, we visit Pinwheels and Posies. Open Sunday after 1:00 PM.
- In Texas City, we visit Cactus Quilts. Closed on Sunday.
- In Kemah, at the Kemah Boardwalk, we have lunch by the water.
- In La Porte, we visit Painted Pony ’n Quilts. Closed on Sunday.
Quilt Tour B — South
This tour includes Clute, Lake Jackson, and Pearland. Pearland is approximately 17.2 miles/27.7 kilometers from downtown Houston. It was found in 1893 and named for the many pears that grew there. It is now the 3rd largest city in the metropolitan Houston area. You will see the 6-story tall statue of Stephen F Austin in Angleton. Surfside Beach is a sleepy coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico that is 65.5 miles/105.4 kilometers from downtown Houston. Lake Jackson was a planned community for the Dow Chemical Company, in the 1940s. Clute is one of the oldest settlements in Texas, dating to the 1820s. It had a couple of plantations before the Civil War. Its incorporation as a city is fairly recent – 1952. With 4 quilt and fabric stores, allow 1 hour per store. This tour involves driving 132 miles/212 kilometers or about 2 hours 42 minutes.
- In Pearland, we visit Hobby Lobby and Michaels, The Arts & Crafts Store. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday.
- In Clute, we visit Katartizo Fabrics. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
- In Surfside Beach, we have lunch by the water.
- In Lake Jackson, we visit Calico Cats Sewing Center. Closed on Sunday.
Quilt Tour C — Southwest
This tour includes El Campo, Richmond, Rosenberg, Stafford, and Sugar Land. Our first stop is in El Campo, which are the Spanish words for the farm. It is a small rural area surrounded by fields. Our second stop is in Rosenberg, named after Swiss immigrant Henry von Rosenberg who came to the United States in 1843. It has a large Czech population. Our next stop is in the adjoining city of Richmond. It was incorporated as a city in 1837, making it one of the oldest municipalities in Texas. Mirabeau Lamar, the 3rd president of the Republic of Texas is buried in Richmond. Sugar Land was Texas’s center for sugar as Imperial Sugar owned it until 1959. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas. Lastly, Stafford’s first resident was William Stafford in 1830. Its Quilter’s Emporium has been ranked one of the 10 best quilt stores in Texas. With 5 quilt and fabric stores, allow 45 minutes for each one. The tour involves driving approximately 155 miles/250 kilometers or about 3 hours 12 minutes.
- In El Campo, we visit Cedar Chest Quilt Shop. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
- In Rosenberg, we visit Three Sisters Quilt Shop or Hobby Lobby. Three Sisters Quilt Shop is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday.
- In Richmond, we visit Quilter's Cottage and have lunch in the old downtown. Quilter's Cottage is closed on Sunday.
- In Sugar Land, we visit a Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts.
- In Stafford, we visit Quilter's Emporium.
Quilt Tour D — West
This tour ncludes Katy and La Grange. Katy’s name originated from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, commonly known as the KT, that went through this area in the 1800s. It was a farm community; now it is largely a bedroom community and distant suburb of Houston. La Grange was settled in 1822. In the mid-1800s, large numbers of Czechs and Germans moved into the area. Its greatest claim to fame or infamy was the Chicken Ranch. This was the oldest whorehouse in Texas. During the Great Depression, farmers paid for the women’s services with chickens. This ended in 1973. A musical was made in memory of the brothel: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Any devoted quilter needs to make a pilgrimage to the Texas Quilt Museum that opened in 2011. We sometimes stop for a snack and bathroom break in the German and Czech town of Schulenburg. With 3 stores and 1 museum, allow about 50 minutes for each one. The tour involves driving approximately 206 miles/332 kilometers or about 3 hours 45 minutes.
- In La Grange, we visit the Texas Quilt Museum and The Quilted Skein or Quilter's Cottage. The Quilted Skein is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
- In Katy, we visit Quilt 'N Sew Studio, Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts, and or Hobby Lobby. Quilt 'N Sew Studio and Hobby Lobby are closed on Sunday.
Quilt Tour E — Northwest
This tour includes Brenham, Cypress, and Giddings. Brenham is most famous for Blue Bell Creameries, where some of the best ice cream in the United States is produced and for the beautiful bluebonnets. It has a large German population. Germans also settled Cypress in the 1840s. Cypress was a mostly rural area until the 1980s. Today it is a suburb of Houston. Giddings was found in 1871. Originally settled by Anglo-Saxons, later Wendish families from the Serbin area became the majority of the population. With 4 stores, allow about 45 minutes per store. The tour involves driving approximately 224 miles/361 kilometers or about 4 hours 25 minutes.
- In Brenham, we visit Stitch Haven and have lunch. Stitch Haven is closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
- In Giddings, we visit Gerline's Quilt Shoppe and All Around the Block Quilt Shop. Both stores are closed on Sunday.
- In Cypress, we visit Hobby Lobby. Closed on Sunday.
Quilt Tour F — North
This tour includes Conroe, Old Town Spring, and Spring. We start by going to Conroe. Union cavalry officer Isaac Conroe opened a sawmill there in 1881. It started to become a suburb of Houston in the early 2000s. The Woodlands is a master-planned community that was begun in 1974. It merges the woods and the city to create a unique site in the Houston area. Old Town Spring, like The Woodlands, has been an unincorporated area within Harris County. It has approximately 150 shops, restaurants, and art galleries and looks an old village. Spring had a trading post for commerce between the Orcoquiza Indians and the white people, in 1838. In the 1840s, large numbers of Germans moved into the area. Today, it is a bedroom community of Houston. With 5 stores, allow about 55 minutes per store. The tour involves driving approximately 94.1 miles/151.4 kilometers or about 2 hours 8 minutes.
- In Conroe, we visit Quilter's Quarters. Closed on Sunday.
- In The Woodlands area, we visit Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts. This is a super-store.
- In Old Town Spring, we visit GRS Creations & Fabrics and have lunch. GRS is closed on Monday.
- In Spring, we visit Hobby Lobby and The Hen House. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday. The Hen House is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Quilt Tour G — Northeast
This tour includes Huffman and Humble. David Huffman, his dad Abe, and a group from Louisiana first settled in this piney woods area 30 miles from Houston, in 1840. It is still a rural town. Humble’s first settlers arrived around 1828. Pleasant Smith “Plez” Humble was a leader in the 1880s for whom the city is named. It only became an incorporated city in 1933 when the discovery of petroleum motivated people to move to the area. The Humble Oil and Refining Company became Exxon Mobil. With 5 quilt and fabric stores, allow 1 hour per store. The tour involves driving approximately 61.4 miles/98.8 kilometers or about 1 hour 20 minutes.
- In Huffman, we visit The Quilt Room. Closed on Sunday.
- In Humble, we visit Hobby Lobby, It's a Stitch, Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts, and Michaels, The Arts & Crafts Store. Hobby Lobby and It's A Stitch are closed on Sunday.
Quilt Tour H — East
This tour includes Baytown, Beaumont, Channelview, and Pasadena. Baytown is an oil town that was formed by the merger of 3 towns, Goose Creek, Pelly, and East Baytown, in 1948. Exxon-Mobil’s refinery is the largest in the United States. Beaumont was settled in 1835 and incorporated in 1838. Its French name means “pretty mountain,” but it has no mountains. Its early settlers were French pioneers coming from Louisiana. Its economy has been dominated by oil since the discovery at Spindletop on January 8, 1901. Channelview is another working class, blue-collar town dominated by oil. It is located on a northeastern curve of the Houston Ship Channel. Pasadena is the second largest city in metropolitan Houston with about 149.000 people. It was found in 1893. It, like the other cities on this tour, is a petroleum and petrochemical refinery town. With 5 stores, allow 45 minutes per store. This tour involves driving approximately 193 miles/311 kilometers or about 3 hours 55 minutes.
- In Beaumont, we visit Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts and Sew What Bernina. Sew What Bernina is closed on Sunday.
- In Baytown, we visit Hobby Lobby and have lunch. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday.
- In Channelview, we visit the Quilting and Fabric Shop. Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
- In Pasadena, we visit Hancock Fabrics.
Quilt Tour I — Houston
This tour has more stores than any other tour, as the travel time is shorter than any other tour. With 6 stores, allow 45 to 50 minutes per store. This tour involves driving approximately 22.9 miles/36.9 kilometers or about 55 minutes. The six stores include:
- Hancock Fabrics
- High Fashion Fabric Center
- Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
- Michaels, The Arts & Crafts Store
- Universal Fabric Center
- Tea Time Quilting (open by appointment on Sunday)
- Button N Bows (closed on Sunday)
- Hobby Lobby (closed on Sunday)
- It's A Stitch (closed on Sunday)
Houston was found in 1836 and incorporated as a city in 1837. It served as the capital of the Republic of Texas from 1837 to 1839 and briefly again in 1842. It is the largest city in Texas, the 4th largest city in the United States, and the 5th largest metropolitan area in the nation. It is the 10th largest city in the United States in landmass with more than 600 square miles/1,000 square kilometers. It is known as the oil capital of America and Space City in addition to having the largest quilt festival in the world.