this should really be a book. a book about a quilt shop? well maybe it could be like steel magnolias, or fried green tomatoes, where its more like a story about the people involved and the shop where they congregate.
doesn’t sound interesting enough? then apparently you have never been to a quilt shop! they are not (all) comprised of old ladies sitting in a circle talking about their 6 cats an health issues. ok so there is some of that, but i only have FOUR cats, so there.
think of it this way: a quilt shop is a business. people (yes, men too) go there to buy something they have a need for. ok, need vs. want, its really a fine line. anyway, they don’t only sell fabric; a quilt shop has classes to teach people new skills and techniques, as well as offering the camaraderie of a friendly and knowledgable staff and welcoming atmosphere. most shoppers in a quilt shop don’t come in and out in 15 minutes. they hang out, browsing for hours, sometimes.
i work part time at a shop, and the funny thing is that i end up at the shop on more days i’m not working than days i am. i go up there to see the other ‘supergirls’, see those sewing in the training/sewing room, grab some fabric or just see what’s going on. as the boss put it this morning (i was there for a bible study), no one really works there for the money, it’s for all the other reasons.
at our shop, we have a set of twins that are SO funny! the conversation between the A and B twin is really interesting and fun to listen to. we have a few that are excersizers (like me), a photographer, painter, beaders, seamstresses, embroiderers, longarm quilters, pattern designers… the list goes on. but it’s not just a variety of work interests that we share and contrast each other.
we have widows, divorcees, mothers, grandmothers, baptists, unbelievers, cat lovers, dog lovers, travelers, jewelery makers, shy people, outgoing ladies. we are heavy, thin, vegetarian, carnivores. we are blond, brunette, pale, dark, tall, irritable, menopausing, tired-from-our-other-job people. you can literally find it all within those doors. but no matter which if any of these characteristics you find in the people tending the store when you arrive, all you will feel when you walk in is welcomed into someones home, with someone wanting to help you experience the joy of fabric and share in their enthusiasm for making art from cloth.
so if you haven’t checked one out, next time you drive by the local quilt shop, or even one on the path of your road trip, stop in. it won’t hurt, and there is no commitment to buy just because you walked in the door. more likely, if you have any artistic inclination whatsoever, you will be awed by the array of colors and textures, distracted by the knick knacks and inspired by the myriad of quilts hanging on the walls. you may walk out with a new passion, a new hobby, or maybe a new friend.