the quilt shop

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.

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Quilt Shop Review – Quilt Country

Whether you are a fanatic quilter, or a hobby sewer, you have likely visited many a store looking for something to catch your eye, or help you complete your task. There are a number of chain stores that carry common fabric of varying quality and tools for crafters and artists of all type.

Quilt shops offer a less cookie cutter environment. Rather than a corporate model and standard layout and staffing, the local quilt shop employs people that have an interest in quilting, whether it’s their hobby or employment. They offer assistance for anyone asking, they can help you pick out the right fabrics for your project or find a resource to help you finish it. They generally have higher quality fabric, so it costs a bit more, but it is well worth the experience. In most cases. One of these cases is described below.

Quilt Country

Quilt Country is located on the west side of the Fox Avenue exit from I35E. Open daily, this shop has a staff of “Supergirls” that truly are that. Helpful and friendly, they do their best to advise you through any questions. There are a multitude of books, patterns, embelishments, as well as thread, kits and a classroom. And then there’s the material.

It’s ridiculous. In a totally awesome way. Rows upon rows upon rows of fabric, they offer everything from asian insprired fabric, batiks, vintage style to wide backing, fleece and minky. They have jelly rolls and fat quarters. And all over the walls of the shop, they have inspiration. Quilt tops and finished quilts adorn the upper walls, providing beautiful examples of the quilt and quilting patterns. Those samples change with the seasons, ever teasing the shopper’s eye with enticing color and patterns.

I have been to many quilt shops in a variety of states, and this is top of my list. I have visited frequently and have NEVER had a less than pleasurable experience.

Check out their website for more information, as well as class schedules and store hours. www.quiltcountry.com. Happy shopping quilters!!