Quilt stores are some of my favorite places!
For me, local shops are more than just fabrics, notions and sewing machine supplies. They offer more than fat-quarters, threads, and needles. In addition to their bolts, books and classes, they offer intangible and ever-so important additions to my quilting experience – inspiration, appreciation, encouragement and camaraderie.
I know that online purchases are quick and easy (and can be done in my pjs while I’m sewing) and many great local shops also have online stores. But in a quilt shop I see colors first hand and can physically pull together pieces (as-yet unpurchased) in combinations I might otherwise never have imagined. I can feel the weight and texture of each piece and clearly see subtle variations in color or pattern. A wall of threads is a rainbow from which to choose a perfect match or a wonderful contrasting color. The tools and toys of the trade can be touched and examined and often become must-haves once I’ve seen them in action.
Hints and advice are always available to help me advance my quilting skills and the generous exclamations of appreciation for completed projects feeds my enthusiasm to quilt some more. There’s usually laughter, occasionally snacks (you know I love cookies) and always the promise of some quilting inspiration. I personally find the community of people in my local quilt shop to be different than any other retail store and am always happy to share time in that space.
I have met some amazing quilters and made some lifelong friends through the personal interactions that can only happen in a brick and mortar. Shop owners become friends and I feel privileged to make purchases that help support the wonderful environments they create for quilters to visit. If you haven’t stepped into a quilt shop lately, I encourage you to make a trip and enjoy everything they have to offer.
Do you have a favorite quilt shop that you consider your creative home?