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I Love Quilt Shops

Today, Dave and I made a trip down to Costco to pick up some basics that we were starting to run low on.   Costco is right off of Exit 269.  Since Red Hen Fabrics is just at little farther along at Exit 265, I decided we might as well make a stop there too.

I took along the Smiling Sunflower quilt top to see if I could find border fabric that would work with it.

I’m going to say right here and now… I love quilt shops!

Yes, you pay a little more per yard for fabric than when shopping at the big name craft stores but the quality of the fabric is correspondingly better.

However, that’s only part of the reason why I love quilt shops.  Quilt shops are happy places and for the most part, so are the people who work there.  And they go out of their way to help you.

Today, for example, I was wondering around Red Hen with my Smiling Sunflower quilt top draped over my arm when one of the shop’s sales ladies asked if she could help me.

I explained that I was looking for border fabric.  She proceeded to guide me from shelf to shelf around the shop; pulling bolts of fabric and helping me to decide which ones might work.  Then once we’d chosen several bolts, we took them over to the cutting table where she unrolled each bolt so that we could get a better idea of how each looked against my quilt.

It didn’t take long for me to decide which I liked best, but even if it had, there was no pressure for me to make a quick decision.  She seemed just as happy as I was to compare this fabric to that and discuss how each would give the quilt a different feel once completed.

Here’s the one I chose:

Border Fabric for Smiling Sunflower quilt

Another reason I love quilts shops are the unexpected little treasures that you come across while wondering around enjoying looking at all that fabricy goodness.   I was delighted to discover a display of little purse frames similiar to the one I bought while I was up in Canada.

Little purse frames

They didn’t have any that were exactly the same size, so I bought three in a smaller size and one in a slightly larger size.  I’m sure I can adjust the pattern I have to fit these new ones.  Or perhaps, I’ll design an entirely different pattern to fit them.

While I was checking out, there was more discussion with the other shop ladies about my purchases and what my plans were for the little purse frames.

I’m not saying that I’ve stopped shopping at the big name craft stores.  In fact, right after I left the quilt shop, we headed over to Jo-ann’s to check to see if they sold purse making supplies.  Jo-ann’s only had two of the little sew-in purse frames though it did have a selection of different handles, rings, buckles and assorted other hardware that the quilt shop didn’t.

Purse frames from Joann's

The price was $2 less per frame but once I got them home and could compare them side by side… the quality wasn’t quite as good nor did they have the intricate details the ones from the quilt shop had.   Still they’ll work for some ideas I have for purses made out of the scraps I have leftover from recovering the lawn chair cushions.

So while I’ll continue to shop at the big name craft stores, I definitely prefer shopping in quilt shops.

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  • Robin (rsIslandCrafts)
    September 29, 2011 8:22 pm

    Since JoAnn’s was bought out by a new company I have noticed that things have really changed. The fabric prices have gone up and it seems that there are less employees working. The fabric cutting lady used to help me choose fabrics but now they are so busy that they can’t break away to help anymore.

  • Sandra :)
    September 28, 2011 12:33 pm

    The ladies in quilt stores generally have more time to devote to customers as the corporate boss generally isn’t cracking the whip like they likely are @ Joanns! I usually get lovely people @ Joanns too (thank you, ladies in the 4 stores in the Buffalo area!!) but wouldn’t be able to chat with them in depth about co-ordinating prints or the best way to do a project. Quantity versus quality! I’m glad to know that J’s has those little purse frame – I’ll have a peek the next time we’re Stateside 🙂 It looks like you bought all sew-on frames as opposed to the glue-on ones – I haven’t tried my frame yet but I tend to think I would rather sew than glue, personally 😀

    • supermom
      September 28, 2011 2:35 pm

      Hello Sandra,

      I only bought sew-in frames because that’s all they had. Though to be honest, even if they’d had the glue in type frames, I would probably still have bought the sew-in ones. From what I’ve read on different blogs, you need a special type of glue and it seems like kind of a waste to buy a whole tube of glue for just the few little purses that I intend to make. Not to mention, I think the sewing would last longer than glue.

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