Photo above: Preparing a quilt for hand quilting
In my neck of the woods (Mid-Michigan), there are very few quilt shops. Many have closed over the past few years, leaving quilters with few options available to them. Yes, we have larger stores such as JoAnn’s, Michael’s. Walmart, etc. But if we want a good selection of fabrics and tools for hand quilting, we are out of luck.
Most small quilt shops don’t carry much in the way of hand quilting supplies. I have heard from many quilters that small shops have even been rude to hand quilters asking for supplies. Why is that? Word has it that quilt shops that carry larger ticket items such as sewing machines can make a LOT more money from their customers than they can from hand quilters.
Quite often when I visit quilt shops it is not unusual to see classes in process. The classes I usually see are centered upon sewing with a machine or following a specific pattern designed by the shop owner. I would LOVE to walk in and see a hand-quilting workshop in process. I would LOVE to walk in and see an instructor guiding a class in the design and creation of their own art quilts.
What has been YOUR experience with small quilt shops? What do you see on a regular basis? What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you like to see more of? Shop owners, please join in on the discussion. Quilters, please leave your responses in the Comments section below, and feel free to tweet your remarks as well!
Tweet Caron @cmosey
My quilting time is for me… a time to relax, think about what I’m doing or ponder the universe. It’s also a time for listening to some good music or some television show the hubby probably wouldn’t listen to if I paid him… Generally, it’s a quiet time. Right now as I write this, I’m listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Stones in the Road.” For me, it’s perfect quilting music. It relaxes my muscles and clears my head; I think even the furry girls in my house enjoy it.
What do you listen to while you are quilting? Share it with other quilters by using the Comments section below.
The Quilts of Ken Burns: You WON’T want to miss this… click on the links below!
“Filmmaker Ken Burns has collected quilts since the 1970’s, but he’s never publicly shared his collection… until now. Burns once said, “I make films for other people; I collect quilts for myself.” In this interview with Nebraska Stories, Burns shares why he’s become a collector of this beautiful and functional art form.”
So many changes…
When I was little, my parents wouldn’t let me have a pet. Until, that is, our next-door neighbor gave me a kitten. A fuzzy, adorable little white kitten that I named “Snowball.” I loved that kitten SO much, but my father could not tolerate the cat going potty in OUR bathroom, so the cat became an “out-door” cat. Until the wonderful neighbor next door had an accident in the driveway that prevented Snowball from ever going potty again. Anywhere!
My Grandpa Covert was an avid hunter. He and his buddies loved to go out in the country and hunt. Everyone at that time who hunted had a rifle and a hunting dog or two. Grandpa’s dog’s name was “Jody.” But Jody left this world before I could ever pet her. She was a beautiful black and white Springer Spaniel who looked much like this:
I don’t know where he got this little girl… she’s quite heavy to pick up (for a 3 year old, that is). I wanted a dog that I could walk on a leash. So Grandpa made this leash for her so that I could pull her around on top of his desk. The leash is still on her, and she sits on the ledge in my kitchen. When my boys were little, one of them tried to take her leash off, and I got REALLY upset! Nobody takes Jody’s leash off except me or Grandpa! The leash has been there since I was 3, and to this day, I refuse to take it off. It’s a connection to Grandpa.
This Memorial Day marks a special day for me… and for my father. Every Memorial Day since I can remember (or a few days before Memorial Day,) Dad and I have made a trip in the car to Davison Cemetery to put flowers on his parents’ graves, as well as a few other relatives’ graves. This year, Dad will not be going with me. He now lives in Arizona near my brother, so the torch has been passed and I will keep it going for him. It gives me a chance to talk to Grandpa, and let him know that I still think about him, Grandma and Jody with her leash.
Have you seen my phone? Do you know where I last put it? I swear that phone has feet and walks away all on its own! If you should find it at your house, would you please let me know? It has a Kate Spade cover with black and white stripes. I think I look for that phone at least 10 times every day. Wait… you too?!?
It is said that as you get older, it gets harder and harder to remember things. Boy, isn’t that the truth! My Dear husband watches Jeopardy almost every single night. I sit beside him as he answers almost every question, and I am baffled at the memory this man has. How does one do that? They also say that it is important to keep your brain active and try new things. Hmmm… I enjoy reading, and I try as best I can to challenge myself to read more. Hubby also does a large number of crossword puzzles. I’ve never been good at them. I am trying to teach myself how to use WordPress better. WordPress is a software program for blogging. I find it pretty difficult, so every day I’m attempting to learn something new about it. It’s a real challenge!
Quite often I hear from other quilters who want a pattern for a quilt design. I don’t think I have ever purchased a quilt pattern. Normally, if there is a design that I like, I whip out some graph paper and attempt to create a “similar” design, but I really prefer to design something unique on my own… a one-of-a-kind design.
I enjoy reading, and now that I have officially retired, I’m pushing myself to sit down with a book much more frequently than I have in a long time. I’m currently reading Mirror Image by Danielle Steel.
What do you do to challenge yourself? Share it with us! Maybe we can help each other!