Durham Feathers

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!

twitter      Tweet Caron @cmosey


  1. Here in the Tokyo environs, those small shops are disappearing as well. I have visited a few shops in Colorado and Minnesota while travelling. I have spent time wandering around looking for things they probably didn’t stock.
    It seems even magazines for quilters just assume everyone uses machines.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was at a local quilt shop recently and asked if they had any thimbles. They looked at me like I was crazy and said no one hand quilts anymore.


  3. I love hand quilting and I am self taught. I would love to take a class on hand quilting!! See what is out there for marking etc…My LQS might be up for it because it is run by a Mennonite. 🙂 they hand quilt! LOL I hand quilt some quilts and machine others, it depends on the function the quilt will be filling.


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