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!