Supporting local and independent business is massively important to me, not only because I work as an independent designer myself, but also because it’s what I grew up with.
(I love the needle rack from Friedlander’s that now holds my thread)
My grandfather immigrated to the US from Lithuania and opened his first store in Lake Wales, Florida sometime in the 1920s. He sold all kinds of stuff: clothes, fabric, housewares, toys. By the time I was born, my grandfather had already passed away and my dad and aunts were carrying the torch. Many of my earliest memories are of spending time in the store wrapping presents, pricing stuff, or helping people find what they were looking for.
(another relic from the Friedlander archive that I use often and even at the last show)
In a lot of ways, it was a totally different way of doing business back then. Shelves were stocked with actual needs and quality products, merchants had an active relationship with their customer, and solid customer service came naturally and without anyone having to tell you to do it.
While my family’s stores no longer exist, I LOVE that I can still find the same values and practices that I grew up with in the local quilt shops that I frequent. I love how each shop emits its own flavor–a product of the many hands and hearts that create and nurture them. They build community and offer us the chance to connect with each other over the things that mean so much to us. Plus, I love not knowing what fun thing I’ll find from one quilt shop to the next!
And they just sell better stuff, which is a total testament to the industry itself and how much it supports the little guys.
Visit Your Local Shop Day is on January 24, 2013 and right around the corner. I’m very happy to support it, and I’m also gonna do a giveaway in its honor. (See below for details.)
Here’s my official promo for the campaign, the short and sweet version.
And then I’ll give a shout-out to some of my favorite local shops and their nearby complements–I know I like some nourishment after a little fabric shopping. They’ve all supported me, and I’m very happy to support them.
Heartfelt Quilting and Sewing . Winter Haven, Florida
This shop is filled with the sweetest staff ever, and they have totally nurtured me from having no skills at all, to the fully obsessed quilter that I am today. Make sure to check out my open house on March 5 at their Lakeland store.
… Andy’s Igloo. The sign says “best ice cream for 62 years.” Let’s just say they know what they are doing.
Fabric Warehouse . Lakeland, Florida
Another great shop with lots of fun fabrics, and I think they might have been the first shop to pick up my patterns! In March, I’m teaching a class through them at the Sewing Expo for my Aerial quilt.
…Pelican’s shaved ice in Auburndale. Perfectly positioned on my route home.
Inspire Quilting and Sewing . Plant City, Florida
These guys are super new, but have already established themselves as one of my favorite quilt shops. The light-filled shop is full of great samples and beautiful fabrics. Located in an unfamiliar town to me, I’m excited to get to know it more in the future.
…There’s a candy shop and tea room across the street, and then a fabulously home-grown and rustic cafe around the corner. um, hello.
The Dragonfly Quilt Shop . Vero Beach, Florida
This shop is about and hour and a half away, but I love getting over there when I’ve got the chance. It’s just a few miles from the beach and full of that warm, beachy vibe.
…Snowballs. the BEST shaved ice. Just down the street. You’re welcome.
(Sometimes I’m not sure which is more robust–my sweet tooth or my “fabric” tooth…)
Of course there are tons of other great shops out there, these are just some of my nearest and dearest. For more ideas in your area, peruse my shop listings, and also fill me in on some of your favorites by leaving a comment.
All comments made by Thursday Jan 24 at 11am (EST) are eligible for the giveaway. You’ll have to stay tuned for the prize…it’s a surprise! But it’s good. Don’t worry.
And check out these other folks on the Local Quilt Shop Day tour!
– Abby Glassenberg (While She Naps)
– Alissa Haight Carlton (Handmade By Alissa)
– Allison Harris (Cluck Cluck Sew)
– Cara Wilson (Cara Quilts)
– Cheryl Arkison (Dining Room Empire)
– Christina Lane (The Sometimes Crafter)
– Debbie Grifka (Esch House Quilts)
– Diane Gilleland (CraftyPod)
– Pam Harris (Gingerbread Snowflakes)
– Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane)
– Jen Carlton-Bailly (Betty Crocker Ass)
– Krista Hennebury (Poppyprint)
– Laurie Wisbrun (Scarlet Fig)
– Michelle Freedman (Design Camp)
– Monica Solorio-Snow (Happy Zombie)
– Pat Sloan (Create with Pat Sloan)
– Penny Layman (Sew Take A Hike)
– Rachael Gander (Imagine Gnats)
– Rae Hoekstra (Made By Rae)
– Rita Hodge (Red Pepper Quilts)
– Victoria Gertenbach (The Silly BooDilly)
My favorite shop is Crimson Tate :: Modern Quilter in Indianapolis, IN. We have so much there AND I just picked up my FQ bundles of architextures there as well. 🙂 Thank you for designing such great fabric!
I am very fond of Las Colchas in San Antonio.
Great post Carolyn! I’ve heard about the new shop Inspire! and can’t wait to make the drive to check it out. I love how you included some other sweet spots nearby 😉
My favourite fabric store is Stoffsalon (www.stoffsalon.at) in Vienna, Austria.
By the way, I totally adore your Architextures! It is the first collection I bought a whole half yard bundle of because I loved it so much. Now I’m anxious about cutting into any of them. Will have to wait another while for the Perfect Project!
I love Mama Said Sew in Fort Collins, Co! Such a friendly place filled with goodies.
We have three local (within 45 minutes) quilt shops. I love to visit People Places and Quilts, Sew n Sew and Stitch n Sew. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites.
My favorite LQS is in Portland- Cool Cottons! I love her selection, and I usually spend a bit too much there! It is a beautiful house with lots of color in each room and a great selection of Kona solids! I hope to visit my LQS on Thursday…but my baby is due Wednesday so we will see how it goes this week! (I might need to go early!)
Richard Healey says
I also love my local quilt shop such great help and suggestions when I just cant make the decisions.
Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, NC lots to choose from in all different styles. I am just waiting for them to get Architextures!! Thanks for a chance to win!
Mary Beth says
I like Jackman’s Fabrics in St. Louis, Missouri. They have so many fabrics plus lots of great samples hanging up.
Kelly Hutchens says
I will second Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill (one of my FAVE ever!!) but sadly it’s not “local” for me anymore. Local options in Lexington, KY: Quilter’s Square – where I bought fabric for my first quilt back in 1982 (still the go to place for more “traditional” supplies) AND Sew A Lot for FUN fabric options. LOVE your fabric!!! 🙂
My favorite local shop is Lolly’s in Shipshewana IN. great variety! and what do you know! my mother’s family is from Lithuania too! she still writes letters with a woman who is a ‘cousin’ of our family! thanks for your shop reviews!
Sadly, our truly local quilt shop closed over a year ago. Now I shop at shows and when traveling through southern and central Florida. A recent discovery, on that I hope to revisit soon, is The Quilt Place in Rockledge, Florida.
I love my local quilt shop (UK) for the friendly service and advice! But it’s very tiny so I also shop at one of the annual quilt shows!
My LQS is Abigail’s crafts in Gloucestershire.
Cynthia Brunz says
Linked up my favorite shop in Corvallis Oregon. They always carry my favorite fabrics!
Karrie Smith says
I live in Michigan. Bits N Pieces is my favorite, but here are the ones that I have been to and loved:
ANN ARBOR SEWING AND QUILTING CENTER, Monarch Quilts in Brighton, Creative Quilt Kits in Brighton, Bits N Pieces in Wayne, and Jennifer’s Quilt Shop in Pickney, and I need to visit: The Quilt Patch in Tecumseh.
They are all “local” quilt stores 🙂
I just found your blog through “gather here” in the Boston area – if you ever make it north I highly reccomend it!
Your quilt patterns are absolutely beautiful!
I just learned about your work through gather here in the Boston area – if you’re ever willing to brave the cold, I highly reccomend it!
Trisha Weekes says
First, I want to tell you how much I love your line of fabrics- Architextures, I’m making a quilt for my dad who has been an architect these last 40 years. My mom grew up in Winter Garden, Fl and my dad went to school at the University of Florida, and so I’ve spent a lot of time around these great shops. I’m a 3rd gen seamstress/quilter. To top it off I married a business man- so we definitely love to support the local shop owners. So glad we have days like “visit your favorite local quilt shop” thanks to you for your support, too!
My favorite local shop is Franklin Mill in Franklin MA. I love it because the owners, two sisters, have impeccable taste. But what really makes it is the people who own it and who work there. They are friendly and knowledgeable and they are so fun to talk to. I love my local shop!
Windy Sibbersen says
I have only recently discovered my local quilt shop, Smith-Owen in Grand Rapids, MI. Until now I have been shopping at a local fabric store chain. I’m happy to support both shops because I get great service and friendly help at both. Happy LQS Day!
My favorite quilt shop used to be Valley Fabrics, in Northampton, MA, but they closed 🙁 Now my go to shop is the Textile Co, in Greenfield, MA.
Oh you are so lucky, I don’t really have a local quilt shop 🙁 There is an online shop which is based local to me so I can make an appointment and go and visit, but the selection is fairly limited. However when my husband travels for work (especially to the US) I do my research and send him with a shopping list!
My favorite local quilt shop is Quilter’s Cupboard in Ankeny, Iowa. I used to work there parttime, and still enjoy perusing the new fabrics and eye candy!
Sue Bone says
Treadles is my local store but it doesn’t stock Robert Kauffman and it only opens two days a week. I’d love a decent LQS.
Seattle is a quilter’s Paradise!
My favorite local shop in the Seattle area is Quilted Strait in Port Gamble, WA! They always have the coolest assortment of threads and fabrics.
A close second is Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue, WA. Everything from beads to quilting fabric and threads galore.
My third favorite Island Quilter in Vashon Island, WA. They carry a particular designer’s fabric that is hard to get. Plus they have tons (TONS!) of fabric! Honorable mention goes to Gathering Fabric in Woodinville, WA, Keepsake Cottage Fabrics in Bothell, WA, and Quilting Loft in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. All are wonderful local shops! We here in the Emerald City are blessed!
My favorite LQS is the City Quilter located on the same block in Manhattan as my office. The staff and instructors there are unfailingly supportive of any project, any level of skill, any color and fabric choices. They are just thrilled to see people create and get excited about fabric and quilting. The store is chock full of gorgeous fabric and all the other stuff you need (and want) to make quilts and other crafty projects. When I was first learning to quilt, I took so many classes to build skills and came to really appreciate the artistry and talent and generosity of their teachers. No question was too stupid, no mistake unrepairable. It gave me so much confidence and a deep belief in the goodness of quilters! And now, they have a beautiful gallery space for art quilts – I could stare and admire for hours up close the work of great artists working in this medium. Icing on the cake.
I have two great local LQSs – Creative Edge in North Vancouver and Spool of Thread in Vancouver – love them both! I love your entry – those scissors must be like diamonds to you – amazing keepsake!
Kat Scott says
My favorite here in St. Louis is Jackman’s — followed by The Quilted Fox. Love to browse and buy in both!
Well, I have recently moved from CT to CO so I will put in 2 favorites. In CT- I have many favorites but I will go with Quilting by the Yard in Vernon CT just because they have such a great varied collection of fabrics. I am learning the area here, but I love Holly’s Quilt Cabin in Centennial CO again because they have such a great collection of fabrics!
We don’t have many LQS but the one we do have, Periwinkle Quilting in Saskatoon is a gat place for inspiration.
Quilt shops are few and far between here in Ireland and with nothing like the range of fabric available in America, but there is a lovely craft shop a couple of hours away from me in Sligo called The Crafter’s Basket. It has a separate fabric room off the main shop and I always feel so cozy and at home surrounded by the fabric in that little room!
I don’t have a favorite local shop where I live in Canada. The Workroom in Toronto has a great selection of fabrics, but it’s too far away for me to shop there on a regular basis. But I love shopping at Wish Upon a Quilt in Raleigh, NC, when I’m back home visiting my parents. The staff there are so friendly and they carry many of the fabrics I like… Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, shot cottons, Moda, Freespirit, and more. It’s a great place for browsing fabric!
Karen @ capitolaQuilter says
We’re lucky to have Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz with all of the lovely and talented staff and great taste in Modern designers and Japanese Imports. And I also love SueDee’s in Scotts Valley with their cozy couches and fabulous featured artists Quilt Shows adorning the walls each month – they also generously invite our MQG to use there shop for our meetings which is so great.
Jo Ann says
I have a few LQS. I can shop at the Creative Edge in North Vancouver, the Cloth Shop and Spool of thread in Vancouver, Fabricana with locations in Coquitlam and Richmond. Sadly though some of the others have closed in the recent years. I feel it is important to shop locally and support local business. Shopping on line is great, and can save money but we do need local stores too!
Tracy Petrekovich says
I love Just Quilt It in Warren, OH. I was the only one who played around with sewing in my family so when my Aunt passed away my Uncle gave me all of her quilting treasures. I felt blessed but had no clue about quilting anything. I’ve taken classes at Just Quilt It and the owner helped me to figure out what to do with all of those lovely fabrics. She also had an awesome Christmas special for her regular shoppers-12 days of Christmas. For each of 12 days in December she showcased special products and we could select our special presents to be collected at the end in our very own Christmas “stocking”. A lovely idea for all those husbands who don’t know what to get for their wives. I loved it! She always has beautiful things in her store and I am looking forward to my block of the month club this year!
My favorite quilt store is Mama Said Sew…because I work there and it’s the best place on earth 🙂
I am lucky enough to have my favorite quilt shop at the end of my block in Oakland, California: A Verb for Keeping Warm. Yarn, fiber and fabric!
I’ve always love Honey Bee Quilts in Austin, TX. Good “small town feel” in a big city. Wonderful and knowledgeable staff. But this year Remnants opened in Austin and the owner, Jessica, is a woman after my own heart. She’s a rock star and stocks all the modern fabric lines. Austin’s quilting scene was dying for her to open up shop.
Kate M says
Definitely Gather Here in Cambridge!
Strawberry Patches in Bakersfield CA is my fav LQS. The owner, Suzanne, really has a knackmfor fabric selection and her displays always inspire!
Caitlin T. says
When I’m in NH, visiting my parents, I love stopping into Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH. They have a great selection! And my local shop, Wish Upon a Quilt, always has great deals. I’m hoping to stop by there tomorrow!
Jackman’s Fabrics in St. Louis carries many popular modern fabrics as does Fabric Noserie (devoted to ALL modern aesthetic). When visiting my daughter in Chicago, I like to drop in to Quiltolgy and The Needle Shop.
My LQS is a store called Peachtree Heirlooms. They have lots of Amy Butler (my fave), minky (which I use to back almost all of my quilts), and a fabulous selection of flannel prints which I use for all my baby wipes and receiving blankets.
Jessica goodman says
My fav LQS is stichcraft in boca raton Florida, but try every time I go to a new state or city to find the local quilt shops. I love seeing what they love and like to do. Found some great projects that way
My favorite LQS is Spool of Thead(Vancouver, BC). They are always super friendly and helpful with fabulous selection!
Dixie Torrech says
A Different Touch in Chesapeake, VA. The best staff, beautiful fabrics, machines notions etc. Very encouraging and helpful too with questions and projects.
Allison C says
I love Gather Here in Cambridge, MA! They have an awesome staff (and the owners rock too!) and a really great selection of modern fabrics and notions. They also offer a wide variety of classes and promote local businesses!
I don’t like my LQS since I don’t have ANY LQS… In Poland there is probably one one quilting shop and it’s about 400 km away:((( You guys in USA have no idea how happy you are! Just imagine that I have never seen shelves full of fabrics…