Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Little Quilt Shop That Never Was

This used to be a quilt shop, up until about 3 weeks ago. It is a cute little house, too bad there wasn't more going on inside.

I live in a small farming community of about 5,000. We used to have a great place to have fun and buy fabric. It was downstairs in a clothing store. (something you would only find in a small rural community) The "quilt shop" also shared space with toys and gifts. I taught a few classes there. I purchased my Dear Jane book there. I have fond memories of our department store.
They had to close several years ago. So we had no quilting store in our town for quite some time.
A few years ago this house opened as a quilt store. I have my thoughts on why it still isn't a quilt store. The owner kept her "real" job and hired out help. I have been in that store exactly 3 times. The first time was for ecru or off white quilting thread. They had no quilting thread. The second time I was looking for bias tape maker. I don't think I really even cared what size. Nope, they didn't have that either. The third time I was looking for invisible quilting thread and I did actually score a spool. Now, I consider myself a pretty die hard quilter and I was in her store 3 times in about 3 years!? I think they had as many bolts of fabric the first time as they did the last time. There were no samples hanging, no friendly hellos, just not much of anything going on. I never even heard about any classes!
I would like to support the local quilt shops, if I felt they were doing their part. The owner never put herself into 100%. She had to have known in the back of her mind somewhere that it wasn't going to work. What a shame.
I actually heard from the quilt shop owner in the next town over that she was closing.
If you have a quilt shop please make sure you are giving the customers what they want. We want you to stay in business but we'd also like your employees to be friendly.

OK, I guess that's my rant for the day. I feel kinda sad about it too.


  1. I can see the problem clearly as to why the shop closed. Ya' gotta have what the customers are looking for. And samples displayed sell patterns, fabrics, and a host of other things. The house it was in sure looked charming on the outside.

  2. I've seen this scenario before - in all kinds of businesses. I think it boils down to people with good intentions - who jump the gun.
    I drive 30 minutes to my closest quilt shop. They know me by name and what projects I'm working on. They are always eager to serve me and if they don't have what I'm looking for, they'll order it!
    They have a good selection of fabric that's always changing as well as their shop samples. I'm like Karen, I can see why they closed. It's too bad...

  3. It really is all about the ambiance, atmosphere and attitude of a quilt shop. A lack of supplies can easily be overcome with a willingness to place an order, but if you don't feel welcomed and at home when you walk through the door - there's really no reason to look any further.

  4. It is sad when a business doesn't heed the needs and wants of it's customers. I see that in a few shops in my area as well, and some unfortunately have closed. The only ones surprised were the owners. Too bad.

  5. That's a shame that it's closing. It seems like a real cute little place to have a quilt shop. I'm sure if she had put 100% into it, it would have been a huge success. You should buy them out and take over!! We have a great little place here where I live and it's in a little house too and even though we're a big city - it seems so small town and friendly. They really care about their quilting community. Jenn

  6. Sorry to hear she closed, but I do understand what you are saying. It is nice to have a shop close to home, the new shop in Terrebonne may suit some of your needs.

  7. It is definitely important to go into a quilt shop and feel the happy atmosphere. If I go to a shop and I don't feel the love from the owners or the people who work there, mostly likely you won't see me back in that shop.

  8. I hear you about needing friendly shop employees. When I first started frequently frequenting fabric, knitting and quilting stores, I swear I thought it was a job requirement to be a curmudgeon. In recent years, I think that has changed dramatically and I say hurray. I applaud magazines like Quilt Sampler who really boost good shops with great employees. Thanks for the space to add my rant to yours.

  9. I live in a town about the same size so have to travel to shops. A lot have closed and I know why. Some had the same problem, the ones that are successful have dedicated owners.

  10. I think the atmosphere is so important. We can now buy whatever we want online, but we visit quilt shops for atmosphere, inspiration and just to touch base with other quilters. I hope the next proprietor of that charming little house is more successful. Louise

  11. Have you ever noticed how many shops don't really carry thread? Seriously. They will have a small selection if that. How many shops hardly acknowledge your existence....tell me about it! We have a new dump of a shop that has opened here. It is a joke...the fabrics are old...stuff that resembles my aging stash. No new bolts...it looks like flat folds wrapped around cardboard. I asked about it and she said because opening day all the fabrics hadn't come in they made a run to Amish and bought from them to have something. I've been back one other time...same fabric, same dump. They even have a small child in the shop (lack of daycare?) who fell off a chair and cried/screamed the whole time as they were busy cutting their own project and ignoring me. I'm waiting to see how long it is before this one closes...hopefully! It is pathetic.
    Now the shop I was at yesterday...such a world of difference with friendly staff, lots of variety, changing out shop samples all the time and rearranging often! I feel at home everytime I go and hate to leave. I hope shop owners will find your post.

  12. Does that shop happen to be in Madras, Oregon? We were there for a job interview this summer and a realtor who was taking me around town pointed it out and said it was going out of business. It looked just like that picture... what are the chances?!

  13. Hi there...the little cottage looks like it could have been a fabulous shop given the right are and love. Add a welcoming good day ladies....how can I make your day? Bolts of fabric displayed in a. Way that's intriguing , quilts on the wall, over a rail, on a table, books on a shelf, and the coffee on in the next room. Oh, can't you just " see it, and feel it" ..too bad though, cause now it's closing. It would be so nice in a small community to even have a room set up where you could gather once every 2 weeks and hand quilt together . A girl can always dream... Sharing resources.... Maybe another time,.another era. Have a great weekend!
    Hugs Marg.


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