Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quilt Classes

I'd like to preface this post by saying if all quilters liked the same thing the quilting world would be very boring! The same thing goes for quilt shops. It seems that each shop has its own niche that usually reflect what the owner likes. That's great too.
I got my class schedule for the Stitchin' Post a few days ago. There is a pretty traditional quilt on the cover in red and white. The cover doesn't seem to be reflective of what is happening at the Stitchin' Post these days.
I will always have a soft spot for this store. My first quilt class was with Jean Wells, my second quilt class was with Lawry Thorn. Jean bought a quilt of mine that I put in the Outdoor Show. The employees are so nice and friendly.

I have noticed more changes going on in the store. Jean and Valori are designing fabrics that a lot of people want. Kaffe fabrics and Amy Butler fabrics are replacing the reproduction and homespuns that I used to get here.
When I opened the class schedule the first set of classes I see are fabric crafts and mixed media. These include fabric and wood jewelry, Artlab: Lutrador, telemadera fusion- bringing fabric and wood together. Hmmmmm, ok, maybe they have to branch out a bit.

The next set of classes is for sewing. Bowls, aprons, wallets, pincushions, skirts and totes. Yep, these are all pretty popular right now.

The next set of classes is for quilts. Yeah! The closer I look the more I see fairly untraditional quilts including Asian, African, make a quilt of your pet, Fibonacci, batiks, Gees Bend design concepts, thread painting etc. I have to say I was a little disappointed. There were a few classes that looked like I'd enjoy, but overall the Stitchin' Post is changing and I'm a little sad about it.

I did sign up for a class!

I showed a photo of this quilt after the Sisters show. It isn't my usual style, but it was one of the quilts I liked the best. It was fun, it was quirky and I love houses and my home, maybe that's why I got such a nice feeling when I saw it.
I signed up for House Party by Tonye Phillips! This is what it reads: "Welcome to the party! Design your own house or use one of Tonye's patterns. Make it wild and wacky! Tonye will demonstrate her simplified needle turn applique technique in class. If you prefer a different method of applique, that is fine. Study Tonye's crazy choice of fabrics and get ready to cut loose!"

By the time February comes I'll be looking forward to spring and I think this class will be just the ticket to see my through the rest of winter.

What do you look for in a good quilt shop? Friendly employees? The fabrics you like? A wide variety of fabrics, even if you don't like them? Good lighting? Lots of samples?


  1. Good post! I think lots of quilt shops are "trying to keep up with the times", but much of it seems way to far out for me. I think a quilt shop should have a little for everyone - but should not stray too far from traditional quilting. Fads come and go, but good solid pieced and appliqued quilts remain.

  2. I took a class from Jean Wells several years ago. She was teaching here in Florida at quilt symposium retreat I attended. My friend and I liked her & her teaching style very much.
    I haven't taken a class in several years now. I just don't find anything that interests me at the local shops. I used to take lots of classes. I have done some teaching myself.
    I like shops that have lots of fabrics that suit my style. The closest shop I find that at is 2 1/2 hours from my home. Prim/country style is not all that popular in Florida. I like friendly staff, lots of samples & patterns for inspiration. Extra goodies like quilty style gift items. And I like a shop to have plenty of fat quarters. Some shops will cut a fat quarter if you ask. I want them readily available. When traveling, I don't have lots of time to wait while they cut....unless I want a larger piece of fabric. I also like a shop to carry most of the line of fabric when they place their orders.

  3. My favorite shops have lots of Civil War reproduction fabrics, homespuns, country or primitive quilt samples, patterns, good lighting and friendly staff. If I visit a shop that has mostly batiks, novelty prints etc., I don't go back, it's just not my taste. My favorite quilt shop is a 1 1/2 hour drive.

  4. I'm very fortunate to have 3 good shops fairly close to home. I like pieced quilts best and am very partial to reproduction civil war fabrics (which one of these shops specializes in). I'm not too fond of the newer Amy Butler style fabrics. I also don't take many classes because most of the time if I want to make it I just follow a pattern and don't have time to take a class. Good lighting and friendly staff is important.

  5. For me, I am really fortunate to have Primitive Gatherings 75 minutes away. Worth every minute of the drive. I agree with everything Karen said... lots of FQ's available because I am a stasher now, and lots of samples for visual effect, and prim is definitely my style. If it is batiks/brights, I walk right out the door. Not that it is bad, it is just not my style.

  6. I too find the house quilt adorable..though not my usual sort of thing but fun and makes me smile!
    A quilt shop's number one pet peeve for me is if the gal's working are not friendly. I don't care how good the shop is...I don't feel welcome..I don't stay.

  7. I know it is to each her own, but Kaffe Fasset? Double Ugh. Keep the homespuns and the dark colors coming. We need more repros.

  8. I think some of us will always love the 30's and repros, with traditional quilt patterns. As for quilt shops, the attitude of the personnel and the types of fabrics are important to me. I've been in a few shops where I was ignored, and I never went back. Louise

  9. I am into prim and traditional, so I look for a quilt shop with that flavor. There are two small shops near my home, and they both hang onto OLD fabric. I guess the word sale is not in their vocabulary. So I don't even bother going in unless I need a FQ or some thread. There are a couple shops about 20 minutes away from me. At one, the owner can be downright rude; she is very moody. Other times, she's sweet as sugar. I work hard for my money; I will spend it where I am treated nicely all the time! I think the quilt shops forget that we have access to the internet and can buy what we want.

    The word verification here is messes. I guess that describes my sewing room :D


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