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Three Things to Look for In A Quilt Shop




Quilt Shops are amazing and wonderful but can be intimidating for the new quilter. As a new quilter, just walking in the door can be overwhelming. Creating a welcoming atmosphere in a quilt shop is important for new to experienced quilters to feel welcome.


Let's be honest. The prices in a quilt shop can be higher than what you might find at a big box hobby store. There are reasons for that - the fabric is better quality, there is a wide variety of brands of fabrics, incredible artist designs, the notions are unique, and the staff is knowledgeable.


I do a lot of online shopping, but there is nothing like going in the doors of a wonderful quilt shop. What is your favorite quilt shop?



Here are three things you should look for when you visit a quilt shop.


A Welcoming Atmosphere

The welcome says a lot....when you walk in the door of a quilt shop, you should be greeted, even if it is busy. Welcome in - Hello - How can I help you.... you know the drill. Look for that smile and genuine care that you find what you are looking for in the shop.


Part of what you are paying for when you come into the shop is a knowledgeable staff member. Someone who can help you find what you are looking for and provide helpful tips on what you are working on. At the very least, they are willing to help you figure out what you are trying to figure out. They should be a navigator who knows where things are and can help you navigate the shop.


I walked into a quilt shop one day, and no one greeted me....after being there for 30 min, no one even talked to me. When I was about done, I went to the register to ask a question, and the woman at the register asked if I "actually quilt," so I replied, "Sometimes." We should be so excited for new quilters that we ooze joy when they come in the door! Not because it means new business but because it means someone else is joining our community!


The first time I walked into The Quilted Cow, there was a

total joy to meet and help me. Inez helped me pick the fabric, do quilt math for the border, and even talked me through some quilting tips!



Fabric Variations


A quilt shop is a fabric-a-holics dream. There should be variety not only in color but in style and manufacture. You should find fabric that catches your eye, fabric that you don't like (because someone else will), and fabric that is surprisingly wonderful. We all like different things - colors, prints, styles, and even textures. A quilt shop should not only represent the owner's taste but also a variety of tastes. I love Riley Blake, Moda, and some of the wonderful big names.



I found out when visiting Prairie Point Quilt Shop that I am a fan of Tilda Fabrics.


How often do you see new fabric lines? I am not just talking about when Christmas rolls around. Did you know some fabric manufacturers will release more than 20 lines per year? Per YEAR!

The fabric should be an inspiration! When you see a whole line of fabric that has color variants in the same pattern, it helps you bring out your creativity. That is why Pre-Cuts can be so wonderful at a Quilt Shop - you get a little bit of the whole entire line!


Unique Notions, tools, and Patterns


Notions are all the little doodads and doohickeys that you need to be an effective quilter. You need to see all the unique and special rulers to thimbles, starch to thread, rotary cutters to scissors, and everything in between. A great quilt shop will have a solid variety of things to simplify your quilting life.


Some of my favorites are anything from Gypsy Quilters, Creative Grids, Olfa, and you know I love June Tailor. The quilt shop will offer all the things you need to make your quilting life easy.

The other thing to look for is patterns....patterns...patterns! Quilting & Sewing patterns are essential! You can try to do it on your own and may be successful. However, a well-written pattern is worth it's weight in GOLD! I visited a quilt shop that had a wall of unique patterns! The Quilted Cow has the Helpful Heifer series, which are unique and exclusive to their shop!


Conclusion

In conclusion, look for a friendly place where you would like to hang out with helpful staff members. Look for a great variety of fabrics (even some you don't like) because variety is the spice of life. Look for a wonderful selection of notions, tools, and patterns.

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