My Sweetie asked me a question, “when are you going to open your own quilt shop?” I’m not. But this got me to dreaming. Dreaming is good, it leads us to innovation, solutions, realizations. Having worked in a couple of quilt shops, traveled to so many over the years, attending Quilt Market, and all I’ve given this a lot of consideration. Quilt shops are at once a community, and a business, and it’s essential to take care of both.
In my head I can see the space. There was a shop in Las Vegas that I visited in 1995 that still catches my breath when I think about it. Ten thousand square feet of loveliness. As a five foot tall woman I could see and reach everything. I think I’d raise the concept a bit, by raising the shelving units up off the floor a little bit and having changing fabric skirts along the bottom. Small changing displays along the top featuring tools, fabric, patterns or pretty stuff. I think using props to create visual interest: buckets, and leaves, and carriages oh my! I’m reminded of one shop
I’m thinking a pie safe or ice box over there with coffee, tea, water, juice. A seating/ play area, with one of those cool sewing related carpets, a couple of sofas and a single chair or two will complete the area, and allow us to have hand work classes there. I can see a chalk wall to feature upcoming classes, highlight demos, have awesome words of encouragement. We can’t forget the chalk wall in the classroom to practice machine quilting motifs. Let’s not forget the optic white wall or a drop screen for a projector for teachers. Maybe a mic available for bigger events. Ideally I’m thinking adjustable height tables as quilters come in many heights. More importantly sturdy tables with sturdy chairs. I’m seeing 2 – 3 pressing stations per room with the shelving units underneath to hold essentials for use during class.
Speaking of classes I’d be looking for local teachers for all the basics, and more classes. I’d need a garment maker who can teach for sure. Both the quilting and garment making skill sets are essential. I’d also be looking for a kids teacher as this is a different skill set altogether. Each potential maker is an overall part of growing a community and business. Adding components slowly, over time, with a flexible plan for growth and taking time to find the right teachers.
I can see an old washtub filled with empty spools of thread hailing our accomplishments. And what about the tin watering cans overflowing with fat quarters. Color wheel posters, and quilted color wheels hung near each color section making fabric selection and thread choices that much more fun and a little easier.
There are other ideas floating around inside my head that I’ll share soon. In the meantime Pokey Bolton’s been interviewing quilters every afternoon at three, check out this one with me. Stay tuned for more quilty updates and I’m going to throw a virtual book launch party. As soon as I have details I’ll let you know.