I was on the road again this week, knitting whenever I could and, you guessed it, visiting another quilt store. (No, the credit card has not been maxed out, yet, thanks for asking.)
This week I was in LaCrosse, WI and made a return visit to one of my absolute favorite quilt stores, Olive Juice Quilts. What a terrific store, it just hums with positive energy. The minute you walk in there are tons of cute new fabrics against a background of Kaffe Fassett. And that is just the first alcove of the place. I immediately spotted a new quilting watch - snap bracelet with ruler motif whose watch face was scissors. I snapped that baby on my wrist and told the clerks "Please charge me for this when I check out but I have to wear it NOW!"
It got me thinking about all quilt shop owners do for us, the crazy quilters in the world. They give employment to women who love fabrics and get to spend the day surrounded by them. They provide a market for the textile manufacturers as well as the producers of sewing machines, chairs, buttons etc. Think of all those jobs, the towns and people whose lives are better because someone has spent their time, energy and love to open a shop.
Besides the jobs, think of the community they create. We can go there and get advice or maybe a shoulder to cry on. At this shop there was a HUGE class area that is used for open sew nearly every day. People bring snacks, fabrics and pesky problems. They sew, they commiserate and they stitch their quilts and their lives. Yes, they buy stuff because they are there but they also use the bathrooms, the electricity and the time of the clerks for advice. It's just a marvelous service and have you ever seen anything like it at another establishment? Do hardware stores provide places to build birdhouses? Grocery stores or restaurants let you cook there? Dress shops that let you get ready for your party, telling you what looks best?
It's inspiring and makes me want to go out and hug a shop owner! Come join me or maybe just shop at one and spend some money at a place that's not virtual, where you can touch the fabrics, interact with your peers and spread quilting love. Hey, I can't spend all the money myself, join me in my quest!