Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I'm terribly late in posting about my Quilt Sampler magazine articles as the issue has been out now for more than a month! But for those of you who haven't yet checked it out, I wanted to tell you about the three great quilt shops I had an opportunity to write about for the Fall/Winter issue.

A cozy-looking teal blue cottage is home to Thistle Bee Quilt Shoppe in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Owners Mary Ellen and Joe McInnis have created a quilter's paradise for both 1800s reproduction and modern fabric lovers alike. Although the shop is just 830 square feet, Mary Ellen makes the most of every square inch without making it feel cramped. Because of the limited space, the 70 shop samples are mostly doll-sized quilts and wallhangings—my favorite ones to make!

Variety is the spice of life at Country Fabrics and Quilting in Brainerd, Minnesota, where you'll find everything from traditional cottons, seasonal prints, and laminates to brights, batiks, and hand-dyed wool. An entire second floor is devoted to modern fabrics by designers such as Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt and Tula Pink. Now in its 41st year of business, shop owner Deb Burton knows a thing or two about keeping customers happy. Customers flock to her shop year-round to glean inspiration from the more than 850 finished samples. Wow!

Quilting dreams take flight amid cotton candy pink walls and a soaring vintage tin ceiling at Happiness Is...Quilting in McKinney, Texas. Owner Laura Kay Houser's mission is to help quilters grow and she does that by hosting classes and workshops by a star-studded array of quilting experts, including heirloom machine quilting expert Harriet Hargrave, quilt-marking maven Pepper Cory, and precision-piecing guru Sally Collins. Laura also goes the extra mile to bring in unique inventory. At press date, this was the only quilt shop in the U.S. to carry a collection of imported reproduction Dutch chintz fabrics patterned after 17th-century textiles.

Be sure to put these one-of-a-kind quilt shops on your go-to lists. Someday, I'd love to visit all of them! If only I could visit each one when I interview the owners for these articles! Wouldn't that be fun?