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Thread: Sunday Morning quilt ramblings

  1. #1
    Senior Member YukonViv's Avatar
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    Sunday Morning quilt ramblings

    It's summer time finally here in the Yukon and during the summer our local quilt shop does not hold classes or get-togethers and you know what? I miss it!!!!

    People in general tend to be vocal when something upsets: bad experience at the fabric store; unhappy with the class instructor, etc.

    The quiet voices of those who have had an enjoyable experience sometimes fall into the background.

    Have you had some wonderful experiences that you would like to share? Please do so, let's smile together!

    I love my local quilt shop. Every time I go down those stairs I hear my name called out and am thoroughly welcomed. And it's not just me, every visitor gets a hello. Sometimes even by fellow shoppers, it's like we are all friends that haven't met yet LOL.

    The staff is amazing, they keep an eye out, they don't hover, but the minute you start to feel like you need assistance somehow they know and are right there.

    If one of the staff is "visiting" with an old friend, a new friend, a tourist that has come back a year later...there is always another that is "on" for assistance. They are really good at making sure someone is available.

    I love taking classes there. Twice a year is sign up day and it's a fun, party day. There are appies and tea and cold beverages. All of the models for the upcoming class season are unveiled. The shop opens at 10 a.m. but you know what, people start gathering out on the street at 9:30 a.m. We visit, we anticipate, we review each other's checklist of what classes we were interested in (the newsletter comes out just days earlier with a class list), we just enjoy the bliss. When the doors open the rest of the day is spent in wonder, going over the models, visiting, trying to make sure you get in the same classes as your friends.

    The entire staff is there for sign up day, and they are also the class instructors so you are able to chat with them, find out if your skill level is enough to take the class, find out what the expectations are. Some instructors are only wanting to teach you a technique, so buying all the materials to complete the model is not necessary if you don't want to have a completed project, you get enough to get started and learn the technique...other classes are more about the finished project and your instructor lets you know how much homework you need to do ahead of time.

    It may be because we live in a small community (there are only 30,000 people in the whole of the Yukon), but the staff knows who sews, knows if you have ever taken a class and most times will remember if you were in their classes previously. They have a really good idea of your skill level and will let you know if you need to work at something or if it'll be easy for you to do. If they've never seen you before, or if they know you are standing there shocked and don't know what to do, they'll steer you to the quiltstart lessons first. Learning about your machine, learning about fabric, etc. That's how I started, they encouraged me to take quiltstart before taking one of the other classes. It makes it so much easier for later classes when everyone has the same starting point.

    At first I took classes to learn all the skills, and they exhausted me but I take great pride in the skills I've learned and nothing makes me happier some days as when my points match perfectly.

    I now take classes for social reasons. Most of what is offered I could figure out or learn online, but the peace and joy of sitting with other women (and sometimes a man!) who share this passion with you is amazing. I'm one of the young ones of the group and I've learned so much from the older women and I just love being in their company. Years ago, women of all ages came together in quilting bees, the older generation passing along their knowledge of more then just quilting to the younger women. Now we meet at classes and in all day sewing retreats. Yes, we can sew alone at home, but we are social beings and we have a need to be part of a larger community and my quilt shop seems to be a solid core for that larger community...at least in my world!

    My 13 year old daughter has let the store owner and her staff know that she would love a summer job there next year (when she's old enough!). She "just wants to be a part of it". The last time I went and was pulling fabric, she spent a lovely hour and a half folding fat quarters at a corner table and putting tags on them. The ladies just love her LOL (and have told her they may need her for next July at least).

    Ok, I know I've rambled on, but it's Sunday, the birds are singing and the sun is out and we're having one of our few "summer" days here in the Yukon (we are actually above 20Celcius today!!) and I'm just happy and wanted to share/chat. I also finished several piecing goals yesterday and am gazing at my design wall with a nearly completed quilt top on it...yay!

    Ok, tell me what makes you happy!!!!
    Vivian
    Yukon Territory, Canada
    www.quiltingunderthemidnightsun.blogspot.ca

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Your post made me happy! I too take classes and workshops for the social reasons more then the sewing. Your LQS sounds wonderful and I'd love to part of one like that.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    I go to a LQS in Yelm, Wa. There are closer shops but I get out there at least twice a month. I just love it there. They have almost any style of fabric you might want, be it brights, Asian, Thimbleberries, childrens, etc. The store is HUGE! I love all the ladies out there, but my favorites are Jerri and Crystal. Crystal is the owners granddaughter and she can find any fabric out there in a snap. She and Jerri are the best for finding just the right fabric to match whatever it is you bring in. Talking with Crystal is more than just fabric pickin though! We talk about her family (she has three young boys) and her hopes and dreams for them. I feel like "family" whenever I walk in!

  4. #4
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Dear quilting sister in Yukon: Glad that you are finally having summer. We've been having more of it than I care for... Many records broken, both for heat and lack of rain.

    What I am missing is our guild! Like the more social aspects of your shop - which sounds like a wonderful one - we don't meet over the summer. It's sad to have seen so many negative posts on quilt guilds here, as the one I am in is wonderful. Sure, some are more friendly than others, but that's going to be true in any group.

    Locally, I am so fortunate to have a wide range of shops. Within an hour's drive, there are several "real" LQS. Plus, within a half-hour are two Mennonite shops. One carries quite a lot of fabric - as much as many of the LQS. The other has maybe 200-250 bolts in the corner of a "general store." Neither has the atmosphere of LQS, and for truest colors you have to carry the bolts over to the door or window. However, their prices are hard to beat (just paid $7.50/yd for regular quilting cotton and $8/yd for batiks). They carry Moda, Fabri-Quilt, RJR, etc. The same fabrics as you'd find @ LQS.

    My favorite resource, however, is right here! Both this site, where I get so many great ideas, tips and inspiration, and the internet in general. It's so amazing to be able to "chat" with people from around the world and to "hear" their thoughts.

  5. #5
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    So glad I read your post! So full of wonderful happiness. I live in a small community of under 300 at this time in my life and there are no quilt shops within 70 miles. Hubby and I are going to be moving back to Oregon (hopefully with in the next month or two) and I am so looking forward to getting involved with some guilds and taking some classes. I am also considering starting a guild myself. But will have to wait and see once we are settled. Thanks for sharing your great experiences and encouraging to look at the bright and not the dull side.
    Brenda

  6. #6
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    I'm eager to get back to Texas this Nov. to be with my quilting friends at the LQS. The owner always makes me and DH fell like family and several friends there look forward to us returning each year. I'm so glad I got involved with the guild and met such nice ladies. Hope to be friends for a long time. Thanks for this board. I too have learned a lot and always look up the patterns that each tell about. I have found some really nice ones to try. Thanks again to each and every one for you input on things here.

  7. #7
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    YUKONVIV, no wonder you are a happy quilter. Would that we all could have the same kind of LQS. I do have a small quilt shop near me that I go to a lot because of the two gals that own it and care about their customers.

  8. #8
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    What a wonderful local store. Our one and only store will be closing at the end of August. That leaves me Walmart, where there is never anyone available to cut....Joanns where everyone is overworked and Hobby Lobby that I really have to travel to get to......One of my fondest childhood memories was going to the fabric store with my mother....and then of course the lumber store with my Dad, and yes everyone 'knew your name'.....those days are quickly being replaced by big box stores and the internet...... And so life goes on

  9. #9
    Member shayzamn's Avatar
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    I adore the woman who runs our semi-local LQS. We are willing to drive 45 minutes to get there - over going to closer ones - because she is helpful, encouraging, and remembers EVERYTHING. It's a small shop, but I am willing to make the drive.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like you love your local store but miss the summer classes. Maybe you should approach the shop owner and see if there is interest in a sit and sew day at their shop once a week. Something like a bring your UFO and have a good sit and sew together with a few other like minded quilters.

  11. #11
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    Thank you for sharing such a lovely story about your lqs. Enjoy your summer, fall will be here soon enough.

  12. #12
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Smiled through your whole post. Great to feel your joy. Mine? This website, Fons & Porter shows on PBS, all the nearby stores I'm able to drive to within 45 minutes from home that have a wide varity of great fabric, and my wonderful family who puts up my taking over the living room while a quilt is in progress!
    Mavis

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