So, I thought I’d talk a little about something that’s been on my mind. Quilt shops are closing left and right. In the last year, my local shopping area lost Fabric Depot which was a huge destination fabric store and several smaller quilt shops have closed their doors. I’m seeing this theme repeated in my online groups, too. Some blame the internet, some the size of our stashes. Some blame that Tidying Up lady…but every piece of fabric I touch brings me joy so that’s not an issue to me! I am cruising through my year on the USS Frankenbatt (UFO’s, Stash and Scraps) so I admit even I’m not buying like I used to. So, how do we get our shops to stick around? Well, I don’t know about you, but I think the answer is….wait for it…more quilters!!!
No, I’m serious. How many people have you introduced to quilting? (I like to joke that I should have “contagious” tattooed on my forehead!) Currently, I’m mentoring two friends through some of their first few quilt projects and I’m setting up an informal class after Spring Break to teach 3 friends and co-workers some basic skills. I’ve taught my daughters, my daycare kids, my exchange students and lots of friends how to quilt over the years. Now, not all of them will develop a love of the craft but some will. Now, the benefits to “growing your own” quilty friends?
- It’s fun! And you can never have too many quilty friends!
- They finally understand why you want to go to the quilt shop.
- You don’t have to take classes alone.
- You can plan weekends away with sewing machines.
- There’s nothing quite like seeing someone “click” with quilting.
- They win…you win. Every quilt they finish is like a vicarious UFO!
- More quilters means more fun but it also helps sustain the entire quilting ecosystem.
All of the quilts above were ones that I was blessed to be able to coach on. It’s just super fun to know you helped someone achieve something they may not have known they could do. Is there someone in your life who has been admiring your quilts but thinks they “can’t do that?” Consider finding a couple of prospective quilters among your friends and acquaintences and see if you can help mentor them along. You win, they win and, who knows, maybe your favorite quilt shop will be able to stay around longer because of it!
Just a thought because sometimes you just need to throw your thoughts out there to the universe and hope they click with someone else.