On Saturday when Alan was hanging out with his Old Woodworking Machines buddies, I took the truck and checked out two local quilt shops (sometimes known as a LQS or lqs.)
The first had a nice-sized ad in the travel guide I use to supplement the Internet when looking for lqs’s on the road. Almost all shops have a website but sometimes it is just easier to use the book. Besides, you can’t always tell wether a “fabric” store actually carries quilter’s cotton just from a google listing.
Well, to the point … I went to the big lqs in Branson first – Quilts and Quilts Country Store and it definitely was big! It has a huge selection of everything that you might want – patterns, samples, fabric, books but it was one of the least welcoming shops I’ve visited. The staff did offer to help but I was completely overwhelmed by the number of warning signs all over the place! I would have taken some photos of them but many said don’t even think about taking any photos of anything.
One or two signs asking that you don’t take pictures of the samples is fine, but we are talking a warning sign about every foot … Don’t unravel the jelly rolls, don’t take pictures, don’t take the fabric off the shelf by pulling at the top (still not sure what this was about.) The signs were everywhere!
While the selection was good and they had small shopping carts which was convenient, the shop was on the upside of average prices. Every bolt was close to $10 a yard and I never checked the batiks. There was a “clearance” room but it was really secondary brands (a little cheaper) but not reduced priced top quality fabric as you might think they were selling.
They also sold quilts but most weren’t even made in the US and were of poor quality. You couldn’t really check them out anyway since there were dozens of signs telling you not to touch them.
I did get an extra-wide back for a
Good price but the fabric was only marginal quality. I was disappointed that what was on the bolt was cut already (this totally defeats the benefit of an extra-wide back!) so it is going to be a tight squeeze for the quilt I have in mind.
The second shop – Fabric & Decor Shoppe – was not much further down the road. I think it was first a Decorator Fabric shop but they have a nice, but small, collection of quilt fabric. It was bright and friendly without a warning sign anywhere! The woman working there was very pleasant and spent a long time patiently helping another customer pick out fabric.
I bought a kit for an easy quilt-as-you-go throw-sized quilt with a fleece back. I haven’t made one of these before but it seemed perfect for a “trailer project”. I may be working on it the next day it rains.
As you are reading this, we are long gone from Branson. We are now further East at the Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. There is no signal here at all but they do have wifi at the camp store. We don’t even have any television. Luckily, we heard the news about Osama before we left civilization. I got choked up when I heard about the brave military personnel that took on such a noble and difficult job. Thank you for your service to America.