Stores are opening back up and we're so excited to get back to the quilt store! We chatted to Jemima Flendt and Lorinda Davis to find out what shop owners wish you knew, and why it's great to support your local quilt store. (LQS).

As we slowly recover from the global pandemic and shops are finally opening their doors, it’s more important than ever to support our local quilt shops (LQS) when we can. The level of personal service, dedication of the staff and the passion of quilt shop owners will always far exceed faceless chain stores. It means that you get the very best service, knowledge, advice and materials.

We caught up with quilter Jemima Flendt of Tied with a Ribbon, who worked in a LQS for many years, and she shared why she thinks it’s so important to shop local.

“I have worked at my Local Quilt store now for almost 9 years. Over that time I have seen lots of amazing quilts and designs. Your LQS is a wonderful place to go and learn not only about how to quilt but they can help you out with all your fabric, notions, equipment and sewing machine needs. Here, you can actually talk to someone who has a background in or knowledge of quilting – so if you are not sure what fabric you need, what design you might like to choose or what equipment/notions you will need they can show you exactly the right materials so that you not only enjoy making your quilt but also use fabric, tools and equipment that won’t leave you frustrated due to poor quality.”

It got us to thinking about what you need to take with you and what information you need to know when you visit your LQS. They are there to help you, but everyone has their own personal preferences, style and tastes, so it’s useful to go in with an idea of what you’re after. Jemima said; “It is helpful to have in mind when you head to your LQS the pattern you might like to make or purchase in store, the types of fabric prints or colors you would like to use to make your project and an idea of the size you would like to make. These are great starting points for the store to be able to help you.”

Our very own Quilter’s Planner editor, Lorinda Davis also used to work in a quilt shop, and Lorinda has shared some top tips for when you go into your LQS:

  1. We can help with your quilt math, but you should always confirm it.

  2. We LOVE to see your finished quilt tops, especially when we helped pick the fabrics!  Do bring them in so we can see. And don’t point out your mistakes- just let us tell you how great you did!

  3. If you are trying to match a fabric that you’ve brought in, you probably won’t get a perfect color match, but something close will be just fine! Trust the shop worker when they tell you it will work out!

  4. You’ve heard it before but here it is again: buy ALL the fabric you need plus a little extra just in case you make a bad cut. It breaks our heart when you come back later for ‘just a quarter more’ and we’ve sold out.

When you buy from a LQS, you are buying so much more than just fabric. You’re paying for experience, knowledge, advice, the best products, and staff that are there to guide you to make the best choices. You won’t get that from a large chain store! Go in with an idea of what you want, so that the store staff can best help you. If you can, support your LQS and enjoy every moment of being around beautiful fabrics and those who are as passionate about quilting as you are!