Anyone interested in learning more about quilting might consider spending some time visiting some of the many quilt shops that dot the countryside. For the sake of inspiration, there is almost nothing that can top the enthusiasm usually exhibited by the proprietors of these shops, which sometimes blur the line between museum and retail shop.
Some quilt shops specialize in only the quilts that are associated with a particular geographic region. Others specialize in quilts of a specific era. Others focus on a specific culture, such as the Amish, Hawaiian, or Native American.
A quick browse through these quilt shops is likely to reveal the many tools, trims, and materials common to the craft of quilt making but there are likely to be some secrets and unusual finds hidden away, too. Sometimes it pays off to take a shopping list along with you when you browse these shops but it’s always a good idea to be prepared to confront temptation, too.
Some quilt shops are affiliated with a nearby museum. These shops are likely to offer reproductions of patterns, tools, and the like that are on display in the museum to which they are associated.
Other quilt shops may be of much more limited scope, featuring only quilts for sale. Depending upon the particular shop, the quilts available for sale may be collectors’ items or hand-made pieces constructed by the shopkeeper. And the quilts for sale may be any combination of the two.
Artisans seem to be always enthusiastic to share their experiences with their craft and the owners of quilt shops are certainly no different. These colorful shops can be the source of supplies, inspiration, and education. They can also be highly entertaining, too.