Tuesday Tip: 10 Things to Keep in Mind at the Quilt Shop

Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you enter the quilt shop:

  1. It is alright to begin with a piece(s) of fabric from your stash and find complimentary fabrics to create your next quilt. Stash fabric (or fabric that you have inherited) can be really good as long as it is of “reasonable” quality to put into your quilt. Consider it “free” fabric! Pull something out of your cupboard and look for some new fabrics to go with.
  2. Although our shop has hundreds of bolts, it’s impossible to have everything. Pauline, the owner of Hamels, is very careful when considering the stock she buys for the shop. Even if we don’t have the exact piece you saw in a magazine or online, please allow our staff to guide you to some alternate possibilities. As staff, we are quilters too and know that there are some really good fabrics waiting for you.
  3. Blenders – we have all the Kona solids plus the extensive line of Moda Grunge. All of Hoffman’s Batik Watercolours are coming back onto the shelves at Hamels. Some colours sell out quickly, however they are easily replenished from the warehouse. Staff members can show you colour charts as you select a blender. If it is coming soon, staff can help you create an order for the piece of your dreams.
  4. Precuts are available in professionally designed sets with sizes ranging from 2 1/2″ squares to 1/2 yard pieces, respectfully. Just like most of us don’t make coleslaw by shredding a head of cabbage or brew coffee every morning in our kitchens, it’s acceptable to buy packaged salad mix and go through the drive-thru to save time. Precut fabrics save a lot of time and offer a tonne of versatility and convenience.
  5. Wide backings are a time and money saver! Even though they are designed for  backing a quilt top, these 100 inch beauties can become bindings, borders, sashing and even used on the front of a quilt.
  6. Remnants are versatile. We turn over a lot fabric quickly thru our shop, so that leaves us with pieces that our “fabric fairies” lovingly wrap and discount. Our remnants have been sewn into award winning projects and have also become the perfect bits for charity quilts. There are so many ways to use these pretties.
  7. What quilt do you want to sew? Bring your pattern to the shop or get some inspiration from our samples. Many current patterns and notions can be ordered in just for you. Staff are glad to guide you to the fabrics and patterns in stock for your project. We appreciate your patience on busy Super Stitcher weekends and are happy to help you when we have a few moments between cutting stacks of bolts.
  8. Looking for something special and don’t know where to find it? Let our staff check the warehouse catalog for the pattern, upcoming precut, funky new ruler, etc. and we can bring the item in just for you!
  9. Plan B – Even though we no longer have discontinued Moda collections such as “Little Black Dress” or “Aviary”, we can show you some new fabrics in stock that will make an equally beautiful quilt like the picture you have on your phone. Trying something new can be a good thing.                                
  10. Take a deep breath and relax! We want your shopping experience to be fun. Remember that your mother, or “that” sewing teacher is NOT going to inspect your quilt and critique every inch to make sure that your points match to the last thread. It’s OK, you are on a journey learning to sew quilts that will be loved, cherished and enjoyed for years to come. We all need to stress less and enjoy more. Finished is better than perfect!

Happy stitching!

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