At the end of November I made a quick trip to Cedar Rapids for a baby shower for Lora and Buck’s baby. I was worried I didn’t have enough fabrics for the mystery quilt so I stopped in Independence at Quilter’s Quarters. In my area they are known as the store with all of the fabric. I mean ALL OF THE FABRIC. The shop has over 7000 bolts.
When I walked in I could hear a couple people talking in the back. I roamed the entire store…It’s really large.
Seriously, there is fabric EVERYWHERE! So much that the excess leans on the floor. If there’s a fabric you want, she likely has it.
There are novelty prints galore.
There are very few samples in proportion to the amount of fabric.
This is PART of the batik section….
She had a section and sold Pfaff sewing machines-at least I think she did. They were covered in other stuff and and I wasn’t sure if that was the work area of if the machines were for sale.
There is even a section with religious fabric.
Here’s some “Jesus Loves Me” fabric. I’ve never seen that before. Have you?
In all that time roaming the store taking pictures and then even picking out about about nine bolts of fabric, she never acknowledged me or came out of the back room. She just talked and talked to the man that was there with her. It sounded like they might be neighbors or something talking about fencing. I finally went to the back room and asked for my fabric to be cut. To be honest, I don’t know why I didn’t just leave. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.
She still didn’t talk to me but came to the counter and started cutting with the man following her. I roamed some more. I felt very awkward like I was eavesdropping in a on a personal conversation.
I ended up finding a couple novelty prints and made my way back to the counter. She didn’t have my first fabric cut and still didn’t acknowledge me or let up on her conversation for a second. I picked up here and there on the conversation even though I was trying to mind my own business. Something about a church and remodeling….
That’s when I remembered that someone who had gone to our quilt retreat in August had said they stopped here and that this lady was making a retreat center in an old church in town.
She continued to talk to the guy. She would cut one of my fabrics…refold the bolt edge….pin it in place….pause and look at the guy she was talking to…then take another of my bolts and cut it.
Still the lady never talked to me…still she didn’t include me in the conversation. I’ve been to the shop enough to know that this is the owner. WOW. I was very unimpressed. She grabbed my stack of fabric and asked if “was that all”. That was the first words she said to ME. I was in the store for 25 minutes. She started talking to the man again. She took my debit card, ran it through the machine-never said anything to me. She went to bag the fabric and said, “Oh, you’re doing the Bonnie Hunter mystery-these are her colors.” I said “yep” and she went back to talking to her visitor.
I’ve been so hesitant to write this post. I’ve thought and thought about if I should tell you about my experience. I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to hurt her business…but this is what I do. I visit quilt shops and I write reviews of them. I feel like I would be betraying you the reader if I didn’t be honest in my review.
I am doing to do a 1-5 rating system….five being the best-I’m going to be stingy with my fives. This is just my impression on the day I visited and took pictures.
Warm and Friendly: 0
Selection of Goods: 3 lots of bolts of fabric but I like the other things too!
Neat and Organized: 3 I had to move bolts of fabric to get to what I wanted. I tripped on another bolt that didn’t have shelf space.
Cozy and Cute: 1 limited samples limited cute displays
Outside Appeal: 2
I think after visiting this shop I am considering adding the category of “inspiring”. This shop isn’t. I didn’t really realize that until I went to write this review. I love shops that have cute little projects that get me to buy things that I normally wouldn’t have thought to buy. I love displays of bright colored zippers and three projects made up using them. Even though I don’t make purses, I like to see them made and patterns for them. I like to see a baby toy, bibs, embroidery samples. I like looking at things besides bolts of fabric…but if you are looking for fabric this is the place to go.
This shop is located about 20 minutes south of Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat in Oelwein where we held our retreat. Some people who attended suggested that we should do another retreat only move it to this location as there would be more space here in the new church retreat she is making….NO WAY would I ever do that. NEVER. I like warm and friendly. Warm and friendly trumps space for me any day.
I’m hoping this was an off day. I’m hoping that customers normally feel welcome and wanted. So will I go back. Only if I can’t find what I’m looking for ANYWHERE else!! I’m really hoping that others who have visited the shop and had a good experience will chime in and let us know about that in the comment section. I want the best for this shop owner and am hoping someone has something to say that will balance out this review.
Stop back tomorrow and see what I did buy.