Ode to a Quilt Shop
|Cullingully Cottage Patchwork Barn|
|These are just some of the shops here in WA - not an all inclusive list.|
I live in a part of Australia that is rather secluded. Perth, Western Australia has the unique distinction of being the most isolated capital city in the world. I can tell you that coming from a place like New York to the quiet life here in Perth has been an adjustment. I’ve learned to regulate the pace of life to a slower cadence and I’ve even resigned myself to no grocery shopping on a Sunday (as the stores aren’t open....). However the one thing I continue to find extremely frustrating is the lack of variety in my fabric shopping options. I don’t mean the variety of fabrics exactly – it’s more the variety of shops to get them from.
Here in Perth I can count how many dedicated quilt shops there are on one hand – in less than 5 fingers. And for a fabric-a-holic such as myself that is pretty poor picking. Living in Western Australia means I don’t really have the option of hoping into my car to drive to a quilt shop a state away. Doing that means days of driving and crossing the Nullarbor desert. And even I’m not THAT frustrated. So I must content myself with what is available here in WA. And I have to say I hand it to those cherished few shops in what they give in serve to their customer base are tenfold what they lack in numbers.
With only one exception I have never walked into a quilt shop here in WA that didn’t have pleasant and helpful staff and a welcoming atmosphere (the one exception has since closed – geez, I wonder why????). No matter what bizarre or obscure question I may have thrown at them over the years (telephone call to a quilt shop “ I have this really neat fabric, it’s black and grey with an interesting motif in centre. No, I don’t know the maker or the designer – but can you tell me if you have it in your shop?”) they have always tried to help me with a smile on their faces and patience in their voices. I know how hard working retail can be and how demanding customers are at times - I once worked in the ladies shoe department at Macy’s! So when I completely dumbfound a sales clerk and they still keep their cool, they have my undying respect and admoration.
So here’s a toast to the quilt shops of Western Australia. Who provide an important service to the quilting community in uncertain fiscal times. We sewers would be lost without them.