Friday, February 5, 2010

What is it with Quilt Shops?

What do you all think? I LOVE fabric...I love all the potential, all the different things that can be made with a little imagination. To get the best overall experience it is nice to go to fabric stores. I want to go shopping at local quilt shops so I can support my economy and all that. But what is up with the attitude? There is a quilt shop in town that has a sign that says it is the best quilt shop in Kansas....well, I am going to go ahead and say it is the rudest quilt shop in Kansas. They won't even make eye contact with me when I go in and are so inconvienced when I actully want to have some fabric cut. I have even had bolts taken away from me. I guess I wasn't worthy. I just figured it was just this quilt shop and I only go there when I absolutely need something, like a specific thread. I refuse to purchase fabric from them. Now....my friend and I made a quick trip to another shop today just to see what it was all about and dispite the lovely inside environment and the 2 gammils humming away in the background the ladies who ran the shop were the most sour and mean bunch of females I have encountered in some time. I hate feeling like I do not blong...like I am a waste of peoples time. In the 8 months that I have been back in the US I have felt welcome in 2 fabric shops. Sarah's fabric in Lawrence, Kansas and Harper's Fabric in Kansas City. Those 2 shopes will recieve my return business...the others I hope appeal to other shoppers more than they do me. Someday I may open a friendly fabric shop, but for now the bulk of my fabric money will be spent online. SO my question is this.....What appeals to you in a fabric shop? What makes you go back? This is not an empty question...I sincerely want to know your opinion. I will be assembling a little prize or two from my own stash of lovely fabric. Let me know by Tuesday and I will have a drawing. The loot will be up tomorrow when I decide what to give away.

51 comments:

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Oh Hello Tia! It's been too long. But this post inspired me because I had the exact same experience out here. The little quilt shop in town is a hateful place. I tried to like it and have finally given up and buy everything online. I went in and asked once if they would carry Amy Butler fabrics and the girl was all, "huh?"
Very dated fabric and they had serious attitude when I suggested any new lines or designers to them.
That is all.
Except to answer your question...
I want a friendly shop that you don't feel like you are being judged as you shop. Also - someone who keeps up with the latest and greatest in fabric.
:-)

Jennie said...

Oh, there HAS to be good service! My favorite LQS (it's called Quilt In Joy in Huntley, IL)is the one where I walk in the door and am greeted by name, asked how my latest projects are going, and personally shown new fabric that the owner thinks I would like! I go to this shop at LEAST once a week, sometimes more, just because it's such a wonderful and friendly environment!
~ Jennie

Beth said...

I have one shop close to my home that I will not go to. The lady who owns it really looks down on my. It could be the large sewing tattoo on my arm or she could just be a *****.
But Harts fabric I could live in. They are wonderful and friendly and love my tattoo. I always feel welcome and super happy to spend hours looking at things knowing they will not kick my butt out. But it as a fabric shop that is more for the funky minded sewers. I love it so.

Andi said...

Really interesting topic and great timing.....
Check out my recent post on a similar theme (local vs on-line):
http://patchandi.blogspot.com/2010/02/dear-katej.html

I agree about the importance of friendly customer service.
If the shop can't make the experience a happy and friendly one, why would anyone go back?

Andi :-)

Jennifer said...

I probably can't win, cause I was the friend who accompanied you today, and I rummage your scrap pile constantly! But, I have to say, as a newcomer to the world of fabric, some customer service/education would be much appreciated. I don't like to feel like I am being naughty rooting through the bargain bin - that is what it is there for! It isn't like I only bought the cheapies...I spent some serious (for me) change. While I appreciate that everywhere I go is not "kid-friendly", I do tend to frequent places that are cause hey, I have small kids! - so a little kid area, would increase my time in store = more spending! I'd at least appreciate not being looked at like my child, who is behaving rather well, is vermin loosed in your store. Attention to detail is also nice - I shouldn't have had to carry my own items from the cutting table across the store to the checkout. I should have been greeted with cheer upon arriving. There were so many interesting and unique items in the store, once it was known that it was my first visit, I should have been given a little "tour" to get an overview. It was not busy...we were the only two customers. We drove a considerable distance in much anticipation of shopping THIS store. It was disheartening. There wasn't even coffee...I thought there was coffee? I will say I got some good deals and some fab fabrics and both items on my list. And I had fun with the Tia.

lesthook said...

Wow! I have never been to a rude shop in N.Carolina! What do I like the best? friendliness and willingness to help me find what I need are way up there. Plus a good selection of fabrics,books and sewing tools!

Brenda said...

I love fabric shopping, but I want to feel welcome. I like it when the shop owner is helpful but not hovering, and doesn't mind if I spend 30 minutes and then only buy from the sale bin. And I really like it when they are interested in the projects I'm making, which is usually made from scraps, and treats me like a creative quilter despite the fact I'm not buy pre-cuts of all the latest lines.

Chelsea said...

I like fresh, fun fabrics. I like an area where I can lay things out (I usually end up laying bolts on the floor!) I like helpful sales people who suggest coordinating fabrics or a fresh perspective. I like lots of quikts and inspiration around the store. I also like good deals, and precut kits for those days I'm feeling less than creative!!

:) phew- you just HAD to ask! Haha

Michelle said...

Wow, I am not commenting just to win loot, ( although that would be nice ) but I feel the same way, and I have had the same experiences, and one was just last week! I was feeling the same way you are now. I don't want to waste your time with my experiences, but I would love to go to a great fabric shop and just be acknowledged. A simple smile, hello, let me know if you need something, would be great. I have found one shop that makes me feel welcome. It takes 30 minutes to get there, but well worth the drive from now on. Sorry about your sour encounters:(

omashee aka Barb said...

Tia, a shame about those experiences in LQS's. They'll be out of business in short order.
For me, a friendly greeting even if they don't know my name. Eye contact! An offer of help or a store tour. No hovering but availability. All employees must know their fabrics! I too love rummaging in the sale bins. Won't return to a shop that treats me poorly. There are too many other options for spending my hard earned dollars.
Thanks for asking about this! It makes one stop and ponder customer service.
Hugs, Barb

P.S. love your latest bags

soggybottomflats said...

I moved to Texas @ 5 years ago and was actually 30 miles from THE international quilt shop, (rhymes with stitchin heaven), and I could hardly wait to go. After moving, cleaning and yada, yada, I conned my dh and son to go on a random road trip...to THE quilt shop. Well, I was wearing jeans, t-shirt and no makeup. I wandered the aisles for over an hour and a half (boys reading in the car...dh knew what this trip meant to me and has waited in the car many times. Guess how many gun shops I have waited outside of, lol?) and finally stood next to a cash register and waited patiently for the clerk gossiping to come to a halt. I timed her...over 12 minutes, then she asked, "yeah", I asked if they carried silk thread for applique. She said, "I dunno, threads in the back", and carried on. Go ahead, ask me if I bought anything or have gone back. A year later I opened my own shop. I try to carry a few new items every week or two. I also open for the customer, not at my schedule. Since I work nights, when I work, I open at 9 pm or at 6 am. Hey, when you want to get some thread, come on down. I may not be wearing shoes 24-7 but I might have what you want when you want it. A quilter I used to work with in Washington state asked if I could get some Jennifer Chiaverini fabrics so she could finish a quilt...so I tracked down the distributor and ordered them.

I think for me being a good shop owner is trying at times. If you want something and the shop owner orders it, just for you, please don't ignore her calls, be a good customer and pay her for the special order. I have a few of those special orders that no one else wants...now what?

I live @ 65 miles east of Dallas and have a group of (up to) 16 retreat ladies come out several times a year and always stop in to shop. A few times, I have been sleeping or out of town working, so dh opens the shop for them, tells them to cut their own fabric, tally it up and pay what they owe. They love it! They will also not have cash or checks with them...so they get a bill and mail me a check. No screeching now, I love these ladies. And no, I have never been burned.

I worked in Tucson, Az for 6 months every year and had access to the most amazing quilt shops in the world! I called one of them and asked if she carried the Ginny Beyer hand piecing ruler. She said no, but Cactus Quilts might. I called there...no, but call the other shop. What...? Recommend each other? LOved it! I spent many paychecks in Tucson for fabric, lol.

One of those shops was in a double wide trailer, out of town. But they had that sucker stuffed with so much fabric you could hardly believe it. They also had a huge box of scraps...like 20 cents each. I used to love that box for my applique projects. Some days I only bought scraps, but was treated the same, friendly, eye contact, a real bag for my purchase.

I digress, just had to get it out. Thanks Tia for letting me rant. I hope you have better luck looking for your perfect shop. Come see me in Texas if you get down this way. I may even cut your fabric for you...or not! Elaine

Angie said...

I like when they ask about your projects. It shows that they are interested. It seems like some people work/own shops, and they really don't enjoy what they do.

connie said...

I live in the pacific northwest and have had the same experience in two of the three shops that are within sixty miles of my home. One of the shops is absolutely incredible and so interested in my work and helpful now the other two are rude and not accommodating at all.

I think we should only visit the shops who treat us the way we should be treated.

I am glad I am not alone.

Rebecca Maples said...

Well I have three fabric shops around me, and I would say I visit any one of them at least once a week. The first thing I love is to feel welcome, a smile and a interest in my latest projects. The second is being able to give me some tips if I happen to be having any sewing/quilting problems. Third is to have classes, quilting classes, sewing classes, one of my favorite shops is The Tin Thimble, (they're on etsy too), and they even offer felting classes. Hope that helps!

Ann said...

I like to use the LQS (10 minutes walking distance), which is actually very tiny, but so welcoming: Always greated with a 'hi' and a true smile, then asked if they can help and if I am just looking/being inspired, they leave me in peace : they know I will buy (plenty) if I find what I am looking for.

If I would like advise, then they are so nice and competent and good at showing me complemetary fabrics and they NEVER look condesenting, when I dive into the bin of cheap last-on-the-bolt fabrics.

Coffee/tea is a brilliant detail, as it often takes considerably time to find the exact right combo of fabrics. A lille 'home away from home' :)

Just my opinion. Great post - because sometimes it REALLY is unpleasant to visit quiltshops run by ladies too self centered to care for their customers... hmmm...

amberlee said...

That kind of attitude drives me nuts! I am on the younger side of a lot of quilters I see in the shops I visit and it always surprises me when shopkeepers assume I know nothing or am not going to buy enough to be with their time. For me a shop has to have a fresh bunch of fabric. If it's old just move it on through people!

Breezy Bree said...

I haven't had a bad experience, but then I haven't been to many quilt shops. Not many too choose from where I live. I do prefer a shop because I can touch the fabric :) Karen xx

Laura said...

Most of the local quilt shops in my area have a wonderful selection of fabric, and for the most part the employees are friendly, but they don't discount their fabric at all. I usually get friendly service until I ask if the fabric will be going on sale any time soon, then I get the look--and the cold shoulder. These ladies have the attitude that if I want their fabric, I'll pay their price--one even told me that they NEVER discount their fabric. It's like they don't realize I can come home and search the internet and get the very same fabric at 20-30-40% less! I've gone into stores to look for a certain fabric to see if it matches what I need, then come home and get on my computer and order it. There is one store, Randy's Quilt Shop in Greensboro, that sends out emails when they have sales and everything in the store is 35% off, and the place is really hopping on those days!

Rafael's Mum said...

Hi Tia, certainly a subject that gets you going!! I have numerous experience as I go to fabric shops wherever I go...

Customer service and a happy atmosphere are certainly REALLY important! 3 LQS in the neighbourhood I can physically go to. My preferred one VERY friendly AND great personal advice on colours and patterns. Often come away with something I had not thought of but is PERFECT!! No2 has a lot of choice, a friendly face but no knowledge or help choosing. I go there sometimes if I need the wide range of choice but prefer no1. less choice but better help and coordination. No3 usually grumpy but sometimes has up to date designers.. popping in sometimes for that but not first choice. So customer service all the way! (followed by choice of fabrics)

I was in Bruges in Belgium last year and took great pains in finding one of the two quiltshops in the centre (ran out of time to go to the other one, ferry was going..). I went in and they sold fabric on the bolt, kits and patterns only. The woman did not even look up when I came in (only customer) and only glanced when I greeted her. I saw a kit of a gorgeous bunny which I resolved to buy (even though expensive) then saw a lovely wall hanging and asked her whether she had the pattern for that. She got up reluctantly and showed me the kit. Buying one kit allready and having the fabrics for the wallhanging in my stash, I asked did she have the pattern only... She said: "what do you think we are? a pattern service?" So I pointed to the baskets with patterns and said it was not an unreasonable assumption there might be a pattern as she DID sell patterns. She looked at me as if I was dirt and said "oh them, yeah, the thing we make the profit on is the kits.. those are patterns of kits we couldn't sell so trying to get a bit of money out of them at least but there are old... This is a new pattern it's a kit only... and if you think we are a pattern service here you can think again and try and copy things somewhere else as I am here to make profit" Needless to say... I put the bunny back, put the FQ bundle back and definitely WON'T be back there ever!! Had she explained this in a reasonable friendly manner, this would have been entirely different.. Her whole attitude from the moment I entered though... incredible!! No wonder she is worried about profit making... If that is a way to run a business I am not surprised she is not making any profits! As it was that was about 100 euro alltogether she was not getting out of me that day! and no repeat custom... and bad mouth to mouth..

So ... yes... service and a friendly face very important. followed by a good selection across the board with designers as well as fillers, batiks, solids etc so you can get your whole palette in one place!

pinktrees said...

i've had the same issues with local quilt shops! when i lived in oregon i'd only go to the LQS if i absolutely had to. the ladies who worked there were awful! just walking in the door felt criminal! i had to take jerrett with me (who is always very good in shops) and they wanted to stick him in the back of the shop in some little room that had a camera pointed at it. they're like "oh he'll be fine you can watch him on the monitors". no way was i going to leave him in some dirty little room the size of a small closet! they hovered and stared at me like i was going to run off their displays! forget about going to their yarn shop across the street; they were worse! so instead i was at joanns a few times a week where the staff all knew us and were extremely friendly. if i'm going to spend a ton of money on fabric i want to be able to walk into a store and feel like i can touch the fabrics, have time to play around with ideas, and feel welcome. i'm contemplating the idea of owning my own shop too.

Vicki said...

Hi Tia: You are not alone. I swear that some of these women who are running these quilt shops are in permanent PMS mode. How on earth do they expect to sell fabric and stay in business with attitudes like a bunch of grumpy old men. There are several shops here on Toronto that I just refuse to go to any more because of their attitudes.

Also I don't know if anyone has experienced this, but the owner of one shop up here also "teaches" a lot of classes. I put teaches in quotes because you pay your money for a class, and say it's a 4 hour class, you are lucky if she has spent half of that time in the class. She is constantly going into the shop to check on things as if she can't trust her staff. Most annoying.

I'm fortunate that there is one LQS that has the basics and she's great for getting supplies like thread, needles, etc. But it's a small shop and her fabric selection is limited. The next good shop is over an hour away (provided you don't get stuck in traffic) and they are very good there. So I also end up spending much of my money for fabric on-line. I find the selection and convenience of shopping when I want to shop more than outweighs having to pay for shipping and not actually being able to see and touch the fabric.

grendelskin said...

In my mind it's straightforward: if you want me to spend my money you need to be nice to me. You don't need to know me personally but you do need to act welcoming and give me a smile, and it's even better if you can pretend to be interested if I start to gush about an upcoming project - just smile and nod, as Mother used to say!
A brick-and-mortar store owner needs me more than I need them - there are lots of alternatives these days - so a good attitude is a must. Owners also need to realize that we tend to talk more about bad retail experiences than good ones, so ensuring good word of mouth is the best insurance they can give their businesses.

LJ said...

Around here the only place that sells cotton fabric is Walmart. And we all know how overpriced and not very good quality it is. I stopped going there for fabric about 4 years ago. I discovered a wonderful surplus salvage store in Maine. I got a passport so I can go there. I go about 2-3 times a month to stock up on fabric. It has it's drawbacks like not the newest contemporary stuff BUT the prices are unbeatable!
Last summer when I didn't have my passport yet I shopped online. It gets expensive but at least I'm a thrifty fabric shopper.
I'm sorry for your sad experiences with these quilt shops. Seriously don't they know WHO YOU ARE?? You're quiltingly famous in my eyes! I'm bowing as I type this reply! :)

Becky said...

Tia, I had a similar experience at your LQS and don't go there anymore either. WOW, I thought I was just there on an off day. Guess not. The two stores you mentioned ROCK. I have given them a lot of LOVE over the last 2 years. I think they would both see some significant downward swings if I quit shopping at either. Things that I like at shops - lots of samples, people that will talk to me, not at me and lots of BRIGHT colors. Have a great day!

Luv 2 Kreate said...

Sorry you are having such bad experiences with quilt shops. I miss my LQS since we moved. R & R quilts in Amarillo is the BEST and the women are friendly and take their time to help you. TTHAT is what makes me want to buy! I even paid higher prices on a few things there because the customer service was FANTASTIC. Here my LQS is not bad. They did almost lose me as a customer though. When we moved here, the 1st time I visited the shop I bought a very expensive top of the line machine...they were all but friendly that day. My second visit was another story. They wouldn't give me the time of day. I almost didn't go back, but figured since I bought my machine there I need to continue to go. They have their good days and bad days. Mostly I buy my fabric online now though.

AllieKatMom said...

I have a few LQS that are great, welcoming, helpful, and love to hear what you are working on. I do have one store that I really love to shop at because I love the applique they carry (no other store has this) but they arent always the most helpful. When I am by myself they are fine and helpful, but as soon as I come in with my 4 year old they ignore me and give me the eye. I know its a quilt store but I am a SAHM and my kid goes everywhere I go and in the evenings I like to spend time with my husband so my daughter and I take little trips here and there during the week. The other store I go to a lot love it when I bring my daughter in, they think she is so sweet and just shower her with kindness. Every mother wants to see their kids treated with kindness right.
So really what I like in a quilt store is a store that is not just selling to their selected group of individuals but also has, for example, patterns, fabric, and notions for all creative minds. It is sooo hard to find modern fabric in LQS. Variety would be great! And of course a warm welcome! Oh and sales of cours :)

Crafty Maine Mom said...

There are two quilt shops in my area. I love to go to one and I go to the other one when I can't find what I'm looking for anywhere else.

The shop I love has nice people.

I think it is that simple, the prices aren't that different, the fabric is about the same but the kindness of a smile and a caring attitude makes me want to go back.

Pat said...

Well~friendly people are really refreshing :) and a great selection of fabrics (at reasonable prices), books, patterns and store samples!

Katie said...

Okay, I'll throw in my two cents... First, friendly employees. Bad day or no, the customer is always right, but I think that's been covered. Sales are fantastic, and they help make room for newer stuff. A wide variety of choices, not just what YOU like for fabrics, patterns, etc. Customer loyalty cards used to earn discounts convince me to spend a little extra. And a tidy feel to the shop. The decorations can make a shop feel homey, but if you go too far and I can't turn around for all the fabric, patterns and furniture to display it on (not to mention the little extra stuff), it's gone from quilt shop to Grandma's attic and that's not a place I want to be!

Good luck on your quilt shop endeavor, if you decide to start one. I have an uncle who lives near Kansas City and the family rotates a reunion his way every 5 years. Maybe next time it's his turn, I'll be able to visit your shop and bring my mom and two aunts who are also quilters!

silversmith said...

sheesh!! some people have nerve, don't they?

i've got a local hancock's here who are so friendly, it's hard to get them to shut up so i can leave. i literally look at the backside of one of my LQS's from my office window (bad....i shop at lunch...) and depending on who is working that day makes or breaks the visit for me. they carry great fabrics and "decent" LQS prices so i do keep going back. some are super friendly and others are not. come to think of it, they usually don't ask if they can help me and the one young girl my age always gives me a look. i'm in there constantly, so it's not like i don't know what i'm going or looking for.

there are a few around the area here that are great though. not always the style of fabric i want, but at least the people are nice. i definitely look for kindness and customer service at a store. i want variety and things i want to purchase of course, but the days when the rude girl is at the one shop, i do feel like leaving. i feel judged and i have spent serious $$ there, including buying my last 2 sewing machines there.

i'm sorry for such a bad experience. online shopping sometimes has friendlier owners...but i'm sure those people are just as friendly in person if i were to go there.

Mom on the Move! said...

I can totally relate to your experience. I have gone into shops at home just excited to be in an honest to goodness quilt shop (we are stationed in Germany and while the Arts and Craft shop in Heidelberg is FABULOUS as is the one on Grafenwhoer - incase you are stationed here - it's just not the same). And so I chatter away excited and basically giddy about what I am seeing and touching and looking at. I can't stand the shops where the owners/workers can't take the time to at least smile because I am not obviously a wonderful quilter or local to the area. Hey, if I am going spend money in your shop you better at least smile and maybe be willing to answer some questions I have.

So, that being said, I want a knowledgable and freindly staff that are helpful. You don't have to listen to me ohhhh and ahhhh over the glorious fabrics you have but I do expect you to smile at me when you take my money. And answer my questions if you can. I would return to a shop with a great staff and only 100 bolts of fabric much more often than I would a shop with more fabric/notions, etc, and a staff that made me feel uncomfortable for asking a simple question.

And now, I will get off my soap box ;-D

Julie said...

I completely agree. I am lucky in that the few shops we have in my area have very friendly people working there who go out of their way to help me. That means the world to me. Sadly, we lost my favorite shop last year, so I do most shopping online. I have had a similar feeling to your's in a yarn store nearby. I no longer shop their because they are rude and seem to think they are so much better than me. They do not deserve our business. Thanks for letting me rant :)
-Julie

Shelly said...

Certainly, a warm and friendly greeting for starters......an interest in helping you with a specific need if that was the reason for your visit are high on my list.....I think society, in general, tolerates more rude behavior and that is why we see more of it....not an excuse!
Thanks for your efforts, Tia.
Cheers!

mendi_brown said...

Well, I dont know if I know what a good LQS is. All the shops around here pretty much stink. The closest one is WAY overpriced, they never have anything new and they look at me like I have no business being there. Everytime I go in I am hammered about joining the guild where, no offense, there is not 1 person under 65. So I do most of my business online as well.

Lori in South Dakota said...

Oh, don't you hate those kind of shops?? Best shop--the one I go into and the girls are laughing and greet you, ask if you are looking for anything special. Always ready to answer a question. They ask about your project. And they seem to be having FUN! No matter how busy they are (and they do get BUSY!!)

Lisa said...

yes, I really DO NOT like it when I am treated in a dismissive manner. I think that I get it a lot b/c of my age. Like maybe they don;t take me seriously?? Also, I am DEF more pronbe to that type iof attitude when I bring my child with me! I find a lot of quilt shop owners/workers do not care for children...????
I love a kind and friendly atmosphere. I return to a little shop In Falloon, NV all the time b/c the owner will help me with anything. She will take 5 mins to show and explain something to me that I may not understand all the way. I have purchased $25 books from her JUST to show my appreciation! (I am an ebayer when it comes to books! or amazon...I never pay retail, but did b/c of my gratitude for her kindness). he atmosphere is also important to me. Do I walk in and get inspired? Or does all the inspiration drain out of me when I walk in.

Lilly said...

What a great post.
And what I look in a shop is the diversity of fabrics and great price ^^
Thanks for the chance.
Eli

Anonymous said...

Right on Lilly!! Good fabrics and friendly clerks............it shouldn't be too much to ask for!!We do not have very many shops around here, those that are w/i a range of driving are not terribly interesting. Having worked in quilts shops it is sometimes difficult to be interested in each quilters project but it is essential to the survival of the business!! When you go into a store and they act like you have interrupted their day I just do not go back. Thanks Tia for bringing this topic to light. Gail Norback

Phyrflie said...

A lot of people rag about the big name brand stores, and that you should shop locally..and i agree, but the one thing that most of those name brand stores have that the little ones don't, is the requirement that all the staff be friendly. If I walk into a store, and the staff is too rude, then, reguardless of how bad I need something from there, I'll leave and go some place else. I can't stand it when people, who are in a job that requires good customer service, are rude and stuck up to the patrons (is that the right word? LOL). Even if I can't find a darn thing I'm looking for, but the staff is helpful, then I'll continue to go back. If they're rude, they won't get a cent from me. :)

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I'm just starting to learn to sew and I would need very friendly and helpful people. I come with enough of my own attitude, I don't need more, especially when I'm contributing to their business. I don't always agree that the customer is always right but I do believe that respect is a must unless proven otherwise.

That makes me sad that people would treat you like that because you are one of my favorite people and so nice! (I know you in real life so I can say that and its true, haha)

lil said...

hi Tia

well, what is a good shop for me, hmmmmmm, surely several things beside selling my favourite fabrics, a great service (I can go there and have a talk and leave the shop even without buying anything, but that's quite rare), the price (for sure as the fabrics are really expensive overhere in Europe), discovering new things every time I enter the shop, meeting all the other custumers (some of these people even got friends)and yes, overhere there are shops where you can even get a coffee as a welcome, isn't that cool

susan said...

The things I ook for in a quilt shop would be - friendly, knowledgeable staff, a wide selection of new fabrics plus the basics,notions, lots of samples to inspire me and a great selection of books with new titles on a regular basis. I'm lucky to have all these in my local shop -The Cloth Shop here in Vancouver- plus the use of the large classroom downstairs for basting and getting together with friends for a day of stitching. If anyone's here for the Olympics, head up to 10th ave. and check them out!

Lise said...

oh dear, what appeals to me is that: great smile, friendly , helpful personel, organized shop, where you can see and feel and get inspired by displayed projects, quilts etc..so, your not alone on how one should feel or how you should be treated..... happy stitching...

Kathy said...

Ooooh, what makes a good quilt shop. Well, first off, friendly staff. I absolutely hate walking in some shop and the people that work there are so busy talking with themselves that they ignore you. Second, they need to knowledgable about what they have. Third, they need to be helpful but not pushy. Finally, they need to be encouraging. My two favorite quilt shops in my area have gone out of business. The closest one left is very snooty. I really don't enjoy going there so I now buy quite a bit online. But that shop is still thriving, can't figure out why it stays open while the nice, friendly shops closed.
I hope I get picked as the lucky winner in your drawing. Thanks for the offering!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

You don't have to send me a prize if I win because I am in Austria, but I had to comment! My son is now 6 and has his own fabric stash! I hate it when a store glares at you when you bring a child in. I hate it when the store is full of knick/knacky breakable stuff at child level (this was trouble when he was 3-4, but he is older now). I hate a store that cuts the fabric crooked. When my son was little - it was a bonus when a store had a cart, but I know most small shops don't. A child's play area is very nice! I've been to a RUDE quilt shop where I unfortunately bought fabric - I hated to use that fabric because it only reminded me of how rude they were! I gave it away to a friend who was thrilled to have it. I also like a store where there is room on the cutting table for you to lay several bolts out together so you can see how they look together - some shops are too cluttered. But, I also like to have lots of fun samples to look at - inspires me to try new things! Cheers! Evelyn

Stephanie E. said...

Friendly, helpful, noncondescending(who knows if I spelled that right) and knowledgeable. I don't like it when they seem to almost be trying to say are you going to buy something or not, with their hovering and comments. I love the quilt shop here and in Temple. I wish I could go shopping for fabric soon but I have four college classes, three girls, and we are building a house. Take care and my purses have held up so well. I have washed them tons.

Stephanie Ellis

Erika said...

Whenever I walk into a local U.S. fabric/quilt shop I always felt I had to prove I knew how to sew or that I knew what I was talking about. I agree, that I usually was just ignored and my money has definitely been spent elsewhere. I would love a shop that you feel open to touch the fabric and hold them up against one another to see if what you are picking out will actually match before someone snatches it from you, or looks at you cross-eyed. Since I'm only 25, I would probably want someone to work there that is similar in age...that knows about fabrics too. (That may be asking a lot). Maybe be offered a tour when I first come in to let me know what designers are in the store. Perhaps a calendar of events with coupons or a frequent "yardage" card. I love free stuff.

My DH and I have recently moved to Korea and OMGoodness I am LOVING all the fabric choices I have here! I can't complain at all. The prices are SOOOO much more affordable too. Designer fabrics at $3 a yard! Where in the US I was paying $10-$15 for the same thing! The difference here I guess is that they want you to buy...so they will show you whatever you want. They wait on you hand and foot. It is wonderful. So maybe the solution is just...move to Korea. :-)

Anonymous said...

I live in Kansas City, and may know which shop was not friendly. If I do, I wonder if they were having a bad day? I've been to that shop when they were having a good day. On the other hand, even if their feet are hurting, I want them to do what they can to make sure I have a good day.

A couple weeks ago I didn't hear what I wanted to hear from my doctor and went to a LQS to cheer myself up. No one spoke to me. In the mood I was in, I could have spent like crazy if anyone had acted friendly. It wasn't my first time in that shop, so I know they can be very friendly -- too bad for them that they weren't friendly the day I was in the mood to spend.

I want a shop that has a place to lay out bolts, where the people don't seem irritated when I take bolts off the shelf, where I don't have to feel like I'm interrupting when I ask a question. I want the people that work there to have some knowledge of their products and not treat me like I'm stupid if I have a question. I don't want a new best friend when I go in, but I want to feel welcome.

Marci

Theta said...

I can't believe QQ is still in business. We were at CGSC at the turn of the millenium and the owner not only had a habit of being rude to customers but also mean to her employees.

Come to the Pentagon! There are lots of great shops including two in Northern VA who treat the one-spool purchaser with the same courtesy as the multi-yardage customer.

Yvonne said...

Hi Tia, (you don't have to post stuff to me if I win as I'm in the UK). I've had a similar experience with a child as Evelyn - my daughter is 9 now, well behaved and a good sewer; we went into a needlework shop on the Isle of Wight last holiday and she was told not to touch anything and that the kits she was looking at were not for beginners (she was perfectly well able to do them). The owner treated me as stupid if I asked a question about anything, as if she expected me to know all about her stock already. I got the impression the shop was just for local regulars and no-one else was welcome.

I want friendly but not pushy service, children welcomed if they are well behaved, not to be treated with contempt if I am maybe a bit different from their usual customers (is it an age thing? I'm not that young!!)

kathi said...

Wow, I just found your blog and this post. I thought I was the only one who felt this way about quilt shops. At most of the shops I've ever been to, it always seemed like they were friendly to the other people in the shop but not me. Terrible feeling. I will put in a plug for a very friendly shop in Boone, NC. I've only ever bought from her clearance section, but nevertheless, they lady there is always very nice. Good luck on your move. "Home is where ever the Army sends us."

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