by Jenna Farquhar
Every year I make the goal of learning something new. This year, I am learning to quilt. So far I am learning to slow down, put down my phone and focus on something that is not instantaneous.
I dove head first into quilting, figuring I would learn as I went. I knew sewing basics. How hard could it be to teach myself to quilt? I made my first quilt top then stalled. No matter how much I tried, my needles kept breaking and the fabric wouldn’t move through my sewing machine. Trying to find the answer on my phone was not working. What my phone did give me was the address to a local quilt shop. “What!?” my millennial brain screamed, “I have to talk to a real person? I have to leave my house?” I gathered my courage and ventured out to the local quilt store.
I walked through the door and was obviously out of my element. The staff at the store was able to quickly help me solve my problem by teaching me about needle sizes and how to use a walking foot. They also told me about classes and local quilting groups to help with my techniques and meet other quilters. I also felt better when they talked about some of the same things I had happen when they were learning to quilt, like sewing your sleeve into a seam.
This local store had the specific supplies I needed and also took the time to make sure I understood how to use it once I got home. They also offered additional help when I get to the next stage of my project and information about other local long-arm and mending businesses. One of my favorite things about locally owned stores is the sense of community and that my dollars stay local. The staff was not just interested in making a sale and kicking me out the door, but was excited to hear my story and invite me to learn more about the quilting community. I took the time to venture out and learn and was surprised that I did not look at my phone once the whole time I was there!