Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Quilter's Necessity

What would we, as quilters, do without our local quilt shops? Where would we go for that fat quarter in just the right color, or for that class to learn a technique that we've always wanted to try? Thankfully, Teri and I (Kara) have quite a few local quilt shops in our area, so we have decided to highlight them here on the blog. It dawned on us that we had featured quilt shops in Alaska and Florida, but we hadn't showcased any of our local shops.

We start with a shop near and dear to our hearts: Patches, in Mt. Airy, Maryland. Patches gave us our first opportunity to teach back in 2014 (seems like so long ago) and has continued to support us as teachers since.

When she opened the shop, store owner, Jackie Bingham, and her husband had recently closed the doors of their cabinet-making shop and retired; however, Jackie didn't want to just sit around. She was a self-proclaimed fabric collector and had been making charity quilts when she discovered the difference in fabric quality, while visiting a local department store. When she looked around and saw that there was no place locally to buy good quality fabric, the idea for Patches was born.

Owner, Jackie Bingham, in front of the Project Linus
supply wall

It took Jackie seven months to find a location that would work; she eventually found a suitable house right in downtown Mt. Airy. She opened in February of 2003, and the shop had room for fabric, a long-arm, and a classroom, but Jackie quickly realized, in that first year, that she would need to expand.

One of the original rooms

In 2004, a 30'x36' two-story addition was built that provided a large classroom upstairs, space for another long-arm, a line of sewing machines, and most importantly, space for more fabric! (Great cause for Jackie to do a bit of dancing!)

The beautiful batik wall

Jackie wanted to appeal as many different fabric tastes as she could support, so you can find an array of fabric styles, including reproductions, batiks, modern, flannels, and more. One of the most important things to Jackie was to have a store that was bright and well-lit. All the lighting is fitted with daylight bulbs, so that the fabric can be viewed in the best possible lighting conditions.

The reproduction corner

More fabric as well as fat quarters

If you need a sewing machine, Patches carries the Viking brand, along with a wide variety of machine quilting and embroidery supplies.

A couple of the Viking embroidery machines

Do you need patterns, books, or notions? You will most likely be able to find them at Patches. And if you need long-arm quilting services, they can provide that as well!

Just some of the many patterns Patches carries

Books galore

An assortment of supplies

Almost any notion you could need

Patches has twelve helpful employees, who work together as a family to help you with your quilting needs. The shop opened as a business, not a hobby, but when you love what you do, it shows—and 13 years later, the store is still going strong. If you are in the area, please stop by; I'm sure you will find some treasures!

And who knows? Maybe we'll see you there!

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