I feel like I’m losing my best friend.
My favorite quilt shop is closing. And this is the third “best friend” I’ve lost over the past seven years.
I started quilting after my second son was born. The nearest – and only – quilt shop was a town away. I’d secure the baby and his toddler brother in their car seats and drive the distance.
By the time I arrived at the shop, my infant was fast asleep. He slept in his portable car seat at my feet while I browsed and let my older son help me find matching fabrics.
The shop owner was so sweet. She distracted my toddler with her small dog or questions about cartoon characters when I needed to concentrate.
I was a novice then, and most of my quilts were crib size.
After her shop closed, another one opened in a town about the same distance away, but in the opposite direction.
My “baby” had become the “toddler” by then. We would visit the new quilt shop while his older brother was in school. I got to know this shop owner, too. She provided toys and books to entertain my son while I selected fabric.
At home, my son helped me match and sort shapes and colors. I was branching out and making lap quilts by then.
After a few years, this shop closed, too. I relied mostly on my stash and internet orders for fabric.
Then I heard about a new quilt shop opening a few blocks down from the old store. On my first visit, I knew I had found a loyal friend.
I expanded my comfort zone and tried new projects – pocket books, table runners, wall-hangings, T-shirt and twin-size quilts. I knew where to find batiks, vintage and modern fabrics. I experimented with embellishments, Baltimore Album quilting and handprint projects. I even introduced the shop to my mother and sisters.
I’m so sad the shop is closing. My youngest son is encouraging.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” he said. “I’ll just Google fabric and find you a new store. You’ll be making queen-size quilts in no time.”
It’s tough making new friends.