I lived in western New York, in a very rural area, all my life. Nearly four years ago my husband and I very happily moved from there to sunny Clearwater, Florida. There was a great little shop in Fredonia, New York, called Mauzy’s that sold vacuums, sewing machines, quilting supplies and fabric. I got my beloved Janome from there, as well as a vacuum or two through the years. The owner of the shop was a magnificent quilter and sewer and also a brilliant teacher. Sadly, since I moved, that store has closed. One of the things I remember most about going to Mauzy’s was that never, ever, did I walk through the door that I wasn’t greeted with a warm "hello". It was like walking into your best friend’s kitchen. Always a warm welcome.
When I arrived in Clearwater, the search began for a replacement. I found this big, shinny quilt shop and thought I had found it. In fact, one day I walked in the door and nearly rubbed shoulders with Kaffe Fassett as he was walking out (he had just given a class there). I nearly gasped. I thought I had stumbled into the Bloomingdales of quilt shops! I decided I needed to introduce myself and start to create that wonderful relationship I was missing. I tried to chat a bit with the ladies that worked there, on several occasions, to explain that I had just moved to the area, etc., and honestly, they were simply not interested. You were never greeted when you arrived. Nothing. I was so sad. I was sure that my days of going to the quilt shop and feeling all warm and fuzzy were over.
Until one day my uncle came by and told me about this cute little shop called “Country Quilts and Bears”. Right here in the middle of Clearwater sits a log cabin and it’s a quilt shop! I couldn’t wait until Saturday! It finally came, and I shot right over there. I opened the door to enter the shop, and the first thing I heard was a cheery “hello”. The couple, John and Marilyn, that own the shop are so friendly, as are their employees. From the first time I walked through the door I knew I had found my new quilting home. Marilyn is an unbelievable buyer – the selection is so well rounded and I have NEVER not been able to find what I need there. I love chatting with everyone at the shop – seeing what they are sewing and talking about what I am sewing. They even listen politely when I drone on and on about my Granddaughter! Most importantly, every time I walk through the door, I feel like I just entered my friend’s kitchen. To me, that is the essence of a good quilt shop.