Local quilt shops to participate in statewide shopping event next month

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — Two area businesses will be taking part in a statewide event starting next month. 

Dowagiac’s Quilted Oak Leaf, 53480 Glenwood Rd., Dowagiac, and Niles’ Sew Happy Sales and Service, 256 E Main St., Niles, will be participating in the inaugural All Michigan Shop Hop next month. From June 1 to July 31, the two businesses will join 80 quilting and fabric businesses statewide in welcoming visitors from across the country with special fabrics, patterns and deals.

The event is presented by Shop Hop Inc. which hosts state and regional events that promote the textile arts by bringing together sewing and quilting enthusiasts in support of local stores and communities. Each Shop Hop event features a magazine, exclusive fabrics, giveaways, patterns and prizes.

Quilted Oak Leaf and Sew Happy will carry the exclusive 2024 All Michigan Shop Hop fabric line designed by Windham Fabrics. The collection features a Michigan: The Great Lakes State panel, lighthouses, mountains and trees, blossoms, a scenic Michigan stripe, Michigan word toss and six coordinating blenders. Fabric will be available for purchase on June 1. 

“It’s premier fabric,” said Quilted Oak Leaf Owner Julie Winchester. “I don’t expect it to last a week. It won’t last the whole shop hop.”
Quilted Oak Leaf will have extended hours during the shop hop and will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9 and Sunday, July 7 during that period.

Participating guests will be using a “passport” found in the All Michigan Shop Hop Magazine, available at the shops or online. Guests will visit participating shops with their passport and receive a stamp from the shop and a five-inch collectible fabric quilt square that’s unique to each shop. Participating guests can enter to win regional and grand prizes by collecting stamps from all stores in a region or all stores in Michigan. 

According to Winchester, of the participating stops, Quilted Oak Leaf and Sew Happy will be the closest to the state border. She anticipates an increase in traffic throughout the duration of the shop hop. 

“I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “There literally could be hundreds of ladies coming through here, the next two months. That’s what the expectations are so that ladies can see the other different shops throughout the state of Michigan and see what each shop has to offer.”

Located in an historic building on Glenwood Road in Dowagiac, Quilted Oak Leaf specializes in quality quilt fabric, quilting supplies and notions, as well as classes. A Pokagon tribal citizen, Winchester opened the shop in March 2020 and proudly serves both the traditional quilting community as well as the indigenous community.

“I just love it because I’m typically a quiet, reserved person,” she said. “Since opening the shop, I have had a lot of fun, I’m willing to talk to people. I share my story with my customers of how I came to be and I’ve actually gone to quilt guilds and told my story. It’s just been really exciting. It’s a lot of fun.”