Quilters’ Paradise is a full-service quilt shop. We sell fabric, patterns, books and, tools; teach classes; and provide machine quilting service. The business started on my kitchen table as Cygnet Fashions & Fabrics, a custom-made knitwear business in June 1986. The business grew and moved into a boutique in 1988. By then quilting was becoming more popular and I started stocking quilting cotton fabric. January 3, 1989, the business moved to its present location when the owner of Baldwin Dry Goods retired; then in the 1990’s changed the name to Quilters’ Paradise. By then the business had shifted to cotton fabric for quilting, but no more fashion fabric. We currently display approximately 4,000 bolts of cotton fabric.
I am at least a fourth generation quilter. My mother and both grandmothers made quilts and comforters. At least two of my great-grandmothers quilted, one of them hand-quilted for hire. She charged 10 cents per spool of thread. In the later years of her life, my mother did hand quilting for customers. (Her price was $2/hr.)! I made my first quilt in 1962 to take to college, but I had helped my family make quilts before that. My grandmother believed that it brought good luck to have as many people as possible put some quilting stitches in a quilt.
Both of my daughters quilt, and four of my granddaughters quilt, insuring that Quilters’ Paradise will have a long future. My daughter, Laura, is following in my footsteps in becoming a longarm quilter. She also teaches classes at Quilters’ Paradise and conducts workshops teaching how to paint barn quilt blocks.
Recently we have partnered with Baldwin City’s Lumberyard Arts Center on several projects (i.e. mask production for the community and a community quilting bee to commemorate Baldwin City’s 150th anniversary). Most of our classes are now held at the Lumberyard Arts Center since they have a much more spacious well-lit classroom.