Island Quilter will move across the street at the end of the year to the former home of Robinson Furniture, more than doubling its size and adding classroom and exhibit space.
Store owner Anja Shive and her partner Paul Robinson, who frequently works in the store, have been wanting more space for a long time, Shive noted, and when Chuck Robinson, who is Paul’s brother, decided to downsize, the wheels for this move were set in motion.
“We started dreaming,” Shive said.
Once settled at their new location in the beginning of January, Shive said, she and Robinson plan to hold classes and sewing parties for kids and adults and host a variety of events with on- and off-Island guests, including a fabric designer, quilters and an author of quilting books. They plan to participate in the monthly First Friday Gallery Cruise and the studio tours. They will also create a consignment space, where quilters and other fiber artists can sell what they have sewn, including quilts, bags, aprons, table runners, knitted items and more.
“We will have high-quality products,” Robinson noted. “Everything we sell will be subject to our approval.”
The new store will also have several sewing machines for classes or for people who think they might be interested in quilting but who want to try it out before making the investment in a machine themselves. People might also want to simply stop by and sew, Shive said, since sewing with friends is more fun than sewing alone. They may also make the space available to a variety of crafters, ranging from beading fans to scrapbooking groups.
The actual move will take place between Christmas and New Year’s, Shive noted, and she hopes not to be closed at all, though customers might need to be flexible for a short time and head across the street for what they are looking for.
Island Quilter was recently featured in the fall issue of Quilt Sampler magazine, an honor that typically increases quilt stores’ business considerably. Being included was welcome news to Shive and Robinson when it came, as the couple had been considering locating the colorful store off-Island to become more profitable. Business has picked up some, though bus loads of people have not arrived, as some at the magazine had suggested. Still, Shive and Robinson are hopeful that the move and all that it will bring coupled with more business online will help the store thrive on the Island.
“Once it is all said and done, I think it will be great,” Shive said.