Quilt Sampler, published twice a year, has been profiling North America’s top quilt shops for the past 18 years. Quilt shops submit a detailed application on their history, business promotions, charitable work, teaching schedules and design philosophies. A panel of quilt experts led by Elizabeth Beese, senior editor of American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine, narrows down the applications to 10 featured shops for each issue. The names of the selected shops are kept secret and unveiled at spring International Quilt Market.
Competition to be included in Quilt Sampler is keen. Nearly 3,000 quilt shops are eligible to apply for this year’s honor. HeartSong Quilts and the other nine shops chosen were photographed and interviewed by a team from Quilt Sampler, and a multi-page profile of the shop will appear in the issue, which will be available on newsstands on September 2, 2014. Employees of each quilt shop also design an original quilt for the magazine, and full instructions for the quilt appear in the issue of Quilt Sampler.
Quilt Sampler has proven to be a huge success, and early, out-of-print issues are collector’s items. Chosen shops are inundated with visitors and requests for the shop’s quilt patterns and fabrics. Quilters are known to try and visit all the shops in each issue, getting the signature of each shop owner in their copy of the issue.
The other nine shops featured in the Fall 2014 Quilt Sampler include: Boersma’s Sewing Center in McMinnville, Oregon; Cotton Patch Quilt Shop in University Park, Florida; The Fat Quail in Laytonville, California; High Prairie Quilts in Parker, Colorado; JonAli Quilt n’ Sew in Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Millie P’s Quilt Shop in Anoka, Minnesota; Pennington Quilt Works Pennington, New Jersey; Piece by Piece in Appleton, Wisconsin; and Thimbles in Lockport, Illinois.
The art of quilting has changed dramatically since the days of quilting bees in church basements, with quilting enjoying a major renaissance across the country. A Quilting Consumer Insights study, completed in 2011 by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, reports that the U.S. quilting market is comprised of 4.2 million avid quilters. Further research shows that readers of American Patchwork & Quilting spend an average of $1,165 per year on quilting supplies and complete nearly 11 projects per year. This group is overwhelmingly female, well-educated, affluent, and have been quilting for almost eight years.
HeartSong has one of the widest selections of Australian Aboriginal fabrics in the U.S. Australian Aboriginal Designs arise from a heritage that goes back thousands of years. Aboriginal "Dreaming Stories" are passed on from generation to generation and explain life and are central to their culture and relationship to the natural world. Aboriginal art illustrates their "Dreaming Stories" with a series of symbolic motifs. Each design has a story and historical significance. The abstract dot and circle designs, based on these stories, have become a trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement. HeartSong carries these fabrics because they are beautiful, contemporary, and they resonate with the Native art which is indigenous to South Dakota.
Ann Powers, the owner, has curated a completely original collection of fabrics that are sure to appeal to the discerning contemporary quilter. Ann has a B.A. in Interior Design, and has an innate sense of style and fashion which enables her to hear what the fabric is telling her.
For additional information on HeartSong Quilts, or for an interview with co-owners Ann and Brian Powers, contact Brian Powers at HeartSong Quilts at 605-745-5330 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on Quilt Sampler, or for an interview with American Patchwork & Quilting senior editor Elizabeth Beese, contact Lori Eggers at Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Group at 515/284-2874 or at lori.eggers@