Those walking into Abigayle’s Quiltery may experience sensory overload as their eyes jump from bolt to bolt of multicolored fabric. The shop, owned by Nancy Bryant and Beverly Morris, is located in Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls in a converted duplex that was built more than 100 years ago.
Bryant and Morris met when they were both working part time on common projects, and felt there was a strong need in the area for a store to carry quality fabric. They determined they would make compatible business partners, and 13 years ago this May, the two women opened Abigayle’s Quiltery.
“The first customer we rang up, we owed her money because we didn’t know how to work the register,” Bryant said, laughing, as she and Morris reminisced about their beginning.
In 1888 their charming building was home to Phillip Simmerer’s two daughters, who ran a hardware store in the current Grand Pacific Hotel, located next door. Bryant and Morris both love the character of the duplex, and noted that one of their favorite attributes is that someone carved “No boys allowed” into a door upstairs.
Bryant and Morris offer a variety of small classes taught in their shop to fit the needs of any quilter, from novice to extremely experienced. Customers can learn the basics of quilt- and block-making through their Block Bonanza program, or learn the foundation for embroidery and the necessary software through their technology-enriched classes.
“Even though we are a quilt shop, we do as much machine embroidery as quilting,” Bryant said as she and Morris explained how embroidery has become a digitized art. “We’ve taken a traditional craft and made it very high-tech.”
The 3,500 bolts of fabric are displayed on wooden shelves and are tucked into any available nook or cranny in the shop. The bolts consist of knits, 100 percent cotton, wool, fleece, silk, denim and minkee. Also for sale are sewing machines, irons and patterns for both quilting and embroidery. Through the years, Bryant and Morris have learned that in the winter their supply of quilting materials is in high demand; but once the flowers start blooming in spring, they know they need a large amount of lighter fabrics.
“Our business is seasonal,” Morris said. “Once you feel the coldness in the air in August, people will want to quilt in the colder months. But once the weather gets warmer, people will make purses, aprons and smaller projects.”
With suggestions from their six employees, Bryant and Morris choose their bolts of fabric from more than 10 fabric vendors who come to the shop with samples three to four times a year. Bryant and Morris each have a distinguishable taste in fabric, which has created the wide variety of fabrics in their collection. They both are quite passionate about their love for quilting and are happy to help every customer who walks through their creaky wooden door.
“This is a great hobby for people for many reasons,” Morris said. “It’s creative, gives you functional pieces and has been medically proven to lower blood pressure. And it’s way fun.”