Tammy Howard has relocated SugarTown Quilt Co. from Raymond

A quilter’s hideaway

SugarTown Quilt Company offers a colourful, friendly oasis for quilters in Cranbrook.

There’s a bright new quilt store in town, and already it’s enticing local quilters.

SugarTown Quilt Company opened on King Street in Cranbrook on Jan. 20, and it’s chock-full of bright, happy cotton, flannel and minky fabrics.

Owner Tammy Howard relocated the store, which had been open for six years, from her hometown of Raymond, Alberta, south of Lethbridge. She and her husband moved to Cranbrook from Raymond last year when he was transferred here for work.

“Everything feels right to have come here,” Tammy said, adding that even though Cranbrook is larger than Raymond, it still feels like a small town.

Tammy closed the Raymond store last June and took six months to move her inventory and fittings to Cranbrook.

The location, beside Liquidation World, was previously used as a tire store, so when Tammy signed the lease it still held a compressor and a battery charging station.

You wouldn’t know it now: the double garage doors have been converted to big picture windows; the ceiling tiles have been pulled down to reveal wooden beams, and chandeliers hang from the 12-foot ceiling.

“The store I left in Alberta was very country,” said Tammy. “This was an opportunity to reinvent the store.

“I wanted people to want to come in and spend some time here and like the atmosphere.”

The store has several cutting stations and lots of spots to sit and look at patterns and books. There is a lounge area by the fireplace which will soon have a television, “so that the husbands have a little something to do,” said Tammy.

A room at the back of the store is set up for classes and get-togethers, with a kitchenette and sewing machine. In the spring, Tammy intends to plant a garden beside the store.

“The garden will lend to the beauty of the building,” she said. “We can hang quilts off the fences.”

Classes will begin soon and will probably start with a Quilting 101 series that goes over the machine, threads to use, fabric, piecing and shapes.

The store carries patterns for things such as purses, aprons and girls’ dresses. Tammy said her store appeals to younger quilters.

“I catered a lot to them with bright colours, little girl’s dress patterns, skirts and bows,” said Tammy.

“But the business is going to adapt to the demand.”

She hopes the store’s environment is inspiring to quilters.

“It’s not just a ‘come in and quilt’ store; I’m a ‘come in and expand your creativity’ store.”

Around the store, the fabrics are organized in sets by designer. Beside each set is a completed quilt using those fabrics, so you can see what the finished product could look like.

There is a large selection of quilting books and magazines, and a huge range of ‘notions’ – ribbons, cutting boards, scissors, and purse handles. You will also find an array of threads and batting.

It’s all presented beautifully with fabric squares in different sizes displayed in old suitcases, on upcycled chairs and shabby-chic dressers.

SugarTown Quilting Company is now open on King Street in Cranbrook, Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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