The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest – Day 1 Continued: Bernina Sewing Center in Billings MT

With the help of The Quilt Shop Navigator, we negotiated a labyrinth of traffic circles to find the Bernina Sewing Center in Billings MT.

Bernina Sewing Center -- Billings MT

The first thing you notice when you walk into the Bernina Sewing Center is how bright and spacious the store is, followed by an incredible collection of beautiful fabric and the multitude of intriguing sample quilts. Eye candy everywhere!

Bernina Sewing Center in Billings has a wealth of beautiful fabricsFabric Everywhere at Bernina Sewing Center

And then you are greeted by owner Doris and her cheerful, friendly staff. This is Doris:

Doris of Bernina Sewing Center

We also met Phyllis, who climbed a ladder (!) to pose with one of the sample quilts she’d made for the shop.

Phyllis Climbed A Ladder so that we could take her picture with the quilt she made

And Myrt, who seemed to know everything from long-arming to smart phones to where to find a particular bolt of fabric. Here she’s standing by a sample quilt she made (but not on a ladder).

Myrt with One of the Shop Sample Quilts She Made for Bernina Sewing Center

Doris and I sat in the Bernina machine showroom for a chat about her store, which she bought with her husband thirty years ago. At first they focused on general and garment sewing, but as quilting grew in popularity, quilting fabrics took over the store. Bernina Sewing Center now carries a wide variety of quilting cottons and flannels, as well as minky. Doris is particularly proud of their extensive stock of Stonehenge fabrics. They also carry Stof fabrics, a unique line from Denmark. Isn’t this one beautiful?

Stof fabric from Bernina Sewing Center

In fact, they’ll be having a Stof trunk show in June. It’s only one of the exciting things happening at Bernina Sewing Center. They offer a wide variety of classes in their commodious classroom.

Doris Shows Lynnie the Array of Sample Quilts in Bernina Sewing Center's Classroom

One of the most popular is a Block of the Month class using Judy Niemeyer’s Mariner’s Compass pattern. “When you complete this class, you should be able to tackle any Judy Niemeyer pattern,” says Diana Simkins, the certified instructor.

Judy Niemeyer Quilt on Display in Bernina Sewing Center's Classroom

The classroom is full of inspiration. Doris loves the Stonehenge fabrics and showed off three of her favorite quilts made from Bernina Sewing Center’s extensive Stonehenge collection:

Another Beautiful Stonehenge Quilt

She waxed eloquent about her favorites, Stonehenge’s warm earth tones.

Doris's Favorite Stonehenge Quilt

A Third Stonehenge Quilt at Bernina Sewing Center

Bernina Sewing Center offers some real bargains for quilters, too. The day we were there, all quilt kits were 20% off!

Quilt Kits were 20% off at Bernina Sewing Center

Doris is also justifiably proud of her Bernina service department and the friendly and attentive customer service she provides to everyone who walks through the door. Quilters come from miles around, confident that she’ll have exactly what they’re looking for.

Things to Know About Bernina Sewing Center and Billings MT

Website: berninabillings.com

Facebook: Bernina Sewing Center

Local Quilt Guilds in Billings: Big Sky Quilt Association, really two guilds combined, Quilt by Association and Yellowstone Valley Quilter’s Guild

Things to see and do in Billings:

The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum whose collections, exhibits and programs tell the stories of life in the Yellowstone River Valley. Located in historic downtown Billings, the building that houses the Western Heritage Center is the former Parmly Billings Memorial Library, a Richardsonian Romanesque structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Accredited by the American Association of Museums and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Western Heritage Center provides both long term and changing exhibits with interactive components, as well as educational programs for visitors of all ages. The museum cares for over 16,000 artifacts and an extensive collection that illustrates and documents the history of the Yellowstone River Valley. Guided tours are available for groups with reservations.

The Custer Battlefield Museum houses extensive new exhibits including hundreds of Custer Battlefield artifacts from the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Plains Indian War period. Documentaries are shown hourly in the theatre adjacent to the museum and give logistical battle bearings to visitors before they begin the historical voyage through the Museum, then move on to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Important Indian War period artifacts and manuscripts related to Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the 7th Cavalry, as well as an acclaimed collection of highly historic photographs by D.F. Barry, are part of the exhibit.

Where to eat lunch: Doris recommended Juliano’s Restaurant (2912 7th Ave N) or The Granary (1500 Poly Drive), both elegant establishments with eclectic menus. For an unusual and delicious round sandwich, try The Staggering Ox (2829 King Ave W).

Staggering Ox SandwichesStaggering Ox Photo by Ken Mueller

Our overnight stop was in Sheridan WY. After settling in to our hotel, we took a short stroll down Main Street to admire the many Western sculptures that adorn the sidewalks. My dad would have loved these pheasants.

Sculpture on the Streets of Sheridan WY

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures on Day 2 of The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest, coming soon!


One thought on “The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest – Day 1 Continued: Bernina Sewing Center in Billings MT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s