Ah, driving in the summertime! Western Pennsylvania was a maze of construction projects. But, no worries, The Quilt Shop Navigator carried us right to the door of Quilters Depot just south of Pittsburgh.
It was worth the trip. There are angels here!
Angels watch over the many bolts of fabric.
They hang on the walls.
And then there is Pauline who owns Quilters Depot with her daughter Jennifer. Pauline explained that the angels are one of the things that makes Quilters Depot special. “We have angels around us, ” she said. “If you look around the store, you see angels all along the top shelf. I believe in angels. I believe that all of us can be an angel to one another.”
That philosophy has guided them over the last four years, as they have established their quilt shop. They’ve worked hard to make Quilters Depot “the quilters’ version of Cheers, where everyone knows your name,” as Jennifer says on their website.
Quilters Depot is a special place because of it.
There is beautiful fabric at Quilters Depot.
You’ll find lovely sample quilts for inspiration.
The classroom corner is festooned with quilts.
And they’re piled on the classroom tables.
And works in progress, too.
Pauline told us about her favorite quilt, which is hanging on the classroom wall.
And here it is:
This gorgeous purple sampler caught my eye.
But I think my favorite was Seymour, the squirrel. (My family will tell you I have a thing for squirrels.)
The picture is small, but Seymour is not. He’s HUGE — that’s a full-size door behind him! And he’s also absolutely darling.
Jennifer and Pauline want their customers to feel comfortable and at home at Quilters Depot. One corner of the shop is fitted out as a comfortable lounge they laughingly refer to as the Husbands’ Lounge.
It’s also a perfect corner for customers to sit and knit or sew down the binding on a quilt.
When we arrived, Pauline and her staff member Pat were helping a customer named Marilyn. Marilyn had acquired an unfinished antique Lone Star quilt. It was in very fragile condition and we were soon caught up in a discussion of how best to restore and preserve it. It’s a lovely piece. In this picture, it’s still folded in half, but the star is complete. Someone — not Marilyn — had tried to wash it. As a result, much of the delicate fabric had frayed and some of the handsewn seams had given way.
If you ever are so fortunate to find such a treasure, DO NOT WASH IT. Take it to someone who knows antique textiles and get their advice first. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s a closeup of Marilyn’s find. Don’t you love the gingham and the pop of yellow together? Whoever pieced it had a wonderful color sense.
Pat told us how she signed on at Quilters Depot.
Quilters are giving people. At Quilters Depot, they are profoundly invested in doing good works in the community.
Here are the heart quilts Pauline mentioned.
The beautiful variety of the blocks in these quilts is amazing. When we band together, we can accomplish great things.
Pauline showed us one of the Quilts of Valor they’ve completed.
They also have a lot of fun at Quilters Depot.
Just what every bridge needs in August: a hand knitted sweater!
What to Know about Quilters Depot and Castle Shannon (Pittsburgh)
Facebook: Quilters Depot
What to See and Do: Downtown Pittsburgh is just a few miles north of Quilters Depot. You can download a free, one-hour MP3 guide for a walking tour of Pittsburgh here. The Senator John Heinz History Center (1212 Smallman St) celebrates more than 250 years of western Pennsylvania history. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is also located in the Heinz History Center. Pittsburgh is a powerhouse center for sports, home to the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates.
Where to eat lunch: Pauline and Pat recommended Pasta Too ( 5260 Library Rd) or Piacquadios (300 Mt. Lebanon Blvd) for tasty Italian fare. Other nearby options are Hanni’s Place (1230 Grove Road) and Kabob-G Grill (3821 Willow Ave) serving American and Middle Eastern specialties.
Next Stop: The Gallery of Fabric in Mercer PA