It is a truth universally acknowledged that you meet the very nicest people in quilt shops. Sometimes, though, you don’t actually meet them; you merely get to chat with them on the phone. When I called to make an appointment to stop by Birds of a Feather in Westlake OH, I learned that while the shop would be open late that evening, the owner Elizabeth had another commitment and would not be there. She cheerfully agreed to tell me about Birds of a Feather over the phone and promised that her employee Rachel would be there to greet us and let us take pictures.
Elizabeth learned to sew in 4-H. She decided to make a baby quilt when she was expecting her first child. When that one was finished, she made another. And then another. And then before she knew it, she was a quilter. About ten years ago, she was looking for something to fill up her retirement and Birds of a Feather was born.
Fabric flocks together at Birds of a Feather.
Fabric and patterns and notions.
Quilts flock together there, too.
Jelly roll quilts.
And purses and totes.
And quilters flock there, too, for their regular Open Sewing nights, and also for their classes. They’ve just recently concluded their Binding Blitz, with applause and prizes for the quilters who managed to bind the most inches around their quilts.
Knitters and crocheters flock to Birds of a Feather, too.
One of them was Rachel. She loved crochet and came initially to learn how to make fabric linings for her crocheted bags. It wasn’t long before she was ‘hooked’ on quilting too. She loves working at Birds of a Feather, says that what drew her there was the friendly, helpful atmosphere (and the batiks, too). She’s happy to be able to continue the tradition of outstanding customer service that Elizabeth has established. And Elizabeth told me that her favorite thing about Birds of a Feather is helping people assemble memory quilts from treasured family photos and favorite clothing items. “It brings people together,” she told me on the phone, “and it’s much less expensive than therapy.”
We had to fly, but I hope I’ll be able to stop by again to meet Elizabeth in person someday.
Things to Know about Birds of a Feather and Westlake OH:
What to See and Do in Westlake: Westlake is a suburb of Cleveland, so visitors have easy access to all of the attractions in Cuyahoga County. Elizabeth suggested the Lolly the Trolley Tours of downtown Cleveland.
Where to eat lunch: Both Elizabeth and Rachel recommended AJ’s Urban Grill (25939 Detroit Rd) in the Williamsburg Square shopping center just a few doors down from Birds of a Feather. We ate dinner there and it was delicious.
Our next stop: The Sewing Connection in Milan OH