While I was in Greensboro, NC, I taught my Fantastic Filler Stitches workshop for the first time. I really enjoyed teaching fillers in person and seeing how everyone reacted to different designs.
The workshop was held at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe, an awesome little shop right off I-85 in Greensboro.
As I taught the class, I kept seeing things I wanted to go check out, like the impressive Janome sewing machines, Accu Quilt, and awesome display of fabrics.
Finally, I just decided I'd have to stop in before leaving town. I ended up with a nice selection of this thicker, Amy Butler fabric I'm planning to make dresses and skirts out of, a green batik, and a green print that I said was so ugly it was pretty!
Ye Olde Forest is owned by Joanne and Kelly Jones and they've really put together an wide variety of tools, notions, fabric, machines, and books in a small space. They're also APQS dealers and longarm quilters.
Of course, what really makes any store for me is the service. I don't need a lot of hand holding in a store, just friendly service with no pressure and no one breathing down my neck.
I still sometimes get store clerks following me around thinking I'm some weird teenager out to steal fabric. Ugh!
But this store had just the kind of service I like. They're there when you need them to cut fabric or answer a question, but leave you alone to browse and enjoy the space too. Just my style.
You also don't have to sell your soul (or have checkbook in hand) in order to try out a machine. Kelly was more than happy to let me play on a Janome machine and try out an Accu Quilt.
I've been really wanting to try one of those bad boys out and it was a real treat to be able to play with one in person.
Best of all, Kelly gave me a heads up about a new Janome that will be coming out in May. It sounds very, very close to my dream machine: 11" throat plate, knee lifter, automatic needle down, AND a whole load of embroidery stitches.
I usually don't go for machines with too much computerized stuff in them. I've been burned a few times in the past, but at the same time, 11 inches may just be worth it.
The Janome I played with in the store was the 6600, and it felt really solid. Even with a whole load of embroidery stitches, it still did some really nice free motion and had a very visible foot already installed.
Of course, I know I can still easily quilt a king sized quilt on my Juki and its 8.5" throat (and will I ever really MAKE a king???), so there's really no need to upgrade, but...
It looks like I'll be driving back to Greensboro in May to check it out. I'm sure by then I'll have talked myself into it. Arrgh!
On the brighter side, Kelly does cover a year of servicing on the machines he sells. I've been buying machines for awhile, and I've never found a quilt store that offers that kind of deal, so I just called him to double check that I had it right.
I do know that I'm done buying machines online. After dealing with the Juki, I know that I will be a tried and true, buy-it-in-a-store kinda girl from now on.
So if you're driving through North Carolina, and you're on I-85, make sure to take a pit stop off on Exit 124 and check out Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe.
I'm off to go prewash all this new fabric! I'm wanting some new, spring dresses for North Carolina Quilt Symposium, and I know if I don't start them now, they won't be done in time.
Let's go quilt,