By K3 News- Raquel Harrington, Springfield, Missouri
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Saturday, January 23 marks Local Quilt Shop Day. It’s a day meant to raise awareness of the importance of independent quilt shops to the local economy.
During the pandemic, local quilt shops in Springfield have been busy. Between people picking it up as new hobbies or learning the craft to create essential items like masks, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened people’s interest in needlework overall, including sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and Quilting.
Merrily Parker is the owner of Merrily We Quilt Along. She said, at the start of the pandemic, things were hectic for local quilt shops everywhere.
“Anytime there’s a natural disaster like 9-11 or the pandemic, people want to stay at home, and they want to do things for their home, and that’s when our industry kind of thrives.”
However, with the boom in business comes its own set of challenges.
“Like all the industries out, we’ve had challenges getting products in.”
At one point in April and March 2020, Parker said their fabric walls were nearly empty. Parker explained that fabric is getting slow because most are made overseas and often get caught up at the ports. Sold out sewing machines were also a big challenge. Parker said economic machines were difficult to come by, but now they’re starting to trickle in, finally.
She said, to keep up with the demand, they moved the business to the curbside and created more than 10,000 kits for people to make masks. They also made and donated more than 4,000 masks for first responders and nursing homes in the Springfield area.
Now, the doors are back open for quilt shops, like Merrily We Quilt Along. She said it’s been active throughout the pandemic. Still, she’s grateful for the community’s continued support for her local quilt shop and local quilters everywhere who’ve worked tirelessly to make masks.
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