With the recent closing of the Heavenly Patchwork Quilt Shop in Waconia, there’s a hole in the local quilting community that even the strongest thread will have difficultly sewing up.
The business opened in September 2003, the brainchild of owner Kay Derner, who is heading into retirement now that the store is officially closed (its last day of business was Saturday, March 16).
In an article that appeared in the Waconia Patriot last July, Derner talked about how prior to opening the quilt shop, she had spent her 35-year career mostly in the graphic arts and web printing industry. After losing her job in 2003, she decided to turn her lifelong hobby of quilting into her second career and that led to the store.
For the almost decade it was open, the shop was a must-see destination for quilting enthusiasts.
“My shop has something of everything,” Derner told the Patriot last summer. “We have all kinds of quilting supplies from notions, patterns and books to batting. We offer classes in all levels of quilting, as well as basic sewing — we teach more than just quilts!”
Indeed, regular customers will miss many of the offerings at Heavenly Patchwork Quilt Shop. However, efforts are underway to pick up the slack. For example, the Waconia Sewing Center is selling many sewing items that were popular at the quilt shop and are still currently available at Dueber’s, which is expected to close this summer.
Dave Daubert of the Waconia Sewing Center said they bolstered their inventory of sewing supplies by buying up the inventory of sewing items at John’s Variety Store in Mound, which closed in the last year.
“We have buttons, thread, hemming tape, zippers, scissors, pins and needles … just about every other kind of notion you can imagine,” Daubert said. “The same things Dueber’s has, we’ll have, too.”
The Waconia Sewing Center, which is located near Dueber’s in the same building as Papa’s Shoe Repair on First Street, also serves the local sewing community by selling Janome sewing machines, offering sewing machine repair, and providing the rental of a long arm quilting machine. Outside of yarn, Daubert said the Waconia Sewing Center has almost anything a sewing enthusiast might need.
While finding new places to buy sewing products will help ease the sting of losing Heavenly Patchwork Quilt Shop, it will be harder to replace the sense of community that the quilt shop created through its regularly scheduled quilting events. One such event, for example, was Quilt Til You Wilt, which included food, fellowship and quilting from 6 p.m. to midnight on the second and last Friday of the month.
Area quilters will be glad to learn that Quilt Til You Wilt will live on. All the details remain the same except the group will meet at the Carver County Historical Society instead of the quilt shop building. Wendy Peterson Biorn, executive director of the historical society, is pleased space was found to continue the event.
“The idea behind it is, we lost the quilt shop and we’re losing Dueber’s and it’s leaving this black hole,” said Peterson Biorn, who herself is an active Quilt Til You Wilt attendee. “I ran it by our board and we’ve been wanting to use our building more and have the community use it more so we’re glad to do it.”
The first Quilt Til You Wilt event at the historical society (555 West 1st Street, Waconia) will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, March 29. The cost is $10 per attendee, which covers food and the use of the building. Peterson Biorn said a variety of crafters are welcome to attend, from quilters to cross stitchers, knitters, crocheters, embroiders, scrapbookers, etc.
“It’s a community thing,” she said, noting that Derner donated some tables and other supplies to the historical society to help with the event. “It’s a cheap, enjoyable evening for anyone who wants to come.”
The event will be held providing at least five people show up. Attendees are asked to let Peterson Biorn know if they are planning on being there by the Thursday before the event. They can contact her at (952) 442-4234, [email protected], or leave a message on Facebook at the “Carver County Creative Arts” page.
“We’re happy to host a community function like this,” she said, noting that the society has some interesting historic quilts and other related items that attendees may find interesting.
Kellie Sites, president of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce, said Derner and her shop would be missed.
“Over nine and a half years ago when she started her business, one of the first things Kay did was join the chamber,” said Sites, who described Derner as a very active member of the chamber and community.
“She provided a lot of color and quality events with her quilt shop. She brought a lot of business to town with the bus tours that came from around the state to her shop. She let a lot of people know about Waconia who had never been here before. We will miss her,” Sites said.
Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]