Friday, April 8, 2016

My local quilt shop: Quilts on Broadway

I’ve been so excited to share this post with you because it’s about one of my favorite quilting people, Barb Erickson.  Barb is the owner of my local quilt shop, Quilts on Broadway,  in Foley, MN.  When we moved to Foley 10 years ago, one of the first things I did in my new town was check out the local quilt shop.  I remember that day vividly, and I recall going home and telling my husband, “YES!  There is a great little quilt shop in town and the owner was so nice!”  Any of you who have moved will know what I mean.  Finding a quilt shop in a new town ranks right up there with finding the new doctor, dentist and grocery store!

My relationship with Barb has grown over the years and I feel so fortunate to call her my quilting friend.  She is knowledgeable, talented, experienced and professional.  Barb’s primary focus is on her customers, to the degree that I wonder if she ever finds the time to sew for fun! 

A Foley Native

Barb is a native of Foley and is a respiratory therapist by trade.  She graduated in 1993 from Northwest Technical College and worked in hospitals and home care settings for several years. Barb and her husband Fred have two sons, Ben and Jeff, and two spoiled cats, Wilma and Pebbles. After several rewarding years in the healthcare field, Barb decided that it was time to change gears professionally.

Sewing at an early age

Barb has been sewing since she was a child and was taught by her mom, Thelma.  She made her first quilt when she was 11 years old.  It was a 4-H project that won a purple ribbon at the county fair.  Barb describes it as “a simple queen sized quilt made of 3” squares.  They were not all cotton and the seams didn’t match.”  But it really is a treasure!  It was so much fun to look at this fabulous quilt with Barb.  (We both felt a major 1970s vibe hitting us!)  The young Barb used scraps of every kind to make this quilt, including corduroy and even drapery fabric.  



The first garment Barb sewed was a wrap dress, the kind with three armholes which some of you may recall making.  By fourth grade she was able to sew in collars and cuffs, sleeves and buttonholes.  With that wealth of experience and her love of sewing, it is no wonder she pursued the dream of owning her own quilt shop and opened Quilts on Broadway in Foley in January of 2006.  I met Barb in July of that year.

Quilts on Broadway: Open for Business

Those precuts Barb worried would never sell
have become a nice part of her sales.
The quilt shop I walked into 10 years ago was Barb’s first location for Quilts on Broadway.  That shop was a whopping 750 square feet and Barb thinks she had maybe 250 bolts of fabric.  Moda and RJR were her primary fabric distributors at the time, but she did a lot of research and listened to her customers and her offerings grew over the years.  She recalls that when charm packs first came out, she thought they were priced too high and customers would never buy them. ;)

Making a move to double square footage

In 2010 Barb moved a few blocks south to a larger location in downtown Foley, doubling her square footage.  In the spring of that year she added a Gammill longarm so that she could offer longarm quilting services.  That business grew substantially over the years.  I asked Barb to do a count of how many quilts (large and small) she has done for me since 2010, but I’m thinking it’s better if I don’t know the answer to that . . . especially if my husband reads this post!

Today's home of Quilts on Broadway

As the longarm quilting business grew, Barb once again found herself without enough space.  So in January of this year, she moved two blocks west to a much larger historic building on Dewey Street in downtown Foley. Over the decades, this brick building had been home to several types of businesses, including a livery, a garage, a doctor’s office, a mercantile and a car dealership. After much hard work and extensive renovations in January and February, Quilts on Broadway reopened in a space that now boasts a large classroom, new rest rooms, a sitting room, and an office area . . . all in addition to the fabric shop area and the longarm room.  Barb’s son Jeff did a lion's share of the physical work, but her helpful husband Fred, parents Thelma and Don, and several good friends pitched in with the renovations and the inventory move, which included over 1,200 bolts of fabric and hundreds of books, patterns, notions and so much more!




A lovely place for your "driver" to wait while you shop!


The new building has allowed her to schedule several new class offerings, an open sew time, a Saturday morning social hour and a block of the month club.  She also has a group of people doing a quilt along using Jen Kingwell’s “My Small World” pattern.

The classroom is set up to run several sewing machines and irons simultaneously,
and includes a counter bar for coffee and snacks.

Quilts on Broadway is a brick and mortar shop, with no online sales at the moment.  If you are in central Minnesota, I hope you will visit Barb’s shop.  You will be so glad you did!  And if your husband is tagging along, he can hang out in the sitting area and watch TV!  Barb will be updating her website soon, but the building renovations, move-in, and opening for her customers had to take priority.  I hope you enjoy the photos of her new space posted here today.

 




Barb has been so generous with me over the years, sharing her ideas and knowledge of the quilting industry.  Last summer I shared one of my favorite quilting experiences, in which Barb played a large part . . . My 8-month Aloha Girl Journey. I received a very nice Christmas gift certificate to Quilts on Broadway from my husband so that I could purchase a WHOLE LOT of Aloha Girl fabric (Fig Tree & Company).  Barb even let me sit in on her meeting with her Moda Rep just so I could see this beautiful fabric in person before it was released ~ what a thrill!

After making several Aloha Girl projects, I have finally used the last bit of that fabric and made a quilt for myself, which of course Barb quilted.  I love everything about this quilt, mostly because it was built on so many lovely moments!





To close, Barb and I would like to share some loveliness with you as well.  We are offering a give-away of an Aloha Girl charm pack and two mini charms.  All you need to do is leave a comment below and you'll be entered. (Please include your email address.) Comments are open through 5:00 pm (CST) on Monday, April 11.  At that time, I will do a random drawing and announce the winner.   *Only one comment per person/per email address.  Email me if you are having trouble leaving a comment and I will leave a comment on your behalf. (carriedawayquilting@gmail.com)



Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.  Hats off to all our local quilt shop owners who provide such a rich boost to our lives and communities!


~Taunja


98 comments:

  1. What a lovely post! Wish I lived closer I'd be there all the time!!

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    1. Thank you Angela! And thanks for stopping by through the internet anyway! :)

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  2. I wish I had a quilt shop like barbs! I love her story! I would also love some gorgeous Aloha fabric. Momfloyd4@gmail.com

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    1. She's a great shop owner!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. You really capture the love you feel for your lqs. What a lovely read! Aloha would be a great fabric line to get my hands on.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Faith! I'm lucky to have her!

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  4. Loved the story... Thank you for the lovely giveaway & the opportunity to win. I hope your relationship with Barb continues to grow and her shop continues to be successful.jess424619@ymail.com

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  5. There's nothing I like better than strolling through a quilt shop drinking in all the pretty fabric! There's just something about getting to look and touch to help dream up a new project! Thanks for the chance! Vanessa Swedie61@gmail.com

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    1. It is such a good feeling . . . you are so right! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  6. What a lovely post about your dear friend Barb. Let's give a shout out to all of our wonderful local quilt shop owners! koaks2000 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hey thanks Kairle!! Good luck and have a great day!

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  7. I love fig tree fabrics, your quilt is gorgeous. You are right, it is important to have a good quilt shop wherever you live!

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  8. Wonderful article about the owner, Barb and her lovely quilt shop/business. It is obvious that she is dear to you and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Thanks for sharing this today. Would love ANY Fig Tree fabric!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading Pam!! I'm so lucky to be in a town with a great shop and helpful shop owner!

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  9. I love your post about your LQS. Living in South Dakota, my LQS is an hour away and I would be so sad if I didn't have dear Tina at Dutch Rose in Sioux Falls for all the newest fabrics on display, great ideas and wonderful encouragement to try something new. Our LQS should always be our first place to shop. cotall@alliancecom.net

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    1. That is so nice to hear! (We used to live in Harrisburg several years ago!) Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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    2. What a small world! We are by Alcester.

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    3. What a small world! We are by Alcester.

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  10. LQS are the best! You have a gem! loudog91301@ AOL dot com

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  11. The Aloha Girl fabric is lovely. And I love the organization of the shop! So tidy and full of beautiful fabrics. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, Barb's shops have always been neat and organized . . . making it so easy to find what you are looking for!

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  12. HELLO, what a sweet giveaway!Thanks for your post! Thank You!
    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Linda! Good luck!

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  13. Hi love your post about LQS! Love how big and roomy your classroom is! Thank you for the opportunity to win Aloha girl! Love that print Tricia catgirl1959@att.net

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    1. HI Tricia! Thanks for stopping by and reading about Barb! Good luck!

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  14. Such a summery quilt. I love the colors
    knttnggirl@gmail.com

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  15. What a fun post. I'm loving these colors! Thanks for the chance!
    akwebb09@gmail.com

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  16. Having recently retired from teaching and thoroughly enjoying quilting I have signed up to a number of blogs. Absolutely love your energy, enthusiasm and attention to detail. Your post made me smile as yesterday I succumbed to chicken pox!!!! elizabeth.a.m.stewart@gmail.com

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    1. Oh my goodness! Chicken POX! Drat! Thanks so much for being a blog reader! I appreciate it!

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  17. Your quilt is beautiful and once again you used fabrics that speak my language!!!! ��Pretty fabrics make such lovely quilts!���� thanks for the chance to sew with these beauties!!
    Chris @ Chris.odorisio@gmail. Com

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Chris! Have a great weekend!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your LQS! What fun to have such a great resource in your town! I love your comments about pre-cuts...I just love charm squares and layer cakes...Not to mention jelly rolls....!!
    Anita.Sharp@Gmail.com. What a great giveaway! Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks Anita! Barb and I did giggle remembering when precuts first came on the scene! Good luck!

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  19. What a great article. Love barb to pieces. When I wondered into her first shop all by myself after losing my quilting buddy to brain cancer she instantly took me in and found many good Foley friends for me even though I was from Sauk Rapids. I owe my quilting growth to her.

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    1. That is so nice to hear!! Barb is an excellent resource about all things sewing and quilting! I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. :( Thank you for your kind words!

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  20. Wish I lived closer, what a lovely shop and a beautiful Aloha Girl quilt!

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    1. Well thanks for visiting her shop "virtually"! :) Have a great weekend Malinda!

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  21. So nice to hear of a wonderful quilt shop prospering and growing! Congratulations! And your quilt is so beautiful which it can't help but be with the wonderful Fig Tree fabrics ❤️ I've been a fan for awhile myself.

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  22. Best of luck on your darling new quilt shop! If I am ever in my birthplace (Minneapolis) I will make it a point to stop by.
    Love that Aloha fabric line too..
    Thanks! nettiecrain@live.com

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  23. I'm not sure that my comment published. Pbowman@niu.edu

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  24. Aloha is beautiful fabric. I would love to win it.
    Quiltingtn@hotmail.com

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  25. My comment was that I love love the story and wish that I lived nearby.

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  26. I love Aloha Girl and your quilts! It 's so nice that you showcased your local quilt shop. I love my quilt shop, Quilts Plus in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I took my first quilt class there ! They are gems!

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    1. That is so nice!! I learned so much from the quilt shop near me when I was a younger mom!

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  27. What a nice shop and your quilt is just lovely. I think we all fall in love with a particular fabric collection at times!
    amyork13atgmaildotcom

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    1. You are right! And I fall in love with a few too many I think!

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  28. Small town quilt shops are the best! What a nice story about yours. P.S. Love your quilt and the fabric.

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  29. This looks like a wonderful shop. Thanks for writing about it and for offering the giveaway. susan.ecklund2@gmail.com

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  30. Living in Texas but originally from Minnesota, I loved your story!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Minnesota girl! ;)

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  31. Posted for Stacey F. ;)
    I am unable to leave a comment, this is A BEAUTIFUL QUILT!!! The fabric choice is spot on!!!!
    Thank You

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  32. Another great reason I need to come to Foley! Miss you my friend! And your quilt is adorable!!

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    1. Well you've got to know I would just LOVE that!!

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  33. A great local quilt shop is such a find!! I treasure (and support) mine regularly 😍
    And I have only just recently discovered figtree fabrics - I would love some aloha girl!!

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    1. Me too! Oh I think it so fun when someone says they recently discovered Fig Tree, because I remember when I did -- through a friend! Thanks for stopping!

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  34. I love the quilt! Thanks for sharing your local quilt shop with us.

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  35. Is it ok to confess this is the first time I visited your blog Taunja? It was heart warming to hear of Barb's wonderful development of her business into what it has become today. As a small business owner (toys) I know just how hard that journey is! Your quilt is gorgeous and thank you for the giveaway opportunity! Needless to say I'd love to win!

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    1. That is A-OK Lucky Shake! You've given me your fair share of IG love! Thanks for visiting!!

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  36. Lovely shop!!! We don't have any shops like that here in Finland ! Love your quilt :) saija.kiiskinen@outlook.com

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting the blog Saiji! I would be so thrilled to visit Finland one day!!

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  37. Forgot my email in my comment which is moiraging@hotmail.co.uk

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  38. Oh, I just loved reading about this lovely local Quilt Shop. It always warms my heart when I hear Success stories like these. What a great idea implementing a sitting area for the 'driver' - hope it is far away from the cash register :)! The quilting is beautiful on the Aloha Girl Quilt - I've always admired that line.

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    1. You are so wise...just like Barb! The sitting area is out of earshot of the cash register! :)

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  39. Lovely post and generous offer! Fingers crossed! Wendyandjim99@gmail.com

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  40. This was a lovely article to read. I wish I lived in Minnesota! I'm amazed that one can move to a new area and instantly find a quilt shop -- they are more rare in Connecticut, where I live. I love seeing your quilts also : ) Thank you for offering this giveaway! tmmhopkins518@gmail.com

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    1. Oh that is a bummer! I feel very lucky that Minnesota is full of wonderful shops! I don't have to drive too far! Good luck!

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  41. I wish I had a local quilt shop. So glad you have that wonderful relationship! Your quilt is so so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Christine! I've always felt fortunate but reading all of these comments really reminds me how lucky I am! Thanks!

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  42. I love your Aloha Girl quilt! Lori.m.Lopez@icloud.com And I enjoy your blog, Taunya.

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  43. This quilt is so beautiful. I just love the colors
    You are so lucky to have this shop close by
    If I won this fabric pile, I would make placemats for my 93 year old mom and dad
    Thank you for this give away. I absolutely adore meeting Barb. What a great friend and she is very inspiring

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    1. Oh thank you for your kind words Rosemary!! What a nice idea for the fabric! Good luck!

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  44. I've been through Foley! When we lived in Duluth, we would drive down to St Cloud - right through Foley! Well, when we are up that way next (we are now in Rochester), I'll definitely be checking out Quilts on Broadway. Thanks,Taunja, so much for profiling this quilt shop.

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    1. Oh I sure hope you do!! I know you would enjoy it! Thanks much for reading Anna!!

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  45. I hope to visit soon. It makes me so happy to hear about a shop that continues to have growth and success! Thank you Taunja for sharing your lovely blog and for this chance to win.

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    1. You are welcome Mary! Thanks much for reading!

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  46. I adore your quilt. I was thinking of orange today as a binding. This is so beautiful!

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  47. Barb sounds like such a wonderful woman! I need a Barb in my life! :) I love what she did with your quilt, it's beautiful!! What a very generous giveaway. That Aloha Girl is just dee-vine! I'm fortunate to have a couple of quilt shops in town, but I'm not a huge fan of their fabric selections. Consider yourself super blessed and fortunate to have Barb!! <3

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    1. Oh I do Tuki! I sure do!! And I agree . . . dee-vine!

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  48. What a lovely blog post about your local quilt shop and the owner Barb. I love the quilt you made and Barb quilted using the Aloha Girl fabric from Fig Tree.
    I enjoy your blog Taunja and love seeing what you sew.
    sbbaarrnneess@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks so much for all your kind words Sharon, and for stopping by and reading about Barb! :)

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  49. I want Barb in my town! She sounds wonderful and to have a nice shop owner speaks volumes to her success! If a shop owner isn't friendly I spend little time in the shop. Your quilts and patterns inspire me to get busy making. Thank you for the chance.

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    1. I couldn't agree with your more! The people make the shop! Thanks so much for your kind words Quilt Hollow! Good luck!

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