In December 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, Judy showed her daughter Amanda her latest completed collage project, and she was lamenting the fact that her long-time local fabric source would not carry fabric. Judy said, “If I were 10 years younger, I’d open my own quilt shop.” Amanda replied, “Well, you’re not dead yet, so let’s do it – I’ll quit my job and open it with you and take care of all the systems, inventory and bookkeeping.” Two weeks later they had a plan, a name and Amanda started to learn all she could about quilting. While Judy had been sewing and quilting since she was a little girl, Amanda had never sewn more than a pillowcase!
The Quilting Bea is a play on the name Beatrice which encompasses the hand quilting spirit of the owners’ mother/grandmother, Bertha, her three sisters Myrtle, Lillie & Beulah and their mother Mira (Ma Beckham). Together, they represent the shop owners’ ancestral quilting bee; Beatrice, The Quilting Bee, was designated as the shop’s mascot, logo and nickname for the shop ~ and so, The Quilting Bea was born.
A first-time visitor would learn that Amanda and Judy personally curate their collection of modern, bold fabrics, with deliveries arriving almost weekly.
There are two sides to the shop, which is a former church: The first side is the lobby where the shop originally started, and the second is the Sanctuary – the She Shed used for classes and Sit & Sew, eight pods (and counting) on the floor and a wall of fabric.
The space is expansive and well-lit. Fabric is sold by the half-yard. Judy and Amanda personally cut fat quarters for each bolt in the shop – more than 730 and counting – to accommodate smaller fabric requirements. Everything in the shop can be purchased online – purchases are shipped within 24 hours. Customers can also choose Local Pickup.
Amanda and Judy think what sets them apart is that they rarely purchase any one single collection, and instead select just the most special designs.
In addition to the bright, bold and unique fabrics, you’ll find sweet baby, juvenile and novelty prints. You won’t find polka dots, stripes, plaids, solids, reproduction fabrics or dull colors in the shop.
They specialize in Cartonnage (French box making with fabric) and Collage Quilting classes which are offered with kits available. Occasionally, the shop offers Quilting 101 and other beginning classes.
The She Shed can be reserved for meetings or group Sit & Sew sessions. The Shed can accommodate up to 16 and food can be ordered or set up.
The shop recently acquired a brand new Gammill Statler (nicknamed Miss Mona after one of their favorite Dolly Parton roles) and are providing edge to edge longarm services.