| Payton North
EAST LONGMEADOW – While National Quilting Day came and went on March 21 and was perhaps overlooked by many due to the COVID–19 pandemic, Quilts & Treasures of East Longmeadow and its patrons made sure that the day was celebrated.
In conjunction with leaders in the quilting industry and quilters across the country, owner of Quilts & Treasures Valerie Morton encouraged her quilting friends to celebrate the day by hanging a quilt outside of their homes to not only honor the day, but to bring “color and joy” to passers–by during this time.
Morton encouraged her patrons to share photos of their quilt displays on Facebook, noting that she was “thrilled” with the response.
“People decorated the fronts of their homes with quilt displays. Quilts were hung over fences, on tractors, from clotheslines, over lawn furniture and even on the back of their car,” Morton explained.
Morton noted she had at least 30 customers post their photos on Facebook. In addition to her customers, the Southwick “This ‘N’ That” 4–H Club displayed their quilts in support. In addition to quilters in the area, on Instagram there were hundreds of posts made under the hashtags #nationalquiltingday2020, #nationalquiltingday and #nationalquiltday.
During this time, Quilts & Treasures is closed, along with thousands of other small businesses in the area that are deemed non–essential. With that being said, Morton remains optimistic, and shared that people within her quilting community are continuing to quilt and help medical personnel.
“These are difficult times. While all my customers understand why I am closed, they are also trying to make fabric face masks for medical personnel and wish that I were open for their fabric, elastic and thread needs to do this. They keep telling me that my business is essential to them,” she said.
Since the business closure, Morton explained quilters have been reaching out to her, sharing projects they’re working on, asking questions about patterns and more. Though the storefront is closed, Morton said they’re “doing a lot via Facebook, emails and Zoom chats.”
“Yesterday I participated in a Zoom chat with 23 quilters, most in Massachusetts but also from Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, California, and the country of Bahrain,” Morton said. “All were or are customers that had been a part of a Wednesday morning quilting group at the store, but some had moved away and this was a great way to catch up with them.”
Morton explained that many fabric companies, quilt designers and pattern companies are offering free online tutorials, quilt patterns, mystery sew–alongs and more. She noted she sends out an email every few days to keep her customers informed. In addition, Morton said her staff members are working on new samples with the hopes that they will be able to teach classes on them over the summer.
Quilts & Treasures, Inc. is located at 56 Shaker Rd. in East Longmeadow. The business can be found online at quiltsandtreasuresinc.com or facebook.com/quiltsandtreasures.