Since 2011, Deb Ann’s Fabrics in Hillsboro has been the place to go for quilters and fabric artists in the county. Offering a wide selection in fabric, as well as sewing machines and notions, the shop was also a place for quilters of all levels to learn new patterns and hone their skills.
After 10 years of operation, owner Debbie Walker is ready to retire and pass the torch to another quilter in the county, Julie Gibson, of Marlinton.
Renaming the shop Sunflower Fabrics, Gibson plans to continue offering the same products and services Walker did.
“We have all kinds of cotton fabric,” she said. “We do have a few other fabrics, like upholstery fabric, but that’s not really what I lean toward. It’s more of the quilting cottons. We have threads and sewing machine needs, and pretty much anything you need for quilting.”
Gibson, who works at State Farm Insurance in Marlinton, said she never saw herself owning her own fabric store, but when the opportunity presented itself, she decided to take the chance.
“If I had to start from scratch, I would have never done it,” she said, of owning a shop. “I’ve sewn my whole life, and I’ve quilted probably sixteen, seventeen years. I like to quilt, and I’ve always liked working with fabrics and things.
“I’m planning to retire in the next year or so, and I thought, ‘Well, that would be a nice project to have.’ It just turned out to be a good time to do it.”
At this time, Walker is helping Gibson with the shop and will continue to offer classes there.
“She has helped me so much,” Gibson said.
Once she retires and is at the shop full-time, Gibson said she hopes to start projects for the community, including block-of-the-month and other small quilting projects.
She has also considered adding other crafting supplies.
“I might branch out into some embroidery floss and that sort of thing – maybe yarns and knitting needles,” she said. “There’s not a lot of places close by where you can get needlework and craft supplies.”
Gibson has only had the shop since March 19, but is already meeting individuals she never knew quilted before seeing them in the shop.
“It’s nice,” she said, “meeting people that I didn’t realize are quilters. I’m glad we do have a lot of interest in that sort of thing. I mostly know those in Marlinton. I’ve met people that live in the upper end of the county and in Hillsboro. It’s nice to meet a whole different group of people.”
Gibson will host an open house, Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunflower Fabrics is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.