Monday, July 4, 2011

We Approach Our 8th Anniversary in September

As a lead up, I thought I'd introduce some of our readers to the owner and staff of Bright Hopes Quilting. Those of you who cross our threshold on a regular basis know us all fairly intimately and would be able to pick us out of a line-up (and hopefully post bail, should we need it).

But, some of you are fairly far-flung and might be wondering, who are all these people she keeps mentioning?

I will start with the one who got this ball rolling for the rest of us, our boss and benefactress, Pearl Squires, who answered the call and throws open wide the door, Monday- Saturday. Take it away, Pearl!

Interview with Pearl

1.When did you start quilting and how did it come to happen?

1975 – Community classes

2. Do you still have your first quilt?

No, my daughter has it. (Chris here - gonna see if I can get a photo of it!) (GOT IT!!!)

3. When did you arrive in Mandeville, and what brought you here?

1996-Husband’s job transfer

(aside- now, I have known Pearl for many years, but I never knew she got here the year before we arrived! I thought she'd been here long before this!)

4. It’s been 7 years plus since the doors first opened at Bright Hopes Quilting.

A. How did you decide to open a quilt shop and

When I lived in California. I considered opening a quilt store. I found it frustrating having to drive to Albany or New Orleans for quilting supplies. Then, my son went off to college and I began to see opening a quilt store as a possibility. (Small business Development Unit at Southeastern, retail experience.)

B. what was your goal(s)?

To create a quilting version of “Cheers”.

C. Have they been achieved?

They have been somewhat achieved, although I’d like to have more gatherings and clubs.

D How did you come up with the name?

The store name is also a block name. The block is somewhat obscure, and I liked the idea of using a block that is not completely mainstream. I especially liked the philosophy that the name conveyed – as a life guidepost and representing who we are at the store. Unexpectedly, the physical set-up of the store also came to reflect the name - sunshine & bright fabrics.

5. Katrina struck 2 years after you opened and we lost a few shops in the Gulf Coast area either directly or as a result of the impact of the storm. Were there days after the storm when you thought to yourself….”hmmmmm I wonder if we’ll make it?”

Yes. The bills still had to be paid, I wondered if people’s interest in quilting would diminish & I wondered about the New Orleans/Metro economy.

6. You see lots of quilts come through the door. I hear one compliant about owning a shop is the loss of time to make quilts yourself. Have you found this to be the case?

What I do has changed. I make samples for BOMs, classes and to highlight fabric. The number of quilts I’ve made since the store opened is much more than before. Besides, I come across more exciting ideas and fabric – this is also reflected in the BHQ crew.

7. Do you have a favorite pattern or technique? A favorite fabric line? A favorite book?

Block – Sawtooth Star. Technique – Miniatures. Fabric – Free Spirit turned me on to brights. Book – Sally Collins

8. If your fairy quiltmother could grant you one wish, what would it be?

Time (true..... we all want that fairy quiltmother!)

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