Walking into Quiltique is a bit like walking into a quilting fantasy land.
If you’ve never been, the 6,400-square-foot shop is stocked with fabric squares of all colors and patterns, many of which rest inside white cabinets. Little gifts are interspersed throughout, and a separate area houses Bernina sewing machines.
Quiltique, 213 N. Stephanie St., is owned by Jan and Bob Tibesar and their adult daughters, Kara Tibesar and Jennifer Albaugh. Albaugh handles marketing, buying and some management. Kara works with customers and helps them with the fabrics, while Bob is a salesman working in the sewing machine department. Jan handles the money.
Since opening almost 11 years ago, the store has expanded once with one more coming in early 2014 that will add 1,600 square feet, making more room for the receiving department.
“We just really need a big back room,” Albaugh said.
As a $1 billion industry, quilting is experiencing a revival.
“People are really surprised when I tell them what quilting has evolved to in this country. There’s been a real resurgence, especially in the last few years, with younger people who are getting into quilting and sewing,” Albaugh said.
Quilting guilds are popping up throughout the nation, giving a jolt of energy to the industry. Albaugh said an uptick in interest started with the recession when people were looking for projects to do while staying at home. Quilting’s popularity has sustained since then, with younger families teaching their children the craft.
The store, which sells everything a quilter needs, including Bernina sewing machines, batting and fabric, attracts a large contingent of local sewers and quilters, and tourists who are into the craft. Albaugh said it’s very common for a crafter to search out stores when they’re on vacation. The quilting community in the Las Vegas-Henderson area is large, at about 4,000 people.
“I would say that’s a pretty good idea. Once you’re into quilting you know where all the quilt shops are,” Albaugh said.
Besides selling supplies, Quiltique rents long-arm machines needed to finish quilts. Classes are offered three times a day inside the shop’s 1,000-square-foot classroom. Everything from basic workshops to advanced machine embroidery is offered.
Quiltique’s owners are focused on increasing their online presence.
“We’ve been so successful here in the shop but we’re really feeling some pressure from stores that do the same thing we do online,” Albaugh said. “There are tons of fabric stores.”
She also noted that maybe someday they’ll open a second store.
“We’re nervous about that as a family business,” Albaugh said. “You never want to lose the magic of the first location.”
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.