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Gov. Whitmer proclaims this Saturday Local Quilt Shop Day

Courtesy Photo Above is a quilt made with a Baubles and Beads pattern by Sandy Samp, co-owner of Sandy Dee’s Sewing-Quilt Shop in Hillman.

In recognition of the importance of independent quilt shops to local economies, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Saturday Local Quilt Shop Day.

In Hillman, Sandy Dee’s Sewing-Quilt Shop has over 4,000 bolts of fabric for customers to choose from, said co-owner Kursten Senchuk. A bolt is 15 yards of fabric. She and her grandma, Sandy Samp, opened the shop 16 years ago.

Senchuk, 30, said quilting has been a great hobby for her and her grandma to do together.

“A lot of people think quilting is just for old people, but there are tons of young people, and it’s nice to be acknowledged,” she said of Local Quilt Shop Day.

“There are lots of quilters in the area,” Senchuk said. “We meet lots of cool people. Very, very talented people.”

She said they opened the shop because there was a need for it.

“There was never a quilt shop in this area, and my grandma would travel all over to get her fabric, and so she decided that we needed one,” Senchuk said.

Sandy Dee’s Sewing-Quilt Shop is located at 1015 Hawley Road across from the big red barn. Call 989-379-2406, email sandydeeshop@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page. Their website is www.sandydeessewing.com.

Michigan is home to 112 local quilt shops in 98 cities. Michigan is also the home to the MSU Museum, home of the Great Lakes Quilt Center, which houses more than 500 well-documented historical and ethnographic quilts universally rich in diversity and expression, a press release from the governor’s office stated.

“The state of Michigan recognizes and appreciates quilting as an artform and a piece of American Heritage that spans decades,” the press release said. “Local quilt shops not only provide supplies for quilting, but also provide a spirit of togetherness and creativity that champions the rich character and even the history of our communities.”

Celebrated on the third Saturday of January, Local Quilt Shop day was established by the Fabric Shop Network, a trade association that represents over 5,000 members of local quilt shop owners globally.

The Fabric Shop Network encourages the public to visit their local quilt shops in person or online on Saturday. Check with your local quilt shop first for hours and times. Due to COVID restrictions, not all local quilt shops have been able to open their brick-and-mortar front doors again, and many are operating entirely online.

January is also National Hobby Month, and quilting is a great way to pass the time, especially at home during the pandemic.

“It’s something to keep their mind off of everything else,” Senchuk added.

Her favorite thing about quilting has been the cameraderie.

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“Stop on in, and we can show you anything you want,” Senchuk said.

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