ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Quilting store opens in Moorhead's Shoppes on Ten mall

Cheri Steenbock doesn't sell anything illicit, but she does feed a healthy addiction. Whether it's fabric, thread, batting or patterns, the owner of The Quilted Ladybug helps restock quilting stashes throughout the Red River Valley. "We call it a...

Cheri Steenbock doesn't sell anything illicit, but she does feed a healthy addiction.

Whether it's fabric, thread, batting or patterns, the owner of The Quilted Ladybug helps restock quilting stashes throughout the Red River Valley.

"We call it an addiction," said Mary Ann Waxler, membership chairwoman for the Quilters' Guild of North Dakota, during a tour at the Fargo quilt show.

"For some people, it's a life force. It's very relaxing. ... We're glad to see her back in business," Waxler said.

Steenbock opened The Quilted Ladybug Aug. 1 in Shoppes on Ten, a new strip mall on the south frontage road of Highway 10 in Moorhead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Previously, Steenbock ran The Quilter's Cottage in Fergus Falls, Minn.

The Moorhead location has generated a lot of traffic and she counts customers from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Manitoba.

"I just thought I needed to get back in it again," she said. "The quilting world is like a big family. Once they get to know you, it's like a family gathering."

The Quilted Ladybug packs a lot of material into its 1,200 square feet of floor space. The store stocks 1,500 bolts of fabric and has a small classroom space. Walls are covered with quilts created by Steenbock and customers.

"The quilting world is unbelievably active. There's all different ages," Steenbock said. "I just had a boy in here with his mom -- 10 years old --and he was so excited to be sewing a quilt. I asked him if he would like to hang it in the store when he was finished and he lit up like a light bulb!"

There are many fabric stores in the area, though just a few specialize in quilting, including: Ann's Custom Quilting and Quilter's Quarters, both in Moorhead and Designer Fabrics and Rae-Bon Sewing Center, both Fargo.

"I'm surprised at how many quilting stores there are," said Kim Baird, a past president of the Quilters' Guild. "Back in the '70s it was tough (to find a shop). Now, we've got so many choices, it's hard for us to make a choice."

Part of the quiet resurgence of the craft is due to technology: New cloth cutters zip through multiple layers of fabric and sewing machines have minicomputers for fast, ornate design work.

ADVERTISEMENT

"You can really whip through your work and get it done much faster," Baird said.

Nearly 20 million people over the age of 18 in the United States are quilters, according to the survey Quilting in America 2000.

About 6 percent of them are considered dedicated quilters -- an overwhelmingly female group (99 percent) with an average age of 55.

The survey, commissioned by Quilters Newsletter Magazine and International Quilt Market and Festival, found 15.1 percent of all households have a quilter, spending an average of $118.02 annually.

The survey estimated the total quilting market in 2000 at nearly $1.84 billion, up 51.6 percent from 1997.

Dedicated quilters spend the lion's share, about $1,556 each annually. That was $1.72 billion, or 94 percent of quilting sales in 2000.

Steenbock is helped by her daughter and a couple of part-time employees.

In addition to supplies, she offers classes for beginning to advanced quilters and will clear space for neighborhood quilting groups to meet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

"I've just so thoroughly enjoyed it," she said. "(But) an eight-hour day is nonexistent. ... They (customers) want people to see it. They want somebody's opinion. I think there's definitely a need for a personal contact type of thing."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
What To Read Next
Host Thomas Evanella talks with Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority CEO Chris Brungardt about new affordable housing and a look at projects on the horizon.
Check out our roundup of business news and updates.
In this week's Business Beat podcast, we hear about a renovated Hannaford, North Dakota, building and a bus service connecting Fargo and MSP airports.
Members Only
“This will be the biggest international market in North Dakota and South Dakota,” says John Huynh, co-owner of the downtown store.