Make us your home page
Instagram

Women turn hobby into business at Nana's Quilt Shop

BROOKSVILLE — Home sewing isn't dead. Proof can be found at Nana's Quilt Shop, where bolts of classic, artistic and whimsical fabrics abound and the shop's customer email list numbers nearly 2,000.

Passionate quilters of 20 years, Coleen Poole and Mary Russell made the transition from hobby to business when they opened their doors to the delight of local needleworkers nearly eight years ago.

The fabrics are 100 percent cotton and American-made.

"There's nothing like a good quality fabric; you can just feel it," said Poole.

Also tempting stitchers are sewing machines with the highest-tech bells and whistles, blank kitchen towels yearning to be embroidered, kits for sewing quilts and wall hangings, all kinds of fabric-cutting tools, sewing machine presser feet to ease every type of sewing, even 1,500-piece puzzles of quilting themes.

As one peruses quilts and pieced projects displayed on walls and hanging from ceilings, it becomes apparent that quilting's creativity today far surpasses your great-grandmother's stitchery. There's a lot more than squares, rectangles and circles; fussy-cut pieces create pictures, intricate embroidery emboldens and appliques engage.

"Ninety percent of our customers are quilters or embroiderers," Poole said.

Yet, she added, seamstresses buy the shop's fabrics for making clothing and items such as table place mats and handbags. Many enroll in classes at the shop, learning to redesign a sweatshirt or repurpose an old pair of jeans.

In the hardware department, their line of Brother sewing machines range beyond the mass-market models available in big-box and chain stores, Poole said, with such built-ins as computers, scanners, laser lights, long arms and up to 10 needles.

List prices top out at $15,000; lesser models as low as $99.

"We offer a lot of sales on good machines and offer financing," Poole said. "We give unlimited lessons on machines we sell."

Poole said they've sold a lot of top-of-the-line machines.

"A lot of young people buy because they want to start a business and sell on eBay or Etsy," she said. "You want the best tools to play the best game."

She added: "A lot of men, they love these machines, the technical part of it. You'd be surprised how many men love sewing and embroidery. They can be creative and not be out in a wood shop."

As for competing with bigger-name stores, Poole said, "You can go into 10 different quilt shops and find 10 different styles. Shops take on the personalities of their owners."

Having considered the variety of ethic groups and styles in Hernando County and noting fabrics with designs from fish and wildlife to contemporary rainbow batik that they carry at Nana's, Poole said, "If we have what they want, they'll shop here."

Poole, 63, and Russell, 61, have a staff of two part-timers and an authorized Brother service center technician, plus a handful of on-call experienced teachers.

Poole admits she was totally green when she and Russell started the business, not even knowing where to buy fabric wholesale. Hearing of a Midwestern textile maker, she called and described vaguely what she wanted.

"A semi pulled up, and I had no idea what I got," she said. "From there, it has grown."

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

>>fast facts

Nana's Quilt Shop

What: Cotton fabrics, sewing machines, tools, more

Where: 18851 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays

Information: (352) 796-0011; nanasquiltshop.com

. fast facts

Nana's Quilt Shop

What: Cotton fabrics, sewing machines, tools and notions, instructions

Where: 18851 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays

Information: (352) 796-0011; nanasquiltshop.com

Women turn hobby into business at Nana's Quilt Shop 05/14/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls

    Retail

    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
[JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
  2. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business

    Corporate

    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  3. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

    Business

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]