SHELBYVILLE -- A local business will be featured in an upcoming issue of Quilt Sampler magazine after being selected as one of the top quilting shops across the country.
Main Street Quilt Company will be showcased in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue.
"It was really a lengthy application process," said Kate Laskowski, co-owner of the Shelbyville store. "We were really glad and excited to get picked. It was a dream come true."
The shop, located at the corner of Morgan and Main streets, is one of just 10 chosen to be highlighted in the bi-annual publication.
Laskowski said she's been quilting since 2000. After reading a fictional book that had quilters in it, she said she decided to give quilting a try.
"I just fell in love with the whole process of it," she said.
Since then, she has studied quilt-making in depth. As her passion grew, she and husband, Walter, opened Main Street Quilt Company in 2008.
Laskowski said that quilting has really changed over the years. She said there are online tutorials that have drastically changed not only how a quilt is made, but also who makes them.
"There are a lot of younger people getting into quilting," she said.
Main Street Quilt Company employs three and has six people who teach quilting classes from basic to advanced. For those interested in taking a class, a sewing machine is needed, as well as the basic supplies to get started, said Laskowski.
"One of our teachers, who is masterful, still takes classes. She says you can always learn something new," Laskowski said.
The Laskowskis purchased the former Corner Drug Store building on Shelbyville's main thoroughfare for their business. During the past seven years the couple has renovated and expanded into the next building, increasing the store's fabric inventory and shop offerings as they grew.
At Main Street Quilt Company, quilters can find a wide array of styles to suit virtually any preference, from traditional, to modern and contemporary.
"I like to design my own quilts," Laskowski said. "I write the patterns."
The patterns are self-published and sold in the store.
Also, she has made hundreds of quilts, finding them difficult to part with upon completion. She prefers to give them as gifts to family and friends, but finds it hard to sell them to people she doesn't know. She said with the many hours put into making them, she has a personal attachment to them.
Quilt Sampler, published by Better Homes and Gardens, has been profiling North America's top quilt shops for the past 20 years.
Quilt shops must submit a detailed application on their history, business promotions, charitable work, teaching schedules and design philosophies. A panel of quilt experts, led by Linda Augsburg, editorial content chief of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, narrows down the applications to 10 featured shops for each issue.
The names of the selected shops were kept under wraps until Jan. 2, and the shops will be officially unveiled at the spring International Quilt Market.
Nearly 3,000 quilt shops are eligible to apply. Main Street Quilt Company and the nine other shops selected this year were photographed and staffers interviewed by a team from Quilt Sampler, and a multi-page profile of the shop will appear in the issue to be available on newsstands on May 5.
In addition to her shop being featured, Laskowski was also asked to design an original quilt, make it and write the pattern to be included along with the shop's profile. Her quilt titled "In Perfect Harmony" is a queen-size pieced and machine appliquéd quilt featuring rich colors in a scrappy layout. A smaller sample of the quilt she designed is on display now at the shop and Laskowski is now taking orders for kits.
Chosen shops are inundated with visitors and requests for the shops quilt patterns and fabrics, something many surrounding businesses will also see the benefit from.
Laskowski said she appreciates the support of the Shelbyville community and credits the Shelbyville area as a component in the magazine's decision to include her shop as a Top Shop.
"Throughout this process I've learned the magazine's editorial staff looks at more than the quilt shop when selecting its Top Shops to feature," she said. "They looked at the whole picture of our location, nearby recreational opportunity and, of course, Main Street Quilt Company, and decided we made the cut as a Top Shop. I think that is something the whole area can be very proud of."