HOUSTON – It’s simple economics, when customers come to one downtown business to shop, all downtown businesses benefit.
Silly Whispers on the Square in Houston saw 17 women from the Scrappers Quilt Guild come to their store Monday to shop and take a quilting course. The group stayed to eat lunch in local restaurants, buy gasoline for the drive back home and pop in other downtown stores just to make sure they didn’t miss a sale or unique buy.
“Our members are from Starkville, Ackerman and Louisville and this is our first trip to Houston,” said Diane Rhyne, president of the Scrappers Quilt Guild. “We meet the second Monday of every month and while we don’t always go somewhere, that is one of the best parts of this hobby and being a member of our guild.”
Rhyne said the guild has 29 members and they routinely go to quilt stores in Columbus, Tupelo and in the Delta.
“We also have been to Paducah (Ky.), Pigeon Forge (Tenn.), Memphis and Birmingham,” said Rhyne. “We usually meet for breakfast and then get in our cars and go to the store or town we’ve picked out for the day.”
Members of the Scrappers came to Houston to – well, pick up scraps.
“We call this a merry-go-round,” said Anna Miller of Louisville. “We take these scraps of fabric, cut and fold them and hold them with a quick stitch and they are ready to put into a quilt.”
Miller and four others were busy practicing their skills in the back of Silly Whispers most of Monday morning.
“We love seeing groups like this come to our store,” said Linda Stevens, of Silly Whispers. “We usually try to hold a class or something to help them improve their craft.”
And Stevens said many come back on their own and often bring a friend.
“When a group like this comes to town they are here to have fun as well as shop,” said Stevens. “Yes, they do shop in our store first, but then they head out to see what’s in other stores in Houston and get a bite to eat.”
“And we like to eat,” said Sue Faircloth of Ackerman. “This is our first time to come to Houston, but we will probably be back in about six months to a year.”
Irene Rogers, of Nanih Waiya, said she is making a Civil War quilt with colors and patterns from that era.
“I bought a kit and I’m having to sew these little bitty pieces together,” said Rogers. “It takes a lot of time and I am looking for just the right pieces and want everything just right because I am going to give it to my grandson.”
Rogers said she has looked high and low and found what she wanted in Houston.
“I’ve already got 40 to 50 hours in this quilt,” said Rogers. “Quilting is my hobby and my craft. I’m glad we came to Houston and we’ll be back.”
Silly Whispers offers a wide range of cloth and both sewing and quilting accessories. The store at 109 East Washington also hosts a variety of sewing classes and quilting workshops for local hobbyists.