In Stitches: Quilt shop finds 'home' in new location

Photo by Rebecca Long

Photo by Rebecca Long

In a little white house along West Third Street in Jackson, Jan Curry and her daughter are hoping they have found a pattern for success.

Curry, of Rex, and her daughter, Lisa Lauderback, of McDonough, run The Gardener's Quilts. Curry owns the shop while Lauderback operates it.

The arrangement represents a reversal of roles for the pair, which has been in business together for more than a decade.

Until 2005, Lauderback ran a flower shop from the quilt shop's old location, at 237 East Third Street. One day, Curry hung a few items she'd made on the walls of the flower shop, where she helped out, and customers began to notice.

According to the mother-daughter team, when it became apparent there was more interest in the quilts than flowers, the business reformed as The Gardener's Quilts.

"We were sitting, staring at the walls one day, and mother said she wanted to hang some of her finished pieces on the wall and I said go ahead and do it," Lauderback said. "Before we knew it, people started coming in and wanting the quilted items."

The Gardener's Quilts moved earlier this year from its roughly 1,500-square-foot store to the house at 658 West Third, which Lauderback said is about 1,800 square feet and offers a kitchen and room for off-street parking. Lauderback said the house is more suited to their type of business, in that it allows them to decorate individual rooms and organize fabrics by material and pattern.

It also makes coming to work feel more like home, she said.

"We feel at home here," Lauderback said. "We don't feel like we're at work. We feel like we're at home. It's wonderful."

The art of quilt making has been something Curry has practiced for 35 years, and a craft that she passed on to her daughter. Curry, 69, said she took up quilting while living in Charlotte, N.C., raising a family and making her daughters' clothes. Looking for a way to make use of fabric scraps, she said she took a quilting class and was "hooked from day one."

"It's one of those things, you either love it or you don't," she said.

The Gardener's Quilts attracts quilters from throughout the area, many associated with quilting guilds.

On Monday, several members of the Helpful Friends guild were at the shop, on what one member called a "field trip."

"I like to come up here because everything that she [Curry] has is different than the shops that are closer to me," said Rex resident, Marilyn Speak, a member of the guild. "Each shop has a personality of its own."

In addition to fabrics of various materials and patterns, the shop sells sewing supplies, pattern books, and quilt kits. The shop also hosts classes on quilting and appliqué, and Curry said it will offer a class on rug hooking in June.

"You can make chair pads, you can make pillows, you can do anything with it," Curry said. "It's mainly for decoration."