17 Jul Member Spotlight – Stitches Quilt Shop
If you spend much time in Stitches Quilt Shop, you quickly learn that it’s not just a business – it’s a way of life. The McPherson Chamber of Commerce celebrated new owner Kaylan Martin with a ribbon cutting July 14th in a shop crowded with quilters, and Kaylan’s friends, family, and well-wishers.
During the ceremony, Kaylan was presented with a giant check representing the $45,000 McPherson County E-Community Loan she received June 30th. The McPherson Chamber facilitates this E-Loan Program and Committee in partnership with NetWork KS. The E-Community Committee has representatives from McPherson banks, entrepreneurs, lawyers, insurance agents and more to help loan recipients and connect them with other resources they might need to start and grow their business.
Since making her first quilt when she was just 11, Kaylan has had a passion for the craft. She went on to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University, where Kaylan discovered that engineering and quilting share similarities in critical thinking and creativity, making them complimentary pursuits.
Kaylan’s most complicated quilt to date took her seven months to complete. She made it as a display quilt for Stitches under Janet Yowell’s ownership.
When Janet, who opened Stitches in 2010, decided to retire, Kaylan, who had aspired to own a quilt shop for many years, jumped at the opportunity to buy the business in June. Kaylan aspires to grow the shop while keeping it at the high-quality level it was under Janet’s stewardship. Janet’s continued involvement as a teacher, friend, and mentor to Kaylan speaks to the strong bond they share.
A Friday Quilting Club gathers at the shop every week to spend the day quilting, having lunch, and enjoying each other’s company. Kaylan said it was women from this group who welcomed her when she first stepped into the shop.
“It felt like home the first day I came in here,” she said, “I come in here, and I just feel at home.”
If it’s up to Kaylan, the number of quilters in McPherson and the surrounding area will only continue to grow. She has expanded hours to stay open until 8 on Thursdays so people who work full-time have more opportunity to come in. She’s planning classes and has several different programs, including First Thursday Friendship Quilters at 5:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month when quilters show what they’ve been working on, have a demo and teaching segment, and a quilt block of the month.
Kaylan is preparing for Shop Hop taking place October 5-14, which entails quilters visiting 10 shops in 10 days. For more information about this event or anything else about Stitches quilt shop, stop in at 102 S. Main, call 620-241-2986, or visit their Facebook page. Be sure to check out the photos from the July 14th ribbon cutting.