High Bridge Quilting opens on Story Street in Boone
Cathy Byrd started sewing when she was 11 years old. She began by making clothes for her dolls, then moved on to clothes for herself, then later her six children. She always knew someday she’d like to take her hobby and turn it into a business.
High Bridge Quilting (its name a nod to Boone’s railway history) recently opened at 719 Story St. It specializes in longarm quilting, custom quilt, pillow and pillowcase orders and offers fabric and supplies. Whether you’re an experienced quilter looking for minimal assistance or a beginner needing to be walked through the process, Byrd is available to help.
She said that with people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in folks taking up quilting and sewing.
“I like to talk sewing. It’s always interesting to see the quilts that come in here. People are excited to share what they’ve been doing and I’m excited to see it,” she said.
A family business, Byrd is assisted by her daughter Debbie Foltz and granddaughters.
The storefront was previously a business called Something for You, owned and operated by Kathi Stirling. Byrd gained some experience working there.
“She taught me how to quilt and mentored and encouraged me," Byrd said. "That was about seven or eight years ago. It just seemed like there was a need for longarm quilting."
She and her husband Bill renovated the storefront. In the coming weeks, more and more fabric is slated to arrive.
Custom work is priced by the square inch. You can bring in your own batting and backing, or purchase them from the store. Byrd can also assist with binding around the edges.
One of her latest projects is helping to restore a quilt made during the Great Depression. Byrd noted that in many instances, customers are seeking ways of preserving or repairing a cherished heirloom.
She said she only sells high-quality fabric.
“If you’re going to make a quilt and go to all the effort, you want it to last,” she said.
A fashion that is trending in the quilting world is grunge fabric. It is first dyed and then printed on one side to create a textured appearance. People are also making quilts using T-shirts and jeans.
Over the decades, sewing machines have evolved — for better or worse. She noted how older models would be all metal and more durable than today’s plastic varieties.
“I have a 35-year-old machine that can go through anything, but it doesn’t have the walking foot and other things which help feed the fabric through nicer (like the ones made today have,)” she said.
Looking to the future, she’d like to hold classes and demonstrations at the store.
High Bridge Quilting is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday It may be reached at 515-432-2814 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the store on social media at highbridgequilting.com.