Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cotton Patch -- Lafayette CA -- This Time with Pictures!

One thing you have to like about The Cotton Patch is that everyone gets the red carpet treatment here! Located at 1025 Brown Avenue in Lafayette (phone 925-284-1177), the store is overflowing with fabrics, notions, books and all other things that we have to have to pursue our craft.

With the big sale going on, I had to wander the store -- I found a few fabrics (well, nine) that leapt into my arms and begged to go home with me, especially since Carolie Hensley, owner of the Patch, shares my polka dot passion. I almost missed a bright orange background with dots of black, blue and a couple of other colors on it -- Carolie pulled it off the shelf and said, "You gotta have this!" I also found a green and purple large-scale floral print and a few of those blenders that we can't ever get enough of. And, of course, a couple of pink fabrics that I didn't have yet.

In case there's any doubt about what's in there, just look at the bright red sign! And there are always special sale deals out on the porch, half price patterns and fabrics that would make great quilt backs...

The area where I was doing demonstrations and answering questions yesterday was near the front door so I got to meet and greet and sew......this is Tara helping me clear some space for all of the stuff that I brought to work with.

Lots of fabrics and books; the cutting stations (I think I counted three, so there wasn't a long wait, even with the big sale) have 1/8 yard lines scored into them to make it easy to cut (with scissors, no rotary cutters and mats here) exactly how much the customers need.

Also got a chance to take a look at the new Bernette, a small lightweight machine to cart around to piecing classes. It's in the under $200 price range, which is a new market for Bernina.

The Cotton Patch has a detailed website,, where you can find more information about the shop, classes, special events and news, including the dates and percentage discounts of the current sale.

Carolie is also one of the founding partners of C&T Publishing, where some of our very best quilting books come from, including those by Alex Anderson and other well-known authors. I've also very much enjoyed the C&T Publishing blog, which has timely articles about different things going on in the quilting world. To see the blog, click here.


  1. My husband and I visited The Cotton Patch on Friday 10-8-10. I was very excited because my dentist recommended this store as one of the best fabric stores to buy unique fabrics. When we walked into the quaint little store we were met with a grimacing woman who immediately asked us what we were looking for. We said we just wanted to look around. This woman proceeded to follow us around the store and asked us 3 more times what we were looking for. After about 5 minutes we were so uncomfortable we left the store without looking at much of anything.
    Oh, and did I mention we are people of color?
    This was a very traumatic experience for us both. I felt as though we had traveled back in time about 50 years.

  2. I've read your comment several times and thought quite a lot about how to respond. Many of the quilt shops I feature on the blog are ones that I am in for just a day or two, either to teach or shop, but I have known the owner and employees of The Cotton Patch for over 15 years and I have to say that they feel the same way I do: That regardless of gender, color, etc., we are all quilters!

    I know that I am guilty of having been overeager to help someone in a shop, mainly because there is a great deal of joy in helping a customer find a book or pattern and then assembling the "ingredients" to create the project. We do get carried away when we see someone empty-handed because we KNOW there are probably at least 500 things in the store that we could get her started on!

    I spent all day at Cotton Patch today, sitting at one of the machines and free motion quilting. When I wasn't talking to people, I could clearly hear what employees were saying to the customers in the store. I heard inquiries, sometimes more than once to the same person, but none of it sounded offensive, nor was it taken that way.

    I definitely don't want to negate your feelings on this, but I truly think your experience could be chalked up to an abundance of enthusiasm rather than an attempt to offend. Please give them another chance.....

  3. I have worked at The Cotton Patch since 1998 as a teacher and as a sales associate. I haven't worked since last December due to carpal tunnel. Yesterday I returned for a trial day. I expected it to be slow, as that is how it has seemed each time I have come in to shop or when teaching a class. I was so busy I didn't get to catch up with the other gals. So perhaps it was a slow day. I know in the years I have worked there that what the customer felt was unfounded and I am truly sorry she felt that way. We as employees often get criticized for not giving the customer enough personal service. So maybe the employee was following orders to make sure she made contact with each customer and not to abandon them.

    I wasn't there the day the customer was shopping. I hope she will not penalize herself by the one experience because The Cotton Patch has knowledgeable, skilled, and helpful employees and we all feel so blessed to work in such a versatile shop. Her dentist was correct, we do have so much to offer and I agree with Paula, give them another chance...Quilter's Share a Common Thread Kerrydi


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