Cortez Quilt Co. has been named one of the top 11 quilt shops in North America by the Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler Magazine.
The magazine is published twice a year, and 20 shops are showcased each year between both issues, Cortez Quilt owner Karen Childress said. Cortez Quilt is included in the spring/summer 2017 issue, which is on newsstands now.
Childress said being recognized in the magazine is a huge honor.
“In the quilt shop industry, it’s like the Oscars,” she said.
Nine other shops are recognized from coast to coast across the United States, and another shop in Alberta, Canada. Shops are located in cities as large as Jacksonville, Florida and towns as small as Urie, Wyoming, with just a few hundred residents.
More than 3,000 quilt stores across the country are eligible to apply for the honor, Childress said. She submitted photos and information about her store to the magazine last year, and was notified that the Cortez Quilt Co. had been selected last fall. She opened the shop in 2011 after switching from a career in marketing.
The magazine sent a writer and photographer to the shop to write a feature on Cortez Quilt Co. for the magazine.
Some of the stores the magazine features are just a few years old, while others have been going strong for decades, Childress said.
“They want to see a store that’s both interesting and successful,” she said.
After magazine staffers told her she’d been chosen, Childress had three weeks to submit two original quilt designs, one of which would be included in the magazine, she said.
Even though she had limited time, Childress went the extra mile and sent in three designs, she said.
The design the magazine chose is called “Bejeweled.” It features an Irish Chain quilt pattern and combines jewel and earth tones. Childress describes herself as the “earth tone queen” in the magazine feature on her store.
The magazine also includes step-by-step instructions for quilters to recreate the “Bejeweled” design.
“I intentionally chose an easy-to-make design for accessibility,” Childress said of the pattern.
She attributed the success of her store to her 10 staff members, as well as the local customers who regularly come in to the shop.
“It’s not an easy business,” Childress said. “We have to have local support.”