Eye candy! Organized by color, hundreds of bolts of cloth line the walls of Glad Creations. Pink sheep, yellow ducks, red kittens, brown owls, red bikes, multicolored license plates and - my fav - polka dots in a myriad of color combinations. Deep rich batiks and complex floral designs in the style of William Morris offer more elegant opportunities.
A fixture on the corner of 34th and Bloomington for 41 years, the store caters to quilters, locally and globally. Owner Nancy Raschka-Reeves and her sister Susan Dyer have developed original quilt patterns sold around the world. They pioneered a popular “mystery quilt” class (bring your own fabric – the pattern is a surprise). The classes attract people from across the Twin Cities. Patterns are sold as far away as Australia.
The tidy upstairs classrooms, outfitted with ironing boards and large worktables, also display original quilts. I lingered over one featuring a single hummingbird. Over 400 people annually fill those classrooms for classes, workshops and lecture/demonstrations. Some Saturdays, there’s a line out the door.
A rack of quilts made from Glad Creations original patterns presents another feast for the eyes. Books titled Angles With Ease or Six Is For Hexagon promise instruction for novice and advanced quilter. The secret language of quilters is hidden in tool merchandise. What does one do with the Tucker Trimmer or the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool? The shop also sells embroidery and sewing supplies including an inexpensive and useful leather thimble (easy on the finger).
Quilting speaks of tradition but, like any art, trends are noticeable to the initiated. Nancy observes, “Colors are brighter and flamingos have been big the last few years.” Yet the rustic Bear Mountain Cabin Quilt, an early shop original displayed in Minnesota woods colors, remains the most popular.
3400 Bloomington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407