SEQUIM — There’s a saying among some quilters that seems to fall somewhere between wisdom and a wisecrack: It’s cheaper than therapy.
With materials, equipment and sweat equity involved in a good quilt, Nicole Driggs muses, it’s really not cheaper. But connecting the colorful patterns together — and the emotion that goes into each one — is a lot like therapy itself, she said, something a person can do on their own to work through dark times.
“That’s the thing: it’s something you can do on your own, especially during COVID,” she said.
Driggs’ passion for quilting and a long-standing dream to have her own quilt shop came to fruition on Tuesday with A Stitch In Time Quilt Shoppe, a store catering to the particular brand of fiber arts officially opening at 225 E. Washington St.
The location — the former site of Sequim Dry Cleaning & Laundry, adjacent to Habitat Sequim Boutique Store and across the street from The Co-Op Farm & Garden — is what Driggs was looking for when she took over Karen’s Quilt Shop, after the owner’s retirement.
“I did want to try to find something on main street, for walk-in traffic,” Driggs said.
The mostly bare building provided a kind of empty canvass for Driggs, family and coworkers to paint, bringing in an array of colorful bolts of fabric to line the hardwood-floored retail space and leaving ample room for two large classrooms.
“It’s like a clean slate,” Driggs said.
The goal is to offer workshops and classes as health guidelines and space allows.
“I envision this as more of a space together,” she said. “That’s part of the therapy, is being together.”
Driggs grew up in Utah but spent the past decade-and-a-half or so in Arizona. A lifelong appreciator of quilts, she recalls as a child attending quilting bees, finding room underneath the group quilt to play. She made her first quilt for her now husband, Adam, back in high school.
It’s only been in the past four or five years, however, that Driggs has fine-tuned her own quilting skills. A brief sojourn back to Utah brought her to work at a quilt shop: “That’s where I properly learned to quilt.”
Driggs and her husband are no strangers to the Pacific Northwest, however; Adam is an avid fisherman, Driggs said, and the two spent some time searching for a home along the coast. The couple bought a home in Sequim three years ago.
“I’m more of a green, cold weather person,” Driggs said.
Driggs said she was looking for a sign about her hopes to own a quilt shop — “We don’t need two quilt shops in Sequim,” she said — when, in September, the owners of Karen’s Quilt Shop retired.
Now Driggs is set to be Sequim’s primary quilt supplier; those items and fabrics she doesn’t have on stock she hopes to help customers get at quilt shops on the North Olympic Peninsula if possible.
Last week, Driggs and family members were busy putting some final touches on the new digs, with warm messages sprinkled among the wide swaths of bursting color.
“This is our safe place, a happy place, a welcoming place,” Driggs said.
For more about A Stitch In Time Quilt Shoppe, see astitchintimequiltshoppe.com or call 360-504-2183.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected]