I went with my mom on our monthly lunch date to Bay Quilts the other day. It is a new quilt shop in El Cerrito. I have been wanting to go there for awhile and this visit was the first chance I had gotten. I was really pleased that Mom didn’t mind driving all the way over there. We always have fun together. I love this shop! This is a really great shop.
They have a fabric shop, but also a workshop loft and art gallery. This shop is owned by Sally Davey, the woman who used to own New Pieces. There are similarities in the look, but also distinct differences.
The space is large and open. The ceiling is high and customers can see into the loft above. The displays are really great – fresh, new and not quilt-like at all. One display was a Wonder Woman dress made from a Simplicity pattern. I wanted to modify it into an apron. It was a great idea.
The thing that made me really laugh was the wagons. They will loan customers wagons to pull around the shop and fill up. I love this. I think it is dangerous to not have to carry 10 bolts around the shop, but I also think it is a great idea.
There were two gallery areas set up. One was a wall area with quilts hanging and the other was a rounder with art dolls displayed. They were whimsical and detailed and gorgeous.
I really liked all of the dolls, but the mermaid was a special favorite. I might just be another girl in on the mermaid craze, but I really like that tail. Look at the curve in that tail!
If you have never made a doll, you will have no idea how hard it is to achieve. When I made Red and Coral for my niece I thought the straight legs and arms were difficult enough. I have a lot of respect for this artist.
The quilt gallery show was interesting as well. The quilts reflected some of the political news phenomena happening: Black Lives Matter, 45, terrorism and other things we all dislike seeing on the news right now.
The best part of the whole shop was the fabric. Hands down, no question. I loved the fabric. I saw fabric that I have not seen anywhere else. some of it I had heard about and some not. they had a good selection of super hero, Star Trek and Star Wars. I also saw the new Anna Maria Horner and a huge selection of Japanese fabric. The best of all was the huge, HUGE selection of Philip Jacobs prints. Yes, I bought some for another tunic or two.
I did like the way they described what was on each aisle as well. For example, there was a section of reproduction prints. The group looked really out of place IMO with all the other fabrics, but I know the owner is marketing to all segments – something for everyone. I thought ‘Vintage & Worldly’ was a great way to describe this aisle.
Clearly, the owner has thought about the business a lot. This is not just your stereotypical quilt store. There were a carefully selected group of notions, not just the same old Dritz items that quilt stores can get from distributors.
She has a lot of books, which I know is a hard path to travel with Amazon being so easy. The shop offers discounts on purchases, which is an incentive since you can have the book right then, even if you could get it in 2 days for cheaper from Amazon. Buy local!
There were a wide range of 108″ backs, different substrates and some absolutely luscious silks. If I had seen these a few months ago, I would have had more than my little black dress to choose from for NSGW events.
I bought a small pack of them just to have some of the colors. If I have ever make that silk quilt I planned, I will use them.
The shop also has quilts for sale! That is something I have never seen in the quantities at Bay Quilts. There was a lot of beautiful work at reasonable prices. If you need a gift, this is your savior.
5327 Jacuzzi St, Ste 3-C
Richmond, CA 94804
Tel: (510) 558-0218