Notion to Quilt closing for good

  • Becky and Lenny Stratton will close their shop, A Notion to Quilt, after 14 years. Recorder photo/Diane Broncaccio

Recorder Staff
Thursday, June 15, 2017

SHELBURNE — After 14 years of selling sewing machines, fabric and quilting services, A Notion to Quilt will be closing its doors in late August.

The shop will be gone, but owners Becky and Lenny Stratton will continue providing sewing machine repair, scissor sharpening and long-arm machine quilting from their home. Also, they’ll still host a weekend quilting retreat in February and the classes at the shop will continue through July.

“We’re semi-retiring,” said Becky Stratton. “Our building is for sale — we don’t own it — and it’s time. Running a small business is not easy these days, with all the online shopping.”

“The world is changing,” she said. “The online business has made a big impact, not only on sales, but also on classes. So that’s taken a chunk.”

Since 2004, the shop has been a go-to place for quilters and crafters. The store usually carries about 4,000 bolts of fabric, along with threads of all types and colors, patterns, sewing notions and lots of “samples” to inspire quilters.

Since the closing announcement, the shop has been offering discounts on fabric, many patterns and notions.

“We had a good 14-year run,” said Becky Stratton. “We love our customers and we’ve had a good staff. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”

Besides holding classes and quilting exhibits, the shop has given away thousands of quilts and quilted items to social agencies. Handmade pillow cases were donated to Conquer Cancer and the Shriners Hospital; small quilts went to the state Department of Children’s Services, to the elderly in the Franklin County Sheriff Office’s Triad program and to chemotherapy patients. Also, place mats have been made and given to Meals on Wheels for customers, and fabric tote bags that fit on walkers were donated to nursing homes.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and brought to our community,” said Becky Stratton. “The planned date of closure is Aug. 20, unless (the building sale) happens first.”

The store began in a smaller storefront on Deerfield Avenue in Shelburne Falls before it moved to its current location, which was more spacious and had more parking.

For five years, Metaphor Yarns shared a retail space in the Notion to Quilt building, but its owner closed that yarn shop in 2014. She also said online shopping had affected shop sales.

Besides running the quilting shop and sewing machine service, the Strattons are locally renown as “Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.” Lenny Stratton doesn’t need a fake “Santa” beard, as he’s been growing his beard, now white, since 1980.

They are the “Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus” that preside over Santa’s Workshop each year at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls and elsewhere. The couple has also done “Santa” work at the Yankee Candle Co., at house parties, and for worthy causes. Their Santa work will continue, they say.

Quilters can still see the Strattons this year at the Vermont Quilt Festival and the Bayberry Quilt Show.

A Notion to Quilt is located at 623 Mohawk Trail. For more information, call 625-9644.