The first story about a quilt is the colour, pattern and size that the quilter chooses. The second part of the story is why the quiltmaker made it and who it is for. Most quilters make their quilts with someone or some occasion in mind. Is it for a baby shower or someone's wedding? Maybe it's a comfort quilt for someone who is sick. If you take the time to ask a quilter about their quilt, you may be surprised at the story that fabric creation has to tell!
Call it fate, destiny, life path...whatever you call it, it touched this rural Saskatchewan woman, and she listened.
Christa Marcotte's love for sewing started when she was about 8. She hated bell-bottom pants and decided to alter her pants. She successfully converted those bell-bottoms to straight legs.
She continued to dabble in sewing and creating her clothes from that point on. In the early years of her farm life, she expected her firstborn, and the nesting instinct kicked in. She was going to make him a quilt. Knowing nothing about quilting, she decided to make an Ohio Star quilt, not realizing anything about the intricate complexities of making one. She just saw a picture and ran with it. She ordered her first rotary cutter, mat and Omnigrid ruler that day (from the back of the Western Producer), and never looked back.
"I love to see what I can do with fabrics to make them do the work in a quilt," shared Marcotte. "Painters use paint on a canvas; I use fabric and thread."
Her love for quilting grew, and so did her quilting network. She travelled with other quilting friends to shows like International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois, and made little road trips with her quilting group, The Block Party Guild.
In 2002 an idea took seed. Her friend started a business as a Long Arm Quilter (custom quilting for other quilters). Christa decided to start carrying some high-quality battings and backings that could be purchased when the tops were sent to be quilted up. It blossomed from there.
Right then and there, her passion became her business. It was hard to access quilt supplies such as fabric, notions and batting in rural Saskatchewan. She saw the need, and I went for it.
Second Story Quilting opened officially in 2002 and has been growing ever since. Christa's son Justin helps with marketing and handling the shop when needed, while her husband helps with deliveries and even cuts fabric.
This part of the story is so unique; we are sure it's where destiny takes hold and confirms that her path is the right one.
Christa and 23 quilter friends hired a travel agent to organize a trip of a lifetime to Bali, Indonesia. This trip was different. They went to see the process of making Batik fabric. Batik is 100% tight woven cotton hand-dyed with beautiful colours and patterns. There is no right or wrong side to this fabric.
They visited many shops, and it was a cultural experience! But it was with one small shop that made Christa feel like a kid in a candy store. The prints were exquisite and precise and pieces of art unto themselves.
On the plane back home from Bali, she knew she didn't purchase enough there and planned to find the shop owner to import his product.
Fast forward through three years of searching and three years of trying to connect with the shop owner. And pause when she was scrolling through Instagram and saw a quilt shop that she follows in Australia, who shared a photo of Batik fabric from her favourite shop in Bali.
With the assistance of that Australian Quilt Shop owner, her first box of Batiks was on its way. It was unboxed and sold live on Facebook on Second Story Quilting.
Just last week, she unboxed her fifth box of imported Batik fabric for her shop. It will sell quickly, and she will order more and make beautiful quilts that we will all treasure for years to come.
Christa recently participated in the Destination Creation Course. She has plans to partner with some of the course participants in creating quilting trips and pop-up shops in the coming future. Her shop is continually growing and looking for new and fun projects to make and inspire other quilters, young and old! She carries a wide selection of Widebacks, Quilter's Dream Batting and Indonesian Batiks.