A quilting destination

Published 12:33 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lori Richardson, owner of Cotton Fields Quilt Shop, shows off some bolts of material Tuesday at her shop west of Washington. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Lori Richardson sells everything from feed-sack-type cloths reminiscent of the 1930s to more modern fabrics from Asia and Indonesia.

She teaches beginning quilters and old hands alike, and she makes her own patterns.

Richardson does all this and quite a bit more at Cotton Fields Quilt Shop, 3751 Wharton Station Road, west of Washington.

“The difference between my fabric and the other fabric stores around is that I do carry the high-end cotton, 100-percent cotton,” she said. “In fact, the salesmen have lines that they only show to quilt shops that are guaranteed not shown in chain stores.”

Richardson acknowledges her shop is a little off the beaten path.

But, she indicated, her customers know how to find her.

“Quilting is a destination shopping,” she said. “They’re not going to walk through the mall and just see something and say, ‘Oh, I feel like going in there and quilting today.’”

A member of quilters’ guilds in Rocky Mount, Greenville and Washington, Richardson takes advantage of networking opportunities through her store’s website and Facebook pages, and through her blog, http://talkischeapquilts.blogspot.com.

And she travels to six regional quilt shows each year.

“I’m reaching out as much as I can,” she said.

She owns the store with her husband, Rick. Originally from Iowa, the couple moved to Washington in 1985. That’s when Lori Richardson picked up the art of quilting with the help of the Pamlico River Quilters’ Guild.

“They deserve a lot of credit,” she said.

The twosome purchased the store in 2004.

Passing on the quilting tradition is important to Richardson, who conducts classes at her shop, a converted mobile home set on a broad expanse of property in a rural community.

“Since there aren’t many choices around here, I try to carry a good selection,” she said.

Her customer base is drawn from New Bern, Greenville, Williamston, Washington and other locations, perhaps proving Richardson’s contention that quilters know where to go for the things they need.

Cotton Fields is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call the store at 252-948-0372 or visit www.cottonfieldsnc.com.

If you’d like to nominate a Beaufort County-based business for BizLine, call 252-946-2144, ext. 230, or email jonathan.clayborne@thewashingtondailynews.com.