Quilting shop sees increased foot traffic after television commercial

Published 7:40 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

KIESTER — Being the butt of a joke isn’t always a bad thing, said Marcia Dahleen who works at Quilter’s Cottage in Kiester.

Unlike Dahleen, not all residents were happy with the town being featured in a Preparation H commercial almost two years ago, but she said the ad has been a huge benefit to the community.

“The Preparation H commercial has brought a lot of people to town,” she said.

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She said the store regularly sees customers who are just driving through the area and decide to visit the town. Once there, the travelers notice the small quilting shop on Main Street and the other businesses in town that have see an increase in patronage, too.

Customers weren’t that shy about driving to the store when it originally opened in Bricelyn about four years ago either, Dahleen said. After a year of being in Bricelyn, owner Connie Peterson realized that half of her customers were from Kiester and decided to move the store three years ago.

Quilter’s Cottage in Kiester features a gift shop, which includes items from various consignors. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

Staff such as Dahleen run the store for Peterson when she travels to Kansas, where she and her husband have a farm.

Along with carrying fabric and quilting supplies, the business also has an array of gift items from consignors including Abdallah Chocolates from the Twin Cities, and Herbal Beauty soaps and products by Sonja Anderson of Frost, who does rosemaling.

Dahleen said the store caters to quilters of all levels — advanced or novice. Quilter’s Cottage hosts classes, provides one-on-one classes for beginners and allows customers to call in and request times to participate in sew-ins. She said customers come from as far away as Albert Lea to use the back room for sew-ins, where they can bring in their sewing machines and quilting projects and work in a back room without the interruptions that come from trying to complete projects at home.

Staff are happy to help those who run into snags finishing their projects, but Dahleen noted Peterson is the person to confer with if customers would like help picking out a color palette for their quilts.

“She has such a good eye for color,” Dahleen said.

Quilter’s Cottage is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and by appointment.

For more information on Quilter’s Cottage, including class schedules, visit the business’s Facebook page.