Fabric store to open in Orange City

Closet knitters and seamstresses will rejoice together at the end of April when Orange City’s newest quilting and craft store, Stitch Studio, opens. Orange City’s Chamber of Commerce is very excited about bringing in the new business, which is located in Hands Across the World’s old location on Central Avenue.

“I think it will bring some people from a wide area to OC and to shop downtown,” said Executive Director Mike Hofman. “It’s a demographic that will help Hallmark, the Ben Franklin and other artisan stores. The Stitch Studio is a good compliment to the others.”

The current co-owner Jenny Vogel began her career of sewing on her Etsy shop, Paisley Handmade, eight years ago. She met her business partner Kathy Fictorie, who has been an avid quilter for over 20 years. Their shared hobbies began a conversation of opening their own fabric store.

“I had started selling fabric online and was happy to see the response locally to some of the more modern selections I carried,” Vogel said. “Kathy and several of her friends also missed having a local shop where they could purchase high quality yarn for knitting and crochet projects.”

Northwestern has many students and faculty who are avid makers of such projects. Lydia Steenhoek, who has been known to crochet beautiful hats and doilies, is an enthusiastic supporter of making things.

“Making things is a necessary function of being human — whether we make music, pictures, relationships or scientific discoveries,” Steenhoek said. “To be made in the image of God means being made to make. The point is the process, not the product. The process gives joy to me, but the product can bring joy to others. It makes me feel useful and excited and challenged to make things in any medium.”

Long-time knitter Abby McCubbin is also very excited about the prospect of a new sewing store.

“Having a store in town is much better than having to travel to Hawarden, which has the closest one,” McCubbin said. “Because I don’t have a car, it’s difficult for me to try and get material. And I think the owner will be able to give good guidance on projects too. It will be different from a bigger store like Joann’s or Michael’s. Hopefully talking with the owner of the store it will be more of an educational experience.”

NW’s costume department will also be able to have easier access to fabrics. Usually they look online or have to make longer trips, but with Stitch Studio’s new location, designers now have a closer option for swatches. They don’t typically have a lot of bulk costumes to make, but it will be easier to get what they need for smaller casts.

“We hope that our store will not only be a place to find what you need to sew, quilt, knit or crochet,” Vogel said. “We hope it will be a community of crafters who will learn from each other and encourage each other to develop their gifts.”

Stitch Studio will carry many modern, good quality quilting fabrics and fabric for garment-making.

They also will carry yarn in varieties like wool, alpaca, bamboo, cotton and linen, which can be used for a variety of projects. Classes are available for all ages, from children to adults.

“We will be hosting events where people can come and work on projects together,” Vogel said. “The sewing and classroom area will also house four sewing machines for use during classes or to rent time on in case you don’t have a machine of your own.”

Stitch Studio encourages anyone who might be interested in starting a new craft to try it.

“There are so many benefits of learning a new skill, but nothing beats being able to say, ‘I made that myself!’” Vogel said.