We got to meet Lana, the owner of Quilt’n’Things Fiber Arts, at QuiltCon a few months ago in Pasadena as one of our local quilt shops in the area, and as part of a new blog series we’re going to tell you a little bit about one of our stockists!
As the name implies, Quilt’n’Things Fiber Arts is more than a quilt shop; it’s a
vibrant store that celebrates a variety of textile arts: quilting, knitting, garment
sewing, embroidery, felting and more. As customers walk in the door they are
bathed in color, texture, ideas and inspiration. Cubbies are filled with plant-dyed
wool batts for needle and wet felting. Woolens are displayed in vintage library
cabinets. Colorful yarns accent the vibrant bolts of designer fabric. Cotton + Steel is
a big feature at the shop where customers can find an array of their fabric, collector
fat quarter boxes, and special edition sewing machines.
The store, primarily a destination spot for quilters, has been in the quaint Montrose
Shopping Village for decades. Owner, Lana Norton, took over the shop a year and a
half ago and has been modernizing and revitalizing the space. Her vision is for a
local shop that’s a hub for fabric and fiber arts enthusiasts.
Lana’s love for textile arts was kindled by her mother, who taught her all of these
traditions. She remembers knitting slippers for Christmas gifts, spending summers
sewing halter tops (yes, it was the 70’s!), and learning how to quilt from her mom.
Her interest in traditional Asian textiles, especially block prints, came from her
father’s Indian heritage.
With a museum background and prior profession as an art historian, this shop
owner sees her role as, not only selling merchandise, but also promoting designers
and textile artists. Each month her shop is exhibiting the current work of a featured
textile artist, designer, or design group. Her current line-up includes Laural Arestad
of Simply Put Plus in April, Vanessa Christenson of V & Co in May, and a special Asian Fusion month in June. Cotton + Steel’s Kim Kight will be September’s featured designer, and the shop will be hosting a “Material Girl” weekend with Kim
September 28-30. Keep your eye on the Quilt N Things website for more
Exhibiting a significant cross section of a designer’s body of work along with their
fabric lines is Lana’s new focus. Having the shop full of quilts and handmade items
by an individual or collective, not just one of their projects here and there, offers
customers more inspiration and possibilities. It also gives artists and designers a
stronger presence in a retail space.
And speaking of artists, Mary Ellen Sakai, one of the most talented and prolific
quilters in Southern California, works and teaches at the shop. Lana’s “Rock Star
Quilter” (as she calls Mary Ellen) has been working and teaching locally for almost
30 years now. A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, she’s
brilliant in collage, improvisational quilting, and traditional styles and techniques,
all of which she teaches at the store. Mary Ellen can effortlessly design a quilt, and
has made some fun projects with Cotton + Steel lines.
Customers who can’t stop by the shop can buy on-line through the website.
However, Quilt’n’Things Fiber Arts prides itself on being a local brick-and- mortarstore that offers inspiration, community, and classes. Quilters, sewists, hand-
stitchers, knitters and felters, and can find a variety of products and classes from
which to choose. Thursday Night Knit-Alongs, Block-of- the-Months, and Beginning
Quilting are regular features at the shop along with other design or skills-based
workshops. Customers are always greeted with a friendly smile and listening ear.
Because so much of consumer purchasing is happening on-line, community spaces
for creating and gathering are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Lana’s desire is
to keep these places, traditions, and artists alive and thriving.
Quilt’n’Things Fiber Arts is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm; evening hours
Thursdays 5-8pm. 2411 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose CA 91214. 818-957- 2287. email: qntfiberarts [at] gmail [dot] com instagram : qntfiberarts