Quilt Shop Review: Modern Domestic

Modern Domestic
Modern Domestic

Last weekend I went to Portland to visit the YM and attend his last concert of the year.

As a college student, he is busy and was even busier last weekend, because he was working on the tech crew for a play. We slid in little visits here and there and had a good time when we could.

I could have spent time with him Friday afternoon, but instead I went fabric shopping with Amanda. She has recently moved to the Portland area and was free to tour me around. We were able to catch up, talk about books and had a great time.

I missed Modern Domestic on my last visit and had heard a lot of about it. I was very glad to get a chance to take a peek. The store was buzzing with activity. There were about four people working, a class or worktime going on in the back and a few customers.

Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom

I really liked the aesthetic of the shop. Very white walls, wood accents and lots of light and windows. There was a pleasing mix of old an new as well. The hop had an old fashioned mercantile type display case housing Bernina feet.

Everything was neat and orderly and the displays were simple, yet well done. I would let whoever designed the look and feel come and design my workroom. In fact, I would be happy to take over Modern Domestic as my workspace! The owner might have a problem with that and the commute would be daunting. 😉

Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm
Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm

Around the edges of the store was a wide variety of closely curated modern fabrics. When I say closely curated, I mean that they did not have ALL the modern types of fabrics, but the ones they did were excellent and definitely fit in with the overall aesthetic of the shop. One type of modern fabric I did not see was text fabrics. There were a few Carolyn Friedlander map fabrics (Architex??? line), but few, if any, text fabrics. I was looking for them for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.

Their solid of choice was Kona, though I did see a few Cloud9 bolts as well. No American Made Brands that I saw. Kona does have the most colors available. I just wish they would address the looseness of the weave. Don’t you love their display with heart balloons?

Modern Domestic: FQs
Modern Domestic: FQs

There were also quite a few fat quarters displayed. The shop had a handy cabinet that had to be made for the purpose (or the shop was VERY lucky). Each square could hold about 12 fat quarters.

While they had a lot of fat quarters, they looked like end of the bolt fat quarters. I didn’t see much of their new fabric in the fat quarter bins. I did notice a lot of FQ bundles around with current fabrics. I was tempted by one, but decided on a couple of cuts from favorite prints instead.

There were hanging notions and tools as well (see FQ photo, the section on the right). I liked the way they were displayed, because I could see them all without rummaging.

Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm
Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm

The shop sells Bernina sewing machines, so a lot of the floor space is taken up with various models. The inventory included a Bernina sit down midarm. They also rent longarm time on a different machine- a Gammil, I think, but I didn’t look closely.

Modern Domestic: Bernina machines
Modern Domestic: Bernina machines
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom

They sold cabinets as well. Amanda and I stood and admired the one near the thread for awhile. The cabinet could hold one of the large throated Berninas, so the main part was quite large. It appeared to be all wood and slightly higher than a regular sit down cabinet. The chair was definitely bar stool height. We wondered if one could stand and sew at it? Also, we wondered where the foot pedal would be placed.

Several BAMers have placed their machines so they can stand and sew. Some of them have health issues that make this a better options and others have space issues. I have been thinking of how my body would like standing at the machine.

Modern Domestic: Notions
Modern Domestic: Notions

I loved the way they showed the notions. I was sometimes confused on the pricing of fabrics and various items, but not the notions. Everything was clearly laid out and labeled, which was really a nice change. I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing the rotary cutters outside of the package or feeling the webbing.

I was also pleased to see that the shop went beyond the “standard offering” of notions that one sees in many shops. This area was closely curated as well.

Everything was very tidy as well. No piles of anything anywhere I could see.

I don’t remember seeing books and magazines, except for the first issue of Quiltfolk, which was on the counter. I am sure they had some and I just missed them.

I didn’t get the “quilt shop” feeling at this shop, whatever that means. I felt like I was in a working studio.

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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