Perham's 'Quilt capital'reputation grows
By Louis Hoglund firstname.lastname@example.org One hundred shivering souls waited in line at dawn in cool temperatures and brisk wind; anxious and in great anticipation. Fishing opener at an East Otter Tail lake boat landing, as anglers wait to launch their boa...
By Louis Hoglund
One hundred shivering souls waited in line at dawn in cool temperatures and brisk wind; anxious and in great anticipation.
Fishing opener at an East Otter Tail lake boat landing, as anglers wait to launch their boats?
A line-up for Rolling Stones concert tickets on the first day of sales?
No. This was the scene along Main Street Perham May 15.
The crowd was lining up for the "Launch Party" at Bay Window Quilt Shop. The promotion marked the release of the new edition of the Better Homes and Gardens "Quilt Sampler" magazine--which profiled Bay Window as one of the 10 top quilt shops in North America.
Coffee was served at 6 a.m. as the crowd gathered in front of the store. This group of hearty quilt enthusiasts, some traveling from Fargo and elsewhere in the region, braved weather conditions that were colder than their fishing counterparts faced the morning of the opener three days before, on May 12.
Most were women, although there were a few men scattered among the throng. It was a considerably better looking assembly than the grizzled bunch that lined up at the Big Pine Lake public access Saturday. It was a middle-aged crowd, but even so, most were younger than the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger; and they had aged much more gracefully than Jagger's guitar sidekick Keith Richards.
Bay Window Quilt Shop is featured in the May 2007 Quilt Sampler issue from "American Patchwork & Quilting." In the quilting world, this is the equivalent of making the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine; or in the outdoors realm, a feature article in "Field and Stream" magazine.
The "Shop Hop" top ten list helps put not only Bay Window in the spotlight, but also the community of Perham. The nine page article featured the store and mother-daughter team of owner Sarah Hayden and Katie Henniger. The article's sub-heading reflects Hayden and Henniger's formula for success: "Don't let the laid-back, cheerful atmosphere of this shop fool you. Here is one family that knows its business."
The Perham area was promoted in a supplementary article that listed attractions like the Veterans Museum, area golf courses and the town's signature summer event, "Turtle Fest."
Full color photographs of the Bay Window store and a group shot of its 11-member crew were featured in the article. The ten shops profiled in the internationally distributed magazine were scattered from Washington state to Texas; Iowa to Georgia; as well as Pennsylvania, Ohio and a shop in Ontario, Canada.
Owner Sarah Hayden welcomed the crowd to Perham and the Bay Window Launch Party. The first 100 received a free Quilt Sampler tote bag at the launch party.
Several of the customers were dressed in pajamas, bathrobes and slippers--inspired by Bay Window's well-known promotions of offering discount pricing to early risers who shop in their bedroom attire.
It was one of several promotional days at the store. On Thursday, May 17, it was a clearance sale. On Saturday, there will be samples of homemade treats from the "Bay Window Quilt Shop Cookbook," which will be on sale for the first time. The local cookbook features recipes by the Bay Window crew and their families, and is in a loose-leaf binder format--so recipes can be easily added in the future.
Bay Window is not only a retail store, but sells quilt merchandise globally through its web page, baywindowquiltshop.com. At the store, more than 4,500 bolts of fabric, including over 800 bolts of flannel, are displayed. Bay Window has 5,000 square feet of space, on two levels, in a building Hayden's grandfather built nearly a century ago. Bay Window was established in the building in 1989.