Helen Weinman, Owner
765 Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Heartbeat Quilts in Hyannis has a motto: "Your Home Away From Home" and it
certainly lived up to the name when we visited the shop. Four of the eight part time
employees and equal number of teachers welcomed us into their shop. We were sorry we
couldn't visit with Helen Weinman, (she was "Off-Cape") but we did laugh quite a bit
with Helen's mother and the shop mascot, Max, a cute Bichon Frise.
Heartbeat Quilts has been in business for 14 years, 7 of
those years at this location. Helen actually started the shop in her home. The shop
is below a bank with the "front" door of the shop welcoming you with painted quilts
on the outside walls. With over 6000 bolts of fabric spread over 3500 square feet,
it was indeed a "Quilter's Heaven!" They also have a large web site, including
information on their tours, classes, quilt camps, guest teachers, and favorite
recipes (we quilters do like to eat, don't we?)
You could tell by the talk and laughter in the shop by
the customers, that this is a place you would like to spend a lot of time. Browsing
through all 6000 bolts of fabric could take you a very long time, plus you really
would have to come back many times to absorb all the wonderful fabrics and projects
on display. (Which certainly wouldn’t be too hard to do!)
The large classroom is just off the main sales floor, and
the walls are completely filled with wonderful quilts, many of which were examples
of their block of the month projects.
The "Walk Of Life" live auction of samples and quilts
was held at the shop, and the employees' participated in the 24-hour walk at Dennis-Yarmouth
High School. They pitched a tent, and were one of the teams participating in this
tag team walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This year Heartbeat
Quilts raised over $5000 during the event.
It is not unusual to have a busload of quilters visit
the shop, especially if there is a quilt show nearby. The shop was continually busy
while we were there. (and there wasn't even a busload there, nor a class going
on...just lots of quilters stopping by to shop!) We met 5 quilting friends from TN,
MA, VT, and RI who get together and have some great fun. They were in the Secret
Stash Room and giving "tours" of the Heartbeat Quilts restroom to see the glow
in the dark quilt hanging inside and great book covers covering the walls. Amongst
much laughter, they stopped so I could take their picture (shown at right) as they were picking out
their fabrics for their yearly challenge in the Heartbeat's. They also meet each
other at some quilt events, like the AQS Show in Paducah, and were all staying with
one of the group members' condo in Brewster. The group of women began their friendship
when they took a class from one of their members who now owns a quilt shop in Vermont.
Maybe when they finish their challenge we will be able to post pictures of their quilts
on our web site.
The Heartbeat's calendar is filled to the brim with many
events throughout the year. I counted at least fourteen blocks of the month! They
also have many specialty groups meeting regularly at the shop and also some fabrics
clubs. There is a:
- Crazy Quilt Club
- 2nd Saturday Demo Group
- Monday and Thursday groups from continuing classes: a time you can finish some of your UFOs.
- Baltimore Album Series
- Batik Stash Builders Club
- Fabric Pack-Of-The-Month Club
- Hoffman Collection Club
- Background Club
- Bali Club
Heartbeat Quilts also kits many of the patterns that are
pictured in The Quilter Magazine. Pictures of these quilt kits are on their web site.
Helen has designed one entitled Nantucket Rainbow that was featured in the November,
2003 issue. It is a clever and beautiful variation of a Trip Around The World design.
(Check it out!)
Our visit was over way too soon, but we left with cute
gift packages handed out to first-time visitors to the shop. (It had fabric in it!)
©2003 Dori Hawks