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Cloverdale Comments - November 2014


Cloverdale Comments - November 2014

by Carol Russell

Enchanting. Unique. Welcoming. Innovative.  

There just don’t seem enough adjectives to adequately describe Cloverdale’s beautiful new store, Bolt Fabric + Home, which had its ribbon cutting ceremony last month. 

On that day, standing among other excited, exploring customers I looked across the sales area through an open door leading to an arbor at the back of the building. A gentle breeze fluttered the leaves twined around its sturdy wooden beams while the autumn sun streamed soft, clean light into the interior space  through tall, wood-framed windows. 

Like everyone, I’m entranced. The colors and shapes on all the bolts of fabric that line floor-to-ceiling shelves. Inviting armchairs where folks sit and sew or just chat. New and century old, handmade quilts that grace every wall and rack. Tables displaying glassware, pottery and myriad decorative pieces. Surprises like the two reasonably priced, early 19th century, hand painted, gilt and ebonized mirrors. Happy voices exclaiming over each new “find”. An atmosphere in which customers and owners interact without sales pressure. The result is nothing less than one of the most remarkable, personalized and satisfying retail experiences to be found in Sonoma County--or elsewhere.  

About a year before, real estate agent David Barrett and his partner, home décor specialist Peter Rosson, purchased and then superbly renovated the circa 1880 Isaac E. Shaw Mercantile Building which is on the National Register of Historic Places and sits proudly next to the Cloverdale Historical Society complex. 

It’s no wonder that David’s multi-talented sister, Kate Barrett, who has two decades of experience in retail management on a national and regional level backed by a degree in art history and exhibition design, opened her new quilting and sewing focused business there with Peter focusing on home décor. 

A perfect addition to the cultural and creative core of our downtown, Bolt Fabric + Home is accurately  described on its very attractive website as “an inviting, interactive place to sit and sew/knit/crochet/quilt”. You’ll also find sewing-related books, notions, and even collectable Butterick and Simplicity patterns, along with that affordable but stand-out housewarming gift or perfect home decorating touch you’ve been searching for plus much, much more. You may even discover your hidden flair for sewing and/or quilting!

CLASSES (Or Bring Your Own Project—Really!)   

With modest prices, limited class sizes and a pleasant atmosphere in which to learn from fine teachers, practically everyone I know is either taking one of the intriguing classes offered or is planning to. That includes friends who, like me, definitely do not spring to mind whenever needle and thread (let alone sewing machines!) are mentioned. 

In fact, one friend who’s far more likely to sow a crop than sew a personalized make-up bag took a  class where she made a number of lovely yet practical holiday gifts. Yet another equally “Sewing? Unlikely!” lady pal has taken at least four classes already and also got me so interested, while relieving my fear of being really, really bad at it, that I’m seriously thinking of signing up. Stay tuned.   

Classes are available for all levels of expertise and interest from “Not-So-Plain-Vanilla Beginning Sewing”, wherein we’ll “conquer (our) fears of needles while creating fun products” like pillowcases and napkins, to a Natural Fabric Dyeing Workshop taught by the brilliant Lucy Diggs, whose work graces the shop’s walls, to quilting taught by renowned local artist Marge Gray, a founder of Clover Quilters whose members’ imaginative works are beloved by everyone attending the annual Citrus Fair.                                   

Last time I stopped in, there was even a class in progress under the arbor! Most remarkably, we’re invited to bring our own projects so we can enjoy working along with others in the specially designed sewing area where an 8” x 8” wall system also invites us to design a quilt.           

Recently a customer was overheard to exclaim: “I don’t know if it’s the place or the people--but it’s wonderful!” She added astutely: “It’s probably both.” 

And so it is. 


Bolt Fabric + Home, 219 Cloverdale Blvd.; For info. on classes, fabrics & more: 894-2658;; Open: Thurs. to Mon., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.