Williamstown quilt shop closing

WILLIAMSTOWN – The Woolen Willow Quilt Shop, in business for 10 years, is closing, the owners announced.

Sisters Jenifer Gaston and Gretchen Smith have owned and operated the award-winning fabric and wool store in Williamstown since June 2004.

The two also own The Painted Cupboard, and publish an international quilting magazine, “Primitive Quilts and Projects,” with their sister Judy Williamson.

“The time has come to focus our efforts on growing the magazine business. We’re a little jealous of our sister, Judy, as she recently retired from the Public Debt in order to devote her full-time attention to ‘Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine,'” Gaston said. “Gretchen and I feel that we should make the same commitment.”

Primitive Quilts and Projects employs Gaston’s and Smith’s daughters and the sisters’ parents.

The two are continuing to operate The Painted Cupboard and invite primitive and antique vendors to apply for space.

The store will expand its gifts and home decor lines, Smith said.

“The plans are to fill the current quilt shop area, and expand into other areas of the building,” she said.

It was not an easy decision to close the quilt shop, Gaston said.

“Although this prayerful decision to close The Woolen Willow is a very heavy and emotional one, we know it’s the right thing to do. I will still be having regular open craft nights and sewing days at my home for our wonderful, longtime friends – can’t give that up,” said Gaston. “Change can be good, and we’re actually excited for the two businesses that remain. The opportunities are endless.”

Gaston will continue designing and distributing her quilt patterns and is working on her first book. She will fill a booth in The Painted Cupboard with hand-dyed wool and possibly other supplies.

The two, along with sister Sally Cox, will continue to host retreats during the year, and the possibility exists for maintaining an Internet presence.

The Woolen Willow will begin closing on Monday.

“We’ll make this a very quick and fun process, including contests and door prizes. We invite the community to visit often over the next month and take advantage of discounts on all quilt shop inventory and most fixtures,” said Smith. “It will be exciting to see how we’re growing and changing in The Painted Cupboard you’ll be likely to see some walls going up and coming down.”

The quilt shop’s final day will be April 30.

The Woolen Willow and The Painted Cupboard, 304-375-WOOL (9665), are at 901 Highland Ave. next to Napoli’s Pizza. Additional parking is available behind the building, as well as along adjacent city streets.

Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.