Best Shops for Crafters | The Best in New England
Brister PhotoSparking the desire to create is what Debra Immergut and Nicole Blum love to do. In their book, Improv Sewing, and blog, Improv Diary, the two friends and colleagues from Massachusetts encourage even avowed “I’m not crafty” types to get in touch with their inner makers. Here, they share their picks for the best shops for crafters — the places to go for gathering inspiration, supplies, and the courage to craft with abandon.
Earth & Tree Dollhouses & Miniatures
Unassuming from the outside, this shop boasts rambling aisles stacked with diminutive versions of everything from pizzas to sofas. The ambitious among us can buy or build a whole house. But this place will delight scrapbookers, collage artists, and jewelry makers, too; with a coat of glitter paint, that mini-chandelier could look great hanging from somebody’s ear. 276 Route 101 #1, Amherst, NH. 603-673-8707; earthntree.com
Packed with an array of gorgeous fabrics, yarns, tools, and kits, this place offers crafters one-stop shopping for hands-on creativity. The friendly staffers are glad to offer guidance, and the beautiful studio space hosts workshops for novices and veterans presented by the crafting world’s big names. You won’t leave empty-handed or without a million ideas for things to make. 370 Broadway, Cambridge, MA. 781-775-9504; gatherhereonline.com
Founded in 2002 as a pop-up shop, Craftland has occupied a bright storefront space for four years and is a mainstay of Providence’s creative crowd. With works by 100 artists from New England and beyond, there’s plenty to set a would-be maker’s mind abuzz, plus classes and an annual holiday show featuring 75 additional artists (November 29–December 31). 235 Westminster St., Providence, RI. 401-272-4285; craftlandshop.com
Denyse Schmidt Studios
Housed in a former textile factory, this space is ground zero for the modern quilting movement, which uses bold colors and improv piecing to shake up a traditional art. Fabric designer and quilter Denyse Schmidt and her staff lead workshops for all skill levels—and then there’s the legendary sample sale, which has given rise to a day of studio sales throughout Bridgeport. This year’s is set for November 9–10; don’t miss the chance to pick up Schmidt’s fabrics and see her stunning creations. Visits during sales, workshops, or by appointment. 1069 Connecticut Ave., Suite 4-401, Bridgeport, CT. 203-335-2719; dsquilts.com