The Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile is easy to get to, right off the I-205 freeway (or turnpike for you East Coast folks). It is located in one of the more attractive strip malls I've seen. There is plenty of parking right in front of the door. In fact, I was standing right next to my car when I took the picture above.
The shop (or shoppe, if you prefer) is positively beautiful inside. I was almost mad at them when I saw this Christmas tree, but then realized it is all decked out for Valentine's Day with heart-shaped ornaments. Very pretty. Being a quilt shop and "mercantile", the store is loaded with fabric and lovely gifts for the home. They tended to specialize in dark civil war and muted vintage prints, and the store was loaded with them. If that style of quilt is to your liking, you will love this store.
Here is a good example of the sort of fabrics and gifts they stock.
There is fabric everywhere you look. The very back of the store has some brighter colored fabrics, however there was very little in the way of whimsy or novelty prints, which are my preference.
It truly is a lovely store with beautiful quilts on display, lots of patterns and books, lovely gifty items for someone special, and a good stock of Jim Shore ornaments and knickknacks. It is tastefully decorated and lovingly maintained.
Here's what I didn't like about it. First, I am put off by merchants who start bossing me around with a list of rules before I even get through the front door. This greeted me before I could take the first step up.
No this, no that, and definitely, no having fun. They posted it on this little chalkboard, and then again twice on the door less than ten feet away, with the "No" a little too enthusiastically applied. The only thing missing here are the words, "And We Really Mean It!"
These sorts of things tend to bring out the rebel in me, however. In an act of civil disobedience, I took pictures anyway. [Sue me if you must. First, you'll need to show the ways in which I've damaged you.]
Further, there were "don't do this" and "don't do that" signs posted all over the store. Stickers that said "books and patterns are not returnable" were stuck to virtually every book and pattern. It continued with "don't touch", "don't move", and "whatever you're thinking, don't do it" posted everywhere you look. It reminded me of being a child in a store where I was required to keep my hands in my pockets to avoid breaking anything.
The other thing I noticed on both visits is that the music they play is just a little too loud, and it is also oddly distracting. They are playing the original soundtracks for Broadway musicals. I like a good musical as much as the next person, but somehow it isn't conducive to a peaceful shopping experience. I found myself wanting to dance on top of the bolts of fabric and burst into song. And I'm fairly certain that would have been against the rules. On both occasions, the music eventually ran me out of the store.
So, I have mixed feelings about this store. It is beautiful to look at, and they have scads of beautiful fabrics and gifts. If you were in the area and looking for quilt shops to visit, I would recommend it to you. There are many reasons for visiting the store. I would also offer up this caveat: know ahead of time that it has an unfriendly feel to it. The owners have clearly gone out of their way to create a lovely and welcoming environment, only to make it somewhat hostile by posting too many warnings and admonishments. It is a show place, but--and this is only my personal opinion--inhospitable in appearance.
Nevertheless, I am giving them four out of five rotary cutters for their beautiful store, great selection of gifts and fabric, and their convenient location.
Updated to add: *Disclaimer: Cat Patches accepts no advertising, nor any sponsorships. The opinions expressed on this blog are based on the personal impressions and perceptions of the author. They are formed on the basis of one short visit, on one day, and may or may not reflect the experience of others visiting on a different day. They are no more descriptive than a single snapshot image can be, and nothing written in a review of a quilt shop should be construed as objective fact. The reviews are strictly the author's subjective opinion and should not be interpreted as anything more.