Knowing Your Quilting Community


For quilt shops, knowing your community pays off.

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Knowing Your Quilting Community

The Navajo design quilts delighted me as I entered the Southwest Decoratives and Kokopeli Quilting Company in Albuquerque. The strong connection between the shop and the surrounding area was immediately apparent. But it wasn't until I talked with the owner that I learned how important the relationship was.

Knowing Your Quilting Community


On their website, you will learn that they started in 1992 with a home-based catalog business featuring Southwestern themed quilt patterns. In 1994, they launched their website and added the brick and mortar business in 2001. This is unique because they started with a niche and expanded to brick and mortar, not the other way around. They have become a destination for tourists and Native Americans.



Mary-Jo knows her community and points out that the Native American women shop for fabric in her shop for dances and other community celebrations. The Navajo are weavers and great quilters, but I learned from Mary-Jo that these are different and distinct communities. The Navajo nation encompasses parts of four states: New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. The Pueblos of New Mexico, however, are different tribes and each is independent. There are 19 active Pueblos just in New Mexico.



The Pueblo people are more known for their pottery, baskets, and jewelry than for fabric arts. This quilt shows many symbols of Southwestern Native Americans. It may or may not be a coincidence, but the quilt shows an Acoma Pueblo owl sandwiched in between two Navajo symbols. Historically, the Pueblos were raided by the Navajo.



Being a community-based shop, they are involved in charity projects such as masks to prevent Covid-19 and quilts for victims of recent forest fires. Please check out both their website AND their Facebook pages to see the range of activities in this shop!


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Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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