“It is like a mission for us. Many customers come into our store needing inspiration before starting a project, and we strive to minister to those needs through our many stitched examples,” says Teri Doughtery. She co-owns The Back Door with Linda Hale. They pride themselves in making inspiration their business.
A crafter’s haven, the store lures you in with its warmth and cozy surroundings. The first thing customers notice is the many innovative designs that have been stitched together using beautiful quilting fabrics. These designs have been made from one of their many available kits — sometimes using the kit’s suggested fabric, other times from fabrics of their own choosing.
Vincennes resident Brenda Stradtner congregates here when she visits her daughter Lori Kogut of Center Grove. “We enjoy coming here together,” Kogut said. “They have a lot of examples to give my mother and me inspiration, and the ladies are always willing to help us match color schemes together. It’s a great store.”
Just in time for the holidays, the store is decked out in a variety of holiday and winter projects — both large and small. If you have time to make only one or two smaller items this year, you can choose a table runner, such as M.H. Designs’ Christmas Present, or a small wall hanging, such as Little Bits’ Trim the Tree. If, on the other hand, you have more time to spare, there are plenty of larger quilt kits to select from, such as Celebrate the Season and Lori Smith’s Quilted Sampler #0701, which you can use all winter long.
The store is primarily for quilting, but it shelves many supplies for rug hooking, embroidery, and punch needle. The shop also carries thousands of bolts of fine quilting fabrics, plus hundreds of books and patterns for quilts, dolls, aprons, purses, and much more.
“While I like looking at the various fabrics, I also enjoy their many classes,” said customer Nancy Bemis. The Back Door runs a separate building across the street for their classes, which range from beginner to advanced. One of their newest additions to the class schedule is English Paper Piecing. Hale said this class uses a method of piecing small swatches of fabric together using reusable paper templates.
Among other classes, The Back Door offers beginning and advanced quilt making classes, which emphasize new and easier quilt techniques. It is here that the creativity of the students shines. When asked what her inspirational element was for her quilt, Bemis said it was the love for her recipient. “I want the quilt to convey: ‘If you need a hug, wrap yourself up in my warmth, and my love will be felt.’” Visit their website at www.backdoorquilts.com. cg
Tonja Talley has called Center Grove home since 1993. An 11-year bi-lateral lung transplant survivor, Tonja enjoys speaking on behalf of the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization. She also volunteers for the CF Foundation, byTavi, and her church.