New Bernardston shop, studio aims to ‘bring back interest in quilting’

Donna Giard in the studio space at her Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston.

Donna Giard in the studio space at her Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

A long-arm quilting machine in the studio space at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston.

A long-arm quilting machine in the studio space at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The quilting studio space at Where We Create in Bernardston.

The quilting studio space at Where We Create in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The retail store at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston.

The retail store at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Donna Giard in the retail store at her Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston.

Donna Giard in the retail store at her Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Bolts of cloth in the retail store at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston.

Bolts of cloth in the retail store at the Where We Create quilt shop and studio in Bernardston. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

For the Recorder

Published: 06-28-2024 4:06 PM

Modified: 06-28-2024 7:28 PM


BERNARDSTON — After a year and a half of work, Donna Giard is opening a quilt shop and studio called Where We Create at 277 South St.

Giard is holding a soft opening on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Walking barefoot through the homey retail space that she calls the She Shed, Giard pointed out various fabrics and materials. “We have to stop calling it the She Shed … but it was my She Shed when it was up in New Hampshire and we brought it down.”

The retail space, or She Shed if you will, is located behind Giard’s home and surrounded by a well-maintained floral garden, complete with a table and chairs beneath an umbrella “for if you bring somebody with you who’s not a quilter that wants to sit out — for your husband,” Giard said with a laugh.

A stone pathway completed by local contractor Tyler Mankowsky connects the retail space to the studio space in the basement of Giard’s home. Large and bright, the studio space is outfitted with 10 quilting stations featuring large tables, various tools and ironing boards. Sewing machines are available for use and purchase for those who don’t have their own.

Here, Giard will offer open quilting time on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 8 p.m. She also plans to host various sewing and quilting classes, some of which she will teach herself.

“A lot of people around here want to learn how to sew but there’s nowhere to go to sew,” Giard said. “And if they don’t have machines, I have machines they can use to learn how to sew.”

Giard also has three bedrooms in her home that she plans to use for boarding for quilting retreats, which she has just begun booking.

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Giard’s quilting background began in high school, when a teacher would offer quilting lessons after school.

“I think there were probably six of us. We all made our own quilts, and it was just fun. So on and off over the years I’ve quilted,” she said.

“We wanted to bring back interest in quilting and create a place for women to go … to have fun,” Giard said of the inspiration behind Where We Create. “Quilters have a lot of fun together.”

Giard clarified that the studio is not just for women, and that everyone is welcome regardless of gender.

Giard also emphasized her gratitude for everyone who has helped her open the new business, including many local contractors and friends.

“I’ve had a lot of friends help me,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my girlfriends that stepped up and helped and cut fabric and tied bundles and did whatever was needed to get it up and running.”