By Amy Joles
CARO — What’s “Catty Wampus?”
Depends on who you ask.
The dictionary defines it as “not exactly centered or straight,” but to Merrie Miller, it’s her 44-pound Bulldog’s nickname… and it’s also the name of her new quilting supply store in downtown Caro, the Catty Wampus Fabric Company, LLC.
Miller, a self-described “crafty” person, opened the shop with Jim Powell in June. The store is located at 212 N. State St., next to Town & Country Bridal.
Fabrics, thread and more are continuing to arrive, filling the shelves with items that will keep any quilter or sewing hobbyist happy. Fabric, including Moda and Marcus Brothers, are already available.
“We are going to start classes in the fall,” said Miller. “They will be for kids and adults – and if you don’t know how to sew or quilt, we’ll teach you!”
Catty Wampus customers will notice a large selection of Janome sewing machines when they enter the downtown shop. Miller said the store will provide complete sales and service for the machines.
“We’ll also service any sewing machine,” she said.
Miller said she wants the crafting community to know that her fabrics are “first quality only.”
“You don’t want to buy material and make something, then wash it and have all of the color fade,” she said. “Or make a quilt for a baby gift and have it shrink up the first time you wash it!”
Even though the fabric will be high-quality, Miller assured the prices won’t be too high for her customers.
“I want to keep fabric at a low cost so people can afford to sew,” she said.
Catty Wampus will also provide a place for people to sew. Miller said the community can come use her sewing tables and “hang out” to get away from distractions while they craft and create.
Miller said she and her crafting friends were tired of traveling far distances to shop for quality materials. The idea to open a store in Caro has been well-received, she said.
“I know people go to Saginaw and all over to buy their fabrics,” she said. “I worked for Viking (Sewing Machines) at Jo-Ann’s in Saginaw. There were all kinds of people who came there from the Thumb.”
While working for Viking, Miller did sales and taught customers how to use their machines. She loved working with her crafty customers, but the company closed the Viking store.
With her focus now on the Catty Wampus shop, Miller said she will continue to receive shipments from suppliers such as Maxi-Lock and Mettler, Klasse Needles and more. She is also proud to stock as many ‘Made in USA’ products as she can.
Books, patterns and various quilting notions are in stock. And if she doesn’t have it, special orders are available.
Miller and Powell are also hoping to support local businesses by referring customers and getting involved with charitable groups in the area.
Catty Wampus Fabric Company, LLC is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, call the store at (989) 672-0090. A grand opening is slated for August.
Amy Joles is the editor of the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at email@example.com.
By Amy Joles