PRESCOTT - It may only be September, but true crafters know it's never too soon to start working on Christmas crafts and gifts. Especially when shopping at A Craft Boutique - where owner Catherine Byrne has just received a beautiful assortment of Christmas fabric.
Byrne has been located at 130 King Street west for 16 years and she never gets tired of helping people create lovely crafts by hand. Whether you are an accomplished crafter or a beginner, she has what it takes to help anyone learn to make gifts that come from the heart.
"I just love doing crafts and I love watching people come in with an idea and then seeing it take shape and become a finished product," says Byrne, who is found in her store every day. She used to have a craft shop in the front porch of her home, but made the leap to storeowner and never looked back.
With one of the largest wool inventories between Montreal and Brockville, she can help you decide how much and what colours for your next afghan. This light and airy shop is the home of a special brand of wool imported from Britain that is a delight to work with. Just want to make dishcloths? You can find dozens of different skeins of cotton yard to get the job done in style.
She also offers crafts for sale made by other talented people. Fabric purses, wooden clocks, baby linens and quilts adorn the walls and shelves of A Craft Boutique. One supplier still practices the lost art of smocking and makes adorable dresses for little girls, bringing them all the way from London, Ontario to sell here.
Over the years, several classes have been offered in knitting, crocheting and weaving, but if you have a question - Byrne is the type of person who will always help you on an informal basis. Can't understand the pattern? Dropped stitches on the sweater you're knitting? Just ask Catherine and she can talk you through it. As a matter of fact, since Canadian yarn companies have stopped offering pattern books, she made it a priority to find them for folks. Now she can find you one from anywhere in the world.
If sewing is more your style, she can help with that, too. She offers a varied and colourful assortment of threads, buttons, trims and notions. And if you've torn a favorite garment or the legs are too long, just drop it off here and she will get the problem fixed or alterations done. She started out 16 years ago with a partner, Kathleen Chiasson, who looked after the sewing side of things, but since her partner's retirement a few years ago, Byrne does it all every day with only her friend Marg Gogo as a helper.
And what was that about Christmas? Well if you love crafting for the people on your gift list, just stop by. With only 146 days left 'til Christmas 2020, she is already well stocked with soft and cozy yarn, quilting panels for banners and stockings, and ready-made gifts to finish your list in style. When people open that package on December 25, their faces will light up when they realize it's from A Craft Boutique.