When Melody Munson started The Presser Foot in 2001 near Longmont High School, she said part of her vision was “just to be open!” Now the business is the center of a community of people who love to quilt, embroider, sew and learn. There are at least 10 classes a month, with staff teachers or visiting instructors, group meetings and retreats.
“That sense of community is a big thing to me,” Mel said. “Just like the farming families in the Front Range, we have a strong community in the sewing world that has grown together and supports each other.”
That support was evident during the COVID pandemic when members of the local sewing guild made over 10,000 masks to serve the Longmont area.
When Mel bought the building at 2430 Main in 2016, community was the main reason for her choice. The previous pick-up store had a big backroom that Mel could envision full of people. “Many of the groups have too many members to host in each other’s homes, so we are able to have them here,” she said. Now there are so many active organizations meeting at The Presser Foot that they keep the calendar full.
The shop is the authorized dealer of Bernina Sewing Machines and Mel explains she is glad to have “these fantastic machines to sell,” and she is an independent dealer. Mel and her staff teach machine owner’s classes and sell supplies for sewing, quilting and embroidery. There are classes and clubs for Accuquilt cutters, embroidery machines, overlockers, quilts and small beginning sewing projects.
There are more than 1,000 bolts of fabric at The Presser Foot, which Mel modestly said is not really a big quilt store. In addition to all the cotton fabrics, there are some knits for T-shirts and linens and canvas for bags. There are also kits that contain everything needed to make a complete quilt or specialty items like bowl cozies, place mats and hot pads.
Mel said there are numerous award-winning quilters within a 30-mile radius of Longmont. Many of the community members attend quilt festivals. She said there is a strong quilt contingent locally, including art quilt and modern quilt guilds in Fort Collins and Boulder. A recent county fair had more than 130 quilts entered and Mel was thrilled with the quality. “Some of the members of this commuity make pretty amazing things!” she said.
By Linda Thorsen Bond | Longmont Magazine