Creativity reigns at River Quilts

New shop sells fabrics and accessories

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Nancy Sullivan sells an assortment of fabrics at River Quilts, in downtown Camas. There is also a selection of quilting thread and embroidery floss, as well as tins with pins, miniature jars of colorful new buttons and other accessories. The new business, which opened in March, is currently in need of additional teachers to provide classes at the shop. "I want it to be fun, open and friendly," Sullivan said. "When a customer walks in, I want them to feel inspired and welcomed."

A colorful collection of fabrics, threads and buttons awaits visitors to River Quilts, in downtown Camas.

Nancy Sullivan, owner of the new business, hopes to inspire people to get back into sewing and find their creative outlet.

“I want to help them with any new projects or finish projects stuck in a closet,” she said.

She sells Moda, Maywood, Westminster Fibers, Andover and Michael Miller fabrics, as well as Gutermann and Aurifil quilting thread and DMC embroidery floss. Colors include jade, gold and deep red.

Moda products include “fat quarters” (18 by 22-inch pieces of fabric), “quarter bundles” (color coordinated fabric lines), “jelly rolls” (2 1/2 by 42-inch strips of fabric) and “layer cakes” (10 by 10-inch pre-cut stacks of fabric).

Batik fabric from India is also available to purchase, as well as hand-dyed wool for pillows, pin cushions, wall hangings and small handbags. Sullivan, of Washougal, also has a selection of patterns and books.

The shop’s walls are decorated with quilts on loan from local crafters. Other finished products, such as purses, tote bags, aprons, skirts and pillowcases, are on display to serve as inspiration for all ages.

Sullivan, 57, majored in ceramics and earned a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in 1988.

She is an avid watercolor painter.

“This [shop] is an outlet for me to utilize my creative talents,” Sullivan said.

She has experience in retail management

“It was time to run my own shop,” Sullivan said. “I decided to dive in and just do it.

“It’s been a positive and enriching experience,” she added. “Customers’ feedback has been very supportive. Most of them say they are so glad Camas has a quilt shop.”

Classes are available for all quilters’ skill levels. They include hand applique workshops and a beginner sampler quilt block series. Sullivan plans to introduce a class in quilting arts, which would involve applying acrylic paint onto fabric.

Visitors to the shop can select from a variety of quilt-themed greeting cards, as well as quilters’ tool lanyards and “Scissor Pals,” which help individuals identify their scissors if they are taking a class. There are also embroidery scissors, milliners and quilting needles and tins that can hold pins and buttons.

Sullivan said she is enjoying the warm ambiance of downtown Camas.

“Camas Antiques is one of my favorite shops,” she said. “I looked in east Vancouver. The rent was much better here.”

River Quilts, located in the Cedar Creek Square building at 337 N.E. Fourth Ave., is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store will be closed Memorial Day. For more information, contact Sullivan at 833-2244 or