A quilt gathers fond memories into a beautiful physical keepsake, like a family photo album or CD of Whitesnake's Best Ballads. Craft an elegant memento with today's Groupon: for $65, you get an introductory quilting class and starter kit at Happiness Is…Quilting! (a $135 value) in McKinney. Classes from May 16 through the end of the month are scheduled for Mondays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and Tuesdays from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Class schedules will change each month.
Happiness' cozy confines overflow with cheery, knowledgeable patchworkers and an exquisite array of fabrics and supplies. Delve into a time-tested art as soothing as removing bristles from a raccoon pelt with the shop's three-hour course, which elucidates basic assembly and ornamentation techniques. The skilled staff unravels the mysteries of machine-piecing, binding, and appliqué in front of intimately sized classes, ideal for personalized instruction and socializing. Students mingle and craft exquisite duvets and mysterious cowls using their beginner's kit, which includes a pattern, thread, scissors, and other stitch-jockey accoutrements.
According to the Dallas Morning News, sewing and handwork gave Laura Kay Houser's life "balance"—guiding the stay-at-home mother through life's daily challenges as well as more trying ones, namely her son's illness. In 2006, Houser and two partners turned that restorative hobby into a business venture. Houser now spends most of her days behind the counter, eyes figuratively glued on her latest project.
Inside the colorful shop, shelves overflow with fabrics by brands such as Andover, Benartex, and Marcus Brothers, as well as with books, kits, and experimental needlework patterns inspired by the paintings of Jackson Pollock. Experienced teachers pop in to lead a variety of classes, ranging from sewing basics to workshops with renowned authors and designers. As the culture of quilting has always involved gifting quilts to those in need, the store publicizes volunteer opportunities involving quilting and other crafts.