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Cool People Quilt

Michelle Collins wants you to know that you can definitely quilt. In fact, she thinks it’d be pretty cool if you did. 

The avid quilter and mom of three originally started a quilting site, Meesh Quilts, named for her own adventures into the skill. Once she expanded into teaching in 2020, she formed a Facebook group for current and prospective students and named it Cool People Quilt. 

“It was this idea to reframe quilting as this really cool thing that anybody can do—no matter what your race or age or like, whatever it is, quilting is for everybody,” said Michelle. “And I think that stuck with a lot of people.”

After the birth of her third child, Michelle joined forces with Linsey Cloud to continue the expanding education efforts of Cool People Quilt. Linsey’s long-arm quilting specialities were a huge benefit to the growing classes that Cool People Quilts began offering in person. 

“She just seemed like the perfect business partner,” Michelle said of Linsey. 

Jaime Stepic (from left) Linsey Cloud and Michelle Collins.

The dynamic duo recently became a trio, transforming yet again by inviting Jaime Stepic to join them, this time as Cool People Sew. Michelle and Linsey had been selling designer fabrics in Duluth’s Spool School, and the partnership seemed like a natural continuation of their mission to reach more curious new quilters out in the world.

“I think a lot of times people think of quilting as this older lady-type situation, and as a younger person, they maybe wouldn’t pursue it or think it’s for them,” said Michelle. “So when I started quilting, I was like, ‘I don’t know anybody else that’s doing it.’ And now, I see it’s grown in popularity.” 

Sweet and inspiring details inside the store.
The team checking out quilts L-R: Linda DeMaris, Michelle Collins, Debbie Johnson, Laura Bazemore, baby Helen and Shannon Roane.

Michelle, Linsey, and Jaime aim to make every person who walks into the store, takes a class, or simply has a question feel welcome. They’re happy to explain how to buy fabric (and how to figure out how much you’ll need), help you find the right project to learn, and match you with a class in the process. 

“You really need a lot of encouragement when you’re first making something,” said Michelle. “Especially quilting, it can be so frustrating, especially if we don’t have the right tools.” 

You can find designer fabrics, explore class offerings, and get the original Cool People Quilt pattern at the group’s website, or you can drop in to their brick-and-mortar in Duluth on Main St.

L-R: Linsey Cloud, Michelle Collins, Mary Carter, Debbie Johnson, Shannon Roane, Jaime Stepic, Linda DeMaris, Laura Bazemore and baby Helen.

About the Author

Mel Burke is a culture writer in the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she loves complaining about hiking and visiting cities with historic libraries. You can find her online everywhere as @melburkewrites.

About the Photographer

Azuree Holloway has been photographing for Quiltfolk since 2019 and has contributed to many other projects. Check out more of her work on her website and her Instagram.

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