Good Wives Co
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Good Wives Co:

Stars, eagles, American flags, primitives abound at a central Ohio quilt and home interiors shop devoted to all things colonial.

When Linda Hooper, her daughter Cindy Hooper Kemper; and her daughter-in-law, Melanie Hooper, decided to open a quilt and home interiors shop in Marion, Ohio, they logically wanted a family oriented name. And because they intended the shop's look to be colonial, they went back to that time period, choosing a term used to define women in America's early days. Those days, “Good wives” helped their husbands in their businesses, farmed, raised children, and quilted. They were average women doing extraordinary things. So they chose “Good wives”, which they thought spoke to the women of today. In addition, the trio was familiar with the book Good Wives by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, which describes the image and the reality in the lives of women in New England from 1650-1750.

It makes sense that the fabrics of Good Wives Co. reflect past times. With more than 2,000 bolts on display, Linda proudly points out that not one bolt of white fabric can be found. The color palette is tea-stained, with a generous sampling of Civil War prints, homespuns, paisleys, and bolts with patriotic, folk art, and religious themes. Rug hooking and wool dyeing are popular classes here. Block-of-the-month fabric projects have included “Women’s Voices: A civil war quilt”, Jan Patek’s “Bible Quilt”, and “Button Ups”- small seasonal quilts from joined at the Hip that are buttoned onto a larger, base quilt. With so much sense of history present, the shop hosts a monthly gathering of quilters working on elaborate “Dear Jane” quilts.

Besides fabrics and quilting supplies, homelike settings of reproduction primitive furniture, Bennington and Rowe pottery, redware, and Old World Pewter fill the shop. There’s a fireplace surround, for example, with a patriotic quilt hanging above it, pottery and pewter perched on the mantel, cast-iron tools and matchstick holders hanging from the crosspiece, and a painted fire screen below. The checkout area has a pergola with greenery flowing over it, and wall decorations of small framed portraits, a modern adaptation of a vintage clock, wooden checkerboards, and an American flag. The classroom table is a wide, wooden expanse, like a communal dining table. The shop is a mélange of antique reproductions with an Early American theme. Our shop is based on our love of American history and how quilters and other artisans of the past expressed themselves at their respective crafts,” recalled Melanie. “We want to help others create for themselves their own piece of history”.