“People have this misconception that it’s a lost art,” Johnson said. “I think part of that comes from not every school district providing it.”
Customers stop by Johnson’s store to get tips or inspiration for projects they have started at home. During the last year, Johnson said the hot item everyone wanted to learn how to make was reusable face masks due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic fueled interest in craft hobbies across the country as many sat at home, feeling anxious and unproductive. In 2020, there were 10 million-12 million quilters in North America with 12% more new quilters popping up compared to 2019, according to Craft Industry Alliance, a trade association for craft industry professionals.
Johnson said she learned to sew, embroider and cross stitch from her grandmother, perfecting her talents in a sixth-grade sewing class. Her passion for the craft led her to open an online quilt store, followed a couple of years later by a brick-and-mortar store in Old Town Spring in 2015. Johnson said the business name Cupcake Quilts was inspired by her other love: baking.
Johnson’s current Humble and Spring locations opened in 2017 and 2020, respectively. The stores sell fabric, thread, patterns and quilting supplies while also hosting classes for all skill levels. Cupcake Quilts also offers sewing machine maintenance for customers, including five local school districts.
These days, Johnson’s focus has been on helping her community. Cupcake Quilts has worked with local animal rescues, Texas Children’s Hospital, and nonprofits supporting survivors of abuse and victims of Hurricane Harvey. Johnson said she hopes to provide quilts to Afghanistan refugees in the near future.
“Quilters, as a general rule of thumb, are very giving people,” Johnson said. “If you ask most quilters, they’ve given away more quilts than they’ve kept.”
With all the time she puts into her business, Johnson said she does not have as much time for personal projects as she used to.
“I have 11 kids, and I keep saying I’m gonna make each one of them a quilt,” she said. “I’ve gotten one done.”
However, Johnson said she has never lost sight of her original passion for quilting and hopes to begin making a quilt for her first grandchild soon.
Cupcake Quilts (Spring)
1469 Spring Cypress Road, Spring
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.,Sun. noon-4 p.m.
Cupcake Quilts (Humble)
9574 FM 1960 W., Humble
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sunday