Patches, an iconic quilt shop on Main Street, will close this year after 34 years in St. Charles.
Owner Chris Stergos announced her intention to close the shop in an email to customers sent out Jan. 24.
"I am sorry to announce that Patches, etc. will be closing. I have decided it is time for me to move on. I have enjoyed every minute of my time owning the store and I feel blessed to have met such creative and wonderful people," the email read, in part.
Stergos did not immediately return calls or emails for comment.
An employee said the final closing date had not yet been set, but would likely come by the end of February.
"It's an icon on the street that not only will be missed by the locals but all over the country," said Ann Hazelwood, a local author and president of the National Quilt Museum’s Board of Directors, who started Patches in 1979.
Patches on Main Street
Hazelwood once owned three separate shops on Main Street: Patches, a craft center and a button store. She sold the craft store about 10 years ago, which became ., and moved the button store into Patches.
Hazelwood sold the store to Stergos about four years ago, she said.
"It had been about 30 years which was a mental bookmark for me," Hazelwood said. At the time Hazelwood was writing Missouri travel books and wanted to do more traveling throughout the area.
"I thought putting it in someone else's hands in the tradition of keeping Patches on Main Street was the way to go," she said.
Today Hazelwood is working on a series of fiction books about quilting that are set in an historic town. She also is a certified quilt appraiser and has a studio at 420 Clark in which she has a few quilting groups.
Hazelwood said the quilting industry is extremely healthy with many young people being drawn to the craft.
"This is not a dying art," she said. "There are things that have changed, but there are many healthy quilt stores around the country."
Hazelwood said she expects many people will think of the building in which Patches is located as a quilt shop for years to come.The building was built in 1870 and was used as a monument company.
She said in her time running Patches she viewed her job as that of a cheerleader for her customers.
"It was always about how you made them feel," she said. "People went in there to have an experience. That's what our job was, to motivate them."