Two local shops—Needlefish Yarns of Venice and Deborah’s Quilt Basket—are cultivating a love of crafting across generations. Fueled by a passion for their craft and a desire to create friendly, supportive learning environments, these shop owners are inspiring patrons to begin their own special knitting, crocheting, or quilting project.

Needlefish Yarns of Venice, established in 2016, offers a wide selection of natural fibers—linen, cotton, hemp, and wools—in a variety of weights and styles plus accessories and tools to meet all your knitting and crocheting needs. In addition, classes are provided to all skill levels on a range of projects and designs. And every Thursday evening crafters gather for Open Craft Night, where they learn from each other and foster a sense of community. Nancy Broughton, owner of Needlefish Yarns of Venice, says “our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and inspired. We feel fortunate to be part of such a great community.”

Deborah’s Quilt Basket, the oldest quilting shop in Sarasota County with 35 years in the business, carries more than 2,000 bolts of cotton fabric to create quilts, clothing, tote bags, and home decorations plus an assortment of books, patterns, and gifts for quilters. A variety of classes for all skill levels are offered during winter months. The shop also is a drop-off site for Ryan’s Case for Smiles, an organization founded to create and distribute whimsical pillowcases to give children in hospitals an emotional boost. Deborah Iversen, owner of Deborah’s Quilt Basket, says “we collect pillowcases that are hand-made and then give them to hospitalized children in the Tampa Bay area. Many thanks to my customers for the past 35 years.”

For more information on these crafter destinations, contact Needlefish Yarns of Venice, 258 West Miami Avenue, at 941-486-1584 or visit; and Deborah’s Quilt Basket, 337 West Venice Avenue, at 941-488-6866 or visit