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May 11, 2023

Heirloom’s Sherrin Koch thinks we should all be quiet quilting

From its humble abode in Adelaide Arcade, Heirloom Quality Supplies is hosting quilting classes to help conscientious consumers put the morals of sustainability into practice.

  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera

Owner and operator of Heirloom Quality Supplies, Sherrin Koch lives by the principles of sustainability.


Heirloom Quality Supplies
Shop 4G Gay’s Arcade,  Adelaide 5000
Tue—Fri: 10am ’til 5pm
Saturday: 10am ’til 4pm

Heirloom’s next quilting classes are on 17 May and 25 June.
To book a spot, visit the website.


She also stocks her store according to this ethos, lining shelves with good-quality garments and items designed and made to last.

“Heirloom is a utilitarian household goods store,” Sherrin tells CityMag.

“We’re looking for things that are of really high quality but that also have a certain aesthetic quality to them as well.

“We are of the understanding that when we buy things for our houses and gardens, we want them to last a long time so that we actually use them.

“We have a lot of Japanese products [and] a lot of products from Europe because they tend to be the countries that are still manufacturing things of really high quality.”

Colourful quality kettles and other homewares


In addition to its quality wares, Heirloom has also built its name on Sherrin’s quilting ability, which is a way she puts her passion for sustainability into practice.

“I’m a quilt-maker, so as well as selling all those kinds of manufactured household goods, I produce a lot of the textile things,” Sherrin says.

“So obviously quilts, but then we do our aprons and tea towels and cushion covers. Whatever needs making from textiles, usually I’ll do that.”

Sherrin describes the design of her quilts has having a “geometric” style “based on a lot of straight lines”.

“I really like patterns that repeat so I use a lot of triangles and squares and things like that,” she says.

Purchasing and creating sustainable garments is a non-negotiable in Sherrin’s world, and she’s surprised by the prevalence of fast fashion and lack of quality culture in Australia.

“Australia probably has never had that culture of manufacturing [good-quality] types of products,” Sherrin says.

“We seemed to have moved to a culture where Kmart is good and we go get our $20 things.

“[What Heirloom is] trying to show is that often times, while it’s affordable now, it’s a false economy, because you buy it this year and then it breaks and then you have to go back and buy it again next year, and you’re constantly buying.”

The artist in front of the art


Sherrin is doing her part to fight against the tide of fast fashion by showing the ways good-quality garments have value beyond the buyer’s years.

“While throw-away culture is awful for the environment, I think it’s also just terrible from a human perspective,” she says.

“We don’t treasure things anymore and we don’t take the time to look after things and then repair them when they start to break. We’re not buying things with this long-term view; we have nothing to pass down through the generations.”

Sherrin is hosting quilting classes to teach people the skills to create, mend and live more sustainably.

These classes range from advanced to beginner courses, teaching soon-to-be quilters how to make pot-holders, oven mitts and cushion covers.

“That’s been really nice, showing people who have never touched a sewing machine, and being able to sit down and show them from beginning to end the whole process,” Sherrin says.

Initially, Sherrin was hesitant about starting classes, but she says they’ve been received well and she’s enjoyed facilitating conversations about sustainability in this way.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask me about doing these and I was adamant that I wasn’t gonna teach classes, but I’ve surprised myself that I actually enjoy teaching them,” Sherrin says.

“You get two types of people — people that either work in a creative industry already, but something different, or you get people who don’t work in anything creative at all and are kind of looking for something creative to do, like an outlet.

“So that’s kind of fun, to get to meet them.”

Heirloom Quality Supplies is located at Shop 4G in Gay’s Arcade, and opens Tuesday to Friday from 10am ’til 5pm, and Saturday from 10am ’til 4pm.

Connect with the business on Instagram, or go to the website to save your spot in a quilting class.

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