Tuesday & Wednesday 10-9
Thursday – Saturday 10-5
We have a wide variety of classes and clubs. We particularly love our beginners – it is so much fun when you get to see then learn and grow into confident quilters. We also host several clubs including our newest club Sarah’s Circle Sewing Club. It is actually named after my GGGrandmother. We just started it recently, and we are having so much fun. We have been taking antique quilts and reproducing them. If you go to our website and blog, you can see my progress on a couple of them. The group is really having fun coming up with their own variations on the basic ideas. It is much more fun for me, as a teacher, to teach them a method and see how they make it their own.
We also have several other ongoing clubs – Quiltsmart, Civil War Diary and Love Letters (soon to be adding Farmer’s Wife), Snickel Club (quilts made using Nickels (5″ squares) and Snippets (10″ squares), Featherweight Club, Baltimore Album Club and Pieceful Stitchers (sort of a Bee Group).
Besides our Beginner classes, we usually have a few quilt classes along with classes for other items – bags, dolls, etc. Our favorite classes are technique classes. They usually only meet once for a few hours of hands on experience in a particular technique. The students can decide for themselves if they want to make something small, like a tablerunner, or go nuts and make a full-size quilt.
My daughter and partner, Katie, and I design a lot of the patterns that we carry in the shop, and we encourage our teachers to design quilts and other things, too. I think it sets our shop apart a little if people come in and see things that are only available here. I also have a fabric line (my first – I am so excited!) coming out with Blue Hill Fabrics. It is called Rebecca’s Madders. We are not sure exactly when – I have had conflicting stories from our rep and the company, so I am just holding my breath, and working on patterns we can use with the fabric.
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WE WANT TO KNOW:
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start quilting who never has before?
Take as many classes as you can. Go on retreats and join a guild. This advice is not strictly for newbies. I adhere to this advice myself. I have never gone to any class, retreat, etc. where I didn’t pick up some new tip or trick that I didn’t know. I don’t think we can ever know everything, and there is never just one way to do things. Learn several method from different teachers, and use the one that works the best for you.
What beginning quilting question do you get quite often? What do you tell them?
It seems like many of the beginners that come into our shop are hoping to make some sort of memory quilt out of t-shirts of old clothes. Generally, I try to explain that it is not as easy (or as inexpensive) as they think it will be, and I suggest that they sign up for a beginner class before they take our ever-popular t-shirt quilt class.
Do you help your customers plan a design to finish their UFO’s? What’s your favorite trick?
I often help customers with UFOs and I love helping them design settings for orphan blocks – often using EQ! I will often point them to either a book we have, or I will get something from my library if I have something in mind. I love Sharyn Craig’s books – Setting Solutions and Great Sets. I think they should be in every quilter’s library.
What’s your favorite part of the day at work?
My favorite part of the day sort of depends on what day it is. I love it when our classes or demo groups come in and fill the shop with their energy and new ideas. I truly feel that I learn more from my students than they learn from me. The evening classes are often full of giddy women that have just come in from their jobs – I love the look they get when they walk into the shop – sort of an instant relaxation. That is what it is all about.
What’s your next quilting purchase going to be and why?
My next quilting purchase is most likely going to be fabric. I am a fabric-aholic from the word go! It is the rare bolt that disappears without at least a snippet going into one of my quilts (or my never-ending stash). I think my customers appreciate the fact that I am just like them!
If you teach, what is your favorite class to teach?
My favorite classes are actually clubs. I like to develop a re pore with my groups so that I become less of a teacher and more of a friend. I love it when we make decisions as a group, and I am not just dictating my own thoughts.
If you have taken quilting classes, who was your favorite teacher and what was the class on?
I have so many favorites, it would be hard to name just one. I guess Karen Witt and Kaye England have given me the most insight into quilt history, which I love. Both are so knowledgeable and interesting. Debbie Caffrey was full of great ideas for making things easier. I wasn’t really expecting to learn a lot from her, as the quilt we were doing was fairly simple, but I learned a lot! Sharyn Craig had some amazing ideas for setting problem blocks.
What’s the best part about working all day in a quilt shop?
The customers, of course! Quilters are the best. They are almost always happy to be here, rarely complain, and are the most honest people around. After working in another field for most of my life, owning my shop is truly a dream come true!