For 26+ years we were a fun shop that specialized in a large and colorful selection of fabric, yarns, canvasses, cross stitch books, patterns and fibers. However, well past the normal retirement age, we closed the shop and "retired."
Now Jannette does contract quilting for clients and Roger (engineer husband) services sewing machines working from their home. While doing the quilting, Jannette knew there had to be a better way to hold the sides steady while the long arm machine was quilting. It became apparent that this was a common problem when she attended a long arm quilting retreat in Richmond in 2016. It was obvious because the subject came up in several classes. The problem was that the multiple point clamps gave uneven tension that you could feel when you ran your hand over the backing fabric.This has caused some quilters to have wavy edges and wrinkled backs. Ideas were offered in class that were mostly hacks as a solution. All of them were inefficient and time consuming. (Time is money!)
She started experimenting with her own solutions, which were better, but not quite perfect. Then she pushed her engineer husband to design a new clamp to her vision and after over a year the vision became reality (hardware). Prototypes only took a few weeks, but production materials took forever. Finding the right parts fabricator and the right finisher to do the product at costs that would not put the finished product totally out of reach took a long time. Then scheduling production took a long time because they are busy. However, the finished product has been well worth the effort.
Jannette says that after working with her clamps for over a year she could never go back to the old slow and inefficient way. You can find Jannette's Professional Quilt Clamp on this website. It is a powder coated aluminum clamp with a stamped brass lever that latches down and along with the special high traction foam rubber grips provides an even tension over an 18" span. It's handcrafted in the U.S.A. with all major parts made in the US.
A Little Shop History
My love of needlework goes back over 60+ years. It started when I was a little girl sitting next to my mother while she embroidered pillowcases and tea towels and tablecloths. I loved the colorful flosses and the textiles right from the very beginning. I started embroidering around the age of four and added needlepoint before I became a teenager. As a teenager I fell in love with yarn and knitting which is still a passion. Then one day when I was in college, I came home to visit and my mother was cutting pieces for a quilt. That sparked an interest in quilting which I did not have time to pursue at that moment. That passion re-emerged in the mid 1970's when the national bi-centennial celebrations were in full force. I got hooked and have been a knitter, quilter, stitcher ever since.
In February of 1989 I was taking a short-cut to my job at a local doctor's office when I discovered the cute little shops in the Old Town Center in Manassas, VA. I saw Creative Country and because it had a spinning wheel on the sign, I thought it might be a knitting shop. The first chance I got, I went to check it out only to find out that it was a home decorating shop. The shop next door was empty though and an idea was born. I got busy seeing what I had to do to start a knit shop. Cross-stitch got added to the mix even before I opened the door. In two years I had outgrown my cute little shop on Main Street, so I moved to Cavalry Village.
Although I was in a different unit when I closed than where I started, I spent the next twenty-four years in Cavalry Village. We added Needlepoint, Quilting, and Elna Sewing machines to the mix as we grew. With each addition came more training and knowledge and skills. I am still learning and although I do not have the brick and mortar store anymore, both my husband I continue to be active in the industry with my husband continuing to service sewing machines from our home and I am continuing to do longarm services. I enjoy quilting for customers and I am finally finishing some of the models that were tops in the shop.Working on customer quilts and trying to achieve top quality products in a timely manner has inspired our latest adventure and the invention of Jannette's Professional Quilt Clamp. The clamp certainly makes this phase of my part of the business more enjoyable.
I still like bumping into my customers and hearing from them. We would love to hear from you, too. Contact us at email@example.com.
Jannette, the owner, has over forty years experience in teaching needlework of all types and received the Silver Thimble award from the APNR* in recognition of her knowledge and skill in designing, creating, and teaching knitting.
*Association of Professional Needlework Retailers