Pins and Needles, in New York City


I’ve been in New York City for a week, and while there I discovered a new quilting/fabric shop, on the upper East Side, a few blocks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It’s called Pins and Needles.

Map to PinsNeedles


Ring the buzzer, and they’ll let you in.  Head up the stairs to the second floor, and their door is on the left.  It’s like going up to fabric heaven from the gritty bustle of the streets.


I am standing at the window overlooking the street, and photographing toward the back.  It’s not a big shop, but it has such a variety of modern fabrics and ideas and even a little classroom area, that I felt it had a lot to offer.


The classroom and looking out the window.  There are basically three fabric stores that cater to quilters and home sewists in New York City: City Quilters (midtown), Purl Soho (Soho, or lower third of Manhattan) and now this gem of a shop.



I was immediately welcomed by two very friendly women: the owner Rachel Low (on the left) and Lauren Rucci; Rachel gave me permission to take photos. She also maintains a Facebook page for the shop, if you’re interested, as well as a blog.


Though compact, it felt spacious.  They have a wide variety of modern fabrics, well-edited, and I could see lots I wanted to take home.  But since I had practically sat on my suitcase that morning to get it closed, I was constrained by space.


While most of us diehard quilters approach fabric with a fair amount of gluttony (unless you are sitting on your suitcase to get it closed), in the shop Lauren has taken more of an arts and crafts approach, as opposed to quilting, even using the term “patchwork,” as their clientele is more geared toward sewing.  Smart move, as you can learn to do the quilting after a good knowledge of fashion sewing has been established.  One of the most successful things a shop can do is to know who their customer is.


I loved their wall displays.  Rachel has worked in the fashion industry, including a two-year stint at Prada, so the shop incorporates these themes into their decor.


I loved their wall with fashion pictures, fabric swatches–so many ideas!  I have noticed the trend towards sewing; many quilters are trending towards making dresses and clothes not only for themselves, but also for their children.  I just happened to do it the reverse, majoring first in Clothing and Textiles, then discovering quilting later. I say, no matter how you come to it, sewing something for yourself or for your home is extremely rewarding, and this shop brings all of those ideas together.


Crafting table.  They hold several classes for children’s crafts.



I loved the window overlooking the stree, with a comfortable banquette with cute pillows.


And what did make it into my suitcase? Three cuts of fabrics, some Itty-Bitty Scissors, all done up in a very cute bag.  These scissors are about 1 1/2″ inches long, have a point cover; Rachel says her customers have been successfully taking them on airplanes to do their stitching.  I bought an extra, and would love to share it with you.


Leave me a comment below and I’ll choose a winner on Tuesday morning.  In your comment, tell me where you’ve traveled recently and have needed a pair of teensy scissors, as well as which color you’d prefer: turquoise or pink.  And if you are not a winner, I’m sure that Rachel of Pins and Needles would be happy to ship you your own.  Contact her at her Etsy Shop, or by email (rachel@pinsandneedlesnyc.com).

23 thoughts on “Pins and Needles, in New York City

  1. Isn’t that fabulous to have found that shop! It looks wonderful. I recently traveled to Portland but drove. Tiny scissors are always handy in my purse. Turquoise would be my choice. Thanks!

  2. What a fun trip! I travel to my parents cabin in Shaver Lake, CA pretty often and usually take a project of some kind- sewing, knitting, etc. I tend to forget to bring good scissors for the car ride! If I’m so lucky to win- pink please!

    Enjoy your summer!

  3. I recently returned from Paducah and struggled trimming my threads with nail clippers. I would love either color if I am lucky enough to be chosen.
    Thanks for the info on the new shop and the great finds.

  4. Oh my, thee are soooo cute! I have been hiding a bobbin of thread in a dental floss container and using the little cutter to cut the thread. No scissors tried yet because I don’t want them to take them away:o(. Pink is my color, so pick me, please!!

  5. I recently returned from St. Louis and am planning a return trip in October and these scissors would certainly be handy. Either color would be terrific to have. Hopefully I’ll get lucky this time.

  6. That store looks like a warm and welcoming place. How fun to be so diverse! I just got back from Alaska….and would have loved to have the turquoise pair of ‘itty-bitty scissors’.

  7. Prada…That’s some pedigree! When I travelled interstate to Sydney last year I had to give up a lovely pair of nail scissors (which were ideal for cutting thread too!) because of the airline ban on scissors! These would be ideal for all plane trips! And you have chosen my two favourite colours so either would be a treat for me!

  8. How did you find this shop? Always wondering what hids insides some of the big buildings in the city! It looks like a great store. Didn’t feel at all “quilty” in the photo’s with none of the usual samples hanging. They must know their market. Does that mean we quilters are not Big City Sophisticated?? Hmmmmm….
    Glad you manage to squeeze a little something in the suitcase. Thanks for sharing. Pink or turquoise, you pick YOUR favorite, and send me the other! 🙂

  9. I have mini scissors for travelling in my Swiss Army Card – they are perfect and of excellent quality. Also included in the Swiss Card are: nail file, pen, toothpick, tweezers, and measurement markings!!!
    I am amazed that you discovered this charming quilt shop!!! And thank you for sharing something that would be so handy and safe! If I won, I would choose turquoise. Thanks!

  10. Loved the tour! It’s a beautiful shop ! Traveled to Ireland and those itty bitty pink scissors would have been grand! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Thar looks like a great shop in the middle of all the city chaos. I recently traveled to New Orleans and I really could have used those mini scissors. My sewing scissors we in my checked suitcase for traveling. After they canceled our flight we ended up with two five hour layovers and NO scissors!!!!! I tried using nail clippers, but they were dreadful.

  12. What a great shop!
    The last place I travelled to was Birmingham (UK) to a craft show!
    If I was lucky enough to win I’d ask you to choose the colour!!

  13. I traveled to Taiwan to visit my daughter. I took along my crochet project. Could have used tiny scissors on that long flight. My favorite color is turquoise. What a cute shop, the light paint and good lighting makes it look large.

  14. I haven’t been anywhere recently 😦 but I’m about to go to my brother’s beach house in a couple weeks! I’d pick turquoise. Very fun, thank you for a thoughtful giveaway, Elizabeth!

  15. Road trips in the car always require some form of hand work. I get too antsy otherwise. Apparently I’ve passed the trait on. On a recent family trip to Cincinnati for my mother’s 85th birthday party, my daughter and I were both working on stitching projects in the car. We were sharing a small, very pointy pair of scissors and poking each other and ourselves frequently. A lovely pair of Itty-Bitty scissors in turquoise would have been just the thing. Thanks for the tip on a new quilting / sewing store in NYC.

  16. Oh my gosh, you’re right to describe that shop as heaven. It looks light and airy and beautiful, just like I imagine heaven to be! I love the big window looking down on the street and that craft table with the grid on it is fabulous. Is it oil cloth or pre-printed fabric? It would be such fun to host a children’s party (or maybe even a party for creative adults) sitting around a table with that cover. It seems like I’m always taking my sewing along on trips and those scissors are just the size to fit in my little “housewife.” Thanks for offering. Pink, please, if I win.

  17. Lovely shop! It’s wonderful the way a shop in NYC can be tucked away in a “second floor on the left” kind of spot, and it works! It’s SO New York! Adorable scissors – I like the pink – and I’d find it handy to keep them in my “car stitcing kit”, which is always there in case I have a few extra minutes for some tiny English Paper Piecing.

  18. When I first saw the scissors, I thought, “well that’s impractical.” Then I read – airplane travel – I get it, and want some. Thanks for the info..

  19. I recently (Sunday) traveled to Buffalo, NY from Nashville (with a plane change in Chicago). I love the aqua scissors!

  20. I have actually travelled right here to NYC (from Sydney, Australia) and I cannot tell you the effort I had to go to to source scissors so I could embroider on my flight. I was actually planning on going back to Pins and Needles before I leave at the end of the month so I can buy these exact scissors for the flight home! I hope you choose me. The aqua scissors would match my existing small (but definitely not plane friendly) pair!

  21. Somehow “quilting” doesn’t pop into my head when I think “New Yorker,” but apparently I need to be re-educated. Fun shop!

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