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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).