Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introducing Mary Ellen of Country Quiltworks

Welcome to another round of shop interviews! This one isn't nearly as upbeat as the others since Country Quiltworks is struggling to stay in business. So if you're anywhere near this shop - please stop by! It would be such a shame to lose this wonderful hub of quilting. Read on to learn more about Mary Ellen & Peter's labor of love - Country Quiltworks.

  • Tell me a bit about your shop:
Country Quiltworks
515 Stump Road
Montgomeryville, PA 18936.
Located in North Wales/Montgomeryville.

  • When did your shop first open its doors?

Mary Ellen & Peter Wagner purchased the shop which had previously been open about twenty years. They’ve run the shop now for about five years.

  • Does your shop offer classes? If so, what types?

Yes, there will be a new fall class schedule out soon which will include the Butterfly quilt and the Dog Gone Scrappy quilt (photos included in this article!). In the past the shop has offered classes on placemats, table runners, Perkiomen Valley quilt, and paper piecing.

  • Do you have sewing machines in the shop? Long arm quilters?

At this time all classes are Bring Your Own. There are some long arm quilters associated with the shop and Mary Ellen will gladly produce some recommendations based on the quilter’s location.
  • Is there any particular supply you’re partial to?
Not a supply, but Mary Ellen enjoys Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler fabrics.

  • What’s your vision for the shop in the next 2+ years?

Unfortunately, Mary Ellen is looking into a new arrangement for the shop or else she expects that they will be closing soon.

  • Do you sew or quilt?

Mary Ellen does both while her husband has been known to sew a thing or two as well.

  • How did you get started sewing/quilting?

Mary Ellen has been sewing since fifth grade and began quilting while she was in nursing school. At one point in her life, she was custom quilting for interior decorators in the area.

  • What do you like best about quilting?

Everything! Mary Ellen has had the opportunity to try most quilting techniques over the years. She enjoys subdued quilts and has tons throughout her house, some on display and some tucked away.

  • How much time do you sew or quilt during an average week?

Mary Ellen is lucky enough to sew every day!

  • Do you name your projects or label them?

Yes! She’s been labeling her projects for years, even before it was the “in” thing to do. She worked with the National Quilting Association

  • What other crafts do you indulge in or hope to learn?

Mary Ellen admits that she’s probably tried them all but weaving which she’d love to learn. Though right now she has no room for a big loom and she’s not interested in a little one!

Mary Ellen has also worked with the National Quilting Association for teaching certificates from 1988-1990. She traveled around and certified quilt teachers. She's also helped to round up the organizational history of quilting.

Mary Ellen & Peter both helped to start the Fall Fabric Frenzy Shop Hop which consists of 10 shops in our area (SE PA). Buy your passport from any of the shops now and when you visit each shop they will stamp your passport. You then have a chance to win all kinds of prizes!!

Mark your calendars - this year's Fall Fabric Frenzy Shop Hop is November 12 - 15, 2010. The Shop Hop will be comprised of the same ten shops as last year.
******Passport sales begin September 1st.******

Stop by Country Quiltworks (or Chester County Quilting) for more information!!

Thanks so much, Mary Ellen and Peter, for sharing your shop with me!! Good luck and I hope to see you in business for years to come!


  1. I get so sad when I see independent brick & mortar fabric shops closing. It's got to be really hard to keep afloat because so many want to buy things cheaper online. Even though I love online fabric shops (heck--I own one now), nothing can quite replace the brick & mortar fabric shop for community and classes, etc. I still buy stuff full price from independents sometimes just to do my part to keep them around.

  2. I've always loved the incredible range of fabric and supplies found at Country Quiltworks. They even have a small spot with kids toys so when I brought my young children they would be happily occupied while I shopped more. I hope they can find a way to maintain their valuable presence in our quilting community.

  3. So glad to know the store is still open! I'd heard it was closed already.

  4. Mary Ellen and Peter are such lovely people and brought a warmth to the shop! I hope they can figure a way to stay open, even if the shop itself is smaller. I guess my reason is purely selfish as I've been shopping there for the past 20 years and it is difficult to find shops where you are treated like family! Thanks Mary Ellen and Peter! Praying for you!

    Pam in Philly