When you set out to find quilt shops and tell their stories, you very soon discover that, while quilt shops are full of fabric and batting, patterns and thread, and each shop has a different selection of all of the above, the heart of each shop is centered among people.
And each quilt shop’s stories are about the people who go there: the shop owners, the staff, the teachers, the quilters, the customers. the kids who tag along with their mothers.
This is Jannette, the owner of Old Town Needlecrafts.
And this is Roger, her right-hand man, machine technician, and husband.
And this is Old Town Needlecrafts of Manassas VA
Old Town Needlecrafts began in 1989 as a yarn and needlework store. They carried a wide variety of needlecrafts, from counted cross-stitch to crewel embroidery, as well as supplies for knitting and crochet. And Jannette was at the center of it all. Then, one day in 1998, Jannette found herself in a bit of a jam. She’d promised to make a quilt for a local guild’s quilt show and the deadline was looming. So, she took the quilt with her to work on when the shop wasn’t busy. And customers saw it. And liked it. And wanted to learn how to quilt. So, Jannette taught a beginning quilting class — hand piecing and hand quilting — to about twelve eager students, using kits she’d assembled from her own fabric stash. And her students liked it and wanted another class. And the second class was also a success, but her personal stash was being rapidly depleted. So she bought a few bolts of fabric to add to the shop’s stock. And fifteen years later, Old Time Needlecrafts looks like this:
There’s even fabric stashed under the cutting table.
And stacks of fat quarters on the counter:
There are sample quilts for inspiration, too.
And patterns and notions galore:
And Elna sewing machines.
There’s still yarn at Old Town Needlecrafts.
Lots of yarn, and patterns and classes to go with it.
This is Abby, the official shop greeter and mascot, and all-around sweetheart.
Abby has her own fan club. One customer saw Abby’s picture on the shop website, came into the shop just to meet her, and then stayed to buy fabric.
Every quilt shop has something really exciting going on. At Old Town Needlecrafts, it’s the Strip Club.
Jannette showed us one of her own Strip Club quilts.
And then in came Strip Club member Marcy with her own Strip Club creations. This one’s called, “Do You Zig When You Zag”.
I loved the way Marcy had pieced her quilt’s back.
And she showed us her latest Strip Club project. Very impressive work for someone who’s only been quilting for two years! Thanks, Marcy.
Can’t you tell they’re having some wonderful fun stripping in Manassas?
Quilting is a communal activity, and most quilt shops become community centers and gathering places for friends. We asked Jannette to tell us Old Town Needlecrafts’ story.
Old Town Needlecrafts is a fun and friendly place.
Things to Know about Old Town Needlecrafts and Manassas VA
What to see in Manassas: In addition to the Civil War battlefields and museums, Old Town Manassas has a lively selection of restaurants and shops. The Historic Manassas Train Depot houses a visitors center and the James and Marion Payne Railroad Heritage Gallery. Each June, they host a Heritage Railway Festival that draws thousands of visitors.
Where to eat lunch: Jannette recommends Adam’s Pizza and Subs (9784 Center St) just a few doors down from her shop. A couple of blocks down Center Street, you’ll also find Katerina’s Greek Cuisine (9212 Center Street).