Some quilt shops are born because a quilter can’t find the fabric she needs and/or wants to share her love of quilting with other quilters. Some shops start as something else and find their niche with quilting. And still other shops add quilting as a sideline because it’s a way that they can better serve their customers.
Janice, the owner of Sew n Vac, will be the first to tell you that she’s not a quilter. But she understands quilters. And she knows what they need and how to help them.
What Janice knows best is sewing machines. She’s been in the sewing machine business since 1979 and has owned Sew n Vac since 1989. They carry a full line of Babylock machines – sewing machines, quilting machines, sergers, and both home and professional embroidery machines, with all the accessories, patterns, and notions you need to get the most out of them. They can even provide you with Horn or Koala cabinets to put it all in!
(They carry vacuum cleaners, too, so you can corral all of the thread snibbles that result from your enhanced creative productivity.)
And, of course, to get the most out of their wonderful Babylock machines, quilters need fabric. So, Sew n Vac has lined the walls of their classroom with fabric.
Lots and lots of lovely fabric.
A rainbow worthy of studious contemplation.
And it’s beginning to creep out of the classroom and invade the main showroom. (But, then, fabric has a way of doing that, don’t you think? At least it has managed to take over almost every surface in my sewing room. How about yours?)
And you’ll find inspiration at Sew n Vac, too.
I loved this tote.
Just look at the panorama of possibilities at Sew n Vac.
Still, the primary feature that distinguishes Sew n Vac is their dedication to customer service. They care about providing the best possible experiences for the people they serve.
In addition to their one-on-one classes for new machine owners, Sew n Vac sponsors a variety of lecture/demonstrations and hands-on classes for every interested sewer and quilter. During July, they’re sponsoring a three day Deck the Halls class to give you a jumpstart on Christmas.
Twice a year, they present their Sew Fair, a major event featuring noted educators from all of the many areas of sewing, quilting, and embroidery. The three-day seminar is filled with demonstrations of the latest techniques and gadgets in the sewing world and ‘sit and sew’ classes where avid sewing enthusiasts can try them out for themselves. This fall’s Sew Fair will feature Nancy Zieman, of Sewing with Nancy fame.
When I asked Janice if she could tell me any special stories about her customers or her shop, she simply said, “All of my customers are special.”
What to know about Sew n Vac and Ellicott City
What to see in Ellicott City: Sew n Vac is located about 2 miles north of Historic Ellicott City proper, with its collection of restaurants, museums, and quaint shops. There you can browse through antique shops, explore the oldest railroad station in the US, or stroll the streets.
Where to eat lunch: Janice recommends Kelsey’s Irish Pub (8480 Baltimore National Pike) just down the way for sandwiches and other traditional pub fare.