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Friday, November 4, 2016

Hey, Do You Live in a Barn?

For those who may not yet have visited us at Quilters' Quarters (just two doors north of Perley School in Georgetown, Massachusetts) you may wonder at the title of this post ...

While we don't live in the barn, Rick and I enjoy working in and sharing our nineteenth century carriage barn which sits beside our home, at the rear of the driveway. We love with its wide pine floors, very old beams (we suspect they predate this 1815 structure, and have probably seen longer service in a previous barn) and sweet little cubby-rooms that were once dressing rooms for its previous use as a seamstress's dress shop, then called The Cricket Shop more than fifty years ago. Having bought the 'going away' dress for our wedding at this very shop, we knew when we saw the for sale sign a few decades ago that it was meant to be our forever home. We enjoy our retirement commute of seven steps from back door to our shops, and for ten months a year we welcome visitors who most often share our happiness with beautiful fabrics and sweet-smelling freshly-cut wood.

Rick began right away with his Wooden Toy and Gift shop, using the front of the first floor to make and showcase his beautiful old fashioned toys. In time, we replaced the shed at the back of the carriage barn (an addition that wasn't as well constructed as the original post and beam barn itself) and he moved his workspace out there. And when I retired from my teaching career, I opened a fabric shop and began my happily ever after career as a shop owner, quilter and author.  We live frugally on our pensions, and our only luxury is the freedom we have to buy and sell fabrics and notions, and make and share quilts and wooden creations and more at reasonable prices for our neighbors and friends.

I'm going to use this blog entry to share some of the character of our shop, to entice those who haven't become our customers yet to stop by and see us when we're open (Wednesdays through Saturday 11-7, March through December.)
We do close for the months of January and February, as the temperatures drop and the amount of heat we would have to provide in those months far outweights any income our shops might provide during the nine week period. But we maintain online shops as well (Quilters' Quarters webstore is located at this link: and Rick's Wooden Toy and Gift products are located online at this site:

When you enter the shop, the antique door bell clangs as it swings with the motion of the door. That lets us know that you're here, in case we've gone into the house for a bit.

You'll immediately see beautiful shelves filled with fabrics: batiks, prints, solids, tone on tone, full bolts, precuts ... and you'll also see a collection of antique Singer sewing machines, as Rick and I collect and repair them for customers' use.

Old Singers on the shelf overhead

Some of our fabric is in the next room, where Rick has built not only open shelving but also closed cabinets to keep his sawdust away from fabrics ... he made these with plexiglas and plywood, so that quilters could still see the fabrics and open the magnetic doors to feel the 'hand' of each one.

Closed cabinets protect some fabrics

We have what used to be a 'book nook' (former dressing room) that is now our holiday closet, filled with bolts of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Back to School fabrics. You can see it to the left of Linus's panel, still filled with free children's books that are now rotated out via our "Little Free Libary" at the end of our driveway.
in the former
book nook
Rick checking the level
The old oak file cabinet of strips

In addition to the new shelving, Rick and I have also made an effort to use the pieces that we found in the carriage barn when we first bought it.  We have a wonderful old beadboard cabinet that we painted white on the inside and barn red on the outside, and that is where we house all of our 44" fabrics. And we have an old oak four drawer file cabinet, minus its drawers, and we find that very ample to showcase our 2.5" strips that we purchase from Wilmington Prints and Quilting Treasures.

Red Beadboard Cupboard filled with flannels
The wide pine floorboards catch a lot of attention as people walk through the front rooms of Quilters' Quarters.  And the very old beams that support Rick's upstairs' workshop seem to pre-date this building, as they have mortise and tendon cuts here and there that appear to have no function in their present position. Rick hangs his scroll-saw cut scissors and quilters' plaques from the beams, which I believe enhances both his work and the sturdy structure of the building!
New scissors on the old beams

As we move through the fall season, new arrivals seem to appear each week; new batiks, new blenders, new prints ... they come by UPS, by FedEx, by USPS ... and it's been quite a while since Rick and I have taken a ride down to our favorite warehouse in Pembroke ... we're due, I think, and will be heading that way soon! But meanwhile, here's a peek at some of the new fabrics that have come our way:
Westrade 108" flannel and cotton quilt backs

Timeless Treasures' linen-look quilt quality cotton
new blue batiks 
new red and green Shimmer

Wilmington Prints "Winter's Eve" precuts

We look forward to sharing the history and happiness that this building offers to Rick and to me every day. Come see us! We're not hard to find - just two doors north of Perley School in Georgetown, Massachusetts. And if our hours don't suit you, give us a call and we'll try to be open when you can be here! 978-352-2676.

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