Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cottonseed Glory

One year nearly thirty years ago on my birthday, my husband suggested we get a babysitter and walk around downtown Annapolis. That's when I found Cottonseed Glory. A tiny shop with homemade things and a few bolts of fabric I remember feeling at once at home.

While I was busy with my growing family, Cottonseed Glory grew too. They moved to West Annapolis and changed their focus. Now a quilt shop, it became the hub of the activities of the area's growing number of quilters. When my children caught chicken pox one after another and I desperately needed to get out of the house, I took a quilting class at Cottonseed Glory.
quilt I made while waiting for Care and Eric's baby

I loved quilting. I loved choosing the colors, thinking through the pattern, piecing and finally sewing the quilt layers together, called "quilting."
Clare with the quilt I made for her. 

When you're done, you have a lovely, colorful, soft blanket to keep or give to someone you love. What could be better than that? Over the years Cottonseed Glory has been a source of inspiration, education and high-quality, beautiful fabrics.
homemade quilts bring warmth and comfort to everyday life

Now in the store, they have over 6,000 bolts of quilting fabric making them the largest quilt store in the area.  Not only that, but they publish their own brand of patterns. I've bought and sewn several of these and have found them well-written and beautifully designed.

I love the samples that hang in the shop. They are plentiful and inspiring. Because I've admired the shop for so long, I've always wanted to work at Cottonseed Glory and spend the day with fabrics and quilts and people who love them. And today when I was there working, the owner, Pat Steiner, returned from a quilt show in Florida and I helped her hang the quilts samples she'd taken with her back in their places all over the shop. She said, "If you think of a creative way to hang these or a better way, just do it! I won't object; I'll be glad." What a thrill for me. I appreciated the gesture and Pat's confidence, especially when you think of how artistic she is and how beautifully displayed everything is in the store. But you see, Pat's invitation to participate is the way she runs the store; she looks for ways to include and encourage, ways bring out other people's creativity.

When Pat heard that I had written a novel, and that the novel had at its center a quilt store patterned in some ways after Cottonseed Glory she asked me a dozen questions, then said, "Let's sell it here! Let's have a book signing. I was touched and grateful. So we're scheduling one there for Thanksgiving weekend.

In the meantime, I'll be working there once in a while, now and then. There's been a bit of a learning curve in shopkeeping for me. I've loved every minute, though. I love helping customers and straightening the racks of fabric. I love making the quilt kits and folding the fat quarters. I love it all!!

learn how to make this hand appliqued piece this Sunday!

I've had patient teachers: Delight, Kelly and Pam, Pat and Rhoda. But my all-time low was when I signed the customer's charge slip for her. Just being cheerful and efficient! Just trying to help out!  Aaagh! I scribbled out my name, apologized a million times and asked her to sign above the scribbles.  The customer was very gracious and said, "I was wondering what the heck you were doing, but I didn't want to say anything." No really, feel free to stop me. I'm new.

A class on this quilt is offered in the shop this fall. It's easier than it looks!

 And I'll be teaching some beginning sewing classes. The first one, this Wednesday night, we'll be making a simple decorator pillow in an hourglass pattern. (click on the link to download pattern for free)

 It's easy and there's still room for more of you who want to learn to sew.

And there are two classes scheduled in October where I'll be teaching how to make these cute pajamas:

The pajamas can be made in any size or fabric! 

When you have a bit of time and are looking for something to brighten your day or nurture your soul, stop into the store and see the samples for the wonderful quilt classes offered this fall some of which are pictured below.

When I am there and walk in the classroom, I want to take every single class!  You choose your own colors, get a 10% discount on fabrics during the class itself,  learn more than you could ever imagine and go home with a great deal of a lovely quilt ( or other fabulous sewing project) completed.

Find Cottonseed Glory now on Facebook!

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