Featured Shop: Tiny Stitches of Marietta, Georgia

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It’s just a guess, but if you were a student in Maetha Elliott’s elementary school classroom, you’ve probably never forgotten her. This guess is based on the fact that this past year Maetha dressed as a singing Christmas Tree and Mary Poppins. And if you visit her shop, Tiny Stitches in Marietta, Georgia, this weekend, you’ll find her attired as an out-sized Jack o’Lantern.“It carries over from when I taught school,” she say with a laugh, and while her elementary school students undoubtedly enjoyed this spirited woman during her 26 years of teaching, for the past 11 years she’s shared her enthusiasm with quilt shop customers.

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Maetha shows off Stacey Iest Hsu’s Farm Fun fabrics

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This quilt from Sherry Falls’ Holiday Wishes book is stitched with Kate Spain’s Solstice fabric line.

Maetha freely admits “I just love events!” and the busy schedule at Tiny Stitches attests to the truth of that statement. Quilters gather for Quilt Til You Wilt on Fridays, for Saturday Sampler groups, and for a Night Before Christmas customer appreciation pajama party in December. During her stint as Mary Poppins—part of a Christmas in July event—the theme was “birds” and quilters were invited to “Let Your Projects Take Flight!” More than 200 people attended and as they waited to enter Mary Poppins/Maetha measured each one to see whether they were “practically perfect in every way.” (They all were.) Refreshments, bird-themed displays, and product demos kept customers engaged, along with nearly  8,000 bolts of fabric, notions, and lots of samples.

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img_4208Maetha had been a Tiny Stitches customer when the previous owner decided to retire. “Owning a small business had been in the back of my mind for the last ten years of my teaching career,” says Maetha, who wanted to put her business degree to use. The shop has expanded several times, including its move two years ago. A 7,500-square-foot space opened up and with the help of customers and 110 rolling bins, Tiny Stitches moved into its current building in a weekend. Though initially Maetha worried it was too large, she’s grown to appreciate the 3,000-square-foot classroom that’s in nearly constant use and the space for two Handi Quilter longarm machines, available for customer stitching.

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Brenda Riddle’s soft colors and cozy patterns are a big hit at Tiny Stitches.

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Maetha shows off Juniper Berry by Basic Grey. The quilt is Secret Garden by Emily Herrick for Crazy Old Ladies.

Maetha describes her shop as eclectic and whimsical and carries batiks, novelties, and lots of Moda fabric. Fabrics by Brenda Riddle, Kate Spain, and Edyta Sitar have lots of fans and the most popular Saturday Sampler ever was one done in Kansas Troubles fabrics. The local Modern Quilt Guild meets at Tiny Stitches and Maetha says they’re fond of BasicGrey’s Grunge, so she carries the entire line. She sought the advice of her Moda rep, Kathy Skomp, when considering a Grunge-based Block of the Month— Kathy and Maetha agreed it was worth a try, and the program starts in January. “Kathy is amazing, she’ll do anything to help us be successful,” says Maetha. “We are so quality-driven at Tiny Stitches and so is Moda—I’ve always felt that I can depend on them.”

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Two projects sewn with Moda’s Autumn Elegance—a Lynette Jensen quilt (pattern from American Quilt Retailer) and Triangle Frenzy Swirl table runner.

Tiny Stitches is open seven days a week and Maetha sometimes has to force herself to stay away on Sundays. Getting to spend time with her grandchildren provides an excellent incentive, but still there are Sundays when she sneaks back in the door to take part in the shop’s book club. She’s pleased by the community of quilters who gather at Tiny Stitches for events big and small, and loves the opportunity to share her love of quilting—whether she’s in costume or not. “People come in and you give them a little information and they take it and turn it into a quilt and then they bring it back and I think “We got them excited about that!’” says Maetha. “You lit a fire and they take it and run with it and that’s just what you want.”

 

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18 comments on “Featured Shop: Tiny Stitches of Marietta, Georgia

  1. Susan says:

    I wish we had a shop like this in Northern California! What a wonderful place to go buy fabric and know the talented owner! Love your post – as always. Thanks!

    • Ferne says:

      I agree Susan! I am also in Northern California and order most of my fabric from Fat Quarter Shop because I am not seeing the selection I like at my local quilt shop.

      • Wendy T says:

        As a fellow Northern Californian, I agree with Susan and Ferne! My LQS closed a few years ago and I now have to drive about 20-30 minutes to two other quilt shops in opposite directions. Once in a while, I’ll find appropriate fabric in the sale stack of the local big box store. I’ve even grabbed Moda Fabrics at $3 a yard! I don’t think they knew what they had.

        • Fran B says:

          I live in an area of Southern Salifornis with only one local quilt shop. My friends and I have traveled 3 hours to get to a shop that carries and features the fabric lines that we like. I wish I only had to drive 30 minutes!

  2. Stella Lang says:

    So glad to see my favorite quilt shop featured here!

  3. Pam says:

    This lady, the friendly staff, the wonderful samples, fabulous selection of fabrics (notions, embroidery, etc) and the darling “what nots” make a trip to Tiny Stitches a real treat!

  4. Grandma Sue says:

    I live on Long Island and other than what we call Big Box Fabric chains there are very, very few fabric stores no less stores specifically for quilters. I think I would just move in to Tiny Stitches permanently if I could. Please keep telling us about these wonderful shops. They are being plotted for a road trip if I can ever get my husband away from the TV and football!

  5. Debbie says:

    Tiny Stitches is my favorite shop! I love going there for inspiration!

  6. Sage Vogal says:

    Perfect place to shop, clean, neat and everybody is oh so sweet!

  7. Cheryl says:

    There are always fun happenings at this shop! So much creativity found and encouraged there. Great variety of supplies and fabric for quilting, embroidery, and even cross stitch. Classes for skills of all levels are offered to bring quilts from conception to finish! Thank you for featuring Tiny Stitches.

  8. Karen S Beard says:

    Oh my gosh!!! What a thrill that is for me to be a part of something featuring y’all’s shop! I sense a sweet hum of machines, the thump of fabric bolts on the cutting table, and laughter coming from the quilters sewing room while the success of Tiny Stitches continues!

  9. diane says:

    This is my favorite quilt shop! The staff is so friendly and the selection is amazing! There’s always something fun going on, you never know what you’ll find when you walk in the door.

  10. Margaret says:

    This shop sounds marvelous! Not only do they have great fabric, but it sounds like there are lots of activities, too.

  11. Kay says:

    This shop, In Stitches, sounds wonderful. We no longer have a “friendly” shop since we lost our local Quiltrled Apple. I miss it so. Those of you who have In Stitches are very lucky.

  12. Janet Bland says:

    Love this shop, Maetha, and the staff. I’m a proud Bag Lady!

  13. I loved this shop when I visited it while living in SC. If you are in the Atlanta area, you will not be disappointed!

  14. If only Southern California was a little closer I know I’d be a regular at Tiny Stitches! Maetha sounds like a brilliant shop owner who would be a phenomenal consultant and mentor to other lqs owners! (Or any kind of shop !) Hope it continues for many years to come!

  15. doreen says:

    My sister lives near Marietta and the next time I go to visit her I am definitely going to go this shop.

Comments are closed.