The ladies of Katie Brooke Quilt Shop

Allison Smith

The next time you’re downtown, stop by the Katie Brooke Quilt Shop. You’ll step into a world you didn’t know existed.

Walk in the door and you’ll see the quilts. They’re like pieces of art.

There’s one — obviously for a little boy’s room — covered with cars. The top of the quilt says VROOM.

There’s another with a dozen fashion models dressed in 1940s clothing.

Another is an antique to Marcy Moisio, the owner. It’s covered with pink, purple and yellow flowers.

One looks like a six-foot geometric puzzle.

They cover the walls, a bed, chairs, every white space in the room.

Quilts of every size: wall hangings, bed covers, potholders, place mats.

Colors overwhelm you: yellow, red, peach, pink, orange, green, olive, blue, indigo, purple, ivory.

Marcy will tell you she started the store on Water Street.

“We needed a quilt shop. Four years ago, when I started it, there weren’t very many in the area. I did a lot of praying and a lot of research.”

She will tell you she was the first to move in to the newly renovated Acorn Alley. She’ll say she named the store after her two granddaughters, Katie and Brooke. When people ask to speak to Katie Brooke, she says Katie Brooke is in kindergarten right now, but she’ll call when she gets back.

You hear chatter and laughter drifting from the back of the store. The sunshine that comes in through the large windows reflects the bright colors of the fabric right at you. You know this is a happy place.

The back room is where things are really happening.

But on your way there, look at the small quilt to the left. The more you stare at it, the more the shapes pop. It’s almost like an optical illusion. You see green, purple, gold, blue and white. The pieces form a cross with a white background, and vice versa. You read the quotes handwritten on the white parts of the quilt.

“Your shop inspires and nourishes friendship.”

“Marcy, thanks for making us feel so welcome at Katie Brooke — best of luck at the new location — we love it!”

“Too many hours of sharing friendships and our love of sewing.”

Some days and almost every night, the store holds classes in the back room.

Today it’s not quite a class. It’s a group of expert quilters working and chattering.

The women are sitting around four tables pushed together. Scissors, rotary cutters and rulers hang on the wall, ready for quilters who forget their own tools. Irons and mist sprayers sit on a pushcart with fabric samples.

If you arrive early, you’ll get a good seat. And maybe a cup of coffee. And maybe a snack. This morning there are donuts, Danishes, muffins and zucchini bread. If you’re a quilter yourself, bring a project. Anything. Ask for help if you need it. Everyone will want to lend a hand.

The classroom begins to get crowded as more and more women show up. The fun begins when more people arrive. Everyone knows once you get a room full of women together, they get loud and hilarious.

A few days ago, Marcy mentioned she wanted to put up a shelf on one of the walls in the classroom. Everyone has an opinion in what would go on the shelf.

“Visualize it,” one woman says. “As each of us passes, we’ll put our ashes on it in little crocks.”

Another woman shakes her head. “I think you’re all crock!” she says.

Marcy relies on the girls who come in to Sit ‘N Sew for opinions. When she is buying fabric for her store, she brings some back for everyone to see.

“Ladies!” she yells over the noise. “OK, so what do you think of this?”

She pulled out a piece of fabric with the ABCs on it. For each six-by-six inch block, a letter corresponds with an animal or a fruit. The sample has multiple choices of patterned fabric for the backing.

“Sooo cute, you need to get that.”

“Would you make a quilt out of it?”


“What should the backing be?”

“The bumble bees, definitely.”

Toward 12:30 p.m., the women begin to disperse. Some have brought lunches and stay a while longer. Stay until the end, if you can. As the group gets smaller, you’ll learn more about quilting and you’ll learn more about some very nice quilters.

Contact features reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].