New business weaves together quilting supplies, classes

ST. MARYS - The area's newest quilting store, Tangled Threads, is opening its doors for business today. Located at 63 Erie Ave. in St. Marys, the new store offers an array of fabrics, including cotton, flannel and batiks, which are hand-dyed fabrics made by using wax as a dye and often resemble watercolor designs.Additional quilting supplies and notions such as needles, thread, pins, buttons, tape and trims are available for purchase, as well as books and patterns.Co-owners and sisters-in-law Tammy Cherry and Emily (Cherry) Snelick discussed opening the business in April and began setting up the store in August.One of the main features of the business is a long-arm quilting machine. "The machine takes the back, batting (filler) and top and stitches them all together," Cherry said.She noted that this process could take up to one year to hand-stitch, whereas the store's machine can complete the task in as little as four hours. Costs are per square inch to have a quilt stitched on the machine. The machine is typically utilized for large-size projects, which can include anything from baby quilts to bedspreads and more. "Our quilting services are for those who make the top part of the quilt and don't want to hand-quilt it or tie it with yarn," Snelick said.The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.Beginning in October, Tangled Threads plans to start offering quilting classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. At least two different classes will be offered each week. Class size is limited to eight people and is on a first-come basis. They will be held one night a week for a five-week period from 6 to 8 p.m. Those interested in signing up should contact the store at 834-1168. Email inquiries can be made to plans to teach classes while also bringing in guest instructors. There is a $5 cost per class for the instructors' fee, totaling $25 for the series. In addition, all material used in projects must be purchased at the store."We are thinking about hosting a 'UFO'-- Unfinished Objects Night-- where people can bring in their unfinished projects and have a quiet place to complete them," Cherry said.The owners are also considering hosting a "Widowed Wives' Day" to provide the opportunity to work on a project for those ladies whose husbands go hunting.In one of the first beginner classes, Cherry said participants will learn how to make a rag quilt, in which all the seams are on the front side and the edges are left to fray to allow for a soft and fuzzy quilt. "This is a good learning tool and is simple to do," Snelick said.Cherry formerly taught classes at Jo Rae's Quilt store in Ridgway before it closed in June. They said that between Jo Rae's closing and Wal-Mart discontinuing their fabric department, it seemed an ideal opportunity to open Tangled Threads.Snelick added the closest fabric stores in the area are in DuBois and Warren.According to Snelick, the new store also sells books, patterns, handmade tote bags, bibs, fabric coasters, table runners and Bolivian jewelry.