color for quilters

with rhea butler, saturday, june 17th from 10:30-1:00

$25 per person: no materials required! No sewing, with no previous experience necessary. Open to all skill levels. In this class, students will explore the color wheel and color combinations as they specifically relate to quilting. Rhea will lead you through several creative exercises and guided discussion where the goal is to get you looking at color from a new perspective. If you struggle with color confidence, don't like choosing fabrics for your quilts or just want to flex your creative muscles, then this would be a wonderful workshop for you! We always have a lot of fun in this class and come away inspired and excited to try exciting new color combinations.

button boats

with pam richards, tuesday, june 20 from 10:30-1:00

$25, plus materials Learn to make these adorable Button Boats, perfect for any place you could use a little "keeper." Button Boats use 10" squares of fabric and a new product called "Stiff Stuff." They fold flat when not in use, then fold and secure them when you need a place to stow your trinkets. Button Boats would make a wonderful gift and they're a fun, easy, completely addictive way to use fabric from your stash. Perfect for the sewing room, too! This workshop open to all skill levels, including beginners.

parkside shorts

with jodie roberts, saturday, june 24th from 10:00-4:00

$45, plus materials Suitable for all skill levels, including beginners*. The Parkside Shorts will soon be your go-to garment for warm weather. These shorts are the perfect addition to your casual, yet put together wardrobe. Pair your shorts with a tank or tee for an afternoon at the park, or with a button up and sneakers for a day spent on the go. However you style them, you’ll be sure to stay comfortable and stylish all day long. The Parkside Shorts feature a 3.5” inseam (with instructions on lengthening, if you desire), in-seam pockets and a comfortable elastic waistband. *Beginners should be comfortable with the basic functions of their sewing machines, including winding and threading the bobbin, winding the upper machine, adjusting stitch length, etc.

lucy boston

with rhea butler, saturday, july 1 from 10:30-1:00

$25, plus materials
Open to all skill levels, including beginners! No experience necessary! Learn to make the beautiful Lucy Boston block using the traditional English paper-piecing technique. It's no secret that here at Alewives we are completely addicted to making Lucy Boston blocks and the addiction shows no signs of slowing down. Made completely by hand, these blocks resemble sparkling jewels or blooming flowers, but they are ridiculously easy to make (even for beginners... we promise!). We'll learn what makes a fabric suitable for a Lucy Boston block, learn to "fussy-cut" our fabrics and discuss the best tools for the job. English paper-piecing is not only easy, but it's also portable. Take it with you to the game, work on it while in the car, at night in front of a good TV show or take it to the beach!

exploring lucy boston

with rhea butler and dawn elliott, saturday, june 8th from 10:30-1:00

$25, plus materials Have you learned to make the Lucy Boston block but want to take your fussy-cutting to the next level? Do you wonder what you could do with all your Lucy Boston blocks? Do you still have trouble picking fabrics for your blocks? This is the class for you! Rhea and Dawn will share their secrets for making gorgeous Lucy Boston blocks. We'll teach you the flat back stitch (to make your stitches absolutely invisible!) and how to "hide the honeycomb" with our careful fussy-cutting. We'll show you different projects to make with your Lucy Boston blocks (projects that DON'T include stitching the entire quilt together by hand!) and we'll do our best to inspire you to look at this block in a whole new way.

willow tank

with jodie roberts, saturday, july 15th from 10:00-4:00

$45, plus materials Well suited to beginners*, the Willow Tank Dress from Grainline Studios is a versatile and reliable staple for all warm weather seasons. It’s fitted at the shoulders and falls into a relaxed fit below the bust. It’s unfussy and can be made into a dress or a tank top. Wear it to a picnic or on an elegant evening out. Techniques you will learn in class include sewing a straight seam, making darts, hemming and applying bias facing. The Willow Tank would look wonderful stitched up in one of our smooth and silky cotton lawns, or choose a chambray or even a quilting cotton. You'll want a whole closet full of Willow Tanks to wear throughout the summer! *Beginners should be comfortable with the basic functions of their sewing machine, such as winding and threading the bobbin, threading the upper machine, adjusting stitch length, etc. If not, please contact us to schedule a private lesson where we can help you get acquainted with your machine!

slow sewing day retreat on spruce head island

with rhea butler and barbara neeson, saturday, july 22 from 10:00-4:00

$50 per person, includes snacks, lunch and beverages Enjoy the day stitching on the wraparound porch overlooking the ocean at the Neeson family home on Spruce Head Island (near Thomaston... about 40 minutes up the coast from Alewives Fabrics). The Slow Sewing Retreat is a day to bring your hand-stitching project and spend the day talking, laughing and eating with your fellow retreat-goers. There is a private beach on the Neeson's property and if you're feeling plucky you can go for a dip in the ocean (it's always very cold, but invigorating!). Bring your project, your appetite, your best friends and your bathing suit! High tide is at 10:30! This event sells out every year, so please purchase your spot early as we are only able to accommodate 20 quilters.

2017 lucy boston cruise on the j&e riggin

with rhea butler, september 22nd through 25th

$780, plus materials. Includes 4 days and 4 nights meals and lodging aboard the schooner J&E Riggin. Please contact the J&E Riggin offices at 1-800-869-0604 to sign up! Spend 4 days and nights sailing the beautiful coast of Maine aboard the schooner J&E Riggin. Instruction will be provided by Rhea Butler on the beautiful Lucy Boston block, made entirely by hand using the English Paper Piecing method. This is an incredible opportunity to take some time for yourself and unplug, unwind and sew the day away aboard a world famous ship with a world class chef cooking all your meals. More information about the cruise and the schooner can be found on the J&E Riggin's website: A once in a lifetime opportunity that is not to be missed! This cruise is not just for Lucy Boston lovers! Anyone who would like to spend 4 days aboard a Maine windjammer sewing or knitting by hand or non-sewing spouses and friends are welcome aboard!!!

anna maria horner lecture and trunk show

friday, september 29th from 5-8pm

UPDATE: This event is sold out, but please call to be placed on the waiting list. We will notify you if a space becomes available.
Join Anna Maria Horner for an evening of appetizers, cocktails, Q&A and quilts! We'll stay open late for this special event (of course we'll have lots of AMH books, bundles, patterns, fabrics and more for sale!), then at 6:00 we'll all congregate downstairs in the classroom for a lecture and trunk show. Anna Maria has shared that she loves offering this program when she visits quilt shops. It gives her a chance to tell the story of how she became a celebrated fabric designer, author and pattern writer. Anna Maria will also share some of her most beloved quilts and projects with us, and we'll also have time for a Q&A session at the end. Spaces are limited and we recommend reserving your spot as early as possible.

building blooms with anna maria horner

saturday, september 30th from 10-4

UPDATE: This event is sold out, but please call to be placed on the waiting list. We will notify you if a space becomes available. Join artist, patchworker, and quilt designer Anna Maria Horner for an exciting day of building gorgeous floral quilts using various techniques! Anna Maria will share her process and techniques that include hand applique, machine applique, reverse applique and various patchwork. These tutorials can help you to create her Plot Twist, Folk Flower, Cross Country or Safe Passage quilts.... or create your own! Whether you go more in an improvisational or planned direction, you will walk away inspired! She'll share her tips for color and fabric selection, cutting, layout, stitching and planning your finish. Anna Maria can also guide you more specifically through making one of her new applique quilts patterns that use all of these techniques. Class fee includes a catered lunch, a ticket to the lecture and trunk show on Friday, September 29th and a surprise goodie bag!

three part harmony with anna maria horner

sunday, october 1st from 10:00-2:00

UPDATE: This event is sold out, but please call to be placed on the waiting list. We will notify you if a space becomes available. Anna Maria Horner's infectious love of color and patchwork blend together beautifully in this workshop! Students will play with fabrics in a completely different way than ever before: ignore color and learn to categorize your fabrics into lights, mediums and darks. Anna Maria will also share her techniques for precise piecing of simple patchwork blocks that use squares and half square triangles to make a beautifully composed block. Each block is unique and individual, like it's own mini quilt with a beautiful design that would make anything from a wall hanging or table topper to a bed-sized quilt. You'll leave class inspired to look at the fabrics on the shelf and in your stash in a whole new way. Best suited to students who are comfortable with the basic functions of their sewing machines (threading and winding the bobbin, threading the upper machine, etc.) and who have made one or more quilted projects before. Class fee also includes a ticket to lecture and trunk show on September 29th.

wednesday open sewing

downstairs in the alewives fabrics classroom, 10:00-5:00

FREE and open to all skill levels! Every Wednesday from 10:00-5:00 you're invited to drop in at your leisure and sew with a wonderful (and very welcoming!) group of ladies. Wednesday sewing began when a group of friends asked if they could meet downstairs in our classroom just once for a social sew-in. Now they meet every Wednesday and they've gathered many newcomers along the way. We can't imagine Wednesdays without hearing their laughter floating up the stairs! Bring your own machine, bring hand sewing, bring knitting or whatever craft you're addicted to at the moment. Bring a bag lunch if you like, too! Wednesday Open Sewing is a very friendly place, so if you're a beginner or shy or new to the area, don't be nervous about dropping in. These ladies are all very friendly and supportive and they love to see new faces. While visiting us at Alewives, you're welcome to use our irons, ironing boards and cutting mats. Anything else you might need is just a short trip upstairs! Oh, and one more thing about Wednesday sewing: Bert and Rhea usually stop by for a visit, so if you don't mind a visit from an active four year old, Wednesday Open Sewing might be the perfect place for you to sew the day away!