Learn how to quilt in NYC’s Garment District

Remember the age-old hobby of quilting? Now you can learn to make your own colorful quilts right in the heart of the fast-paced city.

Conveniently located in New York City’s Garment District, Gotham Quilts has been serving up fabrics, patterns and kits to the city’s quilting enthusiasts. If you are interested in picking up a new hobby or wanting to make heirlooms like your grandmother used to make, this is the place to get you started. If it has anything to do with sewing and quilting, they have the answer.

The store’s backstory is somehow exactly what you would imagine when it comes to how a warm and friendly quilting shop found its roots in the heart of Manhattan. It all started from the friendship of two “self-proclaimed fabric nerds,” Andrea Deal and Ivete Tecedor, who appropriately met in a quilting class. Ivete, who herself was learning to master the art of quilting from the instruction of Andrea, fell so hard for the hobby that she finished a whopping three quilts over the span of a six week class.

“We’ve been great friends ever since, and always talked about the store we thought NYC & modern quilters everywhere were waiting for,” said Tecedor.

Sewing machine and major equipment are provide for classes (Photo: Gotham Quilts).

Andrea, who has been sewing since she was a teenager, has been teaching sewing and quilting since 2009. Over the years she’s taught everyone from young kids all the way to seniors. She said her favorite part of the job is sharing her love of fabrics with others, and hopefully getting them hooked in the process. With that, she had no problem reeling Ivete into the hobby, who is a self-proclaimed life-long crafter.

They’ve now brought their vision to life, leading unique classes to share their passion with others.

“We’re passionate about bringing modern quilting to New Yorkers,” said Tecedor. “We love that quilting is a tactile, hands-on hobby that produces a finished product you can hold and can even provide comfort and warmth. In our increasingly fast-paced and digital lives, it’s calming to have something slower and more tactile to do.”

Wether you’re just getting started, or want to boost your current skills, they have a variety of classes depending on what and how you’re interested in learning.

If you already know how to use a sewing machine, but want to meet some new crafting friends, their Social Sewing classes have what you’re looking for. Here, you’ll get a chance to have fun with others, while working on current project, with access to their sewing machines, design wall, cutting mats, irons and as always, one of their expert teachers. This is a great way to get ideas and inspiration from others, while also having all the tools you need to get the work done.

Gotham Quilts also has a variety of classes (including introductory level courses) focused on intricate quilt designs. For example, their “Intro to English Paper Piecing with the Wicked Hex Mini” class sounds ridiculously complicated if you don’t know much about quilts, but it’s open to everyone and you don’t need prior experience. They’ll teach you all about cutting techniques and how to stitch together the different pieces and shapes, to create your masterpiece.

A group of ladies enjoys a social sewing class. (Photo: Gotham Quilts)

“If you’ve ever done anything artsy or craftsy before like knitting, or carpentry, or painting, you’ll pick up sewing faster,” Tecedor said.

If you’re looking for something a little less complicated, they have other classes that focus on “free motion” quilting from a sewing machine. You’ll just need to know how to use the machine first.

For the experienced quilters, there are a number of other courses that focus on designer patterns and complex designs, that sometimes last for more than a few hours and may be set up over the course of multiple sessions. These are definitely created for those with a background and passion for quilting.

However, if you’re just not that moved by the idea of making your own quilts, there are a few other options for you to try out. You can easily and quickly learn how to make your own top or bag with some of their class options and you don’t need too much prior experience to do so according to Tecedor.

“Even those who’ve never made anything with their hands before can learn to sew with our classes,” she said. “And we have kits with coordinating fabrics and instructions available to take the pressure off picking fabrics yourself.”

It is important to note that it takes a little more effort than just registering for a class and showing up at Gotham Quilts. The majority of the classes have a long list of required supplies, you’ll need to have to complete the class. Luckily almost everything can be purchased at their shop, so you’ll want to plan ahead. Others, like the bag making course, require some homework of precutting the fabric before you arrive to class.

If you’re looking to step outside the box, a fun and unique Gotham Quilt class is a great way to unwind, meet new people and learn something new.