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Getting to Know

Written by Denise Martin  |  Posted on October 21 2020

You're probably too young to remember Deborah Kerr singing Getting to Know You in the Broadway musical The King and I. Just as well. It was sweet but so 1950s. However this is a perfect lead in for a Boomer (me) who should be retired but has decided to open a sewing and quilting boutique in a little, come-back town in Eastern PA.

Given that dubious intro, let me tell you a bit about myself and why I'm doing this ("this" being an idea that my family thinks is crazy and my friends inquire about cautiously and politely).

23 and Me (or Ancestry) would say it all started with my genes (or my ancestors). My Italian grandmother emigrated to New York from Sicily and supported her family by taking home bushels of mens' trousers and sewing the flys (flies??!) by hand. From an early age my mother helped her. When Sadie (my mother) finished high school she, like most of the young women in her Lower East Side neighborhood, went to work in a garment factory. Fast forward 12 years. She married my father when he got home from the war, left the garment factory, and bought her own sewing machine.

As soon as I could use the machine without catching my finger in the needle, I started sewing my own clothes. In those days, you could actually make a skirt for less than it cost to buy one. Not so today...

My background is in art. Got a BFA from Kent State University that fateful year. Painted, made prints, taught high school art, got a Masters degree. Yada, yada, yada.

Enter quilting. And those genes again. Well, genes-in-law. It was my husband's mother, Bette, who taught me about the rigor of the quarter inch seam, the HST, the joys of binding-by-hand, and the thrill of the finished quilt. But my quilting days were confined to family trips to Michigan, far from my professional life and raising a family in Los Angeles.

Ah, RETIREMENT! All the time in the quilt.

And I did. For three years. I got a fancy sewing machine. Then a long arm. Went to Quiltcon. Amassed enormous quantities of fabric, notions, books and patterns. Branched out into improv. I did it all!

But, alas, it was not enough."You're acting bored," Ken (my husband) said one day. "That's it!" I cried. "I have to open a store."

Which brings us to Seamless. Which is much more interesting than my personal history. So take a look at all we have to offer and, if you're in the area, stop in our boutique on Bridge Street in Phoenixville, PA.

Btw...The photos above are not my family but the time periods and conditions are similar. These photos are from the Library of Congress.