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What's New at CQ 4/23/20

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." Walt Disney

Make this!

Click here for details.


Dear Friends,

The making of masks continues! If you are a mask-maker who wishes to sell the masks you are making but do not want to deal with customers and/or delivery, please consider letting us sell them for you on consignment! We get several calls a day from people looking to purchase completed masks. If interested, please contact Kat at 301-527-0598 or

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been isolating for more than a month now. We’re settling into a new daily routine that consists mainly of printing and filling online orders and answering the phones. We make every effort to process orders within 24 hours of receiving them. In order to allow us sufficient time to locate and prepare orders for either shipping or curbside pickup, we ask that you restrict your phone calls to us to between 11am and 4pm. We so miss the days of in-person customers, and look forward to the days when you can all walk through our doors again.  In the meantime, we will continue to support you from a safe distance!

I am so appreciative of your decision to shop at Capital Quilts and your involvement in the sewing/quilting/crafting community.  I know you have plenty of other options.  Thank you.

Go ‘n’ Piece,

Please call the shop between 11-4 Monday through Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday if you need to talk with us. That will give us time to fill the online orders that come in overnight and do the other things that need doing.
We prefer that you place your orders through our online shop on our website. We have found this is much easier for us. I understand that not everyone is willing to enter their credit card number into a computer, even on a secure site; don’t hesitate to call or email with your order if this is the case.

Quilting will get us past this Coronavirus Crisis! Sign up for our Corona Challenge! You get a yard of fabric, free shipping, and the chance to express in fabric how you are feeling about this virus. We’ll hang the quilts in the Gallery and/or post them online, depending on how long this crisis lasts. Make them at least 20” x 20” but not larger than 60” x 60”. Use the fabric we send you along with fabric in your stash or that you buy (hopefully from Capital Quilts!). Return them to us by May 17. Go online or call the shop 301-527-0598 to take on the Challenge!

We have all made a mask or two (or 50, or 200, or…), and would like to share our favorite patterns, and some tips and tricks we’ve discovered along the way.

Fabric discussion: We all know that quilting cottons are the way to go! This has been reinforced by a recent study, specifying “high quality quilting cotton”. We love batik for masks, because it is thin, has a dense weave, and holds a crease beautifully (so important if you’re making pleated masks!). However, nearly any of the fabrics we have in the shop are suitable for making masks. If you have any questions as to whether or not a particular fabric we carry is appropriate, just ask! We are more than happy to help you with your needs. Please note: we are sold out of non-woven interfacing.  If you'd like an additional layer of fabric in your mask, consider our fine white batiste.

Ties or elastic: For some, this isn’t an issue as elastic is hard to find these days. Masks with elastic are easier and faster to sew, but if the wearer must have one on all day, can cause irritation and pain behind the ears. If you really want to use elastic and cannot find any, try long hair elastics or hairbands. Ties, however, allow for a better fitting mask. You can make ties from a WOF (width of fabric – selvedge to selvedge) strip, and either run it through a bias tape maker, or fold and press the old fashioned way. Hate all that folding and pressing, and don’t have a bias tape maker? Try jerry-rigging one on your ironing board with a long straight pin, or use the index card trick posted on our FaceBook page! If making ties isn’t your thing (it isn’t ours), here are some alternatives you can use: twill tape (we have some in stock!), shoelaces (they are available super long, too!), grosgrain ribbon, or 1” strips of knit cotton jersey, gently pulled until they roll (nice because they're both stretchy and latex-free!). One of our recommended patterns calls for soft, thin, clothesline. Be creative! Just ensure that what you do is both comfortable and durable.

Nose wires: We all love a nose wire in the top of our mask! It allows you to form the mask around your nose, so that there is no gap between the mask and your cheeks. Many patterns call for a nose wire and have instructions on making them. Our favorite nose wire is the lowly twist tie! Other options: floral wire, pipe cleaners, paper clips, and cut up soda cans (file the edges thoroughly to avoid injury to the wearer.) Gaffer’s tape or duck tape can be used to cover the wire or metal to increase both durability and safety. Rather than sewing a channel or pocket for the wire, you can – very carefully – zigzag/couch it into your seam allowance.

Tips and tricks:
Use your walking foot! It will really help feed multiple layers under your needle more smoothly.

Marianne made a jig to hold her pleats down while sewing, following instructions in this video:

If you’re having trouble stitching through multiple layers, change your needle and lengthen your stitch! We recommend denim needles or topstitch needles for this, and a larger size than you might normally use.

Be sure to brush lint from the bobbincase and feed dogs often. Your machine will thank you later.

Our favorite patterns: There are a TON of patterns out there! These are just a few of what we have found, and like. Some of us are combining elements we like best from different patterns.

Nurse-designed, no pleats, one tie, nose wire, pocket for removable filter

Johns Hopkins designed, pleated, ties, pocket for nose wire

Thangles designed (but no triangles, we promise), pleated, one tie, optional nose wire

Craft Passion fitted mask, nose wire, elastic or ties, optional filter pocket, Cricut and Silhouette cut files available

AccuQuilt has several dies (3 different styles!) available, and patterns to go with them. Unfortunately, due to overwhelming demand, they are not making these dies available to retailers. If you are interested, order directly from AccuQuilt.

Of course, if you are masking masks to donate, please follow the pattern and instructions that they specify. It is also recommended that if you are making masks to donate to a medical facility that you NOT use solid blue or solid white fabrics. This makes it easy to distinguish the fabric masks from the manufactured masks at a glance. You should also use a different fabric for the lining than you do for the outside, so that it is easy to remember which side faces out.

Where do donate:
In addition to healthcare facilities and elder care, think about employees of other essential businesses, too: veterinary offices, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, animal shelters, etc. 

Check out the (inter)national database by Deaconess by clicking here.

We recently donated fabric to the Million Mask Challenge (VA/MD/DC). This wonderful group collects fabric and other materials donations, sorts and washes them, then distributes to their "craftivists", who then sew them into masks, and return to the organization for final quality control before sending on to facilities in need.

Mask Kits for personal use:
Kits are currently available! They contain all the materials (pre-cut fabric, twist ties for nose wires, cotton twill tape for fabric ties, and pattern with tips and tricks) required to make either 5 or 10 at a time. These kits are not intended to be used to make masks for donating to medical facilities, but are perfect for the “shoppers’ masks” now required to be worn in public in our area.  Click here to order.


WE HAVE ELASTIC! 1/4" flat braid, black or white, $.59 per yard.

Points of Hue from Blank Fabrics is a very usable, modern blender collection absolutely drenched with color.  We have 14 different bolts currently in stock.  $11.99 per yard.


Buy one die, get the second die 30% off through April 30, 2020.  Please call the shop to take advantage of this offer; it is not programmed in our website.

Face Mask dies are available on the AccuQuilt website. Retailers are not being given any supply to sell in shops.

Handi Quilter ProStitcher owners: Handi Quilter is replacing the Art & Stitch software with their own Pro-Stitcher Designer software. If you are already a Pro-Stitcher owner, you can take advantage of a limited-time offer and save almost $400. Until June 30, 2020, purchase your digital copy of Pro-Stitcher Designer for just $199.95. Visit the new to learn more. While Art & Stitch is still in existence, Handi Quilter will no longer support it.

We are able to accept your sewing machines for cleaning and tune-ups. Actual repairs that need parts we don’t stock will be difficult for the time being, as the Janome warehouse in New Jersey, from whence parts come, has closed down completely.
For drop-off service:
     Go to our website and sign up for machine repair. (click here)
     Bring your machine to the shop.
     We will take it in and wipe it down with a disinfectant.
     Our tech will pick it up here and take it home to work on it, then bring it back to the shop.
     We will let you know it is ready for pick-up and wipe it down again before we give it to you.
We are also offering Sunday service appointments that can be booked through the Calendar on our website.

I can still get you a new Janome sewing machine, as those come from a different warehouse. Janome will ship the new machine directly to your home so you don’t have to come out to pick it up. The shipping fee varies according to which machine you buy.

Highlighting the Janome Sewist 780DC
This is a computerized free arm machine with direct pattern selection. It has a Superior Plus Feed system, a unique needle plate with degree markings, built in needle threader, needle up/down, lock stitch, start/stop button, and an automatic thread cutter. Wide angle LED lighting and a large extension table are included. Regularly $1099, get it at Capital Quilts for just $699 through May 31, 2020. We have 2 in stock.
All Capital Quilts Cares events in the shop are cancelled until further notice.

That said, we have free pillowcase kits available that you can sew at home. They are a wonderful beginner project to do with children. The kiddos will learn some sewing skills and stay busy, too! We can mail them to you or you can pick them up curbside. Return the finished pillowcases to the shop (when you can; there is no rush), and we will donate them to Ryan’s Case for Smiles.

All classes, clubs, and events are cancelled until further notice.

When we begin to reschedule classes, those of you who had registered before will be given the first opportunity to sign up for the new class.

SAVE THE DATE: To the best of our knowledge, these events have not been cancelled.

==> June 13 & 14: Annapolis Quilt Guild "Quilts by the Bay" Show, Annapolis, VA

==> October 2-3: NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase Quilt Show, “2020 Vision”, at Kensington Town Hall/Armory

==> October 8 - 12: Quilter's Quest


Click to visit the
Capital Quilts website

Monday-Saturday, 11-5
Sunday 12-5


  • Tel: 301-527-0598
  • 15926 Luanne Drive
  • Gaithersburg, MD 20877