Every needle worker has a favorite shop, some place that carries all of the latest patterns, threads, and fabrics. A place you feel welcome, where you can gaze and touch to your heart’s content. My favorite, and one I highly recommend you stop by if you are ever in the area, is Haus Tirol- The Stitching Well in Williamsburg VA.
The shop opened in 1979 as Haus Tirol, run by a mother-daughter team. The mother emigrated from Austria, and opened this shop to sell some of the fine European gifts and needlework she felt were missing in this country. Over time they received more and more requests for the supplies needed to create such masterpieces, and so they eventually expanded the shop and added The Stitching Well. What once started out as 25% of their total merchandise, has now taken over the shop with the resurgence of the needle arts in today’s culture. They carry many patterns and supplies from the major names in needlework, for example DMC, Caron, Kreinik, Wichelt, Rainbow Gallery, and Weeks. Are you looking for a new gadget or a new way to organize your stash? This is the place. If you can give them an idea of what you are looking for they will go out of their way to not only show you what will work, but they evaluate it based on their personal experiences as stitchers.
Not only do they carry a fine stock, they can order just about anything your heart desires. Being in a tourist area they have had shop patrons from all over the globe, and they will happily ship whatever supplies you need. What truly makes this shop unique, however, is the personal service. If you enter and want to purchase one of the hand stitched models adorning the walls, the ladies will happily take the time to show you how to make it yourself so that you too can feel that sense of pride and accomplishment. If you experience a problem, they can help. Over the years they have accumulated a beautiful collection of models from their own two hands hanging in their shop, and a wealth of experience. I once was about halfway through with a very intricate design, which I had just determined did not leave enough room along the edge to allow for proper framing. The ladies were most helpful and gave me several suggestions on how to salvage the piece so that my hard work could be completed.
I highly recommend making the trip to Williamsburg either in the early fall or the beginning of December. During the summer months the traffic in the area can be almost unbearable, but by early fall the weather usually hangs in and the tourist population begins to drop. While in the area there are many attractions, including fine restaurants, amusement parks, and many sites of historical interest. In the first weekend of December the “Grand Illumination” takes place in the colonial village, which is only a few miles from the shop. Either time gives your family plenty to do so that you can peruse the shop’s wares in peace and quiet.
If you are ever in the area check out the shop located at 1915 Pocahontas Trail Suite E6, Williamsburg, VA 23185. The winter hours are 10AM to 4:30PM Monday through Saturday, during the summer they may stay open a little later. The phone number is 757-220-0313 and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I highly recommend this shop; just make sure there is plenty of room left in your suitcase for the treasures you may find there.