Since the late 1950s, The Little Shop has evolved from a fabric shop to a quilting center that wraps needle-wielders in a comfortable, creative, and supply-packed environment. Its comprehensive roster of rotating classes keeps curious quilters and beginning thimble-holders satisfied, challenged, and armed with new stitching skills. Crafters with armloads of books, makeup, and Dawson's Creek fan fiction can sew durable supply tote bags ($25 for two classes) or breezy, chic scrunchy Kathy's bags ($25 for two classes) to lighten their loads. Or, sewers can ditch hands for the precision and speed of motors with a two-session machine-quilting class ($30).
Woolplay offers more than 100 kinds of yarn and easy-to-follow classes for fiber fanatics of all abilities. Classes last around 1.5 hours, and use time far more wisely than 90-minute horror-musicals about action figures. Take a three-class series, such as Learn to Knit, which instructs beginners on casting on, purling, and knitting. Learn to Knit in the Round, a two-class series, spotlights circular and double-pointed needles, which students employ on a hat-making journey. Single-session classes maintain a pointed focus, like a surgical laser or hoop-jumping dolphin. Easy Lace introduces students to a simple lace pattern, which could eventually find its home in a cozy scarf. Fixing Your Mistakes reveals how to correct for human error, a less burdensome task than repairing sloppy mittens knit by parakeets. Some classes require a $10 to $30 materials fee; check the schedule for more details.
Inspired fabric artists find everything they need at The Quilted Nest, and those seeking inspiration can find it in fun patterns and books nestled amid neatly stacked bolts of quilt-shop-quality cotton. Creative ideas also abound in the shop's regularly scheduled classes, putting an end to quilters' days of patterning squares after boring stock-market charts. Customers are encouraged to bring their own sewing machines, but public machines are available for rent during classes. In addition to workshops and classes, the shop also hosts events such as weekly Manic Mondays, where anyone can needle away with no studio or machine-rental fee as long as they are working on a project for a charity.
At Sports Integrity, the memorabilia might come from the NFL, the NBA, or the NHL, but authenticity is the name of the game. The autographed collectibles in the store meet rigorous standards so that customers know they're the real deal: they arrive with a tamper-proof hologram, a certificate of authenticity, and the guarantee that someone on the Sports Integrity staff witnessed the signing. These assurances apply to every item in the catalogue, from basketballs signed by Kobe Bryant to hockey masks signed by Jason Voorhees.
Color Me Mine art studio is stocked with more than 600 ceramic items awaiting decoration, including cookie jars, plates, and vases. Fledgling artists pick the item they want to paint and decorate it with nontoxic, lead-free, and food-safe paint. The studio instructors then glaze the completed masterpiece before firing it in a kiln, sealing the paint job and smoking out any genies hiding inside it. Color Me Mine also hosts BYOB painting classes in its private party room, where instructors give step-by-step instruction that help students create their own acrylic canvas paintings.
Between SJ Magazine's full-color covers lurk stories and articles on dining, homes, local celebrities, and everything Southern New Jersey. With a one-year subscription keeping your mailbox the talk of every other mailbox’s blog, you’ll get 12 issues packed with columns, commentary, and information on parenting and general health with a special focus on local medical professionals and their breakthroughs. A squad of longtime, loyal Southern New Jersey citizens staff the mag and live on its pages, covering local shops, neighborhoods, and choice eateries whenever they’re not busy producing annual features such as Best of SJ and Top Docs. Past issues have taken on topics ranging from the story of the town of Camden and the rise of Jon Runyan from footballer to congressman to profiles of people such as Wendy Williams and Philadelphia Phillies second baseman, Chase Utley.