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This is NOT your grandma's quilt shop

When you think of quilting, do drab dark fabrics and simple appliques come to mind? Well, scrap that outdated notion. At the center of the modern quilt movement is Circa 15 Fabric Studio in Kirkland, WA.

"Modern quilting uses bold colors, geometric prints and lots of larger scale shapes," says owner Kristen Suzuki. "Traditional fabrics tend to be a little more neutral and smaller prints, but we tend to go the opposite of that here."

Like we said - this is not your grandma's quilt shop.

"I think you have an idea of what you think quilting might be in your head, but when you see what we have, it's definitely gonna change your mind," said Suzuki.

The shop is a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns, and she says some of the best selling motifs are flamingos, sloths, anything with cats, and pineapples. But it's not just the fabrics that are bright and bold - the designs are literally works of art!

For example, an elephant quilt in the corner immediately catches our eye.

"This piece is using a technique called foundation paper piecing," Suzuki explains. "So you actually sew on top of paper."


You may think this is her lifelong passion - but Suzuki only started sewing five years ago.

"My mom had been sewing all of her life," she said. "She had always wanted me to sew but as a teenager growing up, I never wanted to, I thought it was not cool to do that."

Suzuki then started looking at fabric, and falling in love with it. She asked her mom to make her an apron with a print that she loved.

"She said that she thought it would be a better idea if she helped me make it - she would teach me how to sew," Suzuki said.

Before they could begin - her mom unexpectedly passed away.

"She never actually had a chance to see the shop," she said. "But I think she'd be really proud." Suzuki did end up sewing that apron alone - but felt her mom was with her in spirit. Today she has a "family" of customers and friends who love to quilt. Although her mom is gone, she's still inspiring the store and Suzuki, who knows just what her mom would doing if she were here today.

"She'd be here working with me at the shop," she laughs.