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I was born in Germany and lived there until I was almost eight. My mother was a trained tailor and spent much of her life doing alterations at home so she could stay home with my sister and I. Growing up, I often spent hours playing “under my mother’s sewing machine”. I thought sewing was a natural part of life, something that everyone did. - You get up, brush your teeth, comb your hair and sew. -
I was about eight when I began sewing myself. I also learned at a young age how to cross-stitch, crochet and craft. At twelve I sewed all the clothing for dolls that a neighbor sold at a church bazaar, and in exchange I got to choose one doll to keep.
As a teenager all my extra money went to fabric, unlike my friends who bought make-up and music. By the time I was a young adult I was making quilts, wall-hangings and placemats as gifts for friends, without really understanding that I was “Quilting”.
My family moved to Kamloops in 1988, and while searching for fabric for Christmas stockings, I spotted an ad for a local “Quilter's Guild”. I called the number and spoke to a woman who became a friend. She ended up working for me for over eleven and a half years, and only recently retired.
Owning a fabric and quilting store is the most natural thing I can imagine. I love how the business has changed over the years as we update to current trends and the changing tastes of our customers. I’m always learning something new and coming up with fresh ideas to share with those who shop in our store.
In 2008 Katja’s Quilt Shoppe was featured as one of the top ten fabric stores in the US/CAN by Quilt Sampler. Back then I was still using my married last name but have since returned to using Marek, my maiden name.
I love English Paper Piecing and even included a pattern in our article, which I’m happy to share with my visitors. Please stop by our shop and say hello.