There is an intriguing shop in El Centro featuring oodles of fabrics from all over the world, more choices than any quilt shops in Mexico City! But… this tienda is much more. It’s called the San Francisco (SF) Quilt Shop in Mazatlán. The first floor is full of fabrics, upstairs is a special place for quilting lessons and services. But, let’s start at the beginning. I introduce to you, Linda Hannawalt.
In 2005, Linda and her husband took an Alaska Cruise where she was overwhelmed by a quilt she saw in a shop. She left Alaska with all the materials to make her own quilts, and spent that next year making 49 quilts for family and friends!
There are three steps to make a quilt:
1. Make the quilt top, cut up beautiful fabric and sew it back together in a new pattern.
2. Then quilt the front, back and batting. Long arm machines desirable.
3. Finish the edges, called binding.
Linda soon opened her new business in San Francisco called QuiltWorks where she gave lessons, provided quilting services and sold fabric.
In 2014, Linda came to Mazatlán for a one-week trip, planning to work on quilts. In her condo, she met other quilters who introduced her to the ladies of Pro Mexico whom she made ten of them an offer. “Come with me to San Francisco so I can teach you quilting.”
After their lessons in SF, the women came back to Mazatlán, each with a brand-new sewing machine! Linda told them, “If you have an old machine, give it to someone you know. Then teach them how to sew. Each One, Teach One.” Now her Pro Mexico students are over twenty.
Soon, Linda was flying from shop to shop after opening her SF Quilt Shop in El Centro. As of January, she closed her shop up north, making her full-time home in El Centro, a B&B for quilters where they can come and quilt while enjoying Mazatlán.
After a year of teaching her ladies, she told them she would no longer give them the fabric free. “Part of my teaching is to teach them to be entrepreneurs and plan, but I did give them a major discount.”
Currently, Thursday classes at SF Quilt Shop are free and open to all those interested. Their task in these lessons is to make quilts for charity. Last month, they sent their work to Mexico City for earthquake victims. This year, she will choose charities exclusively in Mazatlán.
Linda also holds classes during the week that can seat 20, and charges almost nothing. She also allows quilters to come in and use her sewing areas, most machines and design walls free of charge. We want to develop quilting in our community.
During our time together, numerous customers came into the shop, where she would have to excuse herself to answer questions. “My magic is color,” she told me. Boy was she right. One customer brought in a quilted wall hanging in need of help. Linda looked at it and immediately knew how to make it better, changing out some of the fabric with brighter colors.
In April of 2019, Linda is determined to host the first International Quilt Festival held in Sinaloa where artists will come from multiple countries. There will be classes, demos, lectures, vendors, and work will be judged. Linda was enthusiastic when talking about this.“My working theme is Magic of the Ocean.”
I was taken by a quilt in her shop. It’s called Winter Unzipped and is featured in the photo with this article. It has earned numerous awards, but her favorite award is Most Creative Quilt, after competing with hundreds of others.
Her shop is located on Carnaval #1005B, she is open 9 - 5pm Monday thru Saturday.
Such a dynamic character, Linda’s favorite expression is “We Make Fabric Hugs,” and her educational philosophy, “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.”