After more than two decades as a destination for local and vacationing quilters, Mare’s Bears Quilt Shop in the Beacon Motel building in Lewes will be closing its doors over the next several months.
Quilt shop owner Maryann McFee opened the shop with her beloved husband Doug McFee in December 1995. Before that, the McFees lived in Olney, Md., with their three children. Once Doug retired as a Montgomery County police officer, the couple decided to move to Lewes where Maryann had vacationed with her family.
Having sewn since her youth, Maryann quickly realized that fabric and quilt shops did not exist in the area, so she opened the business. Maryann’s husband was of great support over the years before he passed away in 2010. Maryann has been a part of the resurgence of interest in quilt making during her shop ownership.
Quilters continue to use traditional quilt blocks in their work while often adopting modern twists. Beautiful fabric colors and patterns have developed over recent decades, and fabric companies continually produce new lines.
As with many small businesses, the availability of online purchasing has unfortunately caused quilt shops across the nation to close their doors.
While Maryann’s shop has been successful, she looks forward to retirement and new adventures. She plans to develop a small business with quilt commissions, as well as machine-embroidery work and custom children’s clothing. She also looks forward to spending time with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters who moved to Lewes two years ago and became owners of Lewes Cycle Sports.
As Maryann reduces inventory with weekly specials and sales, she wants community members to know how appreciative she has been of their support.
Maryann’s expertise with sewing machine repair, garment sewing, and of course, quilting has been invaluable for the Delaware community. Her shop will be truly missed by crafters far and wide.