In today’s Instagrammable world, it is tempting to make everything in the home look as pleasing as possible; to carefully curate the decor to fit a specific aesthetic, searching online and browsing stores for products that look oh-so-perfect.
This can result in sticking to mass-produced decor items, straying away from displays of handmade creations. But a new makerspace in Falls Church is looking to challenge that way of thinking. TINT – A Modern Makerspace, which opened its doors in the fall, is a shop for modern-day DIY visionaries, featuring textiles and fiber arts that can be used for knitting, quilting, sewing, spinning, weaving and other crafts.
“I have always loved the collection of things, quantities of things,” says TINT founder and owner Carissa Englert. “My mother-in-law taught me how to knit 15 years ago. I became obsessed with learning how to knit. I’ve collected all of these hobbies, mainly in fiber and textile arts.”
TINT is the vision of what Englert was looking for in the knitting, sewing and quilting communities. “There are a lot of women that will do [crafts] more in isolation,” says Englert. “But I had this really strong gut feeling that the area didn’t have anything and I needed it and wanted it. Whether it’s to patronize or pick up supplies, get inspiration or take a class and meet other people doing the same things, I wanted it in my community.”
With that community vision in mind, Englert created a space that’s all about the creative journey. You go there to find materials to create something original—not buy a readymade piece off the shelf. “Items that are hand-stitched, hand-quilted, hand-bound take a lot of time. There’s a joke in the community that’s like, ‘You’re not getting a quilt from me unless I love you,’” says Englert. “But it’s really about valuing that beautiful art, the talent that it takes and the time, the creativity and the effort.”
Products surround the perimeter of the store, including hand-strung yarn, fabrics, how-to books, spools of thread and other supplies, while long tables and a workstation sit in the center for classes and community building.
TINT offers monthly workshops across a range of crafts and hobbies, such as knitting 101, quilting, embroidery classes and more, as well as private lessons. “There’s the basics, but then some project-based classes and technique-based classes,” Englert says. “I really wanted that community aspect because it’s like, ‘Where are all my people?’ The makers, the people who want to go home and make something … it’s an underground community that once you discover it, it becomes really vast.” // 417 W. Broad St., Suite 100, Falls Church
Looking to get inspired for a creation of your own? Get started with these fun finds.
New to quilting and don’t know which patterns to choose? Let these packs of fabric squares guide you in the right, playful direction. // Fat Quarter Bundles; $15-$35
Invest in quality yarn for your knitting needs. Englert sells yarn that she spins herself, resulting in soft, thick, different-sized material to work with. “It’s a higher quality in terms of the natural fibers compared to yarn you find at brand-name stores,” Englert says. // Treadle to the Metal Handspun Yarn; $42
Keep your handcrafted blankets and quilts clean while maintaining their shape with Soak laundry soap, made with a gentle, no-rinse formula that won’t stretch out fabric. // Soak Laundry Soap; $16
Celebrate your artsy personality by framing a card for your desk or workspace at home. Or, mail it to a friend to spread the crafty cheer. // Craftedmoon 5×7 Art Prints; $9 per print