Ilwaco has a new fabric store, with a quilting enthusiast at the helm.

Jelly Bean Fabrics, on 1st Street S downtown, features 100 percent cotton cloth in a colorful spectrum of patterns and hues, suitable for clothing and - quilting.

Owner Andi Maroncelli hails from Portland, and spent the last few years living in Europe. She opened her fabric shop late last year. She said her new Ilwaco storefront was recently renovated and the price was right.

It's also part of her pursuit of a dream.

Quilter Andi Maroncelli owns Jelly Bean Fabrics in Ilwaco. Photo: Joanne Rideout

"It's more of what do I want to do in life," she said. "My dream is to own a quilting shop."

She said the shop is geared both to locals who enjoy sewing, and vacationers: "visitors who may have forgotten something at home."

Maroncelli acknowledges that, like increasing numbers of coastal entrepreneurs, she has started a business in a tourist town in the middle of a recession.

"I knew it was going to be slow, so I started early enough so I could be prepared for the Guild Show."

The show was the Peninsula Quilt Guild's 15th Annual Quilt Show. Held in March at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, the event was a golden marketing opportunity for Maroncelli, whose inventory is exactly what participants need to create their fabric art.

To encourage more sewing enthusiasts to gather locally, Maroncelli has also planned a unique opportunity for dedicated quilters and "seamsters" who are weary of trying to juggle their heart's desire with the demands of family.

It's a sewing retreat - made to order.

"You rent a hotel room at special rates," Maroncelli said. "You get access to [the hotel's] conference room, where you can set up your fabric and sewing machine and never have to take it down until you leave."

Maroncelli has arranged for retreats at the Long Beach Super 8 Motel. She has retreat weekends slated for later in the year.

She said her love of sewing began early in life - she's the third generation of her family with an abiding interest in sewing.

"I designed costumes for musicals when I was in high school," she said. "Then I moved into quilting."

While many people think of quilts in the same breath with bedspreads, Maroncelli said the discipline of quilting is also an art form, suitable for wall hangings.

"I consider myself to be an art quilter," she said. "There are so many new and innovative materials out there."

While there are lovely quilts hanging on the walls of the Jelly Bean Fabrics store, Maroncelli is quick to say that her interest is not in creating quilts and selling them. She'd rather help others make their own quilt art.

"I sew for my own pleasure," she said. "I don't sell the finished product; I'm more into teaching."

Jelly Bean offers classes on weekends, coming up this month is a thread painting class - Maroncelli describes it as a form of embroidery done with a sewing machine. She holds up an iridescent pansy flower she sewed from fabric, using intricate thread strands to add depth and character to the piece.

Most classes last an afternoon, and fees generally run $30 to $40 per class.

The store is open seven days a week - Maroncelli said her husband helps out to keep the store open on Sundays.

Jelly Bean Fabrics   Address: 110 1st Ave. S, Ilwaco   Phone: (360) 244-4595

Website:   Hours: Open daily - Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.