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Meet Marie Duncan, owner of Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop in Citrus Heights

Runs with Scissors, Marie Duncan, Citrus Heights
Marie Duncan is the owner of Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop in Citrus Heights. // Thomas Sullivan

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Marie Duncan, a longtime Citrus Heights resident and owner of Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop, was a registered dental assistant for 30 years before deciding to open her store next to Goodwill at Sylvan Corners.

She says quilting was a hobby, long before it ever became a business. Her mother and grandmother were skilled seamstresses and quilters, and she’s proud to continue that tradition with others.

“I wasn’t ready to retire,” Duncan told The Sentinel in a recent interview. “I didn’t find a quilting shop in our area that offered the level of customer service I preferred.”

Born in Connecticut, Duncan moved to Citrus Heights as a child in 1968 and now lives about five minutes from her store. She and her husband are graduates of San Juan High School and each grew up on Mariposa Avenue, although on different ends of the street. Duncan is also the daughter-in-law of Citrus Heights residents Jean and Jack Duncan, who were involved in the city’s incorporation effort in the 1990’s.

The name of the business came from her car’s own vanity license plate, Duncan said.

“A graphic designer who was working on our logo design with me thought it fit my personality perfectly. I wanted to create the kind of quilting store where I would want to go,” Duncan said. Many of her customers have simply walked in because of the playful name of her store.

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What sets her quilting store apart?

“I wanted a place which would be a comfortable place for everyone,” Duncan said. She’s thankful that she’s been able to surround herself with a great staff who places customer service first.

“We work hard at inspiring people to quilt and to enjoy the hobby. We also offer exceptional customer service and like to go the extra mile for them. I wanted to create a quilting store which genuinely felt like home,” Duncan said.

The store has also offered “Sit and Sew” classes for nine years. Individual classes have eight to 10 students, and, in her words, “feel like one large family.”

The shop has a long arm machine used for finish assembly of larger-sized quilts, along with an AccuCut machine, a helpful alternative to a rotary cutter. The machine is able to cut patterns like 2.5-inch strips, 5-inch squares, or tumbler blocks.

Duncan’s store carries a broad selection of fabrics that range from traditional to contemporary. New fabrics arrive each week, she said.

“We offer a wide variety of classes, from the beginner just learning how to sew to the experienced quilter, and our instructors and staff are knowledgeable for any questions you might have,” said Duncan. She says prospective students are welcome to observe anytime.

“The store fulfills what I need. It’s non-judgmental and we welcome all ages and genders,” Duncan said. “There’s no fixed definition of what a typical quilter looks like.”

Duncan and her fellow local quilters have also made scarves for young homeless teens through Wind Youth Services in Sacramento. She also offers classes in handbag and purse design, which have at times been more popular than quilting classes.

“We try to find a project which can showcase a new quilting technique or a specific type of tool that’s become popular,” Duncan said.

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Founded in 2006, the store has gone through some ups and downs, but Duncan says a core group of women have kept her in business the whole way through. “We’ve been there for one another through the good and the bad times in our lives.”

Her customers were especially loyal during the period of time the center median was built in front of her store, which eliminated right and left hand turns into her parking lot. Duncan kept her store and its classes going throughout.

“We found we needed one another then more than ever,” she said.

She’s now outgrown the space, and her hope in the future is to move into a larger store with more long arm finishing stations.

Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop is located at 7130 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A complete list of monthly quilting classes and fabrics available is listed on the store web site at

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