One of the highlights of our home business is when we start to run low on the basic supplies. A wonderful and perfectly reasonable reason to go fabric shopping ! As you can imagine, ‘my guys’ (Hubby and adult Son) aren’t always terribly excited to go along. Oh, they will; go and be helpful and carry bolts of fabric as I tediously search for the right fabric. Especially if there’s a promise of eating out for lunch/dinner. They do look for fabrics and usually contribute some great finds. And they are very patient for nearly an hour, which is about the time my eyes start getting tired of intensely inspecting 300 bolts of fabric. So we take our bags to the car and take a break from shopping, enjoying a sit-down meal that someone else cooked. If there is another fabric shop nearby, I’m off for ‘Round 2’ while the guys hang around outside watching grass grow or get another drink and listen to the ice melt. In any case, we all get to enjoy the day, sort of together :)
For some of our projects, we order supplies online. I have a list of places and their websites to share with you in a future post. Today I’m sharing where we go in person to find fabrics :)
I live in a town that has no fabric store nearby. Let me repeat that for emphasis (and sympathy); I live in a town that has NO fabric store. Sometimes we order fabrics online but it’s hard to judge size proportions on the computer screen. Much of our products require tiny prints. We prefer to look for those fabrics in person.
About 15 miles to the West, there is a small fabric shop, Calico Point, with a general merchandise store attached. Amish and Mennonite neighbors own the property so one is able to purchase udder balm, men’s suspenders, handcrafted birdhouses and fabric. In the fabric shop portion there are sections of cotton Amish solids, conservative Mennonite cotton/poly blends and English printed quilting fabric (“English” is what the Amish call us, not the fabric). There is a picket fence gated play area indoors for children. Men go next door or outside to hang out together. On entering, there is the new-fabric scent that first greets you; toward the back there’s a subtle but mouth-watering aroma of someone’s slow cooker simmering away in the office/classroom. My pulse slows down, my senses kick in and I’m “home”.
Calico Point Fabric http://www.calicopoint.com
If we go East about 18 miles from home there are two (TWO!) fabric stores across the street from each other in Shipshewana. Yoder’s Department Store is 70 years old this year. They are a family owned business with great customer service and thousands of bolts of fabric. There is also a clothing section and shoes across from the hardware department and cafe :) I could spend hours looking at their fabrics. They have a lot of fabric brand name collections plus woolens, flannels and a bridal section. It’s a lot of ground to cover !
Yoder Dept. Store http://www.yoderdepartmentstore.com/fabric.aspx
Across the street is Lolly’s Fabric Store. It is located in a 4-story building called, Davis Mercantile. There are a variety of shops in the mercantile selling clothing, musical instruments, home furnishings, quilts and candles. There is a diner with pretzels, sandwiches and smoothies plus a candy and nut shop. The ‘Grand Finale’ is on the top floor; a beautiful 1906 Dentzel Carousel to ride on ! Lolly’s has a large variety of bright and colorful fabrics to choose from. The atmosphere is fun and there’s lots to see in the historic building.
Lolly’s Fabric Store http://www.lollys.com
About half way home from Shipshewana is the small town of Middlebury where there are TWO more fabric places ! We lived in Middlebury for about 10 years and I eventually worked at both of their fabric stores. The first one is Gohn Bros. which is a store selling clothing, quilts, buggy blankets and bolts of fabric. I worked upstairs in this lovely ancient building, sewing Amish Broadfall Pants and Colonial Shirts. It was a very interesting experience :) The fabrics there cater mostly to the Amish with denims, twills and solid cottons. They have a small section of “English” printed fabrics and this is where I often find tiny prints for our Finger Pincushions. This is a family owned business; the people are honest, friendly and helpful.
Gohn Bros. http://www.gohnbrothers.com/index.html
The last fabric store on our trip is The Quilt Shop. It is housed in a complex that sits on 99 acres of beautiful park-like grounds. There is a stream, pond and covered bridge (We used to live on a house on this property; it was a fantastic place for our family of four kids to explore!). This small but over-flowing store is packed with quilts, stencils, sewing notions, fabric, Quilt Magic kits and locally made crafts. There is a nice variety to choose from. It is a family owned shop and very friendly :) I usually find tiny prints for our pincushions as well as my favorite thimbles.
The Quilt Shop http://www.essenhausquiltshop.com/
One last place we like to visit is called, The Depot. It is a Mennonite Church affiliated thrift shop facility that has furniture, home goods, appliances, tons of books, clothing, toys and a craft department. We find inexpensive patterns, notions, buttons, and fiberfill at great prices. They also sell cotton fabrics, upholstery fabrics and batting for one dollar a yard. It’s amazing what we are able to get there and we love that the funds go to the church mission work. Items are all donations so you never know what will be there but that makes the hunt interesting and the treasures found so rewarding :) The personnel are wonderful, friendly and caring.
The Depot http://www.thedepotmccthriftshops.com/
I am only able to cover two fabric stores in one trip. It’s a beautiful, relaxing country drive in either direction :) I park the car near a cow pasture. There is buggy parking to the side of each location. I enjoy viewing the farms, animals and meadows we pass. In the Spring and Summer months there are yard sales and auctions to stop at along the way which doubles the fun !
Though each of these places has a website, not all of them take orders online. However you can call or email if you’re looking for a specific fabric line, notion, machine or whatever and they will work with you. I hope you take the time to check out their websites and if you are in the area, visit them in person (and tell them Cheri sent you~).