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Posts Tagged ‘massachusetts’

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TH and I went up to MA last weekend to search for vintage finds but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to check out another quilt shop (it’s a sickness I know). The Fabric Stash was only 20 minutes away from Sturbridge, Massachusetts (where we were staying for the night) and is described as

“It is the largest independently owned and operated fabric store in Worcester County (central) Massachusetts. We carry a wide variety of fabrics including cotton, fleece, home d├ęcor (many Waverly in stock), upholstery and clothing (including Silks, Wools and several other clothing fabrics). We also have a selection of notions, buttons, books, patterns, yarn & knitting supplies, trims, gifts and much more!”

I figured the largest independently owned and operated fabric store in central Massachusetts was definitely a must see. I didn’t remember until we got there that I had already been to this particular fabric store before. It is large based on square footage and floor space, much of which is devoted to a sewing/class space (roughly 1/3- 1/2 of the total space). And as advertised they have a large selection of upholstery fabrics which I have no interest in. What was there of regular quilting weight fabric was not my particular style. But I did manage to find one of the Ghastlie prints!

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I realize that the variety of non-quilting fabrics and the amount of space devoted to sewing and classes is an attempt to broaden their profit capabilities. I understand and respect their need to make a living and think the variety of services they offer is cool if unusual for a fabric shop. But as someone that is simply passing through what really matters to me is the type and variety of quilt fabrics.

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And it seems (Ghastlie print aside) that my taste in fabric is not the same as the person buying for the shop.

Price:

I had sticker shock when the lady rang up my half yard of fabric at over $6 with taxes. That makes a yard of quilting cotton $12! I used to buy strictly online when the cost of a yard of fabric was about $8 then the price slowly crept up to $9-$10 a yard which was what I was paying at brick and mortar shops. So I stopped purchasing online and spent most of my money at local quilt shops. But now that prices at local quilt shops are $11-$12 a yard the $8-$9.50 a yard online seems like a steal!

Fat Quarters:

A somewhat sad selection, it was reasonably sized by consisted of prints that I don’t particularly care for.

Customer Service:

There were a lot of people in the shop working on various projects and it took the woman working the counter a minute to stop what she was doing and help me. She was friendly though and even gave me a small handsewn fabric bag to take my fabric home in. I thought that was a great touch and the perfect use for a fabric that they had small pieces of or wasn’t selling particularly well.

I doubt I will stop by here again. It just didn’t carry my style of quilting fabric and while they have a wide selection of other items I don’t have a need for them. I don’t know about you but I prefer to buy notions, batting, thread, and even books during a Joann Fabric sale or with one of their easy to find 40% coupons.

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TH and I drove up to Massachusetts yesterday to attend the Brimfield Antique Show which is considered one of the (if not the) largest outdoor antique show in the United States. There are 21 fields (of varying sizes) holding thousands of vendors. I suspect that this year was a little smaller and a little slower because of the general economy and recent onslaught of inclement weather throughout New England. But I could be wrong, after all this was our first year attending.

Before we came I expected to find some really cool mid century modern furniture, Fisher Price toys, typewriters, and sewing machines. Since we attended the second to last day of the show those things may have been readily available earlier in the show but I don’t think so. There were only three vendors selling mid century modern furniture- in a show of thousands! As for the typewriters and sewing machines well they just didn’t seem to be the “in thing” to buy or sell.

That’s not to say we didn’t find some cool stuff. We still managed to spend almost $200 (which was our budget), we just spent it on a number of small items as opposed to one large item. We found so much cool stuff that I’m going to break the items we saw (not necessarily purchased) into a series of themed posts. We will start with my favorite- the sewing and sewing related items.

I LOVE vintage advertising displays, I’ve never purchased any because they are so expensive! Both of these were over $80 and since I have no real purpose for them it’s not worth the money. Now if I had a fabric or sewing shop it would be a different story!

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And speaking of potential fabric shop displays how awesome are these-

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I seriously considering buying this and having a new insert built to fit modern spools. How awesome would your thread collection look in here?

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And while I was disappointed by the lack of vintage sewing machines I did spot a couple cool ones.

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Finally how crazy was it to see this displaying having recently seen these giant wooden spools online and asking TH if he thought he could make them for me.

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In addition to the spools they are carried these beauties

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Obviously there were still some really cool items to be found even on the second to last day! And the added bonus was that by the time lunch came around vendors were already offering steep discounts to clear their inventory before they had to pack it up and haul it home.

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