I cannot just write about one shop. It just doesn't seem fair. Local, independent shops have a hard enough time staying open here with the competition of big box stores and cross-border shopping. I am the first to admit with our Canadian dollar at par, the price of my poison south of the border is hard to resist. However when you need the perfect coordinate, a friendly quilt chat or want to peruse the latest books, your LQS is the place to go! There is usually someone willing to impart creative wisdom or advice on a project (including staff and fellow customers) and I never leave empty-handed.
For me the LQS is not just a place to buy fabric. It is a support system, a friendship network and a resource center. It is where I learned to quilt. It is where I worked cutting fabric. It is where I began teaching and met most of my current retreat customers. It was the LQS staff that invited me to join the guild and when they found out I didn't have any friends that quilted, I was invited to their monthly stitch group. My quilt community began at my LQS (I've written about this at length here).
Where does one find local, independent fabric stores in Vancouver? Here's a list for you! (sorry no pretty pictures, I didn't have enough notice to visit all of the shops!).
The Creative Edge - visit Maureen at 2065 Old Dollarton Rd. in North Vancouver just take the first exit to the right off the Iron Worker's Memorial Bridge. There is fabric for everyone here; you'll find batiks, Kaffe Fassett prints and shots, Kona Solids, Essex linen (new!), many modern lines and sweet novelty/kids prints. The shop has a great classroom and offers varied workshops for quilters of all levels. Check out the brand new Bernina 700 series machines at this licensed dealer! BONUS: fantastic lunch/coffee shop on one side and a gluten free bakery on the other! Win/win/win! Ample free parking.
The Cloth Shop - After more than 30 years, Barbara Jean and Maria closed their West 10th Ave. store and moved to a destination boutique on Granville Island. The store is beautifully decorated to inspire your next project. Known for their quilt kits and in-house patterns, the owners have a discerning eye and always chose the best prints. Last time I visited, the full line of Chicopee and Liberty Lifestyles was just in, as well as many of the upcoming Moda line's pre-cuts (Nancy Drew!). Call (604)224-1325 for directions. BONUS: situated in the midst of a world class tourist center, public market, artisans, restaurants, 2 hour free parking.
Just a few treats I picked up for myself at The Cloth Shop's pre-Christmas sale!
Spool of Thread - Vancouver's newest fabric store and first Sewing Lounge offers modern sewists a huge selection of modern, designer fabrics. You can find the perfect solid for your project because Lili and Henry stock the entire Kona Solids line. It's the only shop carrying Kokka and Echino linen blends. You can rent workspace and sew on the in-house Elna's by the hour! Lots of sewing and beginner quilting workshops running all the time. They are open 'till 8:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs and 6:00 all other nights at 649 E. 15th Ave (Kingsway & Fraser). The VMQG started here, but we grew too fast to continue meeting in the shop - I miss my monthly fabric fondle! You can usually nab free parking right outside the store.
The Needle and I - Debbie opened her sweet shop at 7870 6th St. on the Burnaby/New Westminster border a couple of years ago to sell fabric, an extensive notion & thread selection and Pfaff machines with friendly service. She stocks a small, well-curated, collection of fabrics including civil war, modern lines, batiks and blenders plus a vintage crib containing children/baby prints. 20% discount on all fabrics containing "the colour of the month"! Drop in for free sewing days, Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Debbie offers workshops and quilts on a frame-mounted Grand Quilter in the shop. This is where I buy Inspira needles for my Pfaff. BONUS: Starbucks just steps away.
There are many other bloggers writing about their favourite LQS. Check out the tour and don't forget to show your LQS some love next Thursday. While you're visiting, take a fun photo and enter to win a new machine and $500 shopping spree at your fav shop (just "like" the Quilt Shop Facebook page for entry details)!
Do you have a favourite Local Quilt Shop? What is your favourite thing about visiting the store?