Monday, January 26, 2015
Road tripping - the fabric outlet
Let's talk about what you all really want to talk about - the fabric outlet!
I got wind of this place on instagram. I like to just surf photos there and I happen to click on a photo of a pile of fabric and see that she said it had come from "the fabric outlet". A few minutes later I was able to see that she was in Springfield, MO and google led me right to it. They are just called The Fabric Outlet, nothing special, and here is their website. (They do have on line sales available on their website.)
So, the store itself is small and in a rather non descript strip mall (pretty common in Springfield). There are 4 aisles of quilting cottons, so it is NOT a huge place. Much, much smaller than my Joann, but with way better quality fabrics. There is a section devoted entirely to polka dots and chevrons, a juvenile section, a batik section and then the rest is divided by color. Not every fabric had information on the bolt end, but most did. The ones that tended to catch my eye were Michael Miller and Riley Blake fabrics, but I tend to buy those on line a lot too. I am sure there were plenty of other lines in there.
There are no carts - you just make a pile on the cutting counter. There are only two people cutting, and before we had arrived there I was really thinking oh man, we are going to be in line for HOURS in this place (like you are at Joann), but that is totally not the case. The cutting goes fast and it is not super crowded. (At least it wasn't on a Saturday afternoon when I was in there.) There is no computerized reading of bolt ends and printing of tickets etc. Because everything in the quilting cottons is the same price per yard (I *think* the regular price is $3.99/yd, that's what all the stickers and all of the signage said), they just count how many yards you had cut and write it on an old school pad and ring you up.
I went on a sale weekend, which I knew about from their facebook page, so I paid $2.99/yd for everything. (Disney Frozen fabrics were excluded from the sale, and they are $5.99/yd. They had about 5 times the amount of Frozen fabric as my Joann.)
They are very friendly and helpful, and it is a really low key kind of place.
For me this was my first chance to see these kinds of fabrics "in the wild". I generally have to look at this stuff on line and buy on line (hello fat quarter shop!). Joann is my main source of NEW fabrics. (I am sure that somewhere in St Louis a person can buy this stuff at a local quilt shop, but I swear to Moses, I just do not like those places. Every single one I have been in so darn snobby and awful. They offer all sorts of opinions on what I am doing, which I really don't care about, and lord help you if you go in there with a vintage quilt top looking for fabrics to match it.)
Did I miss anything you want to know?
It's a long haul for me, but I would love to be able to get there twice a year! Buying fabric on line is just not the same really. (It's overwhelming, there are just so.many.choices. This allowed me to just choose visually instead of specifically searching for something.)
Here's what I bought:
I really could've bought more, but I passed on some large print fabrics I liked because I just don't think those large scale prints are very useful for me. I had just cleaned out my sewing room so I was trying to only buy what I can fit on my darn shelves and what I think would be super useful for quilts, bindings, and some projects for the boys (who I never have fabrics for)! LOL