One of my favourite places for quilt backings, those huge hunks of 4m/5yds essential to finishing off a quilt, is The Fabric Guild based in Leicester here in the UK. Now I know those of you who in live in the US this won’t be of immediate interest but let this make you very grateful for your own wonderfully stocked quilt shops across the length and breadth of your country at prices that make us weep…. So here good quality quilting cotton is around £12-£14 per metre which is equivalent to around $15 per yard. But with the Fabric Guild being around £4 – £10 pm you can see the attraction. Ok you have to be selective, not all fabric is equal if you know what I mean, but I’ve got some great branded quilting cottons for a fraction of the price over the years.
They claim that they are the largest quilt shop this side of the Atlantic. Now whilst that may be true in terms of bolts of cloth in practice they are not the brands that I would normally seek out so in that sense the choice is not extensive. But on the basis that the fabric will be a quilt backing and a simple all over design is fine then it’s unusual if I can’t find something to stash away.
I normally order online and if I have one niggle they are never very speedy. But they do open for a few hours each week to the public and as it’s only an hour or so away I thought I would shop in person. They brand themselves as similar to an American warehouse club. You are charged a one off membership fee of £5 (not for online sales) and then the shop is yours to rummage. I’ve been a couple of times but this was the first time to their new premises. And what an improvement. The old one was dark and warehouse like but seemed bigger. The new premises are lighter and more attractive. The only downside is it’s hard to find which is not helped by only having a small sign, and I’m talking no bigger than a propped up A3 poster in the foyer so if you go take note of what the outside looks like – you will need it to find it!!! I think it maybe to do with the requirements of the trading estate they are on to deter traffic? Anyway parking was fine when I went.
They stock mostly cotton or poly cottons. Brands include Rose and Hubble, Makower some Stof, Birch Organics and a small stock of Cotton and Steel. There are other brands I didn’t recognise like Adlico anyone? But for me there was enough choice for picking up some backings for some quilts I’ve got planned for Siblings Together. I was after plainish and masculine. The striped one has already been used in fact in this quilt.
I also chose a number of fat quarters, mainly pastels as I always struggle to find these amongst my stash and at £1.75 per quarter I wasn’t going to complain.
But the best purchase were these wonderful canvas linens from the Maker Maker line by Sarah Golden for Andover. They are only fat eighths so that’s around 11″ by 21″ but with 9 coordinating fabrics they can easily be combined. This was priced at £15 but I was sold it for £10 as by then it was proving a largish order. That’s customer service for you. The fabrics just took my fancy and will be perfect for bags and pouches and are already coordinated.
The Fabric Guild, I will be back….
Linking up to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash this week over with Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts