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Thread: Niagara region quilters out there?

  1. #1
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    Niagara region quilters out there?

    Hello,
    I live in the Niagara region of Ontario. I'm wondering, for anyone else who lives in this area or surrounding areas, where do you go to buy your fabric? I know about FabricLand, Lens Mill, Bee in NOTL is wonderful for designer prints and cute stuff, but am I missing out on a hidden jewel out there? A shop that carries designer prints (Kate Spain, Tula Pink, Michael Miller, etc), at prices that aren't ridiculous?

    I usually order thru Etsy, because once I've factored in my travel time, gas expense and parking fees, the shipping costs are equal. But there is just something magical about walking into a store and being surrounded by the gorgeous fabric... ahhhhh.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I too miss the joy and excitement of walking into a LQS as well as the possibility of learning new techniques. I am a few hours northeast of you. Sadly, I find that I end up buying quite a bit of my fabric from the US. Even with shipping, it is often cheaper than our own stores and the selection is so much bigger.

    You might want to check out www.sew-sisters.com They are in Toronto and have a nice online store plus a fat quarter club. Ten fat quarters per month for $20 and the shipping is free in Canada.

    I'll be watching this thread too.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  3. #3
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    Hello, I'm northwest of you and all I can say is "Thank You" for this question! LOL So I'm in the mennonite country so what few quilt shops we have really lean towards their colours and prints. We just lost our Fabricland, we have a Len's Mills ( but I find their material is a really hit and miss) I love the local quilt store except for the prices and still quite 'conservative' in the material selection. Would love to visit The Bee in NOTL some time soon.
    Thanks again for asking this question and I will be following this very closely!

  4. #4
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    'Conservative'... I like that term. Not that there is anything wrong with kittens and flowers, etc. I just wanted to make things that were different. I'm a stay-at-home Mom, and I like to make things as gifts, but I also make things for people to buy... puts some extra cash in my pocket. Different = makes people gasp in a good way at a baby shower.

    I brought some of my fabric stash (ordered thru Etsy) into a local quilt shop so I could look for some coordinating colours. The woman who runs the store is wonderful and so helpful. I didn't feel that I was shopping in a store so much as being welcomed into an extension of her home. But when I took out the Las Vegas themed quilting fabric, she was a bit taken aback. She gave me some advice that I will never forget - "You need to remember your market".

    Well, I recently sold that Las Vegas themed BABY blanket to be given as a gift to a couple who never thought they could have children (she has Lupus). They've lived a very free-spirited lifestyle. Lots of travel, etc. They're also well into their 40's. One of their favourite places to go is Vegas. Their baby was born 3 months premature. They put the blanket on her right in the NICU and told the gift giver that the blanket represents the feistiness their daughter will need to show over the next few months.

    It's not just grandmas buying blankets and quilts. And my grandma loved Cyndi Lauper... just sayin'.

    Anyhoo...

    Anyone in the Niagara area should definitely visit Bee in NOTL. www.beefabrics.ca . They carry modern, fresh designs. Their prices are 'meh', but you need to watch for sales.

    Fishskin fabrics - www.fishskinfabric.com is in BC and puts a $10 cap on Canadian shipping! I've ordered Kate Spain fabric from them (sigh!) and have called them on the phone with questions. Their customer service is wonderful.

    Sew Sisters sends me email newsletters, but I thought their fat quarter club was prints of their choosing? GingerK, do you get fat quarters as part of the club and, if so, what kinds of prints do they include?

    BrendaM, I agree... Lens Mill is totally hit and miss. For the most part, I like ours, and find the prices and quilting cotton selection to be better than FabricLand (better prices and selection for fleece, too!), but not always worth the drive.

    Hamilton is nearby to me (about a 30 min drive). Ottawa Street has long been known as a fabric mecca in Southern Ontario. For quilters looking for the kinds of prints I would want, European Textiles is your best bet. Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Sandi Hendersen, etc. But not all prints or colours in a collection, the prices are no better than Etsy and there are parking fees and gas expenses to get there. So I just go to Etsy. There's a big FabricLand there, too (but no better than any other) and the other fabric stores are for home decor fabric or wedding gowns, costumes, etc.

    I think I've drained my brain of all the local resources I'm aware of. Looking forward to reading more posts!

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Another Canuck to your north east!

    Agree Len's is a hit and miss ... but remember they are more of a Jobber with end of lines than a full line LQS. They do order in specific fabrics ... and for me, I find they have the best Stonehenge selection I have seen anywhere.

    You mentioned about pricing ... pretty much consistent in Ontario, because of our fabrics have to be shipped in! Of course, we can all find "deals" ... when fabric is on sale and/or being sold as an end of line.

    If you want Kaffe Fasset ... Hyggeligt in London is the place to head ... unles you're heading Ottawa direction, then check out The Running Stitch.

    I've never been but have heard about Fonthill (I think it's The Quilting Bee?) as being a good spot.
    There's one in Niagara Falls ... Verandah or Porch something, I think?
    And isn't there one in Ste. Catherines?
    Red Robin (or something similar) on the edge of Brantford also has Kaffe ... I've never been, just have heard!

    The Quilt Junction in Waterford ... I've been there a couple of times.
    It's a delightful place in an old railway station!

    Sorry, I'm not really designer familiar ... I buy what I like and don't pay a lot of attention to designer names!

    Everyone ... please share ... I think we're all always on the lookout for new places to check out!
    Last edited by QuiltE; 01-07-2013 at 01:09 PM.
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  6. #6
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    Hi QuiltE,
    I know designer isn't everything... I buy my clothes from Superstore and Giant Tiger. It just seemed like when I first got the bug for this, everything I loved just happened to be considered 'designer' or was listed as a designer print ... maybe there's a better term for it?

    My Mom raised us on fairytales. The designs by Tula Pink, with all of the whimsy and hidden pictures... drool!

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllTheLovely View Post
    Hi QuiltE,
    I know designer isn't everything... I buy my clothes from Superstore and Giant Tiger. It just seemed like when I first got the bug for this, everything I loved just happened to be considered 'designer' or was listed as a designer print ... maybe there's a better term for it?

    My Mom raised us on fairytales. The designs by Tula Pink, with all of the whimsy and hidden pictures... drool!
    Oh I'm not saying there's anything wrong with knowing designers ... I just don't pay attention!
    I either like it or I don't ... and then that's what I go with.
    That being said, I am starting to pay more attention and have more of an idea when the names get mentioned as to what I will find!

    I think our Ontario dilemma re lack of choices is all about volume. Of course, there's some personal preferences by the LQS owners. HOwever, I'm sure that'd soon be overcome if they had the $ales$ to warrant carrying specific notions, products and of course, fabric. Consider how many times you have gone into an LQS to be the only customer the whole time you are there. And how often that we leave without spending any $ ?

    At times it must be pretty disheartening and discouraging for them.

    The more we cross-border shop, the more we are saying good bye to having LQS' there to service us IRL!
    (and that is for LQS' .... other retailers, manufacturers, etc.)

    (*note* I am not saying to not cross-border shop ... just making an observation of the realities we are facing)
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  8. #8
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    QuiltE, I completely agree. We just don't have the population volume of the States. I do feel sorry for the LQS. Every time I order off the 'net and think I could've supported local instead. It sucks.

    I think that is also the reason our postal/shipping rates within Canada are so high - I think they equalize costs cross country to make up for travelling to remote regions by plane or truck with very little parcel inside. We have huge, vast areas of Canada that are unpopulated, but still must be travelled over.

    To mail something to a town just a 10 minute drive from my house will cost me almost $9. Most of that is because Canada Post has the '2 cm slot of doom'. If your package exceeds the 2cm width, they hike the shipping cost. It actually costs me less in shipping to mail to New York than it does to my neighbouring town.

    What is wrong with our Country?

    Now I'm starting to rant. I'm going to my happy place to calm down.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Hello Ladies,
    Another south west Ontario person here, closer to Norfolk county area -
    Kindred Spirits is a nice shop and it's in St. Catharines. I can't remember exactly their prices, but I think they are in line with most of the other stores in our region of Ontario.
    A few other places, a little farther away but worth tucking into the file for future reference:
    Quilting Corner is in Simcoe and they have great prices. She has a wide range of fabrics too and is very helpful.
    Cherished Pieces is a previously online only shop that is now storefront as well. It's in Tillsonburg. Not a huge shop but nice fabrics.
    Woodstock has a shop as well, out in the countryside but the name escapes me at the moment.
    Shakespeare (near Stratford) as well as Stratford have nice shops and of course, St. Jacob's has Reicherds(?spelling?)
    If you're really far afield, The Marsh Shop in Ilderton is a great place too!

    (Gee, I never realized how many places I knew about, mostly within an hour - hour fifteen min from my place - no wonder my wallet is empty and my closet is full!)

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    AllTheLovely ... you had me smiling at our Canada Post "slot of doom"!! Oh so true!! However, I am still more than happy to be living in our fair land!

    GemRM ... Woodstock's is Country Patchworks! Thanks for the extra locations to check out. I do love The Marsh Shop ... HUGE selection and very helpful people!! And while down that way, check out Sarnia's The Quilt Shoppe. There's also a really intriguing one on the northwest end of London, an easy stop after The Marsh, Cornerstone Quilts. I say intriguing as I could only look in thru the glass front, as I made it there after hours!

    And oh can't forget ... Exeter's Quilts and Calicos is a wonderful shop!

    *hint* ... I keep an address book in my truck with LQS' from all over filed by their town/city!!! Then whenever I am in the area, I just look up the town and I can check them out. There's been some really pleasant surprises!
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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