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Thread: Is there quilting fabric to be found in the garment district?

  1. #1
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    Is there quilting fabric to be found in the garment district?

    I have a chance to take a bus trip to the garment district in NYC. I've been trying to find out if there would be places there for a quilter to shop. The trip sounds exciting for garment sewers but that's not me anymore.

    The trip coordinator is on vacation so I have not been able to get any info from her.

    Anyone have recommendations for me?

    Thanks,
    Debbie

  2. #2
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I would think any fabric merchants would be wholesalers in that area. Many years ago, when I was just starting out quilting, we would go the garment district in Chinatown in Boston, on certain days, the factories would put out big bags of scraps in the rubbish. We got a lot of fabric that way. Some good for quilting, some not.

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    Not so much 100% cotton but there are the most wonderful button and trim dealers too. I was kind of disappointed because I did not do either sewing for clothes or home dec. For me to need buttons, I need a specific project so I just looked in amazement at the actual choices. Imagine walls completely covered with selections. Mind blowing but I did not buy anything.

    Even the fabric at the shop used by Project Runway does not appeal to me.

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    If it hadn't been for the garment factory rags bags we wouldn't have Eleanor Burns.

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    There was one I went to visit but I am sorry I do not remember the name. It was in the big book of Quilt shops. Fascinating spot as it catered to all kinds of material including very expensive ($600+ a yard) yard goods that must have been for show costumes. Not much cotton but great to browse in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misspriss View Post
    If it hadn't been for the garment factory rags bags we wouldn't have Eleanor Burns.
    I'd like to hear more about this.
    Thanks,
    Debbie

  7. #7
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    You bet, go and have the best time. Many of the stores there have 100% cotton fabric, I have been and bought fabrics.
    It is so much fun! Have a good time.

  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I have no idea ... though I bet instead of the traditional quilting cottons, you might find a goldmine of fine cottons.
    Think of .... mens shirtings, ladies blouses, and more!

    My sister has a beautiful quilt made fully from men's shirt samples for Harry Rosens Stores (high end mens wear). And the samples were huge, so lots of pieces from one sample.
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    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Do you watch Project Runway? If so you must visit Mood. I think Big City Quilts might be near by. Are you the only quilter in the group?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Gram View Post
    I'd like to hear more about this.
    Thanks,
    Debbie
    She helped support her husband and children by making and teaching sewing. She couldn't always afford the fabric so she gathered the thrown out cuttings from the garment factories, hence the first book Log Cabin.

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    (hit the wrong button)Her husband left her with the two little boys, she had to make a living. She took food stamps for a few months and set up a teaching schedule for sewing. She and the boys dumpster dove for good fabric thrown out by the factories. "Where there is a will there is a way." Depends on how hungry you get.

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    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    Do you watch Project Runway? If so you must visit Mood. I think Big City Quilts might be near by. Are you the only quilter in the group?
    I'm correcting myself. I think it's called City Quilter. They're the shop that carries the subway fabric and other NYC themed designs.

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    City Quilter is totally the best quilt shop in NYC. Go to
    http://www.cityquilter.com/
    to see what they carry. If you want an overall guide to the Garment District and the myriad of amazing stores here, Paula Nadelstern has a great link on her site - NYC Garment District Guide.
    http://www.paulanadelstern.com/fabric/guides/index.php
    Enjoy yourself in NYC; it's a wonderful place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moneill View Post
    Paula Nadelstern has a great link on her site - NYC Garment District Guide.
    http://www.paulanadelstern.com/fabric/guides/index.php
    Enjoy yourself in NYC; it's a wonderful place.
    Thanks so much for this link! I knew I had it somewhere and now I have it again! Happy, happy, happy!
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    There's a shop called City Quilter that was very nice. I looked at a lot of shops in the garment district, and while there were fabrics you could surely use to quilt, there weren't really any quilting fabrics as we picture them. I guess that's why it's the garment district and not the quilting district!

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    Garment District

    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmom04 View Post
    There's a shop called City Quilter that was very nice. I looked at a lot of shops in the garment district, and while there were fabrics you could surely use to quilt, there weren't really any quilting fabrics as we picture them. I guess that's why it's the garment district and not the quilting district!
    Yes there are quite a few selling 100% cotton. When we were there in May I just walked into every fabric shop and looked for bolts of fabric and if it was on rolls I didn't have it as most of it was poly. I bought 132 Yards of fabric when I was there and brought it home to Northern Ireland. Our fabric has gone through the roof in price so I was very pleased with my purchase.

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    You might check www.paulanadelstern.com and find her info on the garment district. Paula is a NYC art quilter whose work is marvelous. Her website has info on the garment district that might be useful to you.

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    Don't be a fabric snob! LoL Quilts can be made of any kind of fabric. Or any combination of fabrics. Just remember to launder them according to the most delicate fabric in the quilt. One of the warmest quilts I ever slept under was made by my grandmother from old men's wool suits; the most beautiful was made with satins and velvets trimmed with crocheted lace.
    Shirley in Arizona

  19. #19
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    Not sure about NYC but in LA they have lots of it in the garment district.

  20. #20
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    The City Quilter is on 25th Street between Seventh and Eighth. It's the only quilt shop in Manhattan.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misspriss View Post
    (hit the wrong button)Her husband left her with the two little boys, she had to make a living. She took food stamps for a few months and set up a teaching schedule for sewing. She and the boys dumpster dove for good fabric thrown out by the factories. "Where there is a will there is a way." Depends on how hungry you get.
    And the fabric she got was in strips! hence strip piecing came to be. It was a factory that made collars for shirts so the pieces were long and narrow. She not only made lemonade from lemons she invented a whole new kind of lemonade. Eleanor Burns is a hero to me. She never gave up and never gave in. She raised two fine sons and taught a generation or two how to quilt. I think when they give out the civilian medals of honor for service to the country they should give her one.
    two simple rules for success
    1. Show up.
    2. Pay attention.
    One simple rule for happiness
    1. Kindness counts.

  22. #22
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I've not been to NYC but my favorite fabric shop in Dallas is an outlet that has everything from trims to satin and lace to velvet, drapery/upholstery to dance and some beautiful 100% cottons. Go have fun! A great deal of the garment fabrics are perfect for quilting and the drapery/upholstery fabrics are ideal for making bags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    Do you watch Project Runway? If so you must visit Mood. I think Big City Quilts might be near by. Are you the only quilter in the group?
    Wish I'd known about Big City Quilts when we were in NYC last October. We did go to Mood, and my DIL and I bought Mood bags. Loved seeing so many beautiful fabrics and would have loved it more back when I made all my own clothes. I didn't even look for 100% cotton since I think their inventory is mostly for garment construction.

  24. #24
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    My quilting teacher used to live in NYC and did shop in the garment district. She once said it gave her a chance to try using different fabrics. Cotton is used in the garment district. Just be picky as to what you want,(maybe adventurous or bold would be a better word). Have fun.

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    Thank you, thank you for starting this thread! My DD will be an on-site consultant at a company headquarters in Madison, NJ for the next 5 months. Her sister and I are planning to take a short get-away and visit NYC with her in Dec. I have printed off all the info you have shared regarding the garment district. A wealth of information! Any other must-sees that you can suggest?

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