Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Stash from Amish Country

Not Sunday Stretch for I'd planned...hmm might have to switch that so we think happy fabric thoughts and not be thrown off by unpleasant smells thoughts...

Any-who.  In the previous post where I let you know why I'd not blogged for a week, and showed off two more bags I'd made, you learned that I'd spent a couple of days in Amish Country in Ohio.  I helped support a couple of several businesses there of course, amongst them cheese, wine, Amish foods, and of course, fabric.

Loved this.  Squealed in disbelief at the first few, never did lose the shine of seeing this:

I took a couple more of various buggies, on the road, parked, a team of four horses across raking in a field, but then I read that they do not appreciate being photographed, and so, in respect of that, I will only post this fairly anonymous shot.

I felt like I'd stepped back in time.

This is Miller's Dry Goods, two stores side by side, this one in a barn on what was the farm where the owner grew up.  There are two houses in back, now set up for (drum roll) quilt retreats(!) or family reunions.

This is Julie's favourite shop, and I can totally see why.

So!  On with the purchases.

May I just say a big fat, "EEEEP!"  This is Minky Cuddle from Shannon Fabrics.  The good stuff.  It is the only full price fabric I bought.  When I saw the footballs, well, done and done.  Brady.  Cost does not factor into the equation where my beloved grandson is concerned.  My dad, penny pincher extraordinaire, was like that with his grandchildren.  He bought Brianne her first pair of baby shoes:  excellent support, leather, expensive from an expensive specialty shoe shop in Windsor, he was with me and waved away my wallet, saying, "Grandpa is paying." They cost more money than he probably ever paid for a pair for himself...or his own kids, lol.

Brady loves football.  Loves.  Cannot wait to start playing.  Last November he "ordered" a Halloween quilt from a picture he saw in my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  This is going onto the back.  Fall and Football, Halloween.  It works.

The gorgeous, plush, oh-my-god-should-I?-I-should, sculptured ivory Minky is for me!  Probably for the back of Wings.  These are 60" wide so 2 yards costs $35, not too shabby for a quilt backing, I'd say.  And what a backing.  You think petting cotton fabric is good for the soul?  This will massage your spirit, your senses, your soul, your inner mmmrrrroooowww of a feline rolling around in ecstasy.  You get the picture.  I'll stop before I feel the need to run downstairs and touch these two pieces again!

Two winters of collecting lake-themed fabrics
The top two in the run under the feature fabric are from my stash.  I show you this, because I did not know I was going to shop for some other pieces to go with this collection.  Look what I got:
I am not sure whether I will use the Moda wood grain (think dock) fabric, but it does work.  The sea glass, sea foam batik was bought with my Sea Glass quilt in mind, although I don't need any more fabrics for it... (pattern purchased on Craftsy- if you click through the Craftsy link on my sidebar and purchase this pattern, by an Alberta designer, cool, I will get a few cents, merci beaucoup)  However, it works, maybe, in this quilt.  It's not the exact green in the feature fabric, but is great with the wavy water fabric and the 'lake' peppered cotton on the bottom. The batik was $8/yard at Zinck's, the wood grain in the basement sale fabric for $6/yard. 

The lower fabric was at Zinck's for, as you see, $3.99/yard.  Score!  Backing for the lake quilt.  I bought 4 yards.  It's going to be a throw for the bench in the front entryway.
The other two shell and rope fabrics were from Miller's Dry Goods, $6/yard.  They might go into this quilt, might not.  They might grow up into a cushion for said bench.  The blue stripe will be the binding for the quilt!  $6/yard (I bought 1/2 yard).  Love that basement.  Bolts and bolts of fabric.  Current.  Amy Butler. Riley Blake.  Moda.  Quilt shop quality.  Prices for my budget.  Sorry Canada.  Can't do it.   This translates to about $7.50-8 per metre, which Sew Sisters does do on their site, and they do have a pretty good selection.  I've yet to see a quilt shop around here with this kind of sale prices.  And cough, $4/yard?  $5? like this shop does, as does my beloved Alma Sue's Quilts in Sarasota, smack dap in the Amish and Mennonite section of town, and my new favourite in North Port, Expert Sewing Center.  Facebook page here.  Online store here.  Rarely if ever, have I found $4-$5/metre fabric here in Canada, of the quilt shop quality.

If you are still with me, I have to share this "wee-ooh, wee-ooh" cue Twilight Zone music,  moment (there were a few, but this one--!) that happened in Miller's Dry Goods.  I had told Julie about the Amish and Mennonite ladies who hand quilt quilts at Alma Sue's for so much per yard of thread.  How I wanted, one day, to take a quilt down to Florida with me and get it hand-quilted by these ladies who come from Ohio and Pennsylvania and spend the winter in this entire section of Amish around the shop.  We walked into Miller's and a tiny Amish lady greeted us.  I did a double-take.  It couldn't be.  Come on, Sandra, with the dark blue dresses and white caps, they tend to look the same.  Look closer.  Name tag.  Mary.  No freaking WAY!

me:  Do you work at Alma Sue's in Sarasota in the winter time?
Mary: I sure do.
me:  (picking my jaw off the floor) I shop there while we are in Florida! I thought I recognized you!
Julie: What??? You know her??!!
me: You've cut fabric for me!
Julie:  She's (meaning me) visiting from Canada!
Mary: (who doesn't seem amazed in the least) We get a lot of Canadians at Alma Sue's.
Julie and Sandra: (laughing and exclaiming in amazement to each other) I don't believe it! Really?!  No way! This is crazy! etc. etc.

What are the chances, though,  that of all the quilt shops and all of the various counties where the Amish and Mennonite live, this particular store would be the one that Julie takes me to, first time visitor to the area, where Mary would happen to be working that day, and that Alma Sue's is the store I frequent while in Florida... Small world.

Linking this lengthy post up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash #139.


  1. That is a great story. I love chance meetings like that! It sounds like you had a great time. Did you travel just to meet Julie and hang out, or was that part of a larger plan? Either way, glad you had such a fun time.

  2. It is a small world, and I love moments like the one you had bumping into Mary. Awesome! :)

  3. Great post. I love the fabric you've bought

  4. Great post. I love the fabric you've bought

  5. What an awesome coincidence! And I really enjoy the beachy fabrics you've picked up.

  6. I'd say you showed great restraint. . . you didn't have to rent a U Haul truck to get your purchases back home :) What a great small world story! It was meant to be. . . and maybe Mary will be hand quilting one of your quilts one day :D

    BTW, that Cuddle fabric is absolutely yummy!!

  7. It is football season, even at the fabric store.

  8. Fun to see your fabric purchases! I can't wait to see what you are planning with the lake themed fabric. And, about the lovely coincidence of meeting the Amish lady that you recognized from Florida - I bet there are few people you meet who don't in some way become your friends! I can just tell that about you!

  9. Man, I am so jealous of the fabric prices in the US - even the "expensive" fabric is cheap by UK standards! You got some gorgeous fabrics there - I love all the beachy ones. :)

  10. So cool, your trip and your purchases, we have Amish not far away-several communities in different directions. I have taken a tour and you are right they don't like their pic's taken. Such interesting culture I think. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Sounds like you had an amazing trip and scored some pretty sweet fabrics! I would love to make a trip to Amish country but have never been able to. And how cool that you ran into Mary??? Small small world.

  12. With all those Mary coincidences I think something was telling you to buy loads . It would have been rude not too. We would never see prices like that in the UK , to be honest there aren't even that many quilt shops . Looking forward to seeing what you do with your fabrics

  13. Great post. I was ready to run downstairs with you and pet the minky. We have a lot of Amish living here, but sadly no quilt shops. Although they do make heavenly pie.

  14. Another great post. It was too cool to meet Mary again. I had a quilt hand quilted by an Amish woman many years ago. It was a full size Christmas quilt that was paper pieced. Mrs. Yoder only charged $50 plus cost of two spools of thread. I bet it costs way more these days.

  15. HEY!! What?! Dad never bought MY kids expensive shoes, or any shoes! Or for me for that matter LOL. Well indirectly he did of course. Was he playing favourites with Brianne? LOL. Kidding. By the time mine came along 10 and 14 years later he knew he better stop while he was ahead I guess haha.

    Love that soft fabric, I can feel it through my phone.

    Yup, serendipity alright!! Mary. Unreal.

    I won't share the other pics you texted me, I don't blame them for being private...I am too!

  16. So glad to see you get minky for you and Brady. You both deserve it! Sounds like an amazing trip.

  17. Cute post. Loved the pics. I haven't been to Amish country in Ohio yet although I've driven thru many times. I guess I've just never stopped to "smell the flowers." Nice fabrics and a plus to find them on sale!! Karen

  18. Your trip out to see Julie and explore Amish country sounds so fun Sandra! Hahahahahaha! A "wee-ooh, wee-ooh" moments indeed. You are soo funny Sandra!

  19. Great fabrics, but I love that white Minky. Have never seen anything like it. You were right to scoop it up.

  20. So fun to stumble upon this post...I'm from Venice and go to Alma Sues and down to Shelia @ expert sewing too ! Such a small world ! sounds like you had a great time :)