Tucson, Arizona has 4 quilt shops, and I would recommend a visit to any of them, although the first three on my list are my favorites.
The Quilter's Market is my favorite store. It was featured in Better Homes and Garden's Quilt Sampler in 2006. This is one really fun store! It is filled with bright colors and happy fabrics and a lovely staff of helpful ladies. If you love designers like Amy Butler, Holly Holderman, Joanna Figeroa, Kaffee Fasset, Me and My Sister, and a huge selection of batiks, this shop is for you. They always have good stock of seasonal fabrics, too! Patterns, patterns, patterns--loads of notions!
The Quilt Basket is another favorite shop, and has recently expanded to include The Sewing Room which sells beautiful Bernia sewing machines! This store has lots of shabby chic fabrics, Thimbleberries, Fig Tree, as well loads of prints in deeper color palettes, silks and Asian prints. This shop usually has a nice selection of Christmas fabrics. Amazing kits for everything from wool pincushions, appliqued quilts, pieced quilts and baby items! And wool! Their selection of wool and wool patterns is always expanding. I've noticed recently they are starting to carry a small selection of Moda precuts. Lots of patterns, lots of notions!
Bella Quiltworks was recently featured in McCall's America Quilts. Bella has lots and lots and lots of reproduction fabrics from every era, all kinds of wool, a large selection of novelty fabrics and a huge selection of batiks. I always go there for batting, since this is the only shop in the area that stocks Quilter's Dream batting.
Cactus Quilt Shop
I don't have a photo of this shop, because I don't go there very often but next time I'm in the area, I try to stop for a photo.
This shop has a decidedly odd inventory, which reflects the owner's interests. She only stocks what she loves! What does she love? Reproductions from every era--more than I have ever seen in one spot, Kitty cat fabric, southwestern prints, and Dia De Los Muertos fabrics. This shop is very specialized, but if you love what the owner loves, you'll be in heaven! I head here when I want 30's prints.
Cowgirl-Up Quilt Shop
It is a cute little shop run by a mother and daughter, specializing in Cowboy and Southwest prints. It also stocks some nice batiks, and selections of several current Moda Lines, and the neutrals of the Moda Bella Solids line. I was surprised by the number of patterns, books and notions in a shop this size. There is an old fashioned candy shop next door, if you ever stop in, skip the 'homemade' fudge. Oh my goodness--blech!!
Phoenix Area Shops.
35th Avenue Sew & Vac and Fabric World
This store advertises that it is the largest store in Arizona. I don't really know about that, but I can tell you, I have never, ever seen so much fabric in one place. 17,000 bolts of fabric! I felt dizzy and bewildered by the time we had walked through the whole store. They have pretty much everything and anything you can think of, and things you never thought of, as well as many brands of sewing machines, and more brands of thread than I knew existed.
The Olde World Quilt Shop is simply the most elegant shop I have ever been in. It is just beautiful. Artistic displays, fancy lighting, gorgeous fixtures, many of the latest lines of fabrics, wonderful season fabrics and knowlegeable and helpful staff. Mix in 17,000 bolts of fabric and you have a slice of heaven!
Sun Valley Quilt Shop
This is a great shop! Lots of happy bright fabric, huge selection of patterns and notions. Need blenders? Blenders, blenders and more blenders! Lots of batiks, juvenile and baby fabrics, dots, stripes and seasonal things for every holiday you can think of. If you are ever in the area of Sun City, this shop is worth a detour.
This page is devoted to my impressions of quilt shops I visited in August 2010.
If anyone has something to add, I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me!
Shops in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Area
Creative Sewing Center
This store has something like 8,000 bolts of fabric for sale. Lots and lots and lots of fabric, and really a little bit of everything from reproductions, batiks, juvenile prints, holiday lines to Texas and southwestern prints. Often, it really was little bits, just three or four bolts out of a large collection. There were a few collections that had all the bolts, such as about three Christmas lines. The store is rather a bland place, not a lot of charm. The same can be said for the people who were working there that day. I did pick up several pieces of fabric that I really love, but shopping there wasn't a 'fun' experience, the place reminded me a bit of going to Wal-Mart! I'd go back, but probably only if I couldn't find what I wanted some where else.
Las Colchas is located in downtown San Antonio. Getting there on the freeways was a bit hairy-scary, but it isn't actually hard to find. (But still, play it safe and print a Google Map) The shop is in a cottage built from a Sears and Roebuck kit in 1910. This little shop just oozes charm! There were all kinds of wonderful samples of quilts, bags, aprons and embroidery every where! Lots to inspire you. The staff was wonderful; quite friendly and knowledgeable. The shop specializes in reproduction fabrics, as well as wools and embroidery. If 'country' is your style, you'll find lots to love here. There was a tiny bit of Amy Butler, Laura Gunn and Joel Dewberry, but if Modern and bright is your thing, you'll have to look hard to find it here. I enjoyed the trip to the shop, but only came out with a pattern.
Seventh Heaven Quilt Shop
When you walk in, you'll think this is a tiny shop, but then you'll be surprised! It just keeps rambling along, with all kinds of delightful little rooms! The shop is staffed by a lovely bunch of ladies, who are very accomplished quilters and so helpful. This shop has a bit of everything, from country and Thimbleberries, Fig Tree and American Jane, to bright and modern like Kate Spain, Amy Butler, Laura Gunn, as well as a nice selection of flannels and Moda precuts. This shop has loads of Creative Grids Rulers, lots of notions, and patterns. I enjoyed this little place so much, and ended up in there twice and came out with some goodies both times.
Memories by the Yard
This store is in a boring commercial building, but don't let the outside fool you! The owners have turned it into something quite charming and pleasant to shop in, with something delightful to look at and drool over at every turn. About 2/3 of the large space has been devoted to quilting and the remaining 1/3 has bolt after glorious bolt of home decor fabrics. The quilt shop side has a nice mix of fabric styles from many manufacturers. They sell Lakehouse (one of my faves), and have a large selection of fairy frosts and Asian style prints and many, many, many notions and a large selection of patterns and books. I've been in this shop several times and I always ready to go back again.
The Quilt Haus
The Quilt Haus is located in New Braunfels. I hadn't planned to visit it, but as I was heading out the door I got a comment from a reader, Karin, telling me to stop there if I got out that direction. Oh, Karin! I'm so glad I did! I love this place. We'd only been in a few minutes and DAUGHTER commented 'this place is you, mom'. And she was so right! All the kinds of things I love! All the brights, all the modern, tons of Moda, lots of color and pattern and motion in all the fabrics. This shop has more pre-cuts than I have ever seen in one place, loads of charms, jelly rolls and layer cakes, as well as some fq bundles and honeybuns. Lots of flannel & children's prints, 30's, seasonal prints, southwest, Texas and Dia de los Muertos fabrics. Lots of patterns, lots. Over 500 bolts of clearance sale fabrics in the back room! This shop was totally worth the trip out there!
Shops outside of the San Antonio Area
Creations of Kerrville
I found this shop by accident the day we were driving home. We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Kerrville for breakfast and I was playing with my phone and googled Kerrville quilt shop, not expecting to find anything, and bingo! Got a hit. We finished breakfast and decided to have a quick look. Well, my quick look took a good 2 1/2 hours!
This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE QUILT SHOP! I want to live there.... Maybe they could just let me set up my machine in the corner? I wouldn't bother anyone???
The shop is in an old house, which has been added on many times. Each room has a different theme; such as country, children's prints, seasonal prints, reproductions, clothing, batiks, embroidery, bags and totes, and on and on. I believe this shop has fabric and patterns for every taste. More patterns here than I have ever seen in one place. There is so much to look at, I walked through twice before I actually started picking things up. (This is the shop where I killed my budget. I'd been pretty darn good on my shop hop, but it went out the window a bit here. And I know, it could have been so much WORSE!)
Kerrville was just charming, as well. Lots of antique shops and cafe's. The next time we go to visit DAUGHTER, I hope the two of us can go spend the day there. We can hit Creations first, stop for lunch and then wander the antique shops and boutiques.
Oh!! The shop has three cats who live there!