Saturday, April 30, 2011

When in PA---

There are just certain things that quilters HAVE to do when they reach the Mecca of Near-Lancaster-County, Pennsylvania!

We have our “Routes” and our “Routines” and we map them out to a T to make the best use of our time, not leaving out any possibilities for BARGAINS!

Yes, folks, yesterday was my Fabric Acquisition Road Trip!

Although I threw myself behind a little bit…one must always be open for DETOURS, right?

What’s this up ahead? a huge YARD SALE!

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The sale looked to be run by a bunch of “plain folk” with SO MUCH STUFF! There were baked goods too, but I passed on those, I’d just had breakfast!

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There was even something for the men folk! THis whole flat bed trailer was laden with tools and implements and fun stuff like blue canning jars!

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I had to wander around a bit….I really enjoyed seeing what they had already planted in their garden too..it looks to be huge! I did bring home a few things….a couple quilted heart pillows made from antique quilt, and a small flow blue dish that was too pretty to pass up. I’ll get pics later!

From there on I was in a HURRY….

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Which of course meant that I was going to get stuck behind slow moving buggies! ((But this makes me giddy too!))

I took this pic while sitting at a stop light…most of it is blur….but you should see these horses! You can tell they LOVE pulling the buggies..they are so regal and proud!

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My first stop? OBIE’S!

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It looks fairly unassuming from the outside, but when you get inside….OH. MY. GOODNESS!

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Fabric is stacked floor to ceiling several bolts deep ….and the aisles are NARROW!! If you are looking for fabric from the 1970s? For that UFO your mother never finished? You just might find it here!

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I KNOW I have sewn with this at least 30 years ago! LOL!

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It’s a tight squeeze through here….but we are on a mission to find bargains…can we do it?

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Maybe around THIS corner, there has to be something that I need in here? I just need to look!

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This is upstairs! And it is all full of Amish made quilts….I no longer feel guilty about my stash of quilts at all…LOL!

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There were so many gorgeous ones! Can you see that red ocean waves peeking out in the front? Where do you start to look?! Really nice workmanship on many of these…

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ALL of this wall was quilts folded on shelves, pillows, pot holders, oh, and there were more potato bags here ((the microwave kind)) than I have ever seen anywhere!

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Novelties, baby prints, can you fit down this aisle? I gave up trying!! I was afraid the whole pile would come down on me….”Clean up on Aisle 11!!”

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Can I have that bolt? Yes, that one, the 6th down from the ceiling, 3rd pile to the left?!

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Did I leave happy? Yes I did! I found some chrome yellows, a beautiful blue indigo, and a peach floral thing that is big enough for a backing. Price? $3.49 per yard ---well worth the thrill of the hunt!

Next Stop?

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On to Zooks! It’s changed since the last time I was there….the flat folds are in the front now, and they were only 3 yard cuts, so I didn’t find anything that I really wanted or needed here, but it is always fun to go!

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Sauder’s was next! And it has the most memorable aroma in the world. How can you combine the smell of fabric, bulk foods and spices and NOT remember it the next time you walk in? I’ve been here many many times, and it is always the aroma that hits me first…..pavlov’s dogs effect I guess!

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Yes I did find some big pieces for backs etc on the remnant tables! I’m a happy quilter!

I’m enjoying my time with Nancy, NP! We have a fun day planned today, stay tuned!


  1. What wonderful FABRIC TREASURES. I love to get backing fabric from Sauder's! Did you get to Weaver's as well? They also have incredible bargains......

    I am excited to see your YARD SALE FINDS! (I get excited just knowing that YOU are there! I love the PA fabric shops!

    sao in Midlothian, VA

  2. Wow! All that fabric has me salivating! I think I would have thought I died and gone to heaven to come across such a place. =)

  3. That fabric shop reminds me of one I used to go to in Franklin, TN only it didn't have an upstairs. I love hunting for bargins in a store like that. I could spend hours and hours in there just looking around.

  4. Bonnie,
    I have never been to Obie's before, I will make that a definite stop next month when I am there.

  5. Taht red ocean wave grabbed my eye before I even read your sentance! Love it!

  6. Isn't Obie's incredible?! I can't believe the amount of fabric in there. I love Zook's, but haven't been to Weaver's yet. Another place I like to go to is Hayloft Fabrics in Morgantown, close to the intersection of Rt. 23 and Rt. 10.

  7. I have been to Zook's but that first store you show the fabrics and quilts in I would have had to pass up - I can't stand shopping in such a mess - you can look, but how in the heck can anyone pull a bolt of fabric out from those stacks! Not for me :)
    I do love that area though of Pennsylvania and always stop when I am there.

  8. Anonymous9:39 AM EDT

    Thanks for giving us the details of your life in the USA Bonnie. Although we speak and write in the same language (almost), our way of life is so very different.
    Beverley in Britain.

  9. It looks like fun Bonnie!

  10. Where is Obi's? We stayed on Rt 30 mostly and only stopped at a few shops that caught our eye, like Zook's. I'm about 4 hrs from there, so you can bet I'll be going back again! LOL! It's the most wonderful place on earth.

  11. What a great trip! Makes me want to go to PA.

  12. Just looked it up on maps.google.com and will surely make a side trip there next time I'm in that area. Thanks for the great tip, Bonnie!

  13. When we lived in that area, I wasn't a quilter. Now, I want to go back and take in all the shops except maybe that first shop... gave me the heebie geebies!!!! Thanks for the tour!

  14. Bonnie, I am so glad that you made it to Obie's. It is quite the experience. Did you make it to the fabric outlet across the road? There are some incredible bargains in there as well. Not so much with the quilting cottons but there is an absolutely amazing assortment of other fabrics at bargain basement prices.

  15. Anonymous10:57 AM EDT

    So a Fabric Acquisition Road Trip ? That's a great acronym. Next time i'm going somewhere, i'll tell my husband that I'm going outside to fart !

  16. I'm in Lancaster this weekend, too! DH has a convention, so I came along to hit the outlets snd the quilt stores. I found a great Asian print for $3.49/yd at a store on Old Philadelphia Pike between Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse, PA. (Don't you just love the names of the towns in this area? ) and I think I may have passed the same yard sale that you saw! I know what you mean about finding older prints out here - I found some of the original turquoise "Metro" line! I made a purse out of it several years back, and the straps and bottom had worn out from use, but I didn't have enough to repair it. Now I do!

  17. bonnie i'm glad your were able to enjoy your trip to obies. i had a wonderful time in your class thursday. and my stiches came out friday.

  18. Several years ago our quilting bee made a trip to Lancaster Co. to fabric shop. When we left Obie's everyone was complaining of how claustrophobic the store was. Several of the ladies said they would never go back. During show and tell at the next bee meeting we all brought our favorite buy of the trip...and almost all of us brought something from Obie's, but several of the ladies still dsid they'll never go back. I would love a trip to Obie's and to Sauders, not only for the fabric, but also for the unsweetened coconut. I can't seem to find it anywhere else. I'm going to have to ask at our local Amish farmers market to see if anyone carries it.

  19. Almost makes you forget the traffic jam of the day before!
    Love being among those plain people with their slowed down way of living......there is a life message in there for me somewhere!

    Safe travels and Happy sewing

  20. Thanks for the info on Obie's. Zooks is my favorite, I live in Pa. and go all the time.

  21. Oh looks like so much fun! I wish we had shops like that here!

  22. That green fabric is at least 30 yrs. old. I have some of it in blue that I bought when my second daughter was born. She turns 31 in June. What a fun fun store.

  23. Obie's....WOW. I know the piece I would want would be at the very bottom of the stack!!! And all those quilts in the upstairs!! How were the prices?

    The green fabric....I still have some in red, blue and rust. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that store had the Thimbleberries piece that I would dearly love a few yards of....IF one could find it in all those stacks. Talk about buried treasure!!

  24. You look like you have fabulous fabric store in US, not quite like here in New Zealand. The peachy floral fabric looks like a fabric we had here, is it a Marie Osmond fabric?

  25. Two of my favorite people. Hope you had a blast!!!

  26. Oh my goodness Bonnie...I am going to have to come to the states just to go to Obie's..
    NOTHING that here down under!
    Julia ♥

  27. I definitely need to make a trip down there and hit those stores, lol.
    We went years ago and what I remember was the meat and fresh noodles we got.


  28. What for a great fabric Shop! For me is this the heaven on earth!! Here in my city, we hafe too one of this shop. One little room, so (3x10x5yard), hundert of fabrics, but the old lady there find all my fabric wishes;)
    Wish you a good calmy sunday!
    Regards, Rita

  29. Just returned from Paducah and Eleanor Burns' tent sale was so much better organized and easy to shop. Max. price $5 and with all the discounts and coupons, some was almost $3. Obies terrifies me for the fire hazzard and what if one of those stacks fell over? (I still secretly would like to visit it.)

  30. WOW am I envious ! ! ! !

  31. Aww, I live 20 min from Sauders!

  32. Wow....bargin quilt heaven! Thanks for sharing, I've never been but I know I'd have trouble deciding on what I brought home!

  33. I go on a bus trip every October to Sauders and Zooks, but I've never been to Obie's. If it's close enough to the kettle area, maybe I'll make a point to go there next time. I love places that are jam packed, makes you think there are some really great bargains in there!


  34. I want to see a close-up of that heart quilt that has log cabins...hanging in the middle of the picture AND the red ocean-waves. Were these quilts for sale? Such inspiration.

    Love your choices too.

  35. its a hoarders paradise !!! ICK ! the ceiling has water spots ! think of the heat humidity fluctations......... oh my ! maybe if it was $1 a yard..

  36. I see you've also been to Obie's! I was there in March and took pictures much like yours to show some of my quilting buddies. A pile of fabric DID fall near the cutting counter while I was there. Luckily, no one was underneath. You need a hard hat in that place to be safe and I'm not kidding! Very difficult to pass someone in an aisle without bumping a pile of fabric. When I was there, in order for a customer to get past the woman at the cutting counter to checkout, the gal cutting hopped up on the counter! For me, it is a one time experience only. LOL

  37. joan durbin11:47 PM EDT

    Loved your blog! My one trip there was with a husband and teen age son. They were patient BUT!

  38. Anonymous2:37 PM EDT

    Oh, I had the same reaction when I went to Obie's! When I told the lady I was coming back with a flashlight, the lady told me "a lot of folks do!" and yes the smell at Sauders is heaven

  39. WOW............Obie's totally looks like a store that's about 15 minutes drive from me here in Southwestern Ontario Canada called "McKay's Corners"...........except I think my store it 3 times the size of Obies!

    It's funny about your comment about fabric from the 1970s because I bought a bolt of fabric for relief quilt after Hurricane Katrina at my local store, and when I got to the bolt liner it said it had been manufactured in 1972! I couldn't believe it! Now that I've been in the store many more times, I think most of their inventory is that old! lol They do have SOME newer stuff though. I will try to get some pictures and send them to you:)

    I told my husband that for our 25th anniversary we ARE GOING to Pennsylvania so that I can travel all over and go to various shops and Amish locations.

    Not sure why..........but he sort of rolled his eyes and sighed before he said OK! I told him he could sit and talk with all the other bored husbands........and he sort of rolled his eyes again..........

    His eyes must have needed some exercise that day :P


  40. I live in Lancaster and you may have missed a few great places....burkholders and weaver dry goods and a few more.


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