Some days, it is difficult to determine whether I am a quilter or just a fabric collector/hoarder. I’ve been at this quilting for quite some time, and I have accumulated quite a stash. OK, fine, I could probably open my own fabric shop! Every now and again, there’s nothing left to do but weed out some of the old stuff.
There is always a question of what to do with the fabric. I try to donate it to guilds or organizations that are making charity quilts, but even they get overwhelmed and sometimes have so much that they run into storage problems. The other day, I discovered another option in the Kansas City area.
Fabric Recycles, in Overland Park and Lee’s Summit, is a resale shop for crafters. Buttons, thread, yarn, notions, fabric, patterns and books fill the shelves. It is as well organized as any retail shop I’ve visited.
As I walked into the shop in Lee’s Summit, the first thing I saw was a long-arm quilting machine. One can take lessons there as well as rent time on the machine.
The next thing that caught my eye was a table stacked with quilt blocks, quilt tops and kits. Some of the blocks were quite old, and some looked like they came from the ’70s or ’80s. Some of them were made quite well; others, not so much. But, as all quilters know, what has been sewn together can also be taken apart.
The fabric is rolled and has a paper wrapped around each piece that tells how much is in the packet and the price. The fabric is stacked on shelves with other pieces of like colors. The aisles give off that rainbow effect.
The wall on one side of the store has notions hanging from pegs. On this wall, one finds scissors, pins, rotary cutters, rulers and zippers. Farther on down the wall hang cross-stitch and needlepoint kits and canvases. Some have been started and not finished, while others have yet to be opened.
On the opposing side of the store, one finds lace, trims and buttons. Oh, my, are there ever buttons! I even found a few “bachelor” buttons. No thread, needle or sewing knowledge is necessary to use them. Just poke a pointy end through the shirt, cap it off, and suddenly, the button has been replaced.
Page Burns is the owner of both shops. She is friendly and personable and knows what her customers are searching for when they come in to shop. She has some people always on the lookout for feedsacks and others who always search for trims. I have a hunch that it isn’t long before she is on a first-name basis with her regular customers.
The way this works is one brings in her leftover craft or sewing supplies, and Page makes an offer and pays cash for the items she wants to buy. “How much?” you ask. The answer to that is, “Not much.” So if you think you will get even half of what you paid for whatever it is that you’re selling, you will probably be disappointed. But then again, you aren’t going to pay much as a buyer, either. Another plus is the fact that you will not be storing unwanted items in your house any longer.
Check it out and see what you think. For locations and hours, visit http://fabricrecycles.com. Who knows, you may find that elusive piece of fabric you’ve been looking for since you started that baby quilt for Cousin Sue 20 years ago.