Quilt Shop: Fields Fabrics, Holland, Michigan

Okay, so this is the second quilt shop we visited while in Holland, Michigan. I'll admit this store is even more of a puzzle now than it was when I visited. This is how the store looked from the front. The building was huge, and I couldn't get a picture of the whole thing without putting the camera in "pano" mode.

Stepping inside...holy moly! Looking to the right, it looked like this:

Looking left...I'll admit, I was already overwhelmed.

This next image is taken standing on the other side of the row of fabric in the image above. These were all beautiful batiks. 

Walking toward the left of the store was a whole selection of nautical fabrics. I knew I'd find my regional print here.

Walking on, there were some juvenile prints. And let me just say that the word "some" doesn't capture the volume of fabrics in every category.

At the extreme left were shelves of flannel.

Moving on down that wall, there was a huge selection of solids. It made me wonder if there is an Amish community here.

Standing on the left side of the store and looking across, you can see how big it is, and how much fabric there is.

Here were tons of stripes and plaids.

And tons of food fabrics.

And more flannel in stripes and plaids.

And night sky fabrics.

There was so much fabric, I could have spent an entire day and not seen it all. I gave myself a break by moving toward the back of the store where there was a good supply of books and patterns.

Behind that...tables of fleece.

Behind that, notions galore.

And thread...oh my.

And fun buttons.

I started feeling like I was in a JoAnn when I saw all these home decor fabrics. There was upholstery fabric and vinyl.

It seems all the quilt shops have their Christmas fabric out. Maybe they have it out year-round. I don't usually buy fabrics that are only usable for Christmas quilts. If I'm making a Christmas quilt, it's usually going to be something more of a general winter theme, rather than specifically for Christmas.

But here's where the confusion really set in. Look at the image below. See the fabric just to the right of middle at the top? The one with pinecones. That was one of the first fabrics I purchased when I first learned to quilt, and so I started thinking this store was carrying some very old fabrics. I looked on the selvage edge to see if I could find a year, but there was none.

Later, I came to this fabric, which is one of the fabrics I used in the first quilt I ever made...when I took a quilting class at our local community college in July of 2008.  

Here's my first quilt:

And now I know that fabric is old. So that had me wondering. Does this store take old stock from other stores? Is it sort of like an outlet store for places like JoAnn? No way to know, but I was surprised to see such old fabrics for sale. It might explain why virtually everything in the store was on sale.

Adding to the confusion, when we left Grand Haven yesterday, we passed by yet another Fields Fabrics store. Looking online, I realized this is a chain of stores. I read this on their website:
Field's Fabrics, based in Grand Rapids Michigan, has seven retail store locations throughout the West Michigan area. Field's Fabrics first opened in 1953 as a Dry Goods store. Fabric sold very well and eventually expanded to become all fabrics and notions. Field's Fabrics carries a vast selection in almost every category of fabrics along with many fabric related supplies, many of which are also available worldwide. New fabrics and supplies are constantly being updated both in-store and our online selection.

Okay, so it's not exactly what I thought, but it isn't a quilt shop per se...it's a store for anyone who sews anything. I'll say I didn't see much related to embroidery there...no floss, as an example...but certainly one could find anything else, including patterns for sewing garments.

So what did I come away with? Well, I selected this one for my regional fabric. And I was happy with my choice until I made my way to the register.

Hanging above the register was this panel. There were two small and one large design of the same thing. The smaller ones look to be the right size for use in my Shop Hop quilt. And this panel was custom created for Fields Fabrics.

So, if it's the right size, one of the smaller panels will go into my quilt. If not, I'll use my first choice of the lighthouse fabric. Either way, I'll use the lighthouse fabric for something. 

But look at the things in the panel below. The Mackinac Bridge is there...the two lighthouses from Grand Haven are there...the Holland windmill is there...and some other things we've seen along the way. It's perfect for my quilt.

You could find whatever you want in this store. Prepare to be overwhelmed however. And with 7 stores in Michigan, you Michiganders can probably find one nearby.


Barbara said...

Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don't do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals. ~ John H. Johnson

Nancy said...

I visited Fields Fabrics when I was in Grand Rapids in 2014. I was amazed by the size. Of course at that time we still had Fabric Depot locally so I compared the two. I did bring home fabric but not a lot. I thought they had older fabric also so I went by how the fabric felt to the touch. Having worked at a fabric store years ago I can usually just tell but touching at fabric who the manufacturer it. A strange skill to have for sure.
Your trip thru Michigan so far has been fun as I have visited several of the locations at different times. You will soon be going to parts unknown. I look forward to seeing them.

Darlene S said...

Wowser, what an impressive store. Interesting how they also still have old fabrics in stock. I definitely want to shop in this store and will add it to my bucket list. I'm so happy you had a chance to shop here and what great finds. I love your regional panel and fabrics you selected.

piecefulwendy said...

Looks like a fun place to explore if you have plenty of time! Great choices on your regional fabrics!

Katie said...

When you said you were going to another quilt shop, I assumed it would not be Field's. Us "locals" know this is a FABRIC store that carries quilting fabrics and always has. The Holland store is, I think, the best and biggest. But yeah, they have some odd stuff. I haven't been there in quite a few years, but they had a wall if deeply discounted bolts that I was sure I'd seen at JoAnns in previous years and I think they may have taken on a "flood sale" clearance or something? They have a little of everything and I love going there just for inspiration. I'm glad you found it and some good regional prints!

Sara said...

Fields Fabrics reminds me of S R Harris in the Twin Cities. They carry every type of sewing notion imaginable, and every type of fabric customers might want from fur to fancy, with a whole section for quilters.

I love your regional choices from this shop. The lighthouses are great. Thinking about those "old" fabrics - I wonder if they are examples of prints that have been re-issued due to popularity.

Anne Kirby said...

What a store! I will edumacate you a little...there may well be an Amish community nearby but very few of those bright colors would be appropriate for their clothing. Amish and Mennonites wear mostly somber colors, no red or pink, no yellow or anything that gives our lives meaning as quilters lol!! Stay safe on the road!!

MissPat said...

The variety of fabrics available at the Fields store reminds me of MaryJo's in Gastonia, NC, which I believe sadly, has closed. I admire your restraint in getting out of there with just two fabrics.

Jenny said...

Overwhelming for sure, for me anyway. I'm pleased you found something suitable for your quilt.

SJSM said...

I wonder if this is the Fields Fabrics advertised to garment sewers? I see the ads in my sewing publications. I haven’t purchased from them. I have been to several garment fabric stores that are very large. They tend to have a quilting section in them. Some have large quilting section, some much smaller. Quilt fabrics must be a better profit margin or enough sewist need quilting cottons the fabric is needed to draw customers in.

Regardless, weird on the old fabrics. You usually find those at the consolidator type stores who buy end mill and old stock.

Linda Garcia said...

When I saw the photo of the section of regional fabrics, I zoomed right in on the lighthouse fabric. I was so happy to see that's the one you picked since it was my choice too. There must be a lot of quilters and sewist in the Holland area since there are TWO large shops located in that small town. I wonder of a lot of their traffic is in the summer with tourists? Everyone I know who is a quilter or sewist loves to visit shops on their travels.