Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fabric Stop - New Orleans

Part of what I love about traveling is finding new fabric stores and quilting shops to visit. Last weekend I accompanied my husband to New Orleans where he had a conference and he totally surprised me by looking up some local fabric shops and mapping out how to get there... what a sweetie!

So, after spending Saturday morning strolling the French Quarter and Market (which we could walk to from our hotel on the RiverWalk), we hopped in our car and drove to our first destination, Promenade Fabrics. Here's the part where I was planning to show photos of the shop, but my camera decided to pick and choose which shots it wanted to save, so I ended up with less than half of the pictures I thought I'd taken.

So, I'll just have to give you my verbal review and photos of what I bought. First off, Promenade Fabrics (1520 St Charles Ave) is located in the Garden District, right off St. Charles Ave where the trolley runs. This is definitely the place to go for fine apparel fabrics, it was full of lovely wovens, knits, silks and designer fabrics. And I mean, designer fabrics, as in Chanel and Oscar de la Renta. As someone who is equally as interested in sewing clothing as I am in making quilts, I was in heaven. You just don't see these kinds of fabrics anywhere else, and their selection of fine trimmings and threads was impressive as well. I'm not usually one to wear expensive designer outfits, or carry name brand purses or buy shoes that cost more than $50, but I was definitely intrigued with this shop, I can see myself planning a trip to New Orleans again just to visit here again. I ended up buying some beautiful watercolory floral sateen fabric by Jones New York, and a cool geometric print on a light and gauzey cotton by Marc Jacobs. I can't wait to make some clothing out of them both.

Next, it was off to the Quilted Owl. Located at 1600 Jefferson Highway, in an old converted house, we wandered through each charming room full of traditional quilting fabrics and projects.

Secretly I hoped to see some of my fabrics as I still have yet to see them out there in the real world, but alas not. While they did carry some Michael Miller fabrics, I didn't see any Backyard Baby or Bella Butterfly. But, I did score some gorgeous batiks (you'll see in a later photo) and the ladies running it were really funny and very friendly. They even gave us the name of another quilt shop to check out across town and called them to up to make sure they were still going to be open by the time we got there... talk about service! 

The last place we went to was called Mes Amis Quilt Shop, located at 6506 Spanish Fort Blvd. They carried a more modern selection of fabrics, and lots of Michael Miller!! None of mine, but lots from the "Going Coastal" Line by fellow MM designer, Emily Herrick (love that line, which remind me, have you seen her new coastal collection, "Shore Thing"? its fabulous) I couldn't resist buying more luscious batiks, they're perfect for beachy, summer projects.

...and this totally and completely adorable print from Michael Miller....

One thing we've come to expect at quilt shops is that the people are always so darned friendly! If it were up to me I'd never mention that I design for Michael Miller, but if my husband's with me he'll just blurt it out the way a proud husband does. It used to embarass me, but now I see it's not bragging, it's just sharing a part of myself with other people who are interested in a lot of the same things. People are generally as excited to meet me, as I am to drool over their amazing quilting and sewing skills. I hope to see a lot of these folks again at Fall Market in Houston. I just hope I can remember their names, I'm so bad at that!

If you're ever in New Orleans, I encourage you to look these places up and stop in to check out their fabrics and have a friendly chat!

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