Yesterday I had a vacation day, and even though I had originally planned to stay home and sew all day, I couldn't resist the urge to take a little road trip to Alewives, my favorite fabric store. I had Addie in tow, since she's going to day care a different day this week. Ever since I had a Sprinkles cupcake in Arizona, I've kind of been on a cupcake quest, so we had to start the day with a cupcake from Two Fat Cats Bakery. (Awesome frosting. Cake part not bad but not quite as moist or flavorful as the Sprinkles Vanilla one I had. Someone brought an apple pie from Two Fat Cats to a party we had, and it was the best apple pie I ever had.)
From there we headed straight to Alewives which is about an hour from where I live. We stopped at the Irving in Wiscasset to use the bathroom. That's the last place you'd expect to be nostalgic about, but it was oddly sentimental, since when I was growing up, it was always our first stop heading south from my hometown. We'd almost always be able to get a treat which for my dad was always a diet coke and a Little Debbie Oatmeal pie. I can't remember what the rest of us had.
Driving into Damariscotta Mills is always beautiful.
Alewives has the best selection of what I consider "modern" quilt fabric around. They also have a good selection of more garment-y type fabric like voile, lawn, linen blends, and wool. The staff is great. I love that they will let you wander around forever and aren't at all pushy to "help" you. It takes me at least three rotations through the shop to start to narrow down my choices. Addie made herself right at home next to the big basket of toys and used their bathroom a couple of times declaring she wanted her privacy and thus going by herself.
I used to always just buy whatever fabric I liked, but now I'm trying to be more focused on buying to kinds of prints and fabrics that would be good for clothes. Here's my loot from Alewives.
There is just something so appealing about that little white shopping bag all filled up with neatly folded fabric.
I had planned to go straight home after Alewives, so I'd have at least half the day to sew, but then I decided that since it was a beautiful day and Addie was being a great shopping companion, we should hit a few more quilt shops on the way home. If I'd had a little more time and little more money, I would have headed a little further north to Mainely Sewing. Instead we headed back south but took a little detour towards Boothbay Harbor and stopped at On Board Fabrics.
I'd seen the sign on several previous trips but hadn't wanted to travel the three miles off route 1 and back. Seems kind of silly now. More likely, I'd already spent all my fabric budget at Alewives. It was well worth the stop. They have a lot of home dec fabric but also a decent selection of quilting fabric - lots of designer fabric and quite a few I hadn't seen before. Addie ferreted out the toys, while I was really drawn to some bold 2-color prints.
If I'd been a good cupcake quester, I would have stopped at the highly-recommended Treats in Wiscasset to see if they had any cupcakes, but there's only so many times I can do the whole in and out of the car seat thing. Instead we headed to The Mariner's Compass in Bath. This was one of the first "real" quilt shops I went to when I first started getting into sewing.
They have mostly what I would consider traditional quilting fabric but seem to be adding more modern fabrics. They seem to carry mostly Moda. I was a little tempted by some sweet little romantic prints for Addie clothes, but they just don't seem "her". It's nice and bright in there, but there's kind of a funky smell that I can't get past. They had a really cute toy section with one of those fabric tee-pees. I was ready to go before Addie was.
If you're into knitting, you should definitely stop at Halcyon which is also in Bath. I have more yarn than I'll ever be able to knit, so we skipped that, but I did decide to swing into Purl Diva in Brunswick. It's another great yarn shop, but she also does sometimes have fat quarters of hard-to-find fabric. Last time I was in I got some of the Heather Ross mermaid prints. It turns out that they're closed on Tuesdays, so we headed to our next stop of Cotton Weeds in Freeport.
They also have mostly traditional fabrics, but they do have a small section of more modern fabrics. I used to work in Freeport, so I'd often swing by there on lunch breaks to get a fabric fix. Addie was very disappointed to find that they had no toy section, and nothing jumped out at me, so we didn't stay long.
Instead of getting back on the highway, we headed south on Route 1, so we could swing into Old World Deli. They have the best sandwiches and cookies ever. I had forgotten that they close for the winter. I imagine they'll be opening up again soon. (If you're also on a yarn mission, there's Grace Robinson on your way between Cotton Weeds and Old World. I find the yarn overpriced and the staff somewhat stuffy, but they do have a great selection.)
As I headed home from Freeport, I debated whether or not to hit just one more fabric store. Addie was game. She, in fact, wanted to hit "a lot more stores", so I decided to swing in to Z Fabrics.
They have a great selection packed in to a tiny little place. I especially liked their selection of solids including Essex linen. I picked up quite a few Kona colors for quilting and some of the linen and some pretty lavender voile for clothing. No toys, but Addie had fun playing with a little suitcase full of buttons and picked out three purple ones for herself.
If you're in the market for yarn, one of my favorite yarn shops, Knit Wit, is in the same neighborhood. And if you're still hungry, definitely stop by Micucci's to see if you can snag a Sicilian slab or some Luna Bread. Or if you skipped your cupcake in the morning, Two Fat Cats is right there as well.
Much to Addie's disappointment, we headed home after that, but it was a great day.