I had never heard about The Fabric Guild until I was reading the event threads on The Sewing Forum about how it is a members only event, where occasionally throughout the year, members are invited to attend and shop to their heart’s content. It is held in Leicester, UK and there is a fee of £5.00 for a lifetime’s membership and which gives the member rights to take a few guests with them too.
I was eager to find out more information as The Fabric Guild was sounding wonderful with its discount prices and wide selection of craft cotton fabrics so I looked on Google to find some answers. After a quick search I found their very own website and quickly spotted on their home page that this event was taking place for 3 days on 11th, 12th and 14th March 2010, a spark went off in my head and I knew I must be there. I choose the Sunday date as I don't drive around Leicester very often I thought the earlier I arrived, the better for finding the place and for parking. The location was situated on an industrial estate and all the other factories were closed, this made it great for being able to park outside the building. While getting out the car I noticed some people coming out of the building with bags of fabric and I knew I was in the correct place.
I walked inside the entrance of the factory and saw some posters on the wall, "Fabric Guild" and "Members only", as I read the signs I opened the main door.
I waited at the welcome desk for somebody to assist me and after a few minutes I was being attended to. There was a simple form to fill out to join The Fabric Guild which requires personal details and a small membership fee to pay.
To the right I saw a stack of shopping baskets and so I took one and ventured out on to the large ground floor of the building. I walked around the room noticing the huge selection of pretty, funky and traditional patterns, which were made out of cotton fabrics. My favourites were the brightly coloured retro designs full of swirly and striking shapes. I was very tempted to buy something from this range. When I turned around I saw another completely different selection of fun patterns covered in bunnies, cats and circus prints, which would be great for decorating a child's room. For the more traditional designs, I noticed classic prints of sunflowers, houses, and little delicate shapes on. They were even selling Christmas designs of snowman, holly and stars. There were endless designs for all tastes, even patterns I would never have dreamed of seeing. I really enjoyed taking in all the sights and was feeling very inspired with everything.
When I stepped closer to read the labels, the measurements confused me and when I asked for assistance from the staff they were very pleasant and helpful. I found out that they use yards and not metres for measuring the fabric. There were few choices for buying the fabric - off the roll and also ready cut fat quarters in sealed packets and loose strips. (I actually thought these were napkins at first glance). This was my first time with shopping in yards and fat quarters and I was surprised how easily I adjusted to it. The prices were quite reasonable too and they had some offers on their items. It was perfect for quilt-makers and sewers alike.
In addition to buying fabric, there were plenty of haberdashery items, books, sewing machines, cutting materials, to name a few. When I started to feel tired from looking at everything there was a resting place with chairs, tables and a drinks machine.
After a short break I decided on the fabric I wanted to buy, there was so much I liked.
Here is some photos of the items I purchased.
A selection of colourful fabrics.
A small storage unit.
A sewing book.
A rotary cutter guide.
I stayed for a few hours absorbing everything in and then I made my way to pay for my purchases. A swipe of my credit card and I was on my way home with my new fabric to enjoy sewing with. What a great morning out, I will definitely attend this event again, now I eagerly wait for my notification email letting me know when the next one will be held.
Have you discovered The Fabric Guild yet? Do you have any moments you wish to share? I would love to hear your views, leave a message below.