On our way to New Jersey we made an overnight stop in Lancaster, PA. Lancaster is an Amish area and I had been told that there are some nice fabric stores nearby. They also have outlet shopping. We spent Friday visiting a few outlet stores and then met my brother and sister-in-law on Saturday morning. The women went fabric shopping while the men held down a bench in the shade on a porch outside of the first store. We really only visited two fabric stores. The third store sold quilts already made. It was inspiring to see the quilts and some new techniques but the fabric stores themselves were the most fun. The fabric stores are actually in a little town called Intercourse, PA. The street is filled with little shops that merit a visit. The two we visited were:
The Old Country Store: We left the men on this porch on the shady side of the street. The store is a combination of things. The front is filled with completed craft items for sale. The back has many, many bolts of fabric and the upstairs is a quilt museum. We enjoyed taking it all in. We found a woven table runner that looked fun to make and my sister-in-law went home with the pattern for it. You can check in out here. The museum had a nice collection of quilts many of them intimidating in their complexity and precision.
Zooks Fabric Store (no website that I can find): This store is just up the street (east) and on the opposite side from the first one. They win the prize for the most fabric! There were bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric. I was amazed to hear a customer ask for a specific fabric with roosters and one of the clerks knew exactly where it was stored among the thousands of bolts. They had quilting fabric as well as dressmaking fabrics. Both stores had prices several dollars a yard below what I typically pay here in my area. I came home with a few yards of striped fabric for bindings. I sometimes have trouble finding striped fabric that will work for binding so I figured that was a good addition to my stash.
There are many other fabric stores in the area, but we had to move on to get to New Jersey in time for an event in the evening. It also was a VERY warm day and our air conditioner in the car decided to stop working properly. We bought a small ice chest and filled in with ice and bottled water to make the hot trip more bearable.