In the 18 years I lived in Kansas City (or 21, if you include going home on college breaks), I never once stepped foot in a fabric store that wasn’t a JoAnn or Hancock (well, except for that fancy special occasion place on the Plaza). Now that I only make it back twice a year or so, I am so sad that I missed the opportunity to be part of what seems to be an awesome Modern Quilting community there—and am jealous of the shopping opportunities.
During this last trip, I finally made it to two shops in the Missouri/Kansas region—one in Overland Park, KS and one in Camdenton, MO (the Lake of the Ozarks). I really restrained myself, as I hadn’t budgeted for fabric shopping on the trip, but both will definitely be stops on future trips.
Harper’s Fabric and Quilt Co.—Overland Park, KS
A bit of everything, Viking Dealer
As a native Kansas-Citian who took pride in knowing how to get around the entire metropolitan area, it shames me to admit that I had never, ever made it over to what is considered Downtown Overland Park before this trip. If I knew about Harper’s before now, that would have been a whole different story. Harper’s is everything I want in a LQS. Modern, organics, contemporary, traditional, and reproductions are all represented in their stock of fabric. It took an incredible amount of restraint to come out of there with only the 11 FQs I bought (and really only two or three of those are stash, the others were for projects I needed fabric for).
They have a small online shop, but if you’re ever in OP, you’re better off stopping in. My one complaint is that they are a bit pricier than some other places. Yardage seemed around 25¢ higher than standard (though I didn’t look closely), and fat quarters were mostly (or all?) in the $3.25 range—quite a bit higher than places I frequent. But their selection is varied enough that it might be worth it just for the sheer factor of being able to stop in and find something you want nearly every visit.
They also have a variety of classes. When I was there, a children’s sewing class was being conducted, so it sounds like a good store for people of all ages.
Fabric and Friends—Camdenton, MO
The Lake is a far cry from the bustle of Kansas City, but since my Mom and younger sisters have lived there for going on 10 years now, it’s sort of like a second home. It is amazing how much the area has grown in that decade (especially compared to my memories as a kid, visiting my grandparents’ lake house on weekends in the summer). So, while the area is still smaller than KC, it seems to have a healthy quilting community as well—you just have to drive a bit farther to find it.
Fabric and Friends is a friendly but small store nestled into the Camdenton square. While it probably doesn’t have much more than 200 bolts, they seem to make intelligent buying choices—there was a little bit of everything to appeal to the average quilter including some precuts. My favorite part was the 50% table of Christmas fabric—especially the charm packs of Basic Grey’s Jovial, one of which I snapped up with glee (and almost went back for another the next day—have I ever mentioned my love for Basic Grey? No? Well, serious love. Not to mention my love of a good deal). Their normal prices were also reasonable—I believe the FQs were all $2.50, and yardage similarly close to standard pricing.
They have a selection of classes, and a lot of kits that had my mom asking me to make her. They focus on those two things on their website.
They also had a good selection of notions and general quilty-things. Although I didn’t buy it since I’m not stickers-on-car person, I got a major kick out of a car window decal they had: a rotary cutter with the line “This is how I roll”. I might have to pick it up in the future and find something else to stick it on.
We’ll be going back in May for my youngest sister’s graduation—a weekend that will probably coincide with Spring Market, which is being held in KC this year (though the school hasn’t announced the date yet). So, while some of you are going about the hustle and bustle of the convention, I hope I’ll be able to visit a few more KC-area shops (in hopes that they are running awesome Market sales), and a second shop at the Lake (which has been closed for the owner’s vacation both times I’ve tried to go).
I’m sure I’ll have more in NY state before then, though, so stay tuned!