Quilt Shop Shopping Trip
Instructor: Marcia McClain (A)
Thursday, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Skill Level: All levels
Students should bring: Cash or credit card!
Cost: $25 for Guild Members/$35 for Non-Members
Max. Students: 7
Transportation: By private vehicles
Join Marcia and visit one of her favorite fabric shops. They have a huge assortment of quality cottons. Colchester Mill Fabrics is in the former Levine & Levine Coat Factory building, a 16,000 square foot free-standing building that still has the old steam pipes and sprinkler system, which adds to the charm of the building.
Here is some history: “My mom, Carolyn, was a stay at home mom who made custom drapes, slipcovers and pillows for customers. She shopped at Colchester Mill Fabrics for supplies. She became aware the business was for sale, and in the fall of 1974, asked her mother-in-law for a $25,000 loan to buy the store. The store was purchased in March 1975 and she suddenly lost her lease. My Mom found a small strip mall that was on the main road and decided to buy the location. It housed several other businesses and as our business grew, the other tenants were asked to leave. Finally, our store encompassed the entire 8000 sq. ft.
On June 3, 1997, I was in NYC on a buying trip when I got a frantic call that the store was on fire. We had been burned to the ground in an arson fire. We had to decide what our future was going to be. The outpouring of love and support from our customers was overwhelming and Mom said, we had to reopen for them. Mom had a vision for a new store and spent days trying to make that a reality.
Exactly one year from the day of the arson fire, we opened in the former Levine Levine Coat Factory building. We went from 8,000 sq ft to almost 16,000 sq ft. We carried the same types of inventory in the new store as we did before but now had a more dedicated quilt department. With such a huge area to fill with product, we expanded in every department including having a classroom. Classes were a challenging and as new product came in, the classroom got smaller until finally, it was replaced with fabrics.”