As we drove across Wyoming and South Dakota, we saw patches of old snow piled up against the highway embankments. [Note: As I write this in the comfort of our Baltimore hotel, the news this morning is full of the May Day storm that left six inches of That White Stuff all along our route across South Dakota and Minnesota. Boy, did we ever time our trip well!] But since you’re all undoubtedly sick to death of dealing with That White Stuff, I’ll refrain from posting a picture and bring you an expression of sympathy instead.
Fabric Junction in Sturgis SD posed the toughest challenge yet for the Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest. Because they are a home-based business, they are prohibited by zoning ordinances from having a permanent sign on their store. But the Quilt Shop Navigator had no trouble pinpointing their location for us.
We were greeted by manager Chris, the son of the shop owner, an affable fellow who cheerfully opened the shop on a Sunday morning, just so that we could visit.
With his little daughter in tow, he gave us a tour of Fabric Junction.
And what a grand shop it is, too! Bolts and bolts of colorful fabric everywhere!
The fat quarters in the basket in the picture above are Fabric Junction’s exclusive motorcycle fabric, made especially for them by Robert Kaufmann.
They’re also Babylock dealers and have a wide selection of sewing and embroidery machines and sergers. (I love my Babylock Imagine serger. It’s been a mainstay in my sewing room for 14 years now and is still going strong.)
Fabric Junction is a well-stocked source for embroidery patterns and software and also carries a large assortment of Floriani embroidery thread.
Chris told us an interesting story about thread and the origins of the shop. His mother Terry started out as a seamstress. As she could, she added a bolt or two of fabric to her shop. When Chris was a teenager, she wanted to expand her stock of notions and sewing supplies with a thread display but it cost around $1000. Chris made his first investment in the shop by going in with her to purchase the display, which you can see in the picture below.
Chris is now Fabric Junction’s machine expert, embroidery guru and custom quilter. A couple of weeks before last Christmas, a customer came in with a Western themed top she wanted quilted as a gift for a family member. Chris told us he really got into quilting it and had it done in a couple of days. When she came in and saw the boots and hats pattern he’d used, she cried – and then asked if he’d have time to quilt a few more for her. By Christmas, he’d done NINE quilts for her, enough that she could give one to every member of her family.
Bag patterns of all sorts are another very popular item at Fabric Junction. They also carry flannels and wide quilt backs. and have a crowd-pleasing Block of the Month.
Things to Know about Fabric Junction and Sturgis SD
Facebook: Fabric Junction
Things to see and do in Sturgis:
Bear Butte State Park Mato Paha or “Bear Mountain” is the Lakota name given to the unique formation at Bear Butte State Park. This formation is a lone mountain, not a flat-topped “butte” as its name implies. It is one of several intrusions of igneous rock that formed millions of years ago along the northern edge of the Black Hills. This mountain is sacred to many Native Americans, and its ceremonial area is visited by thousands each summer. A lakeside use area provides 15 basic campsites near Bear Butte Lake for recreational camping. A small bison herd roams the base of the mountain. Because of its natural and historical heritage, Bear Butte State Park has been designated as a National Natural Landmark and a National Recreation Trail.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame Sturgis is synonymous with motorcycles and the people who love them. Visitors come all year looking for motorcycle-related businesses and attractions – and they get a piece of motorcycling history when they visit Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. In a joint effort the Museum’s Board of Directors, the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, local students and members of the Sturgis community gathered on March 10th, 2001 to scrape, sand, and paint the old church building next to the Pyramid Bar. Today, the Museum is open year round, seven days a week. Summer months are the busiest as people flock to the famous motorcycle mecca, culminating in August during the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Motorcycles and exhibits are changed on a regular basis offering repeat visitors something fresh and new each time they stop in.
Where to eat lunch: Chris suggested Tillie’s Deli and Ice Cream Bar, just down the street from Fabric Junction (990 Main Street). He spoke highly of their Reuben sandwich. Another, more lively favorite is the Loud American Roadhouse (1305 Main Street).
Stay tuned for more adventures on the Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest.