The Gallery of Fabric is located just across from the town square in Mercer PA in a lovely old building.
From the outside, it looks as neat as a pin.
And inside? Well, inside is cozy and delightful as you could possibly imagine.
There’s a wide array of beautiful fabric, of course. Over 5000 bolts of beautiful fabric.
And much, much more.
Sandy is the irrepressible and irresistible force behind The Gallery of Fabric. She’s a quilter, an applique enthusiast, an embroidery designer, a calligrapher, a lover of fabric — especially fabric with metallic accents, a wonderful storyteller, a gracious hostess, and just all-around fun to talk with.
She told us a bit about the history of the building. In its more-than-a-century long history, it has been a mercantile, a hardware store, and even a funeral parlor, among other things. When she and her husband Frank first bought the building and started their shop, they lived in an apartment upstairs. One day, a fellow who had worked with the funeral director came in and told her how, in its heyday, the bodies of deceased patrons were sometimes briefly stored in the apartment’s bathtub. Fortunately for her peace of mind, by the time she heard this tale, she and Frank had remodeled the apartment’s bath and replaced the tub with a very nice shower.
We met Pati, who showed us her Brazilian embroidery.
The Gallery of Fabric is an authorized Janome dealer with a full line of Janome machines. They pride themselves on their machine service department and their informative classes. They also carry Handiquilter machines and accessories. In fact, they were the first Handiquilter dealers east of the Mississippi. But they cater to handwork, too, with fabrics, patterns, and supplies to gladden the heart of any hand embroidery or applique afficionado. And the wide variety of sample quilts that deck the shop testify to the far-reaching array of projects and interests you’ll find at The Gallery of Fabric.
You’ll find everything from darling panels ready to form the centerpiece of a quick baby quilt
to fascinating hexagonal creations that appear far more complex than they really are,
and projects ranging from smashingly simple mini-quilts
to elegant stack and whack beauties,
and dozens of other lovely quilt ideas that will intrigue and delight you.
The Gallery of Fabric’s unique collection of fabric and supplies draws clientele from a wide area.
Sandy showed us some of her own handiwork.
Her applique was so striking I just had to take a close-up.
She admits to not being particularly fond of traditional quilts, but told of the time that she was drawn into a Nine Patch Challenge at her local guild. She said she made a few small nine patch blocks, but then struck out on her own. She was amazed when her quilt won the challenge. I’m not at all surprised, and I don’t think you will be either when you see her whimsical entry.
The Gallery of Fabric is also at the heart of a continuing stream of community projects in Mercer. Sandy told us about their Donation Days.
What You Should Know About The Gallery of Fabric and Mercer, PA:
Facebook: Coming Soon!
What to See and Do in Mercer: The Mercer County Historical Society (119 S Pitt Street) has a free museum and a genealogical library. You can download brochures for a walking tour of Mercer, featuring several stops from Mercer’s days as a waystation on the Underground Railroad from their website. Their website also offers an interesting description of the Mercer County Courthouse, just across the street from The Gallery of Fabric. The Kidds Mill Covered Bridge a few miles northwest of town is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only remaining covered bridge in Mercer County.
Where to eat lunch: Sandy suggests Rachel’s Roadhouse (1553 Perry Hwy) for delicious burgers, sandwiches, and their signature ribs. She also likes Fox’s Pizza Den (359 Greenville Ave). For a sweet treat, try Mercer Mercantile and Soda Shop just down the street ( 108 N Pitt St).
Next time: We continue westward with a stop at The Bernina Store and Sew Much More in Boardman OH.