Rolls of fashion fabric at Colorado Fabrics in Aurora, Colorado. The store announced yesterday that it’s closing.
It’s a rough environment out there for brick-and-mortar fabric shops. In October of last year, we saw Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon shutter after 26 years in business and in 2016 The City Quilter in New York City closed after almost two decades. This week two more longtime fabric retailers announced they’ll be shutting their doors for good.
Colorado Fabrics sent a notice to its customers yesterday saying that the company is going out of business. “Colorado Fabrics has been the culmination of a dream for me and my family,” wrote the president and owner Nada Watt. “After months of diligent work and sincere thought, we have come to a place where we must say good-bye.”
The shop, which is located at 4042 South Parker Road in Aurora, Colorado, is one of the largest fabric stores in the state. At 40,000 square feet, it rivals the size of a big box store. Watt came to work at Colorado Fabrics in 1989 and bought the business when the previous owner retired in 2013. The store offers sewing classes, kids sewing lessons, and a community event space. They also offered longarm quilting services, sold and repaired sewing machines, and had scissor sharpening on the premises.
“I loved perusing their cut yardage,” says loyal customer Cathy Stamp about Colorado Fabrics. “There was always a hidden gem there.”
On the East Coast, another beloved fabric store announced its closure this week. Keepsake Quilting will be closing its retail location in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. The company’s catalog and online business will continue. In April 2018 Steelcity LLC acquired Keepsake Quilting from F+W Media less than a year before F+W declared bankruptcy.
Keepsake Quilting was founded as a quilt catalog business in 1986 by Judy and Russ Sabanek. They opened the retail shop in 1988. The couple sold the company to New Track Media in 2007. New Track was acquired by F+W Media in 2014.
Keepsake Quilting’s retail store is located in New Hampshire’s lake region, near Lake Winnipesaukee, a popular vacation destination. “Many people plan bus trips, vacations, annual summer sales drives just to come here, often making it a yearly pilgrimage,” said longtime customer GioVannia Giancanna about Keepsake Quilting’s retail location. “The tent sales in the summer are legendary, often selling out hotels for miles for quilt guilds and fabriholics. For people such as myself, whenever I needed the perfect fabric for a quilt, the newest pattern, or just some expert advice the ladies at KQ were who I called and they always came through, and again I am sad this new generation will not have this magical place to resort to.”