Undeniably eclectic, Savannah offers quite a few stops worth investigating during QuiltCon 2017. Contemporary museums, antique stores stocked with vintage linens and a fabric boutique catering to the rush of fiber arts students from the local college weave their way into the downtown scene. There is little doubt the thriving historic district offers unique shopping and creative inspiration for the modern quilter all wrapped up in some southern hospitality. The trick is to navigate the grid plan of Savannah’s historic streets like a local.
Fabrika, cutting table
Fabrika Fine Fabrics
When Ashleigh Spurlock was a Fibers student, she realized that it was difficult to find textiles locally to supply her degree. With other students in the same situation, she worked a deal with a local store owner to assume a fabric business, feeding her passion for cloth and jumping into a shortage in the local economy. A labor of love, that combines vintage collectibles, stylish patterns, accessories for the sewist, and modern fabrics, Fabrika is too interesting for a quick trip. Every nook and cranny of the classic building houses a new discover of texture and whimsy. An accomplished quilter interested in nurturing the local maker’s economy, Ashleigh also stocks a few handmade goods and items of art. Hours change with the season and student schedules, so be sure to check in advance.
2 East Liberty Street, Savannah, Georgia * (912) 236-1122
Fabrika, cute sign
Carlette Cormier, The Village Craftsman
A rewarding find after navigating the 200 year-old cobblestone surface of River Street is a small art shop displaying a blend of artists. Carlette Cormier’s bags, aprons and tea towels made from Savannah Toile are found in a small booth among other arts and crafts displays. Toile fabric was popular in colonial times, as the original 18th century cloths shipped to Savannah showed pastoral scenes and country life. Carlette re-designed her own fabric to reflect landmarks in downtown Savannah and produced her line of products. Savannah Toile is available in cotton and canvas, and can be purchased by the yard by contacting Carlette directly, perfect for your Savannah-themed quilts.
223 West River Street, Savannah, Georgia * Carlette Cormier (912) 927-4020
River Street, on the way to Village Craftsmen
Southern Charm Antiques
Vintage linens used to be plentiful in antique stores around our historical city, but have been harder to find in recent years. One store, centrally located in the downtown corridor, provides a curated selection of linens, handkerchiefs and even an occasional heirloom quilt. Nestled among the depression-era crystal dishes, traditional furnishings and jewelry, these high-quality linens make fabric collectors appreciate the ability of their own projects to be lasting works of art.
250 Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia * (912) 233-9797
Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art
From celebrating fashions by Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy to noteworthy modern art, this eclectic museum’s purpose is to inspire the artist across all genres. It certainly does this through its curated collections that include work by Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Andre 3000 Benjamin and talented student artists. While it’s traveling exhibit schedule is not announced for the coming year, the expo will be in Savannah during deFine Art, the biggest event of the year at the museum. The galleries will be housing fresh, new work and presentations and lectures will be offered to the public. Built in 1853, the talented architectural team involved in the museum’s creation rose to the challenge of changing a historic building into a modern masterpiece. The cool galleries wind through the streamlined structure, originally a train depot, and the observer forgets they are in the antebellum south. Once outside, you are reminded of the merge of the old and the new, a combination appreciated by modern quilters.
601 Turner Boulevard, Savannah, Georgia * (912) 525-7191
Fabrika, fabric wall
Pepe Hall, Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah enjoys the benefit of a healthy creative culture. Downtown revolves around the art college, one of the most prestigious of it’s kind. Pepe Hall, eye candy for anyone with an appreciation of sewing, is for textile majors studying a diverse array of degrees from fashion to weaving, costume design and fine art. Fashion students roll out the newest designs in the buildings inspirational facilities and textile designers and pattern makers are trained for employment in the private sector. The newest in sewing production equipment and design technology make a tour of Pepe interesting for a modern sewer, even if they have never considered a degree in the textile industry. With a prior appointment, any visitor with an interest in the art college’s facility can enjoy a tour and be inspired.
212 West Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia * (800) 869-7223
These stops in Savannah’s picturesque historic district are easy to navigate with a simple map provided by numerous places around downtown. You can find all of the information you need at area hotels as well as the main visitor’s center, located at the former terminal of the Central of Georgia Railroad, 301 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.