fabric shopping in the bay area

The intrepid thread (brick and mortar) - Milpitas (just leave your husband and the kids in the great mall of the bay area - that will buy you a looooot of time to shop *g*)

The best fabric shop is the one where the owner will greet you with a hug :-)
Julie has run the intrepid thread as an online shop for 2 years, now it is a brick and mortar one, too.
Lots of wonderful cotton fabrics, some pre-cuts, some patterns, some notions.
Great: the same great prices for the fabric as in the online shop.
Open sewing one friday a month.
Free parking in front of store

Stonemountain and daughter - Berkeley

Perhaps the most stuffed shop ever. They have a huge selection of quilting cottons, and, in the back room and on the second floor, lots of garment fabrics. And I really mean lots. Like about 15 different black knit fabrics, and so on.
If you live around, subscribe to their newsletter, they will send you coupon cards every 8 weeks.
They offer tons of great classes (I already took three, all were great), and are open EVERY day of the week.
Huge sale fabrics selection.
Lots of ribbons and other trims and notions, good pattern selection.
Small play area for younger kids.
Don't miss the customer bathroom, it is beautiful :-)
Pay the meter if parking in front of the store!!!!

A verb for keeping warm - Berkeley

This is a wool and fabric store, more yarn than fabric, but they offer a wonderful collection of japanese fabrics (they even carry echino knits!), organic fabrics and basic fabrics.
No real sale selection, but some fabrics are 50% off.
Every first friday of the month, fabric is 40% off!!!!
This is perhaps the fabric store my kids love most, because their is a bunny running around in the store, and they have a toy bin for the children too.
No trims, some notions, GREAT selection of sewing books.
Free street parking around the corner, great coffee shop next door.

Piedmont fabric - Oakland Piedmont

Rather small store, but they have wonderful fabric, rather for cloths than for quilting. They carry Liberty of London, lots of Echinos, wonderful knits and wool fabrics.
A lot of trims, some notions, a few patterns.
Not the cheapest store around.
Open every day of the week.
Park behind the store (parking lot), and don't forget to pay the meter, or you will spend more for the ticket than you did in the store - Oakland is expensive!
After shopping, go across the street to enjoy some french pastries and bread at "la farina" or eat a pizza at Cafe Triest.

In between stitches - Livermore

This is a quilting store as you would dream it. Cottage style, beautiful, wonderful fabric.
No trims, some notions, some quilting magazines.
They offer tons of classes, all quilting related.
Free parking in downtown Livermore, great coffee shop across the street.
Subscriptions to their newsletter will keep you updates about upcoming events.

Wooden gates quilts - Danville

This shop is bigger than it looks from the outside.
They have a small class corner, and a real nice fabric selection. Even if you come as a stranger, you will leave as a friend. Everybody is eager to chat about fabrics with you :-)
They offer a customer loyalty card.
No trims, a few notions.

Peapod Journal - San Francisco, near Golden Gate Park

I was ready to love this shop, but both times I stopped by it was closed also it should have been open. Bummer.
But it looks really cute and nice from the outside.
Parking spaces with meters all around.

Britex fabrics -  downtown SF, near Union Square

This shop is an institution. You have to have seen it! It has four or five (narrow) floors, and all kind of fabrics and trims.
come here to find fabric with San Francisco print.
Rather pricey.
Use the union square parking garage and walk over (5 minutes). No street parking in front or behind the store. Don't even think about trying it *g*

Cliff's varieties, Castro Street, SF

This is not fabric store, they kind of carry everything, but they have a small, cute fabric selection. If you ever wanted to have a pink fabric with pin-up boys, you will find it here *g*
Some trims.
Parking spaces with meters on Castro street. On a weekday, you might be able to find a parking spot right in front of the store. At night or on weekends rather not. Just drive around the blocks to find one and walk back. Best way to enjoy the Castro. Lots of coffee shops and cafes anround, close to the wonderful Castro Theatre. You might want to give Philz Coffee a try.
Open late every day of the week.

Bolt's end, Castro Valley

This is my local fabric store. The first time I came here, I thought I might have to cry, because I thought I found the only fabric store on earth that doesn't carry anything I would like to buy.
Their fabric selection is not my kind of shoe, but between all the not-so mines, they have some nice fabrics (Lecien, for example), they carry some basic Kona Cottons, and they have really good prices. LOTS of trims in the back room, and lots of stuff likes buckles, buttons and so on - and they are cheaper than JoAnns, even if you have a 50% off coupon for it!
Parking lot (free) in front of the store, closed sundays and mondays.

JoAnn super store, Dublin

You know about JoAnns, don't you?
This is a really new (2 years) and big one. Always long lines at the cutting table, and often at the check out too.

Beverly's fabrics and crafts, Alameda

Similar to JoAnns, but they carry brand fabrics.
As expensive as a shop around the corner, but not so charming.
Good selection of everything.

IKEA, Emeryville

Ikea has some nice heavy weight fabrics for great prices.

Hart's fabric, Santa Cruz

You have to go there, if only to see the wall with ALL of the more than 100 Kona Cotton colors available!
This is a big fabric store, divided in two sections, one for home decor, notions and trim, the other one for woven cottons and knits.
They carry a large range of fabrics, they have a whole shelf dedicated to japanese fabrics, they even carry double gauze cottons and Echino knits.
They sell books and patterns too, and they offer classes of all kind.
The prices are at the higher end, and they don't have a large sale selection.
Instead of  arranging the fabrics by collection, they decided to do it by color, and, for smaller parts, by theme.

Parking is easy, street parking and a big parking lot across the street. The shop is not downtown.


  1. OMG ich werde arm werden...aber ich nehme schon mal ne extra Tasche mit... toller Blog und danke für die vielen Tips... lg emma

    1. ups - ich muss mal ein update machen ;-)