Visit to Andover Fabrics and New York City

ESE in New York 

I had a chance to travel to New York City this past month, where I joined my daughter Barbara for a long-awaited long weekend.

We stayed midtown Manhattan, so I walked past M & J Trimming many times, a happy spot on my walks.  Anne Brousseau, a good friend who used to work in this industry, arranged a visit for us to Andover Fabrics, and of course I said “YES!”

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Cliff Quibell, the Vice President, gave us a tour of the different processes and departments, from design development to printing to editing.  We were able to see an artist hand-painting a new design, but of course, no photos were allowed.  There is so much involved to getting one bolt of fabric to our local quilt shops!  We appreciated Mr. Quibell taking time for us, given the fact that they had just returned from Quilt Market.

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He introduced me to Gayle, who works for Andover, and hanging in her office is this amazing quilt, made from old clothes from when she lived overseas in Tunisia.  Her sister, Elizabeth Porter, made this quilt for her as a memory quilt.  (I think I got those details correct!)

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There was so much there that I couldn’t photograph, but he did allow a shot of their bookshelves.  I would have loved to have browsed those titles and made notes.

From there it was a short walk over to Gotham Quilts, another thing on my Must-See list.  I loved their selection of modern fabrics and of course, that see-through Bernina in their front window.
Here are some tidbits of other Fashion District finds (click on any cirle to enlarge):
  • tables in the pedestrian area
  • artwork in the buildings (they let me creep in to photograph it)
  • Desigual building with a terrific mural on the side
  • the heavy weave of one of their winter coats on display
  • Mokuba, a ribbon shop
  • close-up of the wares in the Mokuba window

I went into last shop, thinking I’d like some of that fancy metallic ribbon in their front window display. After some minutes, a little lady pushing a cart rolled up to where I was, opened the fat book on the top, and scanned the list.  She looked at me.  “Twenty-seven dollars,” she said.  “Per YARD.”  Gulp.  I smiled, thanked the lady with her little cart, and slunk out.

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This pedestrian barrier was near the Folk Art Museum, which I didn’t get to.  Next trip.

NYC11_18_6 Zabars

We were on our way to Zabar’s, a New York Institution, where I almost bought a set of glasses (Macy’s got the business when I arrived home), but did buy a nutmeg grater.

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Sculpture on the High Line; the birds perched there, but they are not a part of this piece of art

NYC11_18_5 chelsea market

Another day found us at Chelsea Market, after walking the High Line, on the East Side.

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Her husband purchased Hamilton tickets for her for her birthday, and I got to come along (we first had a meal at Eataly near the Flatiron Building).

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We got ourselves to the Occulus, the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and we visited the recently opened subway station underneath it:

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Another chilly day (you need to know that I am from Southern California and she is from Arizona) we drove around looking at street art in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.  

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A few more iconic sights: taxi shoes at Kate Spade, the Empire State Building from our hotel room, posing with a man from the Empire Shield Task Force (he told me to point to his badge), and finally, the glorious sight of Grand Central Station.

Until next time, New York!

10 thoughts on “Visit to Andover Fabrics and New York City

  1. Thanks for the tour! I love the photo of the Empire State Building, something I remember from my visit in 1980! The World Trade Centre transportation hub looks interesting too!

  2. You did a great job of capturing the variety of sights in New York City. There is so much to see and do! I’m glad you found some fabric shops to balance the other sights.

  3. Great fun reading this. And once again I learn the lesson that sometimes you have to be a tourist in your own city: I live in the Bronx, work right here in the Garment District, and you saw things I have yet to do :>) You are so right about Mokuba – what a gorgeous store! I walked around in a glorious trance thinking “I have got to give up patchwork to work with ribbons” until the prices clobbered me out of the trance. Come back again!

  4. Boy-o. That sure looks like an interesting trip! So many things I’ve never seen, or heard about. I’m glad you and your daughter had a chance to take it all in together. That would be the ONLY way I would ever see NYC… with my daughter or DIL. I’d sure like the chance to see “Hamilton.” I hope it was as enjoyable for you as it’s been touted. Cold, yes. But a good time of year to visit, I’m sure. This past year you’ve seen some pretty incredible sites, in amazing places, right? You make me feel like a homebody… and I guess I am. Happy for you to make such good memories with Barbara.

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