MADISON, Maine — The Fabric Garden in Madison announced that it is celebrating its 35th year in business, making it one of Maine’s oldest quilt shops. Over the last 35 years, The Fabric Garden has provided customers with supplies for their sewing and quilting needs.
The Fabric Garden was founded in 1978 as a fabric shop. Owner Michaela Murphy explained that back then, many people sewed their own clothes so The Fabric Garden was a sewing shop. Over the years, trends changed and for the most part people shifted from sewing their own clothes to purchasing them ready-made.
It was during this time that quilting enjoyed a resurgence, so moving from a sewing shop to a quilt shop seemed a natural progression.
“We slowly transformed to more of a quilting-based shop as the trends shifted and home sewing started to slow down. Today quilting is very popular, but I remember back then it was a daunting change. I am proud to celebrate this milestone as it represents our resilience in an ever-changing industry,” said Murphy in a press release.
When it first opened in 1978, The Fabric Garden had less than 1,000 bolts of material. Today the shop has more than 9,500 bolts of material and an expanded notions section. They became a sewing machine dealer in 1984, and today is one the East Coast’s top Janome authorized dealers.
On May 11 of this year, The Fabric Garden held its grand opening of its new “Corner Cottage,” a separate building on-site filled with sale items. Murphy remarked that the customers enjoy the new expansion.
“The Corner Cottage allowed us to showcase our sale fabrics and discounted items in a nice bright surrounding, while affording some extra room in the main store and also allowing additional inventory,” Murphy said.
The Fabric Garden’s 35th anniversary celebration runs through Saturday, May 25, with many items on sale, door prizes and giveaways. And later in the year, The Fabric Garden will make the leap to become a virtual quilt shop with online shopping.
“We have tried several different companies to expand to an online shopping experience and finally settled on one we were happy with,” said Murphy, who predicts the online shop should be up and running by mid-to-late summer.
“It is quite astounding to look back at the evolution of sewing and of this shop. Customers from years ago who came here as little children now come in with their own children or grandchildren. It’s lovely to see the art of sewing and quilting continue to the next generations.”
The Fabric Garden of Madison was established in 1978 by Michaela Murphy and her late aunt, Marie Priebe. Today the shop has more than 9,500 bolts of quality quilting cottons, pre-cut materials, notions, books, quilt kits and a full line of Janome sewing machines.
Michaela (Kala) Murphy, owner
Celia Murphy, manager
The Fabric Garden
167 Lakewood Road in Madison, Maine 04950