Should auld WIPs be forgot, and never brought to mind? Enough wasting time with silliness. 2022 is finally here, and it’s time to get busy. My mantra this new year—stolen from Tiffany Haddish—is going to be “She ready.” But I know that being ready isn’t enough. To make things happen, I had to make plans and commit. Part of that strategizing included figuring out ways to connect with other folks interested in modern quilting in Indianapolis.
Since moving to the land of roundabouts and racecars a few years ago, I haven’t explored all that’s available for area sewists. So far, I’ve only taken a few classes and spent way too much money on stash-building goodies at local fabric stores. Unfortunately, none of those efforts have helped me connect with my people here. This year that all changes.
Read on to learn more about my game plan, and get tips for people starting their journey with quilting in Indianapolis.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
How to Find Other Sewists Who Love Sewing and Quilting in Indianapolis
I took my very first sewing class at the French Seam in Fishers back in the summer of 2018. At the first session, I mentioned to my instructor—the talented Deborah Martin—that I had hoped to meet other people in the area. She laughed warmly because that wasn’t going to happen there. It turns out that I was the only gal who signed up for her class.
Insert sad trombone noise here—LOL.
But, ever the thoughtful woman, Deb had a recommendation for me by the next time we met: ASG Indianapolis. I misplaced the brochure she gave me and forgot the group existed—until, that is, I decided 2022 would be my year of sewing and locating others nearby who enjoy this hobby. That’s how I happened upon ASG Indianapolis again via Google.
Quilting and Sewing Groups in Indianapolis
Here are the different options for sewing aficionados in Indianapolis that I hunted down during my time poking around the web:
- ASG Indianapolis ($50/year)
- Quilters Guild of Indianapolis ($32/year)
- Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild ($45/year)
After looking at what each sewing group had to offer, I decided to join the Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild because I like that it’s focused on modern quilting (and that its monthly events are held Sunday afternoons not far from my home). The first 2022 meeting for lovers of contemporary quilting in Indianapolis is happening in two weeks. I can’t wait. I’ll be sure to recap how it goes.
She told me all about the American Sewing Guild’s Indy chapter that day. Wanting to ensure I had what I needed to follow through, Deb even gave me one of their brochures. But, what did I do with that opportunity to collaborate with other people interested in sewing garments, making crafts, and quilting in Indianapolis? I totally forgot about it. Whoops!
Fabric Stores and Quilt Shops in Central Indiana
Though Indy has many big-box options for getting replacement sewing machine needles, cotton batting, and other supplies (e.g., JoAnn, Michaels, Hobby Lobby), there’s nothing like stopping in a carefully curated shop for more special items.
Where to go, though, depends on what I need. All of these recommendations offer a little something different. What I like best about each of these destinations is that they are all staffed by folks who, in addition to being extraordinarily kind and helpful, are also really wise sewers who can point you in the right direction if you need a little help.
Here are my four favorite haunts for getting new fabric and notions in the area and what they offer:
1. True Cotton Company
Located in Carmel
This quaint shop is a mecca for folks into quilting in Indianapolis. Love the Kaffe Fassett and Art Gallery lines? Need some quilt pattern inspiration? Want basics from Moda’s Grunge line? The True Cotton Company has you covered. When I go, I’m never overwhelmed with too many choices, feel like I’ve overpaid, or get pressured into buying something. Once you go, you’ll have a new favorite spot for scratching that “I need new fabric” itch. (Bonus: They also have the most unique and affordable classes.)
- Great when you need to buy quilting cotton (yardage or precuts), project patterns, thread, specialty tools, etc.
- Skip if you need garment fabric or just want to buy a new sewing machine
2. Crimson Tate
Located in Indianapolis
Crimson Tate would win hands-down if there were an award for the most “fun” place to go for supplies when quilting in Indianapolis. They have lots of great quilt kits (I’m working on a fun one that’s a colorful cacophony of Charley Harper fabrics) and hard-to-find modern fabrics you can’t find anywhere else. (Bonus: They make shopping online a piece of cake and don’t tack on exorbitant shipping fees.)
- Great when you want something really special and don’t mind spending a bit more to get exactly what you want
- Skip if busy downtown traffic and parking make you nervous (four words: It’s on Mass Ave.)
3. The French Seam
Located in Fishers
The French Seam specializes in the finest fabrics for sewing clothes—whether you want striking wool, luscious linen, pretty rayon, or fun knit. They also sell a nice variety of patterns by some of the best indie designers (e.g., Sew Liberated, Grainline Studio, Merchant & Mills), as well as those from commercial pattern companies, including Vogue. (Bonus: The French Seam also carries great yarn.)
- Great for high-end garment fabrics and Juki sewing machines (it’s also great when you want to multi-task since it’s close to Meijer, Aldi, and even IKEA)
- Skip if you want to take classes (sadly, my former instructor Deb retied, and they haven’t offered classes since the pandemic started)
4. Always in Stitches
Located in Noblesville
Looking to have a pro repair your machine? Need some low-volume print fat quarters and want at least 100 options? Always in Stitches is your best bet when you need a lot of choices. It’s the biggest of all the shops for quilting in Indianapolis that I’ve listed. (Bonus: If you cross-stitch, they carry all the best hand-dyed floss lines.)
- Great for when you want to buy more traditional quilting cottons and having an expert help you find the perfect new sewing machine
- Skip if you get overwhelmed easily when you have too many choices or if you only want really modern fabrics
Quilting in Indianapolis—and Beyond
On top of sewing with other Hoosiers this year, my secondary goal is to get out of my friend bubble online and learn from other modern quilters from around the world. My only worry is how easy it is to waste time admiring others’ work on Instagram when I should be behind my machine and sewing.
Moderation, I imagine, is a major key—as it is with so many things, eh?