Fabric Bash Offers Quilters a Place of Community
Omaha’s newest quilting mecca, the Fabric Bash, celebrated two historic days in 2019. On Jan. 28, the 3,000-square-foot store opened at 11019 I Street, nestled near 108th Street and Interstate 80. The family-owned store then staged a reopening April 1 after a week-long remodeling project.
It was the culmination of a dream that was four years in the making.
A quilting class sparked owner Cathy Thayer’s thoughts of running a textile company and arts and crafts store where she could create a close-knit community that welcomed anyone who enjoys quilting, embroidery or any other kind of sewing.
“In that quilting class in 2015,” Cathy said, “I found this great machine called a longarm machine. I was super in love. I dreamed of quilting day and night, and I still do. That has not gone away. This endeavor is more than just about me. There is a sense of bonding with people who quilt. They help each other, and the quilting community is amazing.”
The Omaha-area quilting community has its own information network, and Cathy heard last fall that A Quilting Place, at the same I Street location, was coming open for sale when the husband and wife owners decided to retire after eight-plus years. Cathy met with the owners in early November and began the process of purchasing the business where machines were rented, classes were staged, fabric was sold and machines were repaired.
Cathy’s son-in-law, electrician Jacob Whalen, offered to become certified at machine repair and take part in all facets of the business. Cathy wanted her husband Doug, a retired decorated Air Force officer who works for a defense contractor, to look over the entire proposed operation.
“My husband is my steady rock and is a good steerer of the ship. Doug looked at it closely and said: ‘We can’t lose on it.’ When the thoughts settled in and our son-in-law Jake gave his commitment, it was huge. The floodgates came open, and it was full speed ahead. Jake and I will have the support of our spouses and my other six children and spouses. This truly is a family-owned business,” Cathy said.
“As far as our remodeling went, my husband and Jake put in walls, shelving and painting, all the work. We made sections of the store. One of the favorite parts of the store is the new Cozy Corner, where there are long tables and chairs like a break-room. “I love that groups can come and hang out in the store. Plus, we get to see the amazing work that they do.” Cathy said.
“I love that groups can come and hang out in the store. Plus, we get to see the amazing work that they do.” Cathy Thayer
Cathy pointed out some of the other changes:
- A new front desk and sewing-machine repair area.
- “We have doubled our fabric collection and will be adding more as we move forward.”
- Increased notions supplies.
- The new area for Janome machines.
- A new APQS Longarm rental area.
- The new AccuQuilt area up front.
Nothing has changed with the tried-and-true features that include classes. “People should contact us for offerings and availability,” Cathy said. “Classes are fun, and you get to learn how to quilt or advance your quilting skills. They are even more fun if you come with a friend. If you come by yourself, I am sure you will make friends very quickly. Quilting friends are the best.”
Cathy said 30 to 40 people come into the store each day. “Machine rental is big. APQS Longarm is a phenomenal company, faith-based and family owned. Being associated with APQS was a moment of gratitude where I saw God guide us; I was sitting in tears when we landed with APQS. We have tripled our fabric collection and have more than 750 bolts. With fabric media, there are so many choices. Not every fabric store can carry all fabrics.”
Cathy added: “The business is a new thing, but it feels as if it is getting easier. Support comes from every age group. Quilting is something that’s passed down from each generation, a legacy thing. The older people will tell you it keeps their minds young. It is an artsy thing. It can be a lot of work, but it is worth it, a fulfilling hobby. Of course to keep the business going, we need to generate a steady income, but it’s not just money. It’s a family deal for us, and we provide all we can for the quilting community.”
Fabric Bash details: Owner, Cathy Thayer. Address, 11019 I Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. Phone, (402) 884-2096. Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed: Sunday and Monday. Website, www.fabricbash.com. Email address, email@example.com Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/fabricbash/ Classes, Call or email to check on availability.