Featured Quilt Shop: Valley Fabric

IMG_5953 (1)When Charla Youngberg first opened Valley Fabric Shop, the southwestern Wyoming shop was in a field surrounded by cows. “The town of Urie is so small we don’t have a zip code—we use Lyman’s, which is a nearby,” says Bobbi Clark, Charla’s daughter and shop manager. But lack of proximity to an urban center hasn’t been a hindrance—Valley Fabrics customers come from Urie, nearby towns, and from Interstate 80, just three miles away. “Quilters are a unique breed and we’ve become something of a destination so that people who have stopped before will come in again,” says Bobbi. “We have kits for every quilt sample in the shop, and they’re popular with quilters who have kids and husbands in the car—they need a little ‘grab-and-go.’”

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Mother-and-daughter team Charla and Bobby enjoying Portland’s flowers during spring Quilt Market

Valley Fabrics is happy to fill that need. What started as a craft and fabric store nearly 35 years ago, today devotes itself to quilting and specializes in original patterns and regionally appropriate fabrics. “Anything with wildlife and Western themes that comes down the pike is a great seller for us,” says Bobbi, who started working in the shop when she was 19 (and also celebrated her 16th birthday at a United Notions trade show in Denver). When Charla started wintering in Lake Havasu, Arizona, a few years ago Bobbi became shop manager, though when her mom is in town they run the store side-by-side.  “We’ve always worked well together and have the same mindset and the same passion for fabric and people,” says Bobbi, who notes that their teamwork continues when designing and sewing shop samples. “We have our system—I’ll cut, she’ll press, and we’re really fast.” (Bobby’s sister Chrissy runs the flower shop just next door and lends a hand during special events or when a color consultation is needed.)

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In addition to lots of samples and kits—”We have easily 300 items made up and on display,” says Bobby—Valley Fabrics is known for its wide selection of notions. “We keep up on what’s newest and greatest, and because we’re out in the middle of nowhere we want to make sure our customers can find what they need to complete their projects,” says Bobbi. “At one time, I think we bought more notions from United Notions than anyone.”

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The Montgomery Ward sewing machine at the bottom right was the first in Charla’s collection of more than 200 machines on display at Valley Fabric.

Another big draw at Valley Fabrics is Charla’s collection of more than 200 miniature antique sewing machines. They’re arranged around the shop, in display cases and on shelves—the newest addition is a Singer Featherweight Charla had painted hot pink, and men especially enjoy the old treadle machine converted to a John Deere tractor.

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Customers also come for the Saturday Sampler gathering, which features original quilt designs that are later printed and available for sale in the shop (the All About the Boots quilt in the top photo is an example). Five times each year the shop holds special events like Spring Fling, Fall Frenzy, and a blow-out New Year’s sale. “We change the shop all around and hold mini-classes,” says Bobbi, who notes it’s a lot of work, but well worth it.

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This April, the shop will be partnering with local medical staff to offer on-site mammograms, as part of events being held for Breast Cancer Awareness month, and as part of their Make A Child Smile effort, they’ve also collected and donated around 1,000 quilts for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

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Young stitchers take a bite out of their fabric “sandwiches,” a favorite class project.

With an eye to creating future customers, Valley Fabrics offers classes for mature 8 and 9 year olds. Three nights each week, Bobbi (sometimes with Charla’s help,) teaches 24 boys and girls to sew. The first year they learn the basics, including the parts of the machine and how to thread it. By year two returning students—Bobbi calls them her “freelancers”—can make what they like and turn out pajama pants, Turning Twenty quilts, and pillowcases. “There’s always a waiting list and they ask for homework,” says Bobbi, something truly remarkable in this age of busy childhoods. “There’s nothing like it when they make their first quilt—they love it, and we love it.”

 

IMG_5949And that’s how Bobbi and Charla feel about Valley Fabrics. They enjoy their relationship with Moda, which Bobbi calls a “phenomenal company with the great service” and with Jane Overman, their Moda rep. And they enjoy every day in the quilting business, too. “Neither one of us consider coming to the shop to be work,” says Bobbi. “We both feel so fortunate to be able to come and play with fabric and be around quilters, who are such awesome and energetic people.”

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One of Valley Fabric’s “awesome, energetic” customers celebrates winning a jelly roll race in the shop’s classroom.

 

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34 comments on “Featured Quilt Shop: Valley Fabric

  1. Margaret says:

    Well, I’ve never been to southwesterrn Wyoming, but this article certainly makes me want to go there! Soon! (now?)

  2. Mary Wendland says:

    These ladies should be interior designers based on the beautiful fabric and notion displays. I would be so in to this shop!

  3. Enjoyed reading this article over a cup of coffee this morning, in south Florida. I will have to investigate more about the shop, would love to stop in one one of our travels out west! The article makes the shop very inviting – Thanks for sharing with all of us….Linda

  4. Cherie Noe says:

    I’m so excited to see this! I live here in Lyman and the people in this shop (and the Bokay) have become like family! The first time I stepped into their store I was immediately impressed by the massive amounts of displays. As time went by, my affective grew, as I saw how dedicated they were to staying current and their personal care of customers. This wonderful store is SO worth getting off the interstate to see and experience!!

  5. marie says:

    What is coneflower pattern called & where is it available, in 2nd to last photo.

  6. Barb Math says:

    Wow I want to come to your store Charla! Looks so fun

  7. Wonderful write up of your store!

  8. I am a quilt store owner and I found this article delightful. I would love to visit your shop

  9. Maggiie White says:

    Great article! What is the pattern used in the Black/Tan/White quilt and then in the next photo there’s a cute “doily” (can’t think of what else to call it) under the plant? I’m think’n it’s a good thing for me, to live in Oregon….I’d be broke:)

    • Angie Pitts says:

      Hi Maggiie, The pattern for the Black/Tan quilt is “Ribbons” by Coach House Designs. Also the “dollie” thing is the “Fold’n Stitch Wreath pattern by Poorhouse Quilt Designs. You can get these on our website and we would love to ship them. Our website is http://www.valleyfabricshop.com Thank you!

  10. Barbara from Wyoming says:

    This awesome quilt shop has so many displays and boy do they do up each holiday in style. There is something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed. It is only a couple miles south of interstate 80 on the left. It will be worth your time to stop. They stay current on fabric lines, have classes and demonstrations all the time and even all night sews! There are awesome samples displayed in a professionally designed shop. These are very talented lading and so nice too. I live 30 minutes away and always drive there for my quilting needs. You need to plan a road trip soon!

  11. Nancy Vase says:

    I’ve been there quite a few times from about 100 miles away. It is worth the trip. I always fill a big bag and wouldn’t miss it for the world. Sometimes that takes a little while so my husband knows where to find the bathroom but usually I go with a group of quilters. Too much fun.

  12. Becky Morrison says:

    Our group of quilters loves this shop. We visit as often as possible. We travel 100 miles to get the there. These ladies are family to all of us!

  13. Gail Jenkins says:

    I live in Vernal Utah and a group of us travel to this shop at least once a year. They always have a demonstration for us and we love their fabric selection. We love their Holiday displays as well as their western selection.

  14. Donna Toly says:

    This is my rest stop on my way to SLC and sometimes again on the return trip. I have even driven 100 miles after having a bad day at work to spend an hour with the staff. I call it my “quilting counseling session”. They have the best selection of kits, patterns and fabric. Bobbie and Linda are always excited to welcome us when we arrive. Bobbie has a way with taking a drab pattern and selecting fabric to make it “POP”!

    Thanks for always being there to help with my projects.

  15. Donna Toly says:

    CONGRATULATION on being selected Moda’s “Featured Quilt Shop”. They only select the BEST!

  16. Elisabeth Sorensen says:

    Charla and her daughters have been terrific ever time I’ve been in the store. The entire staff is always friendly and helpful. This is well deserved recognition for them. Congratulations!

  17. Kymberly Slagowski says:

    Ladies, this is the best quilt shop around! You can go I. For thread and their displays and fabric choices are so awesome, you buy quilts fabric and patterns before you know it! They do an amazing job! If you ever come this way it is a must visit! A few of my friends and I lovingly refer to it as our crack store!! We can’t live without it!!! I loved this article and they deserve this recognition.

  18. Ruth Rees says:

    Congratulations!!!! Valley fabric sometimes gets me in trouble! They have so many cute projects. I Don’t finish one before I have to have six more. What a fun place and Bobbi and Charla are so creative and helpful.

  19. Bobbi says:

    I, too, live in Vernal, and a few of us make the trip of about an hour and a half a couple of times a yearl They are great and take the time to give us demos and put together packets of a BOM if they have sold out I love their shop!

  20. M Carolee Jackson says:

    We have a cabin in the Unitahs and discovered this fantastic shop on one our excursions. It is now a go to every time we are up to our cabin. Wonderful shop with such creativity.

  21. Tina Bauer says:

    What a delightful and well put together shop! Enjoyed your article, will share with our customers.

  22. nicky castillon says:

    this is where I learned how to quilt. I travel 300+ miles several times a year to visit these lovely ladies! BY FAR its the best quilt shop I have ever been to!

  23. Renee' Hysell says:

    I learned to quilt 16 years ago from Charla and Bobbi…. so grateful to have access to the best fabric store around! Warm, welcoming atmosphere…makes you giddy and want to touch every fabric and dream of your very next project BEFORE you are done with the last one….so yes, there are so many projects to pick from everywhere you look. Bobbi and Charla are there to help with color schemes, techniques, classes and even better…their all-night sewing get-togethers!

  24. Vicki says:

    What is the pattern with cowboots called

  25. Dorothy Owen says:

    So glad to read about the best quilt shop ever we love valley Fabric. I’ve been going there since the early 80s..Chara and Bobbi are great.

  26. Linda Kjorstad says:

    Congrats, Charla! What an inspiring article, must get to your shop one of these days!

  27. Helen LeBrett says:

    I’ve visited this quilt shop several times on my way to my sister’s house in Mamila!! I LOVE this shop!!! It’s full of so many fun fabrics, and my hubby loves all the antique toy sewing machines! So glad you did a write-up of this great shop!!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  28. Rona Wright says:

    Five of us have been traveling to the Saturday Block of the Month from Coalville, Utah since 2005. These amazing ladies have made us feel like family. They are always so fun & helpful. We took a little break from going to Urie (so I could get caught up on all the projects I couldn’t resist buying!). Now we are back & I realize how much I’ve missed going!!

  29. Candy Green says:

    Congrats!! I am so proud of you. Our little valley is truly blessed to have this awesome shop. I have been going there for 35 years and learned so much. Thank you Charla, Bobbi & Christi

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Wish you were closer as I would be in every day:)) would like to know how you made the quilt sandwiches the girls have. Looks like fun for a little project.

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