Friday, October 5, 2012


The streets at the base of the hill of Montmatre are well known for their myriad of fabric shops, but the first fabric shop we visited we stumbled upon while looking for a Metro.

We found Toto on Avenue d'Italie, however there are 10 other Toto shops in Paris and many more throughout France.

Toto sells fabric and haberdashery and the store we visited was on 2 levels. Upstairs they sell precut pieces of fabric by the kilo! The pieces vary in size from just a few centimetres to over a metre. After a bit of a rummage around I found these 3 fabrics:

A cotton made in Austria! The fabric has a sheen and reminds me of a handbag or purse lining, so that is what I will use it for.

This pale blue is also a cotton but from London. It also has a sheen.

 This toile fabric is in a slightly heavier weight than the usual quilting cotton fabrics.

Next I went downstairs to look at fabrics on rolls.

A beautiful floral linen..

Another toile, also a heavy linen. There were quite a few toile fabrics with different designs and colours.

Lastly a red fabric. This one has a chintz like finish.

 Toto also sells African fabric.

The lady at the register was very polite and helpful.

We eventually found the Metro and headed to Anvers.

The shops around Montmatre sell every kind of fabric you can think of!!

 There are dozens of shops!!

 I remembered Reine from our last visit to Paris. Out the front you find tables of rolls of fabric. Inside there is much more fabric and miniature mannequins, about a metre tall, dressed in outfits from the fabrics. They have lots of Liberty fabric there too. Last time we were there we got a very stern look when taking a photo, so this time I just took a photo from across the street!

Adjacent is one of the most well known fabric shops in Paris.  Marche Saint Pierre (aka Dreyfus) is 5 floors of fabric!!!

I could have spent hours in there! They had a quilting fabric section, but the fabric was no cheaper than here in Melbourne. There was a huge array of furnishing fabrics. We saw a fabric that would have been perfect for new drapes here at home, but I couldn't bring home 30 metres of fabric!!! There was also a huge range of furnishing weight toile fabric. I didn't visit all the floors.

On the ground floor I found a small table of African  fabrics. I choose 2 to bring home.

While wandering around we passed a small shop that had lots of linen toiles at a lower price than some of the larger shops.

This fabric I plan to use as the back of a quilt. (No idea what the front will be yet! Lol)

Next we visited Moline Mercerie. It has a small  quilting fabric section, but is mostly haberdashery and books. Moline has been trading since 1879!!!

Here I found this!

 The book is in French but has lots of photos.  I found lots of hints by looking at Google too.

I have already chosen a pattern, found fabric, needles and thread. I haven't tried Boutis before, so I am going to experiment on a small piece and try some different threads and see which I like best. The 2 top yarns are cotton, acrylic mixes of different plys. The other thread is DMC Perle 5.

 The last shop we visited was Mercerie Saint Pierre. I was the last person to leave at closing time, so I didn't have a lot of time to look around!! I did buy a small pair of embroidery scissors.

While strolling the streets of Dinard after lunch we came upon a small book shop.  The book above (written in French) is more a a beginner book for embroidery, but has many pages set aside for notes and pages of graphs for your own designs. I stitched the Eiffel Tower in DMC 321 from a graph with the book.

I hope to go back to Paris again some day and have another walk around the fabric shops! :)

This morning I visited Quilts in the Barn.

Linda and her friends have once again done a magnificent job of creating a stunning display of quilts! There are red and white quilts small and large. There are also several antique quilts from Mary Koval's collection. Mary is there with her  DH and she has a selection of fabric old and new.  Mary also has some antique boutis quilts which I really loved to see!!
I encourage everyone to visit.  All funds raised over the 3 days are donated to breast cancer research.
(Scroll down to the bottom of this post on Linda's blog for all the information about the Exhibition)


  1. Wow - looks like fabric heaven in Paris. I love your embroidered Eiffel Tower. All the best for your Boutis sewing, it looks beautiful.

  2. Thanks for the tour of Paris fabric shops and all before I had eaten breakfast.
    Hope your going to post lots of photo's of Quilts in the Barn.
    It's a great reminder of a happy time meeting up with everyone that went to the red and white exhibition in NYC last year.

  3. Good to see you had a lovely stay in Paris and you really explored teh fabric district from A to Z.
    I live only a minute away from it and go at least twice a week for a look. At Moline quilters now have the basic needs for quilting.
    At your next trip let me know, could be your guide or for a cuppa.
    Love, Will in Paris

  4. A dream trip would be to visit quilt shops around the world! :o) Looks like you scored some beauties. How lucky to get to attend Quilts in the Barn.

  5. I am overwhelmed hearing about the fabrics in Paris. Quilts in the Barn sounds good too!
    Hugs - Lurline.

  6. wow wow wow
    I love the toiles you shared today, be still my heart.
    Oh marvelous that you got to go to Quilts in the Barn!!