Fabric Fair weaves its way into borough

May 06, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - For anyone with an interest in sewing, the 14th annual Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Fabric Fair is the place to be this weekend and next.

Long tables in the former County Market grocery store in Southgate Shopping Center are covered with all types of fabrics and sewing-related items.

Lois Strayer, publicity chair of the event, said people were "lined up to the corner" by 7 a.m. Thursday.

Auxiliary members prepare year-round for the sale, sorting, measuring, marking, pricing and counting items at their weekly meetings, Strayer said.

"It's our one and only Auxiliary project," she said.

All items are donated for the five-day sale. Proceeds go to the Salvation Army's various programs.

The event used to be held in a different storefront in the strip mall. The new location is larger and makes shopping easier, Strayer said. More items will be put out as the sale progresses.


Everything is neatly packaged and priced, even small pieces of material for 5 cents. Buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes are counted out into baby food jars. At the back of the store are 14 playpens filled with yarn, baskets, tins, polyfill, crochet thread and shoulder pads. Banana boxes are stacked several high, holding boxes of patterns. Laundry baskets are filled with trims, zippers, rickrack, bias tape and other notions.

Customers - overwhelmingly female - fill bags and shopping carts with supplies for all kinds of sewing projects.

Auxiliary member Linda Diehl of Chambersburg measured and cut pieces of upholstery, drapery and curtain material for customers, and will be doing so all weekend and next weekend, she said.

Patty Silla of Greencastle, Pa., bought bolts of wool for making hooked and braided rugs. She said she started her daughters, Emily and Rachel, making braided rugs when they were 4.

"This is the place to come once a year," said Silla, who has shopped at the fair every year for 10 years. "It's fabulous. I got here 10 minutes after it opened, and the parking lot was half full."

Anna Wolfe of Mercersburg, Pa., also visited the fair Thursday morning.

"This is the first time I knew about it. It's wonderful," she said.

She already had made one trip to the car with purchases by 9 a.m. and was stocking up on crochet cotton, crochet pattern books and tapestry material.

Barbara Tritle and Carolyn Baker pushed shopping carts piled high with fabric, purchasing supplies for their business, B. Sassy Inc. in Chambersburg. B. Sassy has 15 employees, Tritle said, three of whom were shopping at the fabric fair. They make unique handbags from strips of fabric, she said.

"We're limited only by our imagination," she said.

Carly Bishop, 4, Carolyn Baker's daughter, helped with selecting buttons and ribbon.

Freda Shaffer of Waynesboro, Pa., said she comes to the fabric event every year, "and I always overdo. This is the second bag."

Shaffer crochets afghans, sometimes purchasing unfinished projects. She completes them and uses them for bingo prizes at AARP, she said.

If you go

What: 14th annual Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Fabric Fair

When: Today, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday, May 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Former County Market, Southgate Shopping Center, Chambersburg, Pa.

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