Monday, November 7, 2011

Confessions of a Fabric Junkie

Confessions of a fabric junkie!

If you already didn't know this about me, I love to buy fabric. Yes, I am a fabric junkie. As my story is told, I have been collecting fabric since I was 9 years old. The oldest fabric I have in my trunks is a print with the landing on the moon. Throughout my childhood I cherished a 1/2 yard fur remnant which draped over the end of my twin bed.

Looking back through time, this is one of the manifestations of our humanity - the making of textiles and all their uses from birth to death; for body and home. All fabric junkies carry this in our genetic makeup. It's really old and it serves us on many levels. I am blessed that I was born to buy fabric. I look back to my forefathers and what I have been given. This opportunity to make beautiful connections deep within the American textile industry is one of the things I cherish most about my job.

I remember going to New York back in 1985 - with only one contact and a lot of excitement. This trip last week was a special time to see old friends in the industry and buy new fabric. I hope you will enjoy these photos as I share part of my journey into the jobbing heart of Midtown NYC!

Take a look and see how inspiration can be found all around us. Better yet, come down to Stonemountain & Daughter and check out all the new one-of-a-kind designer fabrics.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I love my Marcy Tilton Skirt!

Today I am wearing my Marcy Tilton Skirt from Vogue Patterns. We sell all our Vogue Patterns at 20% off everyday!

Dad came in for a quick visit to the store and to deliver eggs fresh from the family chickens!

I am busy working on the class schedule for 2012. I am super excited about some of the new classes we are developing! Are there any classes that you are looking for?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Color me White Quilt Class with Angie Woolman - October 23rd

Call us at 510-845-6106 to register and learn how to create a stunning visual quilt of your own! The class is only $60 and taught by Angie Woolman.

Patchwork is fairly simple, but you must enjoy collecting these light and white fabrics which contain large gesture!! No previous color theory is needed - just the desire to jump right into a new world of fabric use!

You can check out Angie's blog at
Tessellation = Tiling with 1 geometric shape. Our project will use a "tessellated" design, in this quilt a 4-sided shape.

This color class teaches you to work in fabrics with "large gesture" on a "light ground." These wonderful fabrics are currently abundant of at SMD. See photos and examples hanging in store next to class sample, made a student from a previous class

Students in class create one-of-a-kind flowing pieces while learning about line and texture and surface design.

Everyday is like Christmas here!

I just love the energy when the UPS and Fed Ex trucks pull up and unload boxes of fabric, notions, patterns and buttons! Today we got in beautiful cottons and oilcloth!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Timeless Treasures Quilt Show at Stonemountain & Daughter!

I love to see our walls filled with quilts and garments! We literally have inspiring projects hanging from the ceiling. Look up and be amazed.

I am excited to show off the beautiful quilts from Timeless Treasures here at Stonemountain & Daughter!

We also have beautiful quilts hanging that are made in a collective in Guatemala - they are for sale and the proceeds go directly to this womens collective!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Samples of Kwik Sew Patterns up in our Store!!!

One of the inspiring things we love to do at Stonemountain & Daughter is show off the many uses of fabric in clothing and quilts! The other day a customer told me that she always looks UP when she comes into our store to check out the latest up on our walls and hanging from the ceiling. I loved hearing that and it inspires me to search for new and exciting displays of garments, quilts and more.

Come check out our exciting sample show of Kwik Sew Patterns hanging on our walls. Here are some photos of what you can see.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

4 Generations strong!

I love this photo of my Grandfather and great-uncles! My Dad grew in Steinberg & Sons Fabric business which began in Los Angeles in 1919.

This was a photo in 1967 when my dad opened up the first counter-culture "hippy" fabric store focusing on cotton and natural fibers - a big change from the polyester double-knits that everybody was wearing. We have been buying from companies like Alexander Henry and Hoffman fabrics for over 45 years!

One of the things that drew me into the fabric business with my father, was this long time family connection and contacts that felt so right. When I joined my father in 1981, there were very few women anywhere in the business. We bought from men; men were the sales reps and men owned fabric stores. I doubt the same doors would have been opened to me without my Dad at that time. It has been a privilege to help grow our business into the unique and valuable resource that it has become.

Dad and I are still going strong after 30 years on Shattuck Avenue. Please come see us soon and work with our experienced and helpful staff on your next project.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wools, Silks, Cottons and way too much more...

Can you feel it in the air? It's time to sew! The store is full and getting fuller every day with the new shipments coming in.

What are you getting ready to sew for fall? We have the best wool, silk and knits ever!

Most of our designer fabrics are coming over from Italy and you won't find them anywhere else. Our long time connections in the apparel industry are really coming through for us. Since all our domestic mills have shut down here in the United States and there are no more protective duties to pay, it's Italy and France for us!

I am sending out a big thanks to all the Fashion Students in San Francisco and the East Bay for coming to Stonemountain & Daughter for their fashion lines!

OK, back to pricing some of the fabric you see in those cartons...hmmm I wonder what's in them? Come find out!

Stonemountain Voted #1 by Parent's Press

We thank all the reader's of Parent's Press Paper for voting our sewing classes #1 for Kids!

We taught over 175 young and enthusiastic seamsters to sew this summer in our Youth Summer Camps.

I am working on the next schedule now for 2012. Maybe you can think of some young person interested.

I have found that this is the most talented generation - so capable, focused, technical and creative - plus they love fashion and to wear clothes that express their individuality!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is a Stonemountain and Daughter

A beautiful day in Berkeley. My Dad coming up on his weekly trek to the store to take care of biz. We have been doing this together since 1981. So much has changed in the fabric business. One of the things is the quality of printed cottons is amazing. Today we got in so many cartons from different vendors: Hoffman batiks and prints, Benartex, Timeless Treasures, Quilting Treasures, RJR and more!

I will start blogging more about the day to day happenings at Stonemountain & Daughter

Monday, March 14, 2011

Celebrating 30 years in Berkeley!

I was recently interviewed and wanted to share the questions and my answers!

1. How is Stonemountain & Daughter different from other fabric stores?

Bob and Suzan Steinberg (Stonemountain translates from Steinberg) are the 3rd and 4th generation selling fabric in California. This family business has long time connections for unique and well priced fabrics for apparel and quilting since 1919. Customers come from all over to explore their vast collections of current cotton, silk, wool, linen, knits, rayons, polys, velvet, fur, yarn for crochet and knitting along with an extensive notion, accessary and pattern department. Our sales staff is knowledgable, experienced and ready to help you with your next project! Stonemountain & Daughter is one of the few independent fabric stores in the country with an expansive program to teach sewing, quilting and knitting. Customers have fun exploring our 3 rooms and two floors - over 6000 square feet in downtown Berkeley!

2. What positive changes have you seen over the years in the fabric business?

The quality of the fabric just gets better and better. The artwork on cotton is amazing and the quality of the cloth they are printed on is superior to what was around 15 years ago. We are getting more and more from Italy, as the Design Rooms shut down in New York and that has been exciting to watch the wools and silks come in from Europe. More and more is coming from China which has been a mixed bag for our industry. The prices were very competitive up until quite recently and now they are manipulating currency and the raw resources and raising prices 25 to 50%. It will be very interesting and potentially disruptive to our industry if this is a long term trend. There are wonderful patterns and notions coming from all kinds of individual creative sources and we are able to move away from big corporations and sell many products that are local!

3. Who are your customers these days?

Our customer is everyone! From the person who needs a button for their vintage shirt to the fashion student at The Academy of Art. Our customers are young, old, hip and straight. Our classes have taught a new generation to sew and have helped us to stay in business through these changing times. From the time we are born and put into fabric till our final days, cloth is a main part of our lives and Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics loves this creative connection with it's community.

4. How does it feel to be 30?

It's amazing! When we first opened our doors, everyone was saying "Oh just what Berkeley needs - another fabric store!" There were so many back in 1981 all over the Bay Area. Now we are among the last in our area and nationally. We are blessed that we have been able to keep listening to our community and what they were looking for. Each week we strive to be better and better and that really fills a need all around us. People come in from all over the world and tell us how special we are and how they wish they had a Stonemountain & Daughter in their community.

5. What do you see in the future for S&D and fabric shops in general?

These are indeed changing times and we are doing our best to ride this wave. It's not easy for an independent store to exist in this day and age. We have seen this trend not only in the Fabric Stores, but in video, books and music stores. We hope to hang on and continue to share our passion for finding great fabrics at fair prices. In general, it doesn't look so good as the industry as a whole is a bit of a dinosaur. It's too bad because this current young generation is finally into sewing and crafting - let's just hope it's not too late.