Sunday, July 6, 2014

Korea Trip Part 3: Fabric stores in Seoul

This is part 3 of 4 chronicling my experiences in South Korea. I came back  from a 10 day trip to South Korea and thought I would share some of my experiences with you that tie in with sewing and quilting. Of course, through a quilter's eyes, everything can spur inspiration or remind you of something sewing related. This will be at least a 4 part series.

Part 1: Quiltspirations - quilting ideas inspired by things I saw during my visit
Part 2: A finished quilt I made for a Korean colleague and now a new friend
Part 3: Trips to the Dongdaemun fabric market and Happy Quilt fabric shop
Part 4: Fabrics I purchased at Happy Quilt

First I went to Dongdaemun fabric market which is a HUGE 5-story building filled with fabric and notions of all kinds. It is mostly for garment sewing. I would love to see a Project Runway episode here. My plan to wander around aimlessly and peruse was shot for many reasons. 1) I had just walked around the Seoul zoo all morning and my feet were protesting. 2) This place was way too big to tackle in one afternoon. 3) It was packed full of stuff and people that it was intimidatingly hard to get around. I did manage to get one picture where I am trying my best to not look overwhelmed:

Dongdaemun deserves a revisit and my next trip to Korea I will do it justice. I didn't even buy one thing because I was paralyzed with the sheer enormity of it all. Here is a post on the fabric market from another blogger who was braver than me and shot some amazing pics of the place.

Fast forward a few days and I decided to go on a journey to Happy Quilt. A store that specializes in quilting fabrics which I found online while researching Korea beforehand. There is a great blog post by Johnnie and Angela which tells you how to get to Happy Quilt. I went by metro. It took about 90 minutes from Sinchon to the Jije station.

Thank you hubby for coming along with me on this ridiculous trip and for documenting it in photos while I ran around like a crazed fangirl.

Getting out at Jije station

wandering across rice paddies to the quilt shop which you can thankfully see from the station. It is way over there with the blue roof. In retrospect, I could have take the actual road which is just to the right of the field instead of walking through it like an ignorant foreigner. Again reference the Johnnie and Angela post I linked to for good directions on how to get to the shop.

Proof that I walk like a penguin.

 We made it to the shop. Quilters Mecca!! The shop carries many popular US designers both by the bolt and in mostly 1 yard cuts packaged in plastic (left side of pic) and all at $5 (US) a yard.

 There is no organization as far as I could tell so you just have to rummage - which is half the fun of it.

Hubby found the Korean made quilting cottons (another reason I love him so) and I decided that I would mostly buy these since you cannot find them in the states. Plus they were all $4 (US) a yard!

Happy Quilt = Happy Marla. I'm holding some Korean fabrics.

 Outside the store with my extremely stuffed bag of loot. I bought about 40 yards of fabric for about $170 (US). You will have to wait until the next post to see what I got. If you are in Seoul it is definitely worth the trip to head down to Happy Quilt. They only take cash so make sure to bring lots of wons.

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