San Diego is a great place to go fabric shopping. It’s a city with a lot to offer for craft lovers. However, there is an abundance of stores dotted throughout this expansive city. With this in mind, where are the best fabric stores in San Diego?
The best fabric stores in San Diego are located throughout the city. These include Rosie’s Calico Cupboard and the Cozy Creative Center. National City is home to the National City Swap Meet, a large weekend flea market famous for its vast array of fabric stalls and vendors.
In this article, you’ll discover the best fabric locations to visit in the San Diego area.
Best Fabric Stores in San Diego
Known as America’s finest city, San Diego is a bustling metropolis located at the southern tip of California. Nestled on the banks of the Pacific Ocean, the city boasts an amazing 70 miles of golden beaches. Along with some of the world’s best-known family attractions. All enjoyable year-round, thanks to the city’s marine climate.
For fabric lovers, there’s more to look forward to in San Diego than a trip around their world-famous zoo and safari park. You may not know it, but San Diego offers a vast array of fabric and sewing supply stores too!
San Diego is a large city and although the cooling sea breeze can make it a pleasure to walk around, the fabric stores aren’t all close together. They are dotted throughout the city and some are located on the outskirts.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the must-visit fabric stores in the San Diego area. Use this to plan your next road trip to San Diego and you’ll be sure to include the best fabric stores the area offers.
1. Yardage Town
An article on the best fabric stores in San Diego wouldn’t be complete without giving Yardage Town a quick mention. At one point, Yardage Town had a chain of stores dotted throughout San Diego and surrounding areas. Since its inception in 1953, Yardage Town has become the largest fabric chain in the region.
However, back in 2020, the owner of the stores decided to close all of them down. According to a news article in The San Diego Union-Tribune of December 2019, the owner Michael Recht had seen a steady but gradual decline in sewing and, therefore, less need for fabric. He also wished to retire.
This has left a bit of a hole for fabric shoppers in San Diego. Yardage Town was a supplier of quality fabrics as well as those hard to find gems. Not only were the local store landmarks, but they were also a part of the area’s history and will be missed.
As you’ll find out later in this article, there is hope for the fabric-savvy shopper. There is still one large venue that can provide an outlet for those rare or hard-to-find textiles. As well as being the perfect spot for picking up some quality fabrics from the Los Angeles fabric district.
But first, let’s take a look at the best fabric stores San Diego has to offer. These range from the smaller independent retailer to a couple of well-known franchises. Let’s get into it.
2. Rosie’s Calico Cupboard
Rosie’s Calico Cupboard is located on El Cajon Boulevard in Central San Diego. Open Monday thru Saturday from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm. This cute store is also known as Rosie’s Quilt Shop. Offering more than just fabric, they are an authorized Janome dealer and can repair most brands of sewing machines.
On entering the store, one of the first things you’ll see is a large luggage chest full to bursting with buttons. Large buttons are suitable for jackets, small shirt buttons, and pretty much every size in between.
You’ll find a whole rainbow of colors too. All for a bargain price of $5 for a level bucket full. Although, that’s more of a small plant pot size than a full-scale bucket! If you don’t want that many buttons, you can grab a handful of individual ones for 15 cents each.
The store boasts an impressive collection of fabrics. Although their main focus is quilting, they also stock flannel and minky fabrics. Their selection of quilting cotton is jaw-dropping. With about 18000 bolts of 100% cotton to look through, you’re bound to find the fabric you need.
Stuck on project ideas? They’ve got you covered! Over 600 quilting books adorn their shelves, along with patterns and quilting magazines. You’ll want to set aside at least an hour or two just to take in all the goodies they offer.
Even the non-fabric shopper can find plenty to do. With a fantastic collection of notions, threads, and quilting-related gifts, a trip to Rosie’s Calico Cupboard will make Christmas shopping for the quilter in your life a piece of cake.
The store closes for some holidays. Christmas, New Year, Easter, 4th July, and Thanksgiving are specifically mentioned on their website. If you are traveling a long way to see them, phone ahead first to make sure they are open.
3. Cozy Creative Center
The next store on the list is in the El Cajon district of the city. Based on Jamacha Road, the Cozy Creative Center offers fabric in precuts and by the yard. The Cozy Creative Center incorporates the Cozy Quilt Shop and Cozy Quilt Designs.
As a Brother and Bernina dealer, they have a range of machines set up, ready for you to take for a test-sew. Or why not try out the Strip Tube Ruler? Developed by Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs, this ruler is a handy device for using the tube technique for quilt blocks accurate and easy.
How cool is that? Being able to go to San Diego and visit the place where the Strip Tube Ruler was invented? A revolutionary device used around the globe!
That’s not all the Cozy Creative Center has to offer. They have designed around 200 patterns for use with jelly roll precuts. All are available from their store, along with over 100 patterns for other types of precuts, books and rulers.
They have a whole wall dedicated to quilting cotton, a huge collection of batiks, and a vast selection of notions. Including batting, pins, needles, thread, and quilting rulers. All are waiting for you to rummage through.
Open from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm Mondays, and until 5.00 pm from Tuesday thru Saturday, be sure to visit them. Call them first to confirm opening times if you have a long journey to get there.
4. Joann Fabrics and Crafts
This nationwide chain store is located on Midway Drive in the Midway District of the city. Open from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm, Monday thru Saturday and 10.00 am to 6.00 pm on Sundays, there is plenty of time to check out the goodies they offer.
Joann Fabrics and Crafts caters to all your crafting needs. As well as fabrics for quilting and apparel, they also stock home décor fabrics, plastic flowers, jewelry-making equipment, cake decorating tools, and seasonal decorations.
They also have a selection of sewing machines and accessories. If you are interested in a Cricut machine for faster shape cutting, not only do they stock the machine, they carry the supplies and accessories for it too.
As it is a national franchise, Joanns across the country are all the same. Different branches have different sales and events, so it’s still worth checking out. Don’t forget, if you sign up for the Joann newsletter, you get handy discount coupons which can be exchanged for money off at most Joann branches.
5. Hobby Lobby
Mira Mesa Boulevard is home to Hobby Lobby. This store is open from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm every day except Sunday. As with all Hobby Lobby branches, they are closed on Sundays.
This is another national franchise of stores offering fabric and craft supplies. It’s very similar in format to Joann in that it carries equipment and supplies for most hobby activities. Hobby Lobby’s fabric selection covers quilting and apparel. You’ll also find home décor fabrics as well as interfacing and batting.
While it’s a great place to find everything you need for your next project all under one roof, the San Diego branch is the same as Hobby Lobby outlets elsewhere in the USA. If you don’t have a local Hobby Lobby where you live, it’s well worth visiting as part of your San Diego fabric tour.
Quilt in a Day Fabric Store San Marcos
Take Hwy 15 north from San Diego towards the city of San Marcos to discover another of the best fabric stores in the San Diego Area. Here you will find the Quilt in a Day Store located on Diamond Street.
It’s a little different from the other fabric stores on this list. Instead of being in the main shopping area, it’s located in an industrial park. Nevertheless, it is well-stocked and easily identified by the barn quilts on the outside walls.
Run by the television personality and quilting author Eleanor Burns, the Quilt in a Day fabric store is simply brimming with quilting notions, cotton, and patterns. As the name suggests, the store’s main focus is quilting.
Browse through the rows of hand-picked 100% cotton to find the perfect quilting fabric for your next project. You can register for a class or join in with a demo day. Or simply lose yourself in the abundance of quilting equipment and supplies.
Eleanor Burns is the well-known Quilt in a Day TV show presenter. You can watch the show on PBS, depending on your area’s schedule. Or check it out on YouTube. Interestingly, the studio where the show is recorded is located at the San Marcos store.
What Is the National City Swap Meet?
Do you remember I mentioned a large venue in San Diego that is fast-becoming one of the best stores for fabric in the area? Filling the gap left by the closure of Yardage Town, the fabric section of the National City Swap Meet is gaining in popularity.
The National City Swap Meet has been going since 1962. Open every Saturday and Sunday from 7.00 am to 3.00 pm, it’s a weekend flea market held at a large open-air site in National City. Bursting with stalls manned by traders and garage sale sellers, the Swap Meet offers a whole host of different items.
You can find antiques, flowers, food, and, more importantly, fabric. There is something here for everyone, making this the ultimate fabric shopper’s delight. Your non-sewing companions will also find stalls to interest them. Keeping them occupied and not nagging you to hurry up.
Many fabric traders at the Swap Meet sell quality fabrics from the Los Angeles garment district. Which makes the National City venue a great local source for textiles that are difficult to find. Locating garment fabric shops is tricky in San Diego, making Swap Meet one of the best outlets for affordable garment fabric in the San Diego metropolis.
Unlike the regular fabric stores already covered in this article, this one isn’t free to get in. In February 2022 an entry fee of $1 per person was introduced. There are no exceptions. So for a family of 4, regardless of age, you’re looking at a spend of $4 before you get anywhere near the textiles.
If you have to leave the venue for any reason, make sure to get your hand stamped! Otherwise, you will be charged to get back in. The good news is parking is still free.
The National City Swap Meet could be just the fabric outlet you need for quality fabric or an offcut of something special. But, be careful to check the fabric carefully before you buy. As with any rag market or flea market, the quality of some of the textiles may be less than what you hoped for.
The best fabric stores in San Diego are dotted throughout the metropolis. For an excellent choice of quilting supplies, try Rosie’s Calico Cupboard. For garment fabric pay the National City Swap Meet a visit. Whichever venue you check out, you’re sure to find the fabric you need in San Diego.
Let me know in the comments if you liked the article. Have you been on a fabric haul in San Diego? Which stores did you visit? What did you think of them?