Volunteers Priscilla Bauer, right, and her sister, Karen Walker, pause while sizing and pricing donated fabric at God’s Goods Thrift Store. Bauer’s idea for a Fabric Fair at the store was inspired by a similar event she attended in Pennsylvania. PHOTO BY LYNNE COPE HUMMELL

Do you have leftover fabric and sewing items lying around your home? Are you looking for the perfect fabric for a sewing project? 

God’s Goods Thrift Store is organizing a unique event that you might want to attend May 19-20 – a special Fabric Fair inspired by an event one of the store’s volunteers attended in Pennsylvania. 

Priscilla Bauer has been sewing for most of her life. She said she’s made all sorts of clothing from Halloween costumes and ballet tutus to wedding dresses and everything in between. 

Bauer is always looking for a good fabric sale. 

Before moving to the Lowcountry almost four years ago, Bauer lived in Pittsburgh, where the Salvation Army raised millions of dollars hosting an annual fabric fair for more than 30 years. 

When she moved to Bluffton, Bauer started volunteering with her sister, Karen Walker, in the linens department at God’s Goods. She noticed that the store received a good bit of donated fabric, but it wasn’t selling, so it was donated to a recycling company.

“That was hurting my sewer’s heart,” Bauer said. “There were some beautiful and expensive fabrics going out the door. I couldn’t stand it!”

She decided to put together a proposal and presented it to God’s Goods ministry leader and founder Kim Perri, and the store’s crafts manager, Lori Schultz. Bauer proposed that the store host its own fabric fair like the one she had attended in Pittsburgh. 

Perri and Schultz loved the idea, and now the nonprofit store that funds Christian outreach ministries has its own fabric team. Volunteers have been busy collecting, measuring, pricing and organizing fabric for the store’s first fabric fair. 

Before they had even told anyone about the fabric fair, the thrift store started getting a “ton” of fabric donated. 

“We have been getting some really beautiful pieces,” Bauer said, indicating an embroidered piece of upholstery fabric. “Some of it came on bolts, which might be a little much for some people. So we started measuring and cutting by the yard or two.”

In addition to the fabric that has been donated, the store has received unexpected donations as well. As word of the special event started to get out, Bauer said, “We received two sewing machines, an embroidery machine, and other sewing and crafting items.”

Some would call that a “God thing.” 

“I feel like God has just blessed this project,” Perri said. “There’s a great little team working together on this.”

Bauer hopes the fabric fair will become an annual event. 

“We have gotten just incredible things,” she said. “We are really hoping it will be a success and it will continue to grow.”

The fabric fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 20 in the Youth Center at God’s Goods Thrift Store, located at 15A Centre Drive in Bluffton. 

The thrift store will accept donations through May 12. Items can be dropped off in the back of the building between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday. 

For more information about God’s Goods or the fabric fair, call 843-757-2024 or visit godsgoods.org.

Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.