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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Do YOU Buy Fabric?

Normally, I LOVE to go fabric shopping.  Its like going to Baskin-Robbins, selecting from all 32 delectable flavors and getting sprinkles on top!   Fabric is a feast for the eyes.

But lately I'm striking out.  How do other people buy fabric, and how the heck do handicapped quilters manage??  I've tried LQS's, Big Box fabric stores, looked online, but no luck!  I'm going into quilting withdrawal!

Drove 30 minutes to visit an LQS that I knew carried 1930s fabric.  Joint trouble made driving difficult.  By the time I got there, I was limping and couldn't lift more than one bolt of fabric - let alone the dozen or more I needed.  This shop has a beautiful handicap ramp, so I was hoping they had a few other necessities for handicapped customers.

I asked if they had a cart?  No, they said, but they could help me.  They were very kind and sincere, but not too realistic.  The register was busy.  The cutting table was busy.  Lines were 5-6 people deep.  The shop was packed with still more customers.  There was nowhere to sit down if you wanted to wait, and I couldn't stand that long.  Besides, I really wanted to shop independently.  I mean, doesn't everyone want to manage their business independently?  I'd been looking forward to this excursion all week, but  seeing no alternative, I headed home empty-handed.  DRAT!

My next two attempts were at Joann's and Hancock's.  Both have shopping carts, so one needn't carry bolts around, and you can easily lay one bolt next to the other to see if they're compatible.  Joann's had nothing that resembled a 1930s repro.  Hancock had a handful in pink - but no corresponding colors.  Double DRAT!

Next stop: the Internet.  I'm looking for a 1930s jelly roll and charm pack.  That shouldn't be too hard to find, right?  Aren't jelly rolls all the rage?  As far as I can tell, no one makes jelly rolls in 1930s style.  Arrrg.  So if I take the plunge and buy individual fabrics online, will the shade be true to the colors I see on my screen?  What's the minimum amount of fabric you have to buy?  Which online fabric stores are reliable?  Etc. Etc.  Also, I'm impatient.  I want to quilt NOW.  I don't want to wait for days to get my goods.  Triple DRAT!

Which all leads me back to my original question:  How do YOU buy fabric?  I hope to hear from you!


Queen of the Unfinished Project said...

Have you tried Keepsake Quilting? They have a great catalog, and a website. I know that I've seen
'30s fabrics of various sorts there. I don't know right off if they have jelly rolls, though... Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm disabled and recently gave up on my LQS. I bought around $400 worth of 30's style fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop and Connecting Threads. All were appropriately represented on their websites.

I think Fat Quarter Shop is having a Twitter sale on Everything But the Kitchen Sink fabrics. If you like them, check Twitter and see if the sale is ongoing.

If you've always enjoyed Aunt Grace, the new one (Circle of Friends, I think) is lovely. Good luck.

Theresa said...

That is a bummer. I typed "1930's jellyroll" in the search at and a few came up. One line was called "Hello Betty."

MarthaVA said...

I'm so sorry you're having trouble shopping. I love to shop....but I don't like having to depend on someone else to help either!
How about you get yourself one of those carts with wheels to take along? They are fairly light, they hold a lot, and you could put whatever bolts in there that you wanted, and take them to the table to be cut. You could also get yourself one of those little cane type deals that has the seat - that would fit into the shopping cart you can pull behind you or push in front of you, and when you are tired, just pull it out and sit. My MIL has one and uses it all the time - even took it to Italy with her a few years ago.
Good luck, hope you find what you want, and get quilting quickly.

Chris said...

I love going to quilt shops but never seem to find the time. I have found the Fat Quarter Shop online and they are WONDERFUL! My cute little boxes arrive in a couple of days and I have never been dissatisfied with the purchases. I encourage you to pay them a visit!

quilts said...

Try Judy had some 30's. Thanks for your comments on re-energizing yourself. I am a walker too. I love listening to books on my mp3 player and walking. The better the book the farther I walk. I'll keep my eyes open for your fabric! Claudia

Chris said...

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. It'll be fun checking out some new shopping sites and fabrics. Thanks so much!

Stephanie said...

Chris, I am with them. My mom is disabled and on oxygen 24/7 so she does all her shopping online. She ends up have to buy more than she would normally if she was seeing it in person but she loves hawthorne threads. She buys most of her stuff there and it is well represented on line. Steph