Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where I shop for fabric

I've been thinking about this since I got my partner assigned for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. Her likes and mine over lap a little, so I've been doing a little shopping to get a few more prints from her favorite designers so I can make a mini quilt she is more apt to love. (But! that said, you need to be careful not to buy something you hate, because for a mini quilt, chances are you're not going to be using much of it. You need to look to where your taste and your partner's taste overlap.)

So, when I am looking for fabric, here's where I go:

1. Pink Castle Fabrics. I am super lucky that this is my local quilt shop, but most of their business is online, so you can get anything I can get! And even though I can technically go to the store, it is easiest for me to buy online and swing by quickly to pick up. If you sign up for the newsletter you'll be first to know about new arrivals and sales! They specialize in modern, Japanese, and solids, and also carry many fine apparel fabrics.

2. Fabric Shack. My favorite shop for more mainstream quilt fabrics. They don't always have the newest trendy line, but they don't have the turnover that many online shops do, (I suspect because they buy more fabric than other shops), so you can sometimes score something from a few years back. And they put things on sale all the time.... If I'm looking for basics and blenders (dots, stripes, etc) and large amounts of fabric for quilt backs for the least amount of money, this is where I go. Plus, apart from great prices, they discount shipping, and they're one of the few fabric shops that will cut quarter yards. Great for getting a large range on a budget. And they are super fast with getting orders out the door. And if you have a chance to go to their store, do! It's seriously amazingly huge.

3. Hawthorne Threads. Another great modern online shop! If they don't have it, it isn't cool. Also they have a large selection of knits, which is important to me now, I guess.

4. Etsy. Little shops sometimes hold on to things that are sold out in big shops.

5. Fabric dot com. It's hard to beat free shipping. I have heard horror stories about poorly cut fabric, but I personally haven't had an issue, though I only go with them when I can't find something elsewhere. I prefer to go with the littler shops, who love fabric as much as I do.

About shopping online. Color is an issue, and scale, it's hard to know what you're getting, so you need to be prepared for a surprise. I have firm opinions about what I like in a quilting cotton, hand-wise, so when I shop online I stick to brands that I know and trust that their substrate is one I approve of.

What shops do you like?

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