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Thread: What quilting items do you buy when traveling?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Gig Harbor WA

    What quilting items do you buy when traveling?

    My DH and I recently spent two glorious weeks in Seattle, Alaska and the Olympic Penninsula. For weeks, he plotted and planned all the quilt shops he would take me to. I was so excited. I do not know what I expected - well, yes, I did. For some reason, I expected to see a lot of fabrics that I can't get otherwise.....really? I came home with no new fabrics, but lots of plans to order online (to save the space and weight in my suitcase when we flew back to FL) when I got back home. And for the most part, I can find the "northwest" type fabrics I was interested in. I did actually buy one quilt kit i Alaska. Other than that, I asked at each shop if they had any patterns exclusive to local artists in their region. I did come home with three quilt patterns of this type.

    I had fun but feel let down and disappointed that I didn't get more. Where did I go wrong? How do you shop on vacation?

    I am going to San Francisco in August and want my experiences and expectations to equal each other....

    Thanks for your advice.
    Enjoy your day,

    A fat quarter is not a body part!

  2. #2
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    North Pole
    I think part of the problem of seeing new things when we travel is the fact that we spend so much time surfing the internet that things common to particular regions have been seen prior to our visit there. Access to so much worldwide is a blessing, but also takes some of the excitement of discovery out of personal visits to new places.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Central NJ
    Issue for me is that I'm not a 'stash' buyer. I only buy for specific projects. When we were in NM last fall I went to every LQS that I could find. Bought a couple of cute fat 1/8 packs of very localized fabric. Bought a couple of stencils. Saw some absolutely AMAZING fabrics. Most of the places I was in did not maintain an online shop but would do phone orders. Usually I just buy gagets or notions when I'm travelling.

  4. #4
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    I've often wondered the same thing about visiting quilt shops in other areas expecting to find something different. Twice I've gone to shops while traveling. Once in Louisville and while I did find a RED batik I'd been looking for I found the prices much higher than at home. The other time however I spent a LOT of money on quilting stuff BUT that was on a trip to Paducah ... just couldn't resist the incredible sales ($3, $4 and $5/yard!).

    There are some places I will travel to where I will make an effort to visit local shops as part of my travel plans (Lancaster County PA, and any foreign country), but other than that if I "find" a shop I'll visit but I doubt it will be high on my agenda if other activities beckon.

    I have to add though that I come from an area with a large selection of quilt shops - large and small - within a 2 hour drive. I have two large shops that are 40 minutes from my house.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.


  5. #5
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Northern California, Sonoma Co.
    When I've bought fabric while on vacation, it's because the fabric just spoke to me, not because it in any way represented where I was buying it. I guess I just gave myself permission to splurge and then bought something I really liked, if I saw something I really liked. I, too, found that the fabric wasn't radically different from what I could find at places closer to home...
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Keene, New Hampshire
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat625 View Post
    I think part of the problem of seeing new things when we travel is the fact that we spend so much time surfing the internet that things common to particular regions have been seen prior to our visit there. Access to so much worldwide is a blessing, but also takes some of the excitement of discovery out of personal visits to new places.
    that's absolutely true

  7. #7
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Small town in Northeast Oregon close to Washington and Idaho
    Blog Entries
    When I travel to a quilt shop on a vacation, I usually find fabric that my LQS doesn't carry. I always end up with new fabric. I have never found fabric from a certain region. I just find something I can't get locally.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  8. #8
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Live Oak, Texas
    I think your DH was wonderful to do that for you. I buy what I really love where ever I see it. Most of the time when traveling I see the same things I see in local shops or on line so I don't buy. When we were stationed over seas I brought back boxes of fabric.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southfield, Michigan
    When I visited Albuquerque in Feb. I found Southwest design batiks that I was able to add to my stash, plus since the shop was moving location they had a large selection of fabrics at 1/2 price! I got a few yards of those & had my daughter ship them to me. Plus, when I was checking out & mentioned I was from MI, the clerk gave me a sw design FQ! I was a happy traveler!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Pacific NW
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    I think it's all part of being a global and internet-driven economy. There are several quilt shops in my town, they all pretty much carry the same stuff. Manufacturers sell the same products regardless of region. Quilt designers want to sell as much as they can, so marketing patterns online to the entire country is a smart choice.

    When I first started quilting, I was excited to shop the vendors at the quilt shows, a lot of times they brought stuff in I hadn't seen yet. Now I realize it wasn't because no one else carries it, it was because I was new and I hadn't seen it yet.

    I think you might have better luck going international. I'm VERY intrigued by a lot of the designs coming out of Australia and Japan.

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