I think this is an interesting article:
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I think it is also good to keep them around for classes help and other things we get from them that are not fabric based. Even when you need to find a quilting notion in a bind that joanns doesn't carry most likely the quilt shop will have those specialty notions if you cant wait for shipping. I know some hate spending the money, but what you get from the shop to me is worth a few extra dollars. I'm not rich by no means and do dhop online, but I do save my christmas and birthday money and a little bit of my overtime money to spend at the shops
I enjoy the familairity (sp) of a LQS! You can always go in and just browse and talk shop with the owners and the staff. Going into a chain fabric store doesn't always get you the conversation that goes along with quilting. Not saying all LQS are warm and fuzzy, but in my traveling I have come across some wonderful ones. They are thrilled that you stopped on your travels just to visit their shop. I do have a LQS that is about 20 mins from me and I have been in it 2 times in the last 3 years just because I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling from the staff. It is hard to even get a conversation going when they are cutting your fabric. I will drive 40 mins to another store just so I enjoy the full experience of being in a LQS!
An Excellent post!
If you're going to make an heirloom, why not use an heirloom-quality fabric that will withstand the test of time?
We love stopping in quilt shops when we're traveling, and to our local quilt shops. It's fun to touch base with other owners, compare notes, and talk shop. We also run into them and hang out with them at fabric shows, and that's a bunch of fun too. Oh, the war stories we tell! :-)
There's nothing like stepping into a really nice LQS, the smells, the displayed bolts, and the friendly people really give you a feeling you can't get at an online store (even ours) or a big-box store.
I completely agree with everything said. Going into a LQS is like going home each and everytime. I find this true wherever we travel. DH always says "You quilters" after a LQS visit. He means we always seem to be long lost friends and conversations just flow.
If we don't support them, they will go out of business. We have had 3 fold in the last few years. A new one has just opened up and I go down to get a little something now and then. Going to take a class from them next month, also.
I have found that JoAnn's fabric isn't much cheaper than the LQS fabric, but the quality is very much inferior that the LQS. After spending hours of your time and so much love on a quilt, why use inferior fabric? I do buy supplies and batting at JoAnn's with a coupon . Although I sometime wonder if the batting is the same quality--I use Warm N'Natural for almost everything.
As a rule, I don't buy fabric from LQS because of price. My budget simply does not allow for fabric that expensive. I will buy fabric wherever I can get the best price, which is usually at Walmart. I know some of you are cringing at the thought of Walmart fabrics, but if you are a careful shopper, you can get some pretty nice fabrics and at a fraction of the price from LQS. My quilts aren't meant to be a "sit pretty" kind of thing. They are to be used, washed and dried, and loved kind of thing. I think each quilt I make gets a little bit nicer in that the points match better, my FMQ is a little smoother, my binding corners are sharper....but....it doesn't make them less loved or used if I only pay $4/yd for the fabric.
Our LQS is like going home. They have wonderful fabrics, a staff that goes the extra mile, classes, a great retreat center for 'round the clock quilting, a beautiful garden just to sit with a cup of coffee, and a loyalty program that gives me 20% in points I can apply to anything but machines and furniture. I really can't afford to shop anywhere else!