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Thread: About fabric ...

  1. #26
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Extremely well put.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfli19 View Post
    Just throwing this out for consideration as we all live in our own world.

    Today, it isn't fair to make a generalization about a certain commodity carried in any store. With few exceptions, in my area anyway, there are no longer boutique stores that cater to the obliged. We live in the era of chain stores, further shackled by what they choose to buy, forcing us to either choose, make our own, or move to a nudist colony.

    Be it Walmart, JoAnn's, Kohls, JC Penney's, or Macy's, none are really as good as they were 30+ years ago, or even 10 for that matter.

    Even sadder, the phrase "you get what you pay for" is unrealistic because I have found fantastically woven fabric at WM for $3.44 a yard, and further seen this same fabric at Hobby Lobby (reasonably priced) and JoAnn's, extensively marked up. JoAnn's is not what it used to be and will never be as good as SoFro - now closed, but made mucho dinero off me in its heyday. Walmart does have more quality fabric than not. Hobby Lobby is consistently quality and selection and my local Ben Franklin shines in that department, changing their stock seasonally with fabrics from some of the best. LQS are competitive and offer beyond the standard and their prices reflect that, so I'm not even sure they're about fabric as much as status, but that's another topic.

    My point is, the name of the brick and mortar doesn't matter any more. I've found some pretty cheap stuff everywhere, whether it be fabric or clothing, and will not allow myself to be pigeon-holed into a name. Macy's does not represent the commercials of the past and Kohls carries clothes I've seen at the mall. Even Marshall's carries the WM Levis Signature series jeans, so it all ends up in the "basement" stores, just disguised under non-basement store names.

    So fellow fabric lovers and purchasers of all the same things, buy what you can and make (and wear and cook) what you love. Quality trumps price but you determine what both of those are.

    Peace. And be happy. Enjoy your world. And sew forth.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    When my DDs were in high school they wouldn't wear anything from K-Mart....now that they have their own kiddos....they shop Goodwill for clothes and shoes...most things still have price tags -- from Macy's, The Children's Place, Kohls, etc. I'm not a fabric snob, and I've been finding a lot of nice fabric at Walmart-- i.e. tone-on-tone background fabric the same exact bolts as at Jo-Ann's for $2/yrd cheaper and 1/2 the price of a LQS. It pays to shop around.

  3. #28
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    It took me a while to learn the "feel" of a high quality quilting cotton fabric. Once having learned that, I can buy with confidence and knowledge of what kind of fabric I'm purchasing. I do try to support my local quilt stores as they provide more than just fabric and I want to keep them in business. A large warehouse size shop near me buys the end runs of brand name fabrics which has a fantastic price, but the fabric is all flat fold and in big stacks so it is hard to see stuff other than what is on top.
    Penny

  4. #29
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    If I find something I love at a high end store I buy it, the same goes for Wal Mart , Hobby Lobby. I have bought beautiful fabric from all those places. I gift all my quilts and I have never had anyone who got one of my quilts ask me where I bought the fabric. So I buy what I like no matter where I find it. I feel it is up to the person buying the fabric where they shop. Some of the most beautiful quilts I grew up with was made from feed and flour sacks. We lived in the country and my DD owned the general store, when he went to the ware house to buy for the store my mom went with him and chose the feed sacks for her chickens and flour sacks for home. My dresses and her quilts came from those sacks.

  5. #30
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    I am still confused especially about the phrase "there are no longer boutique stores that cater to the obliged". There was a time when Walmart was the ultimate shopping experience. But not today. They have limited selection of many things quality not with standing. I like many other try to shop sales. Not that I save $$$ but have more money to spend. I love my LQS but often can not afford fabric there due to price. I can (And do) go to Joanns and buy fabric which is on sale or with coupon.
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  6. #31
    Junior Member judord's Avatar
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    I resent the fact that Joann's bought out just about every competing fabric store in the country!! I will go out of my way to go to ANY local, (no joann's) store to avoid them. We need CHOICES, ladies and gentlemen! Yes, and I feel better getting that off my chest, lol.
    Judy
    Friendship is the fabric of our lives!

  7. #32
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    I so agree with you. The reason I go into a $13 - $22 yd store is if I'm looking for something 'out there', not the hum-drum at JoAnn's or WM. Last week I spent $143 at a quilt store in Santa Fe because two fabric's shouted at me when I walked in, I couldn't ignore them!!! The average joe places are indeed average joe - and that's not to say that I don't drop lots of dough-ray-me at those too!!

  8. #33
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    High price of fabric- all the more reason to use our stash
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  9. #34
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    hmmmm, I am not too far from there in NH, sadly I already have plans, so maybe will try to go another day! Thanks for the information. Things you learn here!

  10. #35
    Super Member Nancy in Louisiana's Avatar
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    Butterfli19 -- very well said. These days economics and business dynamics are far more complex than ever. Stores don't have the luxury of stocking what we want -- more often it's us having to want what they stock. Over the last four years our small town has lost all four of its quilt shops. We are at the mercy of WM, Hobby Lobby, and Hancock's. The nearest JoAnns is over an hour away. High gas prices and fixed incomes definitely influence what we do. We learn to do what we can with what we have. To me the biggest element in the makeup of a quilt is LOVE, and that doesn't cost any money at all.

  11. #36
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    You are so right, it's all in how the fabric feels and looks. So many seem to have special made "Sale Fabric" with a larger weave and poor printing. I have gone online, which has the disadvantage of not being able to "touch" before purchasing. But, by sticking to the larger places and name brands I like, it hasn't been too bad.

  12. #37
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsister63 View Post
    I am still confused especially about the phrase "there are no longer boutique stores that cater to the obliged".
    yeah, probably not grammatically correct but I got swept up in the moment. What I meant was that when I was much younger, there were what is probably similar to strip malls today - stores in the small cities that offered to the middle and higher financial classes. You could go into any store and find something different. Boutique shops sold lingerie only (Lady Grace, my mother's favorite), well made tailored clothing at Hudson's (my favorite shop) and Mitchells Dept store that carried everything you would need to supply a happy home, including a shoe repair shop and TV test tube stand (remember those? lol).

    Now it seems it's all a mess. Everyone carries everything and specializes in nothing. Nothing stands out from the rest. I don't travel the East coast looking for bargains but I tell you, I get sick of shopping. On-line is a gamble, as someone said you really can't tell from the picture. I am by no means rich or even well-off, but I buy what I can afford, I sometimes splurge, but I'm not going to settle.

    Everyone has to decide their own, which was my initial point when I posted about generalizations, because everything is everywhere. I'll buy something at WM if it's cheaper, why not? You can't boycott everyone, you'd never have anything. It's like lately at work the phrase seems to be "living the dream". Well, that was started by the VP who is a bazillionaire, told to us peonies, and I just turned it to be yes, I'm not living his, but I'm living mine. Well, it isn't where I thought I'd be when I was planning my life at 17, but it works for me.
    Last edited by Butterfli19; 08-27-2013 at 03:56 PM. Reason: grammar, never was very good at it
    Nancy

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  13. #38
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Today, I drove out to Joann's and got a few lovely pieces of fabric. However, I was disappointed with the selection, overall. I always feel as if I'm searching for something that doesn't exist.
    Neesie


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  14. #39
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    Amen to all you said. All very true. We are only on this earth for a short time so be happy with
    what you can get, and where you are.

    Flo in nny

  15. #40
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    My mom also taught me to shop "by hand" as well as "by eye" and took me to many places she found where good fabric was resonably priced. We made clothes back then. But there is another factor to consider - people. I am also in a "Hallmark movie" kind of town, with a great LQS a mile away, and three others within ten or fifteen miles. There are others a greater distance away that are fun to shop as well. Those shops have so much to offer - kind, knowledgeable people who take time to help you and know their stock. They have classes, books, notions, thread. They have helped me become the quilter I am. Now that I am retired, I do need to spend carefully, and fortunately these stores have sales now and then. I know which one does not mark up older stock when manufacturer sends a new shipment for a higher price. I know the owners and know they are not "getting rich" or cheating anyone. They are passionate about their shops and the people who go there. My kids know that a gift card at the LQS is my favorite gift, and I've also gotten them from friends whose kids I occasionally teach. I want those stores to stay in business, and though I shop the boxes sometimes, when I want something nice, I go to the quilt store and choose carefully. When I run out of something, I dash there on a Sunday afternoon. I tell everyone about the great shops in this area and hope people keep coming here for a nice trip and good quality. You have to balance price and service along with quality. There are many ways of looking at things, and I don't scorn pinching pennies. I do hate that the box stores have altered small business in many areas and often force manufacturers to cut what they pay their help.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Well, there are plenty of boutiques, independent businesses, small shops, mom and pop operations, and other wonderful non-chain stores of all types up here in the central reaches of New Hampshire that do not cater to "the obliged" (noblesse oblige?) at all. Indeed, they cater to any and all of us 'just plain regular folk' who cross their threshholds to explore the wonders held within, be it fabric, clothes, prescriptions, or bread, offered at very reasonable prices.

    I agree, choose where and what you buy based on your personal circumstances and preferences, but for me, I will always choose the little local guy over the mega-giant. Always. But then, I'm lucky enough to live in a Hallmark movie kind of place.
    We have tons of independently owned quilt stores here in Texas also. I don't think I've looked at fabric in a big box store in 20 years. We own our own business and I've developed an affinity for small businesses whether they are quilt shops, restaurants, dentists or any other supplier. I support the small businesses that, GASP, listen to what I want and will even special order for me.

  17. #42
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I rarely shop in a mom and pop store. Don't care for them at all. I grew up with only a mom and pop store and the customers only had a choice of what they wanted to stock. Ask for newer updated items and mom and pop had a choking fit. I'll take a big box store, the bigger the better.
    Got fabric?

  18. #43
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    A few years back, when JoAnn's stopped letting you use their 40% off coupon on sale items, a clerk told me that the original JoAnn had passed away and her sons took over and were all about the money, money, money. They had tried for years to get their mom to stop throwing money away, but she was all about taking care of the home sewer. Men just ruin everything!

  19. #44
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I rarely shop in a mom and pop store. Don't care for them at all. I grew up with only a mom and pop store and the customers only had a choice of what they wanted to stock. Ask for newer updated items and mom and pop had a choking fit. I'll take a big box store, the bigger the better.
    I don't mind supporting M & P stores, IF they make it worth my while. By that, I mean treat me with friendly respect. The last several times I went to a particular LQS, I don't think the lady even smiled at me. Maybe she wasn't feeling well or was just tired (both times) but the experience simply didn't make me feel happy to be there (even though I did buy 2 yards of fabric). I probably won't go back, unless I get desperate for a particular fabric.
    Neesie


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    ~Richard Dawkins

  20. #45
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I used to live and work in Bedford NH, wish I could get to BF's sale. They always had a great selection! But, connecting threads and hancocks of paducah carry nice fabric, and have great sales. I shop alot on line - closest fabric store doesn't carry a big variety, and then the others are 20-30 miles away. At 2-3 gals a trip, it gets to be expensive, especially as I overshop when I am near a bunch of stores. I hoard more than just fabric. (HE HE)
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  21. #46
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    I am looking for fabric (1997) linda brannock for moda ...it is muted steel blue with small crescent moon and stars ? Does anyone know where I can find this.I figured that the Quilting board would be the best place to get the help I need in finding this material.Thanks!!!!!

  22. #47
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilting nurse View Post
    I am looking for fabric (1997) linda brannock for moda ...it is muted steel blue with small crescent moon and stars ? Does anyone know where I can find this.I figured that the Quilting board would be the best place to get the help I need in finding this material.Thanks!!!!!
    Sorry I can't help you but someone else may have seen it. You'd have better luck getting responses, by starting a new thread with your request.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  23. #48
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    I am all for shopping local and do as much of it as I can...that said, when I shop local I expect to be greeted and waited on in a timely manner...you want to wait on your friends first, then I will go away and won't come back. Also if you expect me to pay substantially more money, it needs to be better quality than I can get at the mega chains. It really irks when a small business wants me to pay double for junk...just because they are a small business.

    I think I'm still irked from several years ago when a local business, notorious for lousy service and poor quality, managed to get on a local news station and whined about how the "big box stores were putting them out of business".

  24. #49
    Senior Member Bneighbor's Avatar
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    My husband owns his own business (almost 40 years, wow went by fast), he owns a truck/semi-tractor trailer shop. If I need a particular service, I check with him as to which of his customers I should call. He works on many "trade" customers. I have called his plumbers, window repair, electricians, etc. My thought has always been that these business support us and we should support them. Almost all of them have been wonderful, prices reasonable, service techs polite, work done timely. After the job was done, I would tell them that we repair their equipment, and most were surprised why I called them to do our work, happy to be used for that reason. One thought I was looking for the job for nothing (absolutely not) or that I was tricking them. I shop local and support local....but the big box stores are also "local". We do repair their equipment, so I do shop their too. If you get to know the employees personally, on a friendly level, you will get the service you are looking for. By the way, those employees at those big box stores are you neighbors. Their children go to school with your children. Pay property taxes, buy groceries, enjoy living in YOUR neighborhood.

  25. #50
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    We lost Ben Franklin years ago, Joanne used to be Cloth World, and our Hancock's was Northwest Fabric. We also had So-Fro and Woolco sold fabric, so did Michaels when it first opened.

    I won't shop at Wally World. They weren't too good on animal care when they first opened and the fish suffered. So I've boycotted ever since.

    I guess a lot of complaining brought the fabric back to Wally World. About 10 years ago they started shutting down fabric departments. This hurt a lot of people that were miles from another store. Looks like they have brought it back.

    At one time, couldn't shop at any of the fabric and craft stores. Strong smells from the candles and pot-pourri used to make the kid miserable and give me a headache.

    The one thing I really hate about all the stores, including independents is lack of choice. They all follow the same color schemes if not the actual fabric. And all the chain stores are fleece, fleece, fleece. I hate the stuff unless I'm making outerwear. It's hard to find good sweatshirt fleece and ribbing anymore. It's also bad enough with dye lots. Kids gave me a Gutermann case of sewing thread. The thread was all good the year it came out, but now there is enough difference in dye lots that the color is off. This year's burgundy might have more red or blue in it. You have some fabric you really liked and bought extra, and the next couple of years there is no color that really goes with it. I waited about 10 years for a certain shade of aqua and brown mix. I know they need to carry what sells, but if people want something else, don't complain if another section of the country has what you want and you shop online.

    This site has listed a lot of good stores, and if I can get what I have in mind - whether it's a closeout or local preference, I'll start buying online. I "see" an item in certain colors and having to "settle" drives me crazy.

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