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Thread: Fabric Buying Dilemma

  1. #26
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I buy most of my fabric online. The LQS are just getting too expensive.

  2. #27
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    I buy backings for projects when I find a good clearance price.
    jackie

  3. #28
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    I've enjoyed reading all your replies, and thanks for making them. QuiltnLady suggested concentrating on blenders & tone on tones. I agree that is wise. If only I could be wise & not succumb to the call of the bright & colorful! But I'll try. Thanks also to Mad Mimm. I hadn't considered hauling a bunch of my fabrics into the lqs for matching with blenders, etc. Good thought, as long as those fabrics aren't full price! I think I need to spend some time assessing what I have and trying to come up with a plan. More fun to shop!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  4. #29
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    I am trying to finish UFO's and use from stash next year. I hope I win instead of the voices in my head that say better buy it you won't get another chance.
    Lorraine

  5. #30
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I have learned to buy for specific quilts. There are fabrics that "talk" to me and I buy. But, for the most part, it for me is best to do it that way.

    Yes I sure did take advantage of the year end clearance to fill in the fabric I needed to make three quilts and to buy batting at connecting threads. I love Hobbs and that is the only place I can find it anymore reasonably.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  6. #31
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I am going to use my stash for awhile to try and make more room in my sewing room. I found several bags with patterns and fabric ready to start. So no new fabric for me for awhile.

  7. #32
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I thought I had a great stash until I realized it was mainly focus fabrics, and nowhere near enough blenders. That comes from only buying fabric that I absolutely love, and feeling justified in buying it because I absolutely love it. So when I went through my stash a while ago, I made a list of the colors of blenders I would need, and started shopping those. I would literally write down: light teal print/dots to go with Parrot fabric ---- something like that. Then when I shopped those sales on line, I had a specific list to work from. If I wasn't sure the fabric would work, I could always just pull out the "Parrot fabric" and make a judgement. That helped to eliminate a lot, and give me confidence about the ones I did buy. I'm still working on it, but I've increased my stash of blender fabrics considerably. I now realize the blenders are just as important as the focus fabrics -- the ones that stop me in my tracks -- because without the blenders on hand, I'm at the quilt shop at the last minute paying full price for fabrics I could have gotten for $4.00 a yard on those specials I like to hunt down.
    MacThayer

  8. #33
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I try to build my stash at garage sales, thrift stores such as Goodwill, and auctions. I only buy at the fabric at the fabric store if I want it for a specific quilt. Still, I spend about $100 or more a month on threads, fabric or gadgets while I'm there on retreat or making a trip there between retreats.

    A few weeks ago I was in my favorite LQS and happened to drop in on their buyer. She was complaining because she hated raising prices on items but THEIR prices were skyrocketing too! It's not the fabric stores but rather the manufactures, the distributors, the price of raw goods, etc. making the prices go up. The fabric stores are just desperately trying not to go under. It's their misfortune that they're the ones we see so they have to take the heat from all of us.
    If no one ever experimented we'd all still be making 4 patches.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Cosy's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I purchased 3 yards of fabric (very pretty stripe in red, yellow, gold, looking very Christmasy) just because I liked the colors and the design and it was 1/2 price. Still haven't used it, don't know what I would use it for. So, usually, no, I don't buy unless I know what I am using it for. But I usually buy extra to build a stash, and often shop my stash to finish a project.
    eta: that's the only time I've bought just for the fabric, not a project, and since I haven't used it, probably won't buy that way again.
    Last edited by Cosy; 12-29-2011 at 11:25 AM.
    Cosy
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  10. #35
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    I'm at the point where I don't need a stash. I'm trying to reduce it so someone else doesn't have to dispose of it. It's amazing what can make with what they have. I also love scrappy quilts.

  11. #36
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    So.....I do purchase, mostly from Connecting Threads

    I get alot from Connecting Threads, also. They are having a very nice clearance sale right now! $ 2.48 & up. Batiks under $6.00. Shipping is fast.

  12. #37
    Super Member sylvia77's Avatar
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    I buy fabric on sale and when I absolutely have to have it.

  13. #38
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    Great idea, MacThayer! I'm gonna make a list!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  14. #39
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayzamn View Post
    The older quilters in my area are, apparently, going on to quilting heaven... because many of the estate sales down here are specifically saying "quilter's dream." ...Other than purchases like that, I don't buy except for specific projects.
    yes there have been a few of those estate sales in my area. there is a post of mine on this board where it was raining thread at an estate sale i attended. one estate sale taped the fabrics into bundles and priced them at $2/bundle. it is a good way to find stash fabric inexpensively. but other than that, i buy specific.

  15. #40
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    You are using the higher cost of fabric as an excuse to buy tons of fabric that you aren't using anyway (been there done that). How does that make sense? Especially if you have ANY $$ on credit cards costing interest! On the plus side, if you have no credit card debt, then it makes sense to buy backings - lots of yardage and many of us don't need a really specific fabric for the back.

    My suggestion is to stop buying the sale fabric. Start working on projects from the fabric you already have and buy locally for filler fabric. It will cost you LESS because you will only be spending money on a project you are working on now. It's hard, but I think in the long run you will be happier with stash that is regularly used. Remind yourself that if you died tomorrow, your heirs will sell your remaining fabric for 50 cents a yard. That's the average price I've paid for gorgeous fabric at estate sales.

    I was bad this year (an Asian collection that went from zero to 40 yards). It's ok though. I have now learned to occasionally give myself a break.
    Last edited by IAmCatOwned; 12-29-2011 at 04:48 PM.

  16. #41
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    I never buy for a specific purpose, OTHER than in the most general terms...I buy to fill out my palette so that i have a shade and tone i need when i need it...i live an hour from walmart and 3 hours from joanns and michaels... i need my fabrics now when i'm in the mood... having said that, i try to be efficient about it... when choosing fabrics for a new project, i shop in the stash...then i try to see what's missing... then i get out my paint chips and match for shade and tone to each of the stash fabrics... i use the chips to decide what i need to fill in and then take all the chips shopping with me...i look ONLY at what i need...and i am looking for color and texture, not the specific of the print... that will fit in if the color is right...

    PS...all my fabric and my sewing and knitting machines are in my will. My sons know where everything is to go and it is written down, officially.... i'm not giving up my quilting now to make it easy for the grown men i took care of ... payback time!!!! lol!!!!

  17. #42
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    My LQS just closes the doors with the final sale at 65% off....two yard minimum...I just added to my stash!

  18. #43
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I only buy fabric on sale, and in minimum 1 yd cuts. Since my favorite LQS (Hayloft) closed in November, I don't think I will be doing anything but buying online. I just can't see spending those exorbitant prices at other quilt shops that rarely have sales. I have been buying a lot of pre-cuts to use in charity quilts that I will make throughout the year. I also watch for sales on quilt backings, and will try to refill my stash of them.

  19. #44
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    I know what you mean. LOL I'm determined that I'm only going to buy fabric or other quilt related items, if I have to have it for a certain project. To make more room and give me some spending money, I'm also planning on trying to sell some upholstery/tapestry type fabrics that I've bought with the intention of making purses and totes, but have realized that I'm not going to live long enough to make them all up. LOL So, I've measured and written a short description, and taken pictures of the 56 pieces of fabrics, hopefully I'll be able to sell all or most of it. I' still have another 2 totes full to measure. LOL

  20. #45
    Senior Member sewnbug's Avatar
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    Since hubby was forced into early retirement, I'm on an NO BUY diet. lol

  21. #46
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    I am seeing sticker shock at my LQS, even online fabric, $10.85 a yard for new lines of fabric. So I am buying when they have a sale. Ericas is having a great sale January 1, a lot of fabric 40%-50% 0ff. I use my stash when I can, but if I don't add to it, evenually I will run out of fabric. So it really does make sence to buy 'on sale' fabric. I always try
    to have several patterns on my 'to do' list so when I find fabric on sale I can choose fabric for one of these patterns.
    I'm also looking for backing fabric for a couple quilts I have recently finished.

  22. #47
    Junior Member DixieLee's Avatar
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    I am trying real hard to use stash. I first pick out a project and then go through my stash which is organized by amount of fabric and find what I can there for the project. If it is impossible to find all the fabric I will then buy just one or two pieces to finish out the project. I look at fabric a lot but I am trying to resist the urge to just buy more because it always seems to be wrong when I get to the project.

  23. #48
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    I consider my stash to be extensive - but not compared with some I've seen in pictures here on the Board. However, saying that, if I see a fabric I love, I do buy it. I'm currently making a couple of scrappy quilts with my scraps and regular cotton stash (my batiks are for special occasions ). Finishing up the Scrappy Maple Leaf and working on Bonny Hunt's Orca Bay mystery quilt. I have a friend who runs a Local Quilt Shop, but I can't resist Hancock's of Paducah (not part of Hancock Fabrics). I buy there when they have their batiks on sale and Free Shipping. Their online prices are way better than the in-store prices (I went there last April) You can sign up for e-mails telling when the batiks are newly added to web sale and when they have free shipping.

    When I pass, my daughter is not going to know what to do with my stash so I guess I'd better put it in my will or in a letter to her.

    I am really enjoying this board.

  24. #49
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    I'm going to try the fabric moratorium for this year. I'm awful. I already have so much fabric in my stash that goes with nothing else. Extremely annoying. (I'm very frustrated with myself.) So, I'm going to try to use up what I have by using lots of black, white, or dark blue to mix in with all the odd prints that go with nothing else.(scrappy) That being said...I will make my last purchase today. But, with a specific quilt in mind. And come January I'm really going to try to be creative with what I have. I'm only going to buy fabric if I absolutely have to, to finish the project at hand. No bulk buying. I already stocked up on batting. Which will last for a little while. So, I may very well need some of that. But, NOT until later in the year, depending on how fast I get WIP's finished.(I will piece as many backings as I can). (I'm a terrible compulsive collector. I fight with myself constantly. But, truly I hate clutter. I have one and only one Double size closet (not a walk in) dedicated to fabric and all quilting supplies. I do not allow it anywhere else which helps control the compulsion problem.)

    So, my suggestion is to buy as needed for each project and have a couple projects on hand to work with and replenish as needed. And, I'm going to take my own advice. Good LucK! Happy Shopping! Happy Quilting!!
    My little shinning stars. Brantley, Kaylynn, and Emmalee

  25. #50
    Super Member Lucy90's Avatar
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    I have a small stash I got mostly from my cousin. I plan on going through it and buy blenders which I never thought of. Thanks for the tip. I also buy on line and sales.

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