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Thread: I cheated on my LQS

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I cheated on my LQS

    I love my LQS and the owner. We are good friends. I have to drive 45 minutes to her shop and she gives me 15% off. Well, I've been buying online now and again and a few days ago I went into her shop and noticed that her inventory is down quite a bit. She has a building behind her store with lots of long tables for classes and she keeps it open for anyone to come sew anytime they want. The day I went I could hardly find a place to shop because all the gals were sewing in the shop out back. They were having a great time together. Dawn says they do that all the time. I use to only shop from her and her shop was loaded with fabric and kits. Not so anymore. I think many people are shopping online now, getting better prices and more selection, and Dawn's shop is affected. I feel just horrible. I went there to pick up my quilt that her LAer quilted. Well, I bought a layer cake, but I needed a charm pack really, so she cut the layer cake into 5" squares for me while I waited. What a nice human being she is. And I bought more fabric from her that I didn't need but felt that I owed her. I had a king quilt and she squared it up for me for free, as usual. We visited for an hour. One person came in during that time. Not like the old days. I know prices are high at quilt shops, but she isn't trying to rip anyone off. She is making a business.

    She goes out of her way for me all the time. I call her whenever I have a problem sewing and need some math and she helps me. She knows I'm not good at picking out fabric, so she makes me kits out of fabric I like. I told her I was in a funk and needed to take a quilt class to get back into quilting and she asked me which teacher I wanted and then showed me a couple of patterns that I could choose from and then she wrote up a class. Just because I needed it. She is the greatest. And I've been cheating on her. If I would have spent my money in her shop, she would have more fabric, I guarantee it. I spend a lot of money on fabric. I think a lot of us are shopping on line now to get better deals and more selection and we are hurting our LQSs.

    I am going to stop online shopping for now. I know she doesn't have a lot of fabric I want, but she has the best eye for blending fabrics together. So, I will for now pick out a piece of fabric from her shop and have her make me a kit again. I need to be loyal. You know, she sells me 2" of fabric, if I need only that. She is all about the customer. She is everyone's best friend. She let me pick the teacher and the pattern and made a class just to get me back into sewing again. You can't find that online. She's the one who bound my last quilt because I don't like binding quilts and the gal that does it for her was unavailable. She cut all the 2 1/2" strips and sewed them together. She did it all. And charged me very reasonable. I bought fabric for the backing of a quilt I brought over and she took the backing fabric home and sewed it together...she even threw in a strip of another fabric to jazz it up...all for free. What online shop would even care about that?

    I think we all need to think about buying online and at stores that aren't quilt shops. What are we going to do if they all go out of business???? I rely on her so much. She helps me pick out what quilt pattern to use on my quilt. She teaches me the short cuts. She tells me which books to buy and which aren't worth my money. I take my quilt to be quilted to her and she sends it out and when she gets it back, she pays the LAer out of her till and holds on to my quilt until my payday until I can pay her. She ever said I could take my quilt and write a post dated check. What online store would do that?

    I say we celebrate our local quilt stores again. They got us quilting. Let's keep them in business!!!! We don't even know who the online store owners are. Could be big companies who don't quilt and maybe not even a woman in sight.

    She has my back. And she wants me to succeed. And I want her to succeed. I think we all need to support our local quilt stores and quit complaining about the extra money. She's not getting rich at her shop.
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  2. #2
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    I like what you wrote, Jeanne. I think, too, that shop owners need to understand the power of internet shopping and sell their stuff online. Sure, they may need to invest some capital to do it and that's hard. BUT, what if your lqs had kits online that you could browse from home at 11 pm (when I shop!)? Or go online and order something you saw in the shop but didn't buy at the time?

    I know that I prefer my lqs and I check out their website regularly, but they don't update their classes often and don't offer any products. I guess I want both - in store and online!

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I wish my local store was like that. They're not, so I don't feel any guilt about giving my business to others and buying over the internet. You're very lucky to have your LQS.

  4. #4
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UglyCook View Post
    I like what you wrote, Jeanne. I think, too, that shop owners need to understand the power of internet shopping and sell their stuff online. Sure, they may need to invest some capital to do it and that's hard. BUT, what if your lqs had kits online that you could browse from home at 11 pm (when I shop!)? Or go online and order something you saw in the shop but didn't buy at the time?

    I know that I prefer my lqs and I check out their website regularly, but they don't update their classes often and don't offer any products. I guess I want both - in store and online!
    I agree. A quilt shop in VT has gone online as well as keeping their shop, too. They are really doing great now.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  5. #5
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    I totally agree. We need to support small business - and quilt shops in particular, because they support what we love to do. I have a favorite LQS and I have gotten lots and lots of help with blocks, picking fabric, and an occasional "cheer up" talk when I needed it. (In fact, the owner just called me a few days ago and asked if I wanted a part-time job!! Not that we had ever talked about it, but she needs someone and thought I would have the skills and personality to fit in her philosophy for the shop... wow - my dream job dropped in my lap!) I have taken many classes at this shop and buy most of my fabric there. I have at times bought fabric or patterns online, but usually only when I needed a certain fabric and my LQS didn't have it or was out of it. You can get fabric somewhat cheaper online, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you don't have the personal connection with other quilters when you just click and checkout. That's worth paying a few extra dollars to me!

    There are no quilt police when it comes to choosing to shop at a LQS or online. But, as the former owner of a small business, I firmly believe we need to support these local shops. The owners really don't get rich, but most I think own and operate quilt shops because they love quilting and want to share their passion with others like us.
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  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I tend to feel the same way. I started feeling so guilty about my LQS that I ordered fabric from her which I could've ordered by myself online for $2/yd less. The kicker came when her supplier was late on the order and I ended up waiting 3 weeks for it. Hancock's always gets it to me in less than a week. None of it was her fault but I wanted my fabric.

    I suppose I will still order online, but will also buy from her on occaision.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Every time I pass my LQS, I stop in and buy at least a yard, whether I need it or not. It's not much but if everyone did it, it would it would certainly help.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  8. #8
    Junior Member SallySaidSew's Avatar
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    I love my LQS, too and try to support her by purchasing my fabrics, patterns and supplies from her. She knows though if she isn't able to get something that I need that I will go on-line to get it. She never makes me feel guilty either. Its the reality of living in a rural area. I live over 90 miles from the nearest big box fabric store and over 50 miles from the next nearest LQS so it is important to me that I send as much business her way as possible. Plus her friendship and quilting knowledge is something that I wouldn't get at a bigger store or on-line.

  9. #9
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I have one LQS. I went in recently and made a few purchases and the lady was actually friendly!! I stopped going in there years ago since the staff was never friendly to me. I once went in with my Mother and my sister and when we left my sister asked if they were always so unfriendly. I never said a word about the place to her ahead of time!! Even she could sense it. So that was the last time until recently.

    I buy a lot of fabric on line and at Joanns. I am happy with shopping all ways for fabric.
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  10. #10
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    You have to do what feels right in your heart and what you can financially afford. Maybe you could strike a better balance. Purchase from her what you can and when you can. There is nothing wrong with subsidizing your projects with some good internet bargains. It is important to support your LQS whenever you can, but competition can be healthy too.

  11. #11
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    I love my LQS's! My purchases fit into 2 categories, fabric/thread that I specifically need for a project and fabric/thread/books/notions that I purchase to inspire me and as the basis for future projects.

    I buy my specific project needs from LQS, on-line small sites, on-line mega-sites and Joann's, in that order. If an LQS has it in stock (or a close enough substitute), I'll pay the premium to try to keep them there. Because if they weren't there I would lose their counsel on 'What's the answer that I can't see', 'Which quilting pattern will accent the fabric/piecing the best', etc.; I'd lose the sensation of handling Hoffman, Kaufman, Moda, Marcus, Kona Bay fabrics; I'd lose the instant gratification of a quick show & tell. But if they don't and I need it, I'll try the other alternative.

    But I buy almost all my inspirational supplies from LQS's and I'm lucky to still have more than 10 within an hour's drive of my house or work, though it looks like we'll lose the Quilter's Coop in Temecula at the end of the year.

  12. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I love my LQS! It is about a 25-30 minute drive from my home. There is one that is about 10 minutes from my home where I bought my machine. I have been treated so poorly everytime I go in there that I refuse to give them any of my money. Since I purchased my machine 5 years ago, I can count on one hand the times I have been back to that shop and the amount I have spent in there (minus my machine) is less than $100. My favorite LQS is worth the drive. It is in an old house in the middle of a small town. There is a wrap around front porch with big wooden rocking chairs. Sometimes I just sit in one of them for a little bit before I go into the shop and sometimes when I am done shopping. The selection of fabrics is overwheming! The staff, including the owner, is always friendly and helpful. They greet each customer as they walk in the door and I know that smile on their face is genuine and sincere. We talk about quilting and everything else under the sun. This shop has a sale the first weekend of every month and they cater a free lunch for their customers. They also have email sales so if you are on their email list, you will get a special deal. I have spent more money there in the 2 years they have been open than I care to admit out loud. I do still shop online or here on the QB but it is usually for something the shop doesn't have. The owner has been talking since opening about going online. I hope they do that way I can order what I want and they will have it all cut for me when I go to pick it up. Sometimes, when I am feeling a little stressed and just overwhelmed by life itself, I will make the journey to "just look". As soon as I enter the shop, my mood feels lighter and all my troubles seem to vanish. I don't always buy when I am there but just to be surrounded by such wonderful people and the vast array of beautiful fabrics is the best medicine in the world. You can't get that from an online store, that's for sure!
    Last edited by auntpiggylpn; 08-14-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  13. #13
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I have a wonderful LQS - it is over 50 miles to get there one-way - I live very rurally. Anyway, I love the owners of the shop - I bought my longarm from them and have purchased a ton of fabric in the last couple of years. They help me with fabric choices and anything else I need. I actually compared their prices with some of the other shops that are an addition 50+ miles beyond my LQS (in a tax free state) and my LQS has better prices even with paying sale tax.
    Often if there is a little bit of fabric left on the bolt - I will get it for free - or she will charge me for 2 yds and I will get 2 3/4 yds - The only bummer is they have the shop for sale now - they just want to retire and its hard to do all the shows and take care of the shop. I always try to support local stores - esp. because I live so far out- I have heard others in my small town that never buy local - its too expensive they say. Well, its really expensive to drive 80 or 100 miles to save grocery money.
    I hope if someone buys the LQS that they are just as friendly as the present owners - I think it will be difficult to find anyone that can take on the financial reponsibility.
    That said, I also have an addiction to pre-cuts particularly, Moda, my LQS does not stock pre cuts at all - so I do not feel guilty for purchasing them online. As I say, I like to spread the love ($$) around.

  14. #14
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    I like to shop locally when possible. However as a retiree, my disposable income is limited. Still I do my best to support my LQS.

  15. #15
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I love my LQS and the owner..... She has a building behind her store with lots of long tables for classes and she keeps it open for anyone to come sew anytime they want. The day I went I could hardly find a place to shop because all the gals were sewing in the shop out back. They were having a great time together. Dawn says they do that all the time.....
    The part of your post about the "building out back, lots of tables, open for anyone sewing, the gals do it all the time"......sounds like something this LQS owner could "build" on perhaps. If the space is really good, the lighting is wonderful, the atmosphere friendly and welcoming, and many shoppers/quilters avail themselves of it, maybe she could begin to make this more of a focus. Perhaps these quilters would be interested in helping her "buy" fabric, committing to paying for so-and-so many yards of this pattern and that pattern if she will order it, receive it, and cut their individual purchases at a discount before putting what's left out on the sales floor.

    I see this as sort of a buying club, charge a nominal 'membership fee' if she wishes or can, and make sure those who come sew with her have first shot at any new inventory. She will be able to afford to sell this to them at a 15%, 20%, even 25% discount because before the bolt even comes into her store, she will have a certain number of its yards already guaranteed sold. What a great bennie for any shop owner!

    The quilters will benefit because they won't have to pay shipping as they would with an on line purchase (a shop's cost of shipping is figured into the price per yard of the goods). They will be getting a discount, which is usually why we buy online. AND they will have had a say in what is selected from the fabric vendor and see the fabric samples before they are ordered (isn't that part of our complaint about buying online - we don't get to "feel" it, see it?)....3 good reasons for them to buy from her rather than online!

    I believe out LQS need to continually reinvent themselves in these days, not just change displays and add new classes and samples. Sales of locally produced patterns. Retreat-like weekends where a (small-fee) paying customer group gets a mystery quilt design and a discount on their fabric choice for the mystery (the earlier before the weekend that they buy the better the discount?) and they can all work on it during the weekend. If there is a deli nearby, take the quilters' orders and monies, pick up, serve, and clean up after so they can concentrate on just sewing. Pamper!

    Just starting the brainstorming gets the juices and ideas flowing to help her!

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  16. #16
    Junior Member SallySaidSew's Avatar
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    Jan - what fabulous ideas! I am going to share with my LQS owner tomorrow night during our weekly open sew session.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I understand and maybe I would prefer LQS if money was not an issue but it is. So I will go where the price is right. I would love to be able to support all local shops but the reality is they are so expensive that I feel guilty even going to browse since I know I cannot afford to buy.
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  18. #18
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    i boycotted a snooty lqs in town, a long list of reasons why- i dont ever buy anything in there.. no guilt here..

    But... i do love Joe.. and I frequent his lil place every week.... I spend waaaay to much but i dont mind spending it his way.. The customers that walk into his place he treats them like friends hes known all his life..

  19. #19
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I hear you, anytime I get birthday, mothersday, or christmas money I blow it all at my LQS it may be more expensive but I too know the value of having one. I do buy online, but it is hard to match up fabrics online so I reserve the fabric shopping for the store and buy only fabrics I know what they look like online that my LQS doesn't have. I too believe it doesn't take much to support your LQS but I also think the ones that are successful are because they sell online, they sell machines, they offer lots of different classes. Some people are just really good about business

  20. #20
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    One thing that they LQS owners have to do is keep up to date. It isn't "our obligation" to keep them in business if money is the bottom line. IOW, if we want the money to stay in our pocket, we don't have to pay the high prices. But, of course, the result might be they go out of business,

    HOWEVER, it sounds like your LQS is adjusting--she has more places for people to sew, etc. She probably makes money somehow doing that.

    Many times people here in Poland think that they are "obligated" to keep every little store in business when the owner hasn't a clue about capitalism and the way it works. Sometimes they just need to go out of business (I'm talking locally here--not your LQS). The successful business owner/entrepreneur will find his/her niche and fill it. There are many things a small store can do better than a big one, and often, that personal touch is it. If that is worth it to you, then go for it.

    We all have to adjust for tougher times economically--we do what we can--whether it is cut out going out to eat (if restaurants go out of business, does anyone care?) or eating cheaper cuts of meat (if meat producers go out of business does anyone care)? The bottom line is, you care more about your money than anyone else. Spend it however you want and don't feel guilty because of your choices.

  21. #21
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    We have a LQS that is huge. Love going there. In a very very small town in kansas. if you're ever in Kansas look for Alden.....and the staff is good. Friendly, helpful, know where things are, take time to discuss options. But I also look online. Thing about shopping at LQS, I want to "see" the fabric, feel it, lay several out together to get a better idea of what I'm looking for. it's a mix of both - online and LQS, but I do prefer the Alden store. So much fabric, neatly arranged, easy to find what I'm looking for, and just fun!

  22. #22
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I order kits from Connecting Threads and Keepsake Quilting because I'm TERRIBLE at choosing what would look good in a quilt. BUT the last time I visited our LQS, I took a pattern I wanted to use and the owner (Ann) helped me pick out fabrics that would look good in a guilt. I'm a newbie and I'm still thinking "coordinate" like you would if making a dress.

  23. #23
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    I love our LQS, but prices are quite high. I know they are the best, but if they could have an area with a collection of more affordable fabric, I would go there more often. When they have their 50% off sale I go, but I can't afford $12.00 a yard fabric, I just can't.

    I also don't buy online, because I am afraid the color isn't going to be right. I may buy a yard or so online, but not a whole lot. I have to feel the fabric. Mom taught me that! Sometimes I can get a fabric with a real good feel at JoAnn's or Hancock and then I load up.

    I do not feel guilty one bit at all about where I buy my fabric. Actually, I was out this past Saturday and bought some fabric at a garage sale for $2.00. One was Hoffman's Tiffany Windows. Now that is a gorgeous piece of fabric. I don't know when I will use it, but if I need it, I have it.

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  24. #24
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Great post, Jeanne. Sadly, many people won't "get" it until all great small businesses like this are gone. Your shop is exceptional, but even those that don't offer as many perks need to be supported if we want to keep them. Your reasoning is exactly the reason why I no longer shop at Walmarts or any of the stores they own (Sam's, Hibbett's). Walmart has destroyed many a small business and community and I won't help them do it any longer. A lot of things are more important than the "lowest price". Good for you, getting the word out about supporting your LQS.
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  25. #25
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    I haven't been ad loyal either. My local quilt shop has always been very helpful, but I can't seem to get motivated. I am vowing to nmIgo.in at least once a month when they have sit and sew. I miss being there

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