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Thread: my sympathies for Canadian quilters.

  1. #26
    Senior Member kclausing's Avatar
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    Sounds like Canadian quilters need to team up with a US buddy, who can pick up and ship them quilt fabrics. And just pay through pay pal.

  2. #27
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kclausing
    Sounds like Canadian quilters need to team up with a US buddy, who can pick up and ship them quilt fabrics. And just pay through pay pal.
    I do this periodically for a friend in NS. Some websites won't ship to Canada, so she buys and has it sent to me. I then send it to her and she sends me $$ for the shipping to her.

    Patti

  3. #28
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsColumbo
    What part of NL are you in Mamagus? I will be in St. John's mid June and know absolutely NO one there who sews!! I lived there for 18 yrs and have been in BC for 5 1/2 .. going to visit my daughter who went back in November for three weeks, got a job and is still there!! When I lived there I didn't sew, I made mohair bears and there was nowhere to buy my supplies .. I had to order it from either CA or Toronto .. I only know Fabricville .. dont tell me there are others ??? I see an empty suitcase coming with me LOL Maybe I'll have to leave some clothes behind.

    Toby
    I am in the Clarenville area and sadly, I think Fabricville is probably your best choice while "in town". They have really expanded their quilting fabric section. Piecemakers in Paradise is really expensive and Ed at Sewing World doesn't have much of a selection. There's also a small store in the Piper Plaza at teh beginning of Commonwealth Avenue just off Topsail Road.
    If you're planning on driving there are several out around Bay Roberts including Wescals and if you're coming to Clarenville, Mercers on Marine Drive and WAVE creations in Harcourt are two good, reasonably priced stores. MY ABSOLUTE favorite store on the island is C&M Crafts in Carmanville but that is a LONG drive! Not do-able in a day for sure!

  4. #29
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    I won't be outside the city at all as I'll be there only for four days .. my mom is in a retirement home in Paradise so I will try that one you mentioned and my daughter lives in Airport Heights .. Fabricville is always good, they are related to our Fabricland out here ... I have been to Clarenville numerous times when I lived there .. it was a weekend away with the old bf to a nice motel down from the Irving ... nice area ...

    Toby

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kclausing
    Sounds like Canadian quilters need to team up with a US buddy, who can pick up and ship them quilt fabrics. And just pay through pay pal.
    Good idea but the shipping and duty charges can be a killer. If any US quilters want to help a Canadian quilter they need to check all possibilities for shipping. sometimes the flat box rates are higher than using a large brown envelope . I am a Canadian Quilter in Southern Alberta. I get a lot of my fabric by ebay and some online stores. I watch for sales or good deals at these sites and even with shipping it is cheaper. Have to be careful of amount. If I order over a certian amount I have to pay "duty" on top to cross the border. It can be very frustrating. :-(

  6. #31
    Junior Member fsmcm's Avatar
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    I live in Calgary and do most of my fabric shopping on-line. I have ordered many many times through the US quilt shops and only once have had to pay duty and it was minimal and I still saved. I have even ordered a box of quilt batting, never paid duty and still came out about $80 in the black. When I figure in the shipping and exchange, I'm still ahead of the game. I have some favorite shops that I frequently check on line.

    I was in Montana doing a shop hop of my own a couple of weekends ago. I was slightly over my limit, claimed it coming across the border..."Thank, have a good day." The prices in the US are at least 1/2 of what is charged here. I now have a account set up with a shipping outlet near the border and can have my fabrics etc. shipped there for a very minimal fee. This takes advantage of some of the "free shipping" offered by some shops. I still go occasionally to my LQSs (though one shop is higher priced that the others in town)but usually keep my purchases to a minimum, or something I need right away, or if they are having a big sale. When I visit family in Ontario, I usually check out the shops there, but the prices are pretyy much the same.

  7. #32
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    Tell me about it. We pay double for almost everything here in Canada. I shop till I drop when in the States and rarely buy any fabric or quilting supplies here in Ontario, unless in a real bind. Oh and lets not forget our 13 % sales tax. Yeah Canada!

  8. #33
    Senior Member kclausing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gennynut
    Quote Originally Posted by kclausing
    Sounds like Canadian quilters need to team up with a US buddy, who can pick up and ship them quilt fabrics. And just pay through pay pal.
    Good idea but the shipping and duty charges can be a killer. If any US quilters want to help a Canadian quilter they need to check all possibilities for shipping. sometimes the flat box rates are higher than using a large brown envelope . I am a Canadian Quilter in Southern Alberta. I get a lot of my fabric by ebay and some online stores. I watch for sales or good deals at these sites and even with shipping it is cheaper. Have to be careful of amount. If I order over a certian amount I have to pay "duty" on top to cross the border. It can be very frustrating. :-(
    If sent by a private party with no claimed value on the package, can they really charge duty?

  9. #34
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    I've only paid duty once and that was on a purchase through a store. No I don't think there would be a problem with a private party no that you say that!
    So any of you US quiltiers willing to buy and ship for us Canadian Quilters?!!

  10. #35
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    When I lived in Newfoundland I was making mohair bears and a friend in NJ and I decided to do an exchange .. I sent her a bear I made that was valued at about $100. thru Canada Post .. she got it fine and paid no duty .. when hers came, she put a value of $40.00 on it and sent it UPS not realizing that UPS is much better used within the US but sending to Canada UPS is awful ... they tried to charge me $80.00 "brokerage fees" plus some kind of tax .. I refused it and it was sent back to her ... she sent it back to me and I received it (two months later) via USPS .. when that came to the door I was met with a $70.00 duty bill even though she had "gift" on it and it was still $40.00 .. why? Because she had "Charlene's Bears" in her address label so they classified it as a business .. I sent it back again.

    If you receive anything from an individual, it is fine and can be called a "gift" but "Charlene's Bears" even though it was a sewing machine in her living room, they call a business and it could not be a "gift" .. she returned it to me again with just her name on it and I was charged NOTHING ... hence I don't order anything anymore from any business or stores in the US ..

    Toby

  11. #36
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    Here in the UK the minimum price for a meter of fabric is 10 that is about US $15..! I was looking for some moda marbles yesterday and in the US they range from $7 - $8.60. Here in the UK Moda Marble range from 9.50 - 11.00, that is more than double the price in the US. I have ordered fabric from the US, but by the time I have paid postage and then Customs and VAT and the 9.00 the Post Office charge to collect the customs and VAT it makes is more expensive than buying it here.

    You US ladies are so lucky! If I ever get to the US I am not bringing any clothes... just empty suitcases for fabby!

    Hugs

    Caroline

  12. #37
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    Thank goodness for the online shopping. All you need to consider is the shipping costs.

  13. #38
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    Shipping is costly when it's coming to Canada ... it isn't even worth it for me to order from the US ... if I pay $30.00 a meter for fabric here (which I do because I very seldom buy cotton, only upholstery, tapestry), getting it from the US for the same quality may cost me $20.00 but tax and shipping plus the dollar conversion brings me up to about $29.00 .. I prefer to feel the stuff in person, not get it here and realize it's not near what I want in quality then having to ship it back at my own expense.

    Toby

  14. #39
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    I grew up in Delta in B.C. and still have extended family there on the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island, so I keep in touch. My sister (who does not make quilts) has a terrible time both finding ready-made clothing (to fit her and her taste and her budget) and dealing with the shock of the fabric prices.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Sewlmatesister's Avatar
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    First of all ...we have free trade....there is no such thing as DUTY on fabric....all you pay if anything is the tax....13% in Ontario. I buy once a year in Lancaster PA and 90% of everything is else is on line shopping... 8 yds quilters cotton can be fit into a flat rate envelope..$12.00...that makes each yd ..$1.50 more per yd with free shipping (just converting my cost)..., I never pay the Tax(duty as some call it) on a package that size. Only if I buy a large package over..with costs much higher have I ever paid...still a HUGE bargain!!

  16. #41
    Junior Member keesha_ont's Avatar
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    Fabric is so much more expensive here in Canada than in the States. I purchase a lot of fabric online - even with the exchange and postage I save a lot of money. I drool when I see fabric online for $3.99 a yard when its probably about $15.99 a yard here. Road trips to the States for a week are fun because stopping at quilt shops is a priority. In august 4 of us ladies are going to Lancaster for 5 days to shop for fabric.

  17. #42
    Junior Member keesha_ont's Avatar
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    I buy a lot of fabric online - have never paid duty!! SOmetimes a couple of us will order and ship together to save on shipping prices. Recently I purchased about $75.00 worth of fabric from thousands of bolts - no duty!! Here it would have cost me about $200.00 for the same fabric.

  18. #43
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    My main reason for not ordering online is because I don't buy cotton .. if I were a quilter or used cottons for my bags, I may .. but when I inquired with a US company about shipping for 2 yds of their tapestry at $20.00 a yd (I would pay $32.00 here for similar) .. the shipping was going to be astronomical .. far more than the gas I would burn going 15 km to buy it locally .. for me, it just wouldn't balance out .. and yes, I would pay tax/duty and GST because of the weight and the cost .. in addition they used UPS which would have incurred a brokerage fee .. plus I couldn't feel the quality ... I know gals who go to their own quilt shop and see, feel the fabrics and then order it online and of course if you are ordering Moda or something like that, Moda is Moda no matter where you get it ..

    Toby

  19. #44
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsColumbo
    I live in BC and yes, our prices are a lot higher than what you pay in the US .. I moved here from the East Coast (of Canada, in Newfoundland where I spent 18 yrs) 5 1/2 years ago and it's even higher there due to the high cost of getting it up so far and across the water ...

    Salaries in Canada are higher than in the US by far, particularly here in BC ... the cost of living in BC is extremely high, especially in Vancouver where I live ... people here just don't bat an eye about the fabric prices .. to order from the US isn't feasible when you tack on exchange, taxes and possible duty (depending on method of shipping) so we just pay it ... I just paid $20.00 for a meter of cotton today at Fabricland .. I just got my regular membership 20% off ...

    If you get a chance to visit Fabricana you will really be blown away .. I dont know where you are holidaying but there is one in Richmond and one in Coquitlam ... I've only been to the Coquitlam one .. they have Amy Butler, Kaffee Fassett, Asian prints, etc ... great store but also expensive and nothing off unless they happen to be running a sale .. they do have sale fabrics on the side wall though ... probably our sale equals your regular price fabrics though.

    Toby
    Any good shops in Bellingham? Doubt Blaine would have much, but Bellingham might or is it worth a day trip to Seattle?

    (I'm still a Canadian.)

  20. #45
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    I hear there are good shops over that way, about five ..
    unfortunately I am unable to travel to the US.

    Toby

  21. #46
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    Could you maybe go to place like secondhand shops, purchase shirt, blouses,etc and use that kind of fabric? After all :) the pioneers did that.
    Good luck - Karin

  22. #47
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    Yes, I probably could however I've always lived in Canada so I've never known any other prices for fabrics and I dont mind paying ... when I lived in NL I had to order my mohair for my teddy bears from CA till I found a supplier in Toronto ... the US company did send it through duty free and I usually only ordered 1-2 meters at a time as it was between $70-100.00 a yd .. the shipping wasn't too bad and I didn't have to pay any conversion or tax then ... once I found the Toronto shop, I would bring back 3-4 meters when I'd go up 1-2 times a year on business .. now I've traded mohair for fabric .. far cheaper.

    Toby

  23. #48
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    I feel bad about my previous comment - making a scrappy quilt out of whaterver is one thing - making an heirloom piece is another. I mean, why would I want to spend 1-2 years on a quilt pieced out of salavation army remnants? So, ladies, there are always two sides to a story.
    however, I did make a nice t-shirt quilt out my granddaughters hand-me-downs. And the dog received a quilt out of flannel scraps. What a lucky dog :)
    Karin

  24. #49
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    Hi,
    I live in Calgary as well and find the prices here very high at the LQS. What online shops have you found that you like and have had success getting here at cheaper prices? Thanks

  25. #50
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarinSt
    I feel bad about my previous comment - making a scrappy quilt out of whaterver is one thing - making an heirloom piece is another. I mean, why would I want to spend 1-2 years on a quilt pieced out of salavation army remnants? So, ladies, there are always two sides to a story.
    however, I did make a nice t-shirt quilt out my granddaughters hand-me-downs. And the dog received a quilt out of flannel scraps. What a lucky dog :)
    Karin
    I do think there is a place for hand me downs definitely (I speak as someone who is from a family of 8 boys and 6 girls and a seamstress mother) .. I have gone to consignment shops and bought a couple of very elegant blouses which I used in some of my crazy quilted bags ... however, the last piece I brought home smelled so bad that I couldn't even use it .. I didn't notice it till I got it out of the store and into the car ... it met the first trash can I could find on the way home ..

    Toby

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