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Thread: my sympathies for Canadian quilters.

  1. #1
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    I have lived in the US for the past 8 yrs. I am currently in BC on holiday, so of course I had to hit a few fabric shops. The first one I found was a Fabricland. Well...pick me up off the floor....their Average price for quilting cottons was $20/meter!! And it was not especially good quality....about the same as Joanns in the US that would go for about $7-8/yd.
    Next town, another Fabricland. I was leary, but went in anyway. Much better prices, but still fairly high for the quality...$10-15/meter. 3rd stop was an LQS. Much better quality, and expected prices...about $12-16/meter.

    I did pick up a few pieces in the second Fabricland for a childs' utility quilt. All pieces I purchased were on @ 30% off, so that was good.

    Patti

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Do they have different colors/patterns of fabric then we have here ?

  3. #3
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I'm Canadian & can tell you it's the same fabrics. We have moda and all the other brands. The prices are higher and the shops know that. So eBay and online stores become well known. I live on a border city so I can run over to joann's really easily but that isn't always the case. But you also have to think about it because our store sell in meters not yards so when to prices are close it's not so bad.

  4. #4
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Are the salaries higher in Canada to help with the pricing?

  5. #5
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    Minimum in Ontario is $10.50 now...

  6. #6
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    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

  7. #7
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Wow! I also experienced the same high cost of fabrics when I've been on cruises for the last several years. I'm thankful for the Internet and sales. It's not cheap to be a quilter!

  8. #8
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    The one place in Vancouver where fabric IS inexpensive is in Little India or any of the East Indian cloth houses .. however, they aren't geared to quilters but for chiffons, organzas and georgettes, that is the place to go .. they do have cotton prints but not like Moda or anything .. but to go into these places is a cultural experience ...

    Toby

  9. #9
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Fabric prices in Canada are relative to wages, although they sound high when compared to bargain shopping in the USA. Quality fabric from an LQS is $18 - $22 per metre for cotton. If you're buying all new fabric of good quality, a quilt is an expensive investment even before putting time into it.

    Ethnic fabric shopping is a good idea, and in a city like Vancouver there are certainly plenty of opportunities.

  10. #10
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    That is probably why I don't quilt .. I make bags ... I hardly have any cotton at all ... we are expecting our third grandson (first baby for oldest girl) in August and I am hoping to do a small quilt of squares or panels .. that will be my extent ..

    I have done one quilt top .. flannel .. was awful .. I have done quite a bit of crazy quilting with bead/button/ribbonwork .. I used to buy my fancy fabrics at the cloth houses ... I live in a largely East Indian area.

    I dont go across the border so I just pay the prices here :(

    Toby

  11. #11
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    wow, fabric is expensive, hope you can order it online,

  12. #12
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    I dont even bother ... by the time we pay the conversion (if there is any) and the tax, plus duty (depending on how THEY choose to send it), it doesn't save that much ... if I could go across to WA state and buy it, I probably would.

    Toby

  13. #13
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I ran into a quilter in Urbana, Il. that was purchasing a HUGE amount of fabric from one of our LQS's. She said that she was here visiting a friend. She was from Australia. She said that her friend was allowing her to leave all her clothes here so that she could fill her big suitcases with fabric to take home. She also told me that the following year she was going to come back with empty suitcases to refill with fabric. She said, "Since my clothes will already be here. . . . ." So, my suggestion to all you Canadian quilters is to make friends with someone on this side of the border, keep some clothes here and come on over once in a while with an empty car to fill.

  14. #14
    mrsdralshhadeh's Avatar
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    I am saddened by this as well,, I live in Puerto Rico,, and there are virtually NO fabric shops ehre. Unless you going to make curtains,,lol... So,,I have to start shopping online,,m ymommy (who live sin W.Pa) send me care packages every now and again,,, but I feel the pain with you Canada,,,, :cry:

  15. #15
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I live in Newfoundland and usually the fancier LQS will bring in "Lines" of fabric and charge accordingly, but if you're looking to buy nice fabric that matches but isn't necessarily all from the same designer, you can get really nice fabric for 10-12 a metre. I have two stores near me that try and keep their fabrics below 8.00 a metre and they are doing good with their aim so far!
    I too have visited B.C. and find that they have the highest prices I have seen anywhere. Satin Moon in Victoria charged me 22.95 for pretty flannel 6 years ago and I was silly enough to buy it for a rag quilt I was making for my daughter. I also used 4.00 flannel from Walmart and the quilt today after 5 years at university and countless washings? Can't tell the difference between the expensive and the "cheap"!

    And of course this factors into the store's bottom line. If you buy 12 metres of fabric in Canada you are actually getting 13 yards. Might not sound like much to us but for a store that is HUGE.

    Oh yes, one more thought... most of the stores I shop at here in Newfoundland sell fat quarter METRES! That extra little bit on a fat quarter is great!

    And you MAINLAND Canadian quilters who can drive across the brder? Lucky you! This is an island. CHEAPEST way off is ferry. Car retirn trip and one person driving the car? Almost 400.00 and three days to come and go! I'll just keep paying the exchange and the duty!

  16. #16
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    It is true. I was looking for fabric last night online and the blender fabrics here run any where from $12-$13 up to $20 for some batiks etc. So even when I take into consideration exchange, shipping, duty etc. I can usually find it cheaper in the US. Although I wish I could shop Canadian our pricing structure makes it hard.

  17. #17
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftybear
    wow, fabric is expensive, hope you can order it online,
    Some times ordering online doesn't help. Right now it's not so bad because the dollar is fairly close in value but you have to pay international shipping fees and then duty if it is over a certain amount. I live on a border city & there is a business in the US that is strickly for Canadians to ship to so you don' thave to pay the international shipping costs. it's a little crazy sometimes.

  18. #18
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    I live outside Toronto. The average price at my LQS is about $16/m. I am lucky enough to have Len's Mill close by, and the average price there is $6-$8/yd.

    In SK the prices were higher, even with lots of Wal-Marts carrying fabric. There is 1 LQS in Saskatoon, and I didn't find it til the day before I left!

    I live about an hour or so from Niagara Falls,NY so I run to Joann's when I can, or wait until I'm there camping.

    I don't order online because I just can't stand paying the shipping, it's not worth it to me.

    I do have friends in Niagara Falls,NY and we've sent things there, but sometimes I just want to get away and run down myself!

    My best friend lives in Houston and I'm hoping to get down the the quilt show in November, and I've already started saving for fabric!!!

    I guess we just do what we can with what we've got, and take advantage of the "deals" when we can get them!

    Theresa

  19. #19
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I live in Toronto and often travel to Buffalo to shop. Lucky me, I am only 1 1/2 hours away. I find the online shops too pricey to order from with the added shipping charges. There are a couple of shops nearby that have good fabric at low prices too, then there is Lens Mill, the best shop anywhere in Canada for fabric.

  20. #20
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Met a group of Canadian quilters while at the Lancaster PA show and they were stocking up on fabric, thread and other quilting supplies. Fabric in the Lancaster area is even cheaper than at our US quilt shops.
    Each year my friends and I spend a few days in that area for the show and lots of shopping at Zooks, Sauders, Country Store, Syliva's and several others along the way. May in Jersey

    PS. Anyone taking a trip to the area should remember most shops are closed on Sunday.

  21. #21
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    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

  22. #22
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    MrsColumbo... When I lived in the Vancouver area many years ago, I loved going to the shops in Little India. Because I had my own business at that time, I also shopped the wholesalers in Steveston and Richmond. I won't have time for shopping when I get back to the lower mainland....driving back down tomorrow, flying home early Saturday morning.

  23. #23
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    If you were going to be in this area longer I'd say we meet for some fabric chat :)

    Toby

  24. #24
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsColumbo
    If you were going to be in this area longer I'd say we meet for some fabric chat :)

    Toby
    That would be fun!!! I'll let you know when I will be back again. My family are in BC, so you KNOW I will be back. ;)

    Patti

  25. #25
    MrsColumbo's Avatar
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    That would be great ... what area do you visit?

    Toby

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