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Thread: Shopping for fabric - online, local store ???

  1. #1
    Super Member Ilovemydogs's Avatar
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    I always shop in a store, either lqs, walmart, etc. When I do the shop hop, you have access to a gazillion online sites to buy fabric. I have only ordered fabric twice on line. Only because I was looking for something specific and wasn't in a local store.

    My question is, how can you choose the fabric/store? Most of the stores have generally the same lines of fabric (example: Moda) Do you usually just find a favorite store and stick to that? I start looking at the fabric and there are sooo many choices. All I can think is that thank goodness I don't have the room or unlimited budget :lol:

    What are your thoughts??

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    For me it's been word of mouth and I won't buy anything with excessive shipping- that really turns me off!

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    When shopping for a particular line of fabric I search at quiltshops.com to find the best price. I've used several online stores that I found there and haven't had any problems.

  4. #4
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i shop by price and typically that means fabric.com (coupons and free shipping), thousands of bolts, quilt fabric closeout, whittles, etc.

    if i'm going to pay $8-$11 a yard for fabric online (basically retail but still cheaper then local) i use equilter because they donate money to a charity of your choice from a list.

    i figure if they all have that price might as well give it to the online company that does outreach work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member qbquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovemydogs
    I always shop in a store, either lqs, walmart, etc. When I do the shop hop, you have access to a gazillion online sites to buy fabric. I have only ordered fabric twice on line. Only because I was looking for something specific and wasn't in a local store.

    My question is, how can you choose the fabric/store? Most of the stores have generally the same lines of fabric (example: Moda) Do you usually just find a favorite store and stick to that? I start looking at the fabric and there are sooo many choices. All I can think is that thank goodness I don't have the room or unlimited budget :lol:

    What are your thoughts??
    I very rarely buy fabric online. When I know I'm headed to Fabric Shack, I will submit an order with "pick up on store on XX date" in the instructions. They'll hold it in the store for you :-). Otherwise, I only buy online if I win a gift certificate someplace or I'm looking for a certain fabric. I use the multi-store search that Fabric Shack belongs to and choose the store with the best price, provided of course that the shipping is reasonable. I hate buying fabric unseen and don't trust the colors on my monitor to be exactly true to life.

  6. #6
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I love Connectingthreads.com...and I also have had good luck on Ebay, and here! I don't mind not getting to see in person, and touch the fabric 1st...it is like Christmas when it comes in...I can't wait to tear into that package! That being said, I have some friends who really want to see it and touch it 1st...just a preference thing...what ever makes you happy, I say! When I do order online, I check the ratings of the seller, and I also like to get best deal on shipping...
    K

  7. #7
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    I have recently bought several fabrics on line and been very happy with them. I was looking for fall colors, both prints and blenders. I bought some from Quilters roost, Moda, Henry Glass, Thimbleberries, etc. All were $6 per yard and on sale for 20% off so I got them for $4.80 per yard! They are beautiful.
    I would only buy name brand fabrics on line. I have also had good luck with fabric for Missouri Quilt Co. I only buy on sale and often if you buy $35 or $50 you get free shipping.

  8. #8
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I have made stock in Connecting Threads go way up!! I love their line of the Quilters Candy.

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I signed up for the Fab Shop Hop a while back and discovered many places new to me. Some I liked, some I didn't for various reasons (high shipping, slow or not good customer service, etc.) I have my favorites I shop at, and still try new ones sometimes. I shop ebay if the deals are good. Most times you can find better deals in the online quilt shops. I have my favorite brands and am often looking for something in particular. I have only once been a little disappointed in my choice, but that's nothing considering how much I shop online! It will get used someday, probably for a quilt back.

    if you are looking for a particular fabric, start with a good search engine, such as:

    http://www.quiltshops.com/

    I go to Advanced Search, and click on Thumbnails so I can quickly search to see who has the fabric in the color I'm looking for. Then I check the prices, shipping and decide from there who to buy from.

  10. #10
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Our local quilt shop does not cary Civil War reproductions any more or 1930 reproductions. Also their sellection is limited and often when there is a key fabric from a certain line it is gone before I can get to it so online I go.

  11. #11
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I am a very fussy on-line buyer, but having said that, I buy a lot on line because I'm very busy and it's just easier. I have my two favorite places to go: Connecting Threads and Keepsake Quilting. I use them because I don't have to worry about the quality of the fabric. Even the fabric in the clearance area of both is just awesome. So they're dependable.

    I won't buy from Hancock ever again. Worthless stuff. Don't believe their reputation, or fall for their sales. I bought in a "hurry up" sale, and broke my own rules about asking for thread counts and samples. A couple of the fabrics were so thin, I thought they were going to fall apart in the pre-wash water right in the sink. The yellow bled so much, in cold water, that a bright yellow turned into something that only resembles yellow. But I won't natter on here.

    I've used several other sites, and before I'll buy, I've written and asked for thread counts of the fabric (if not listed), and often for samples of the fabric, especially if color is critical. If I don't get it, I don't buy. Most of the time, I get what I want. You have to learn to be a little bit demanding with these sites, in a nice way. If you were in a store, it would be nothing to ask about thread counts, or bring in a sample of what you want to match, contrast, etc., so you know you're getting the right color/print. Why expect less of an on-line store? They're still a store, and they should be providing you with proper service. Do this nicely, of course. I can't emphasize that enough. What's that old saying about getting more flies with honey than vinegar? I bend over backwards to be super nice, and then they want to be super nice with me. It works well. Even if they screw up, there is no place for a "bitch" in these transactions. Make them feel it must be your fault somehow, in some way, and then decide if the relationship is worth salvaging, but never burn any bridges.

    I have more than one seller on eBay working with me. They know what I like and will e-mail me personally if something comes in. Often they will present me with complimentary fabrics, and always give me the thread counts. They know I like fabric that's at least 200 threads per square inch, or more, and they don't bother me with anything less. I had one seller pull together all of the fabric I needed for a quilt. She did a beautiful job coordinating the colors and prints according to my specifications, and offered up fabrics I wouldn't have thought of, but which worked beautifully together. It helps that she's a quilter too, and has an excellent eye for color. So she saved me a ton of time, gave me more than what I wanted in terms of fabrics that were beautifully coordinated, including the backing, and I got a terrific e-Bay price to boot. How's that for a great deal?!

    So take all of the advice you've been given, and give on-line a try, unless you like visiting the quilt shops of course. But once you get on line, you'll be amazed by the variety that's out there.

    Warmest Wishes,

  12. #12
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    Our local quilt shop does not cary Civil War reproductions any more or 1930 reproductions. Also their sellection is limited and often when there is a key fabric from a certain line it is gone before I can get to it so online I go.
    If you come visit Tucson, the shop I work out has the entire back filled with repros!

  13. #13
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I shop locally most of the time. There are lots of local shops, all with good prices, excellent customer service and several have rewards clubs. I know the owners of many and they know me by name when I walk in. The money stays local and that's important to me. With rare exceptions, I can find what I want and need in a local shop...batiks, repros, contemporary prints, solids, blenders, whatever. :D

  14. #14
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Testing of merging and moving threads

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