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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Patty22
Date: 09-08-2006, 05:13 PM (1 of 22)
After taking a peek in the local quilt shop and seeing that the prices of the fabrics are steadily climbing.... I began to wonder about how much other quilters are willing to pay for their fabric. I choked a little when I saw $8.10 a yard in the spring.

After being around fabric all my life, I wondered if there would ever be a point when even though I saw fabric I loved that I would just admire from a distance rather than buy. I'm think the day has come. The price is $9 a yard for 44-45" wide cotton.

Just wondering if any of you quilters have an opinion about this.

I never realized how a stash of fabric is now a mega investment. How do you new quilters manage? (I have fabric that I'm still using that I bought in the 80's and my limit back then was $4 a yard......which I thought was highway robbery at the time :sad: )

Am I just showing my age here?
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: HeyJudee
Date: 09-08-2006, 06:10 PM (2 of 22)
Well, I can tell that you haven't been shopping for fabrics in :Canada:! At the local quilt shops in Ottawa, the new bolts of fabric are running from $19.99 (all my prices are CDN) to $21.99 / meter (39"). You can sometimes find bolts from previous years that are $14.99 to $18.99 /meter.

I have already been paying those prices...although if I have a choice between two, I will try to buy the lower cost fabrics. Generally I wait until there is a sale somewhere and go pick up what I can...thus increasing that good old stash!

I have a member's card and I do shop at Fabricville (in Gatineau) & Fabricland (in Ottawa). They have less of a variety of cottons but the prices run from approx. $8.99 to $14:99 regular cottons and up to $18.99 /meter for batiks. They do have monthly members sales that are advertised and I often pickup things cheaper then...notions like blades for my cutters, etc. too. Sometimes they have eye catching fabrics...like the red tulip fabric I got at a Fabricland in Ottawa but it was 9.99 a meter (and I didn't get it on sale).

When I am at Walmart I usually check out the fabric department but in :Canada: we don't have a $1 or $2 table that I hear everyone in the :USA: boasting about picking up material. The Walmarts here carry a good selection of quilting fabrics but I guess I am spoiled because I don't often find fabric that I really want. Their fabrics are generally from $6.98 to $9.98 a meter.

So Patty...come shopping across the border and when you go back the prices won't look so bad! :bg:
TTFN from
Judy
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: Chrysantha
Date: 09-08-2006, 08:37 PM (3 of 22)
I don't buy cheap fabric....unless it's good fabric on sale.
$7.98 and up is about what I pay...(unless my dealer has a sale.) or I wind up at JoAnn's (where they don't carry the 'good' stuff..Kaufmann, Kona Bay, Hoffman, Fossil Fern, etc).
I also like to buy Asian brocades...$15. and up....
But I figure if I'm wearing it, or making a quilt out of it. I want it to feel good and L A S T.
So call me a free wheeling spender...and proud of it...
:bg:
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: plrlegal
Date: 09-08-2006, 09:53 PM (4 of 22)
Patty most of your good quilt fabrics, i.e., Kaufman, Kona Bay, etc. will start at $7.99 and go up unless you happen to be on Hancock's mailing list then you can use your 40% off coupons which makes several yards of good quilting fabric a little less expensive. I'm with Kath, if I'm going to put my time and energy into making a quilt, I certainly don't want it to fall apart the first year. Sometimes at JoAnn's and Wal-Mart, if you know your fabrics, you can pick up a decent piece here and there but for the most part, they tend to be the lower end calicos, etc. If I need solid color backgrounds or blocks, I go for the Kona cottons as they don't fade, run and are very easy to work with without a lot of stretching, etc. Quilting can be a very expensive hobby but I tend to use coupons and go for 50% off notions/thread sales, etc. and if I see a piece of fabric that I can't live without or that I think is in short supply, I will pay whatever the store is asking for it because I know if I try to wait until it's on sale when I go back it won't be there any longer and I will be terribly aggravated.

Patsy
Patsy
User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: Skye
Date: 09-08-2006, 10:18 PM (5 of 22)
I pay 2.5- 3 times that amount for my fabric where I live - that is the norm. I have been known to pay a little more for a "got-to-have" fabric. I agree you have to check the quality high price doesn't always mean quality but that usually is the rule.
Sewing and quilting keeps me sane tho' my DH might say otherwise when things are going wrong :bg:
User: Skye
Member since: 09-28-2000
Total posts: 233
From: bridesmom
Date: 09-09-2006, 12:12 AM (6 of 22)
Another :Canada: here and I almost choked on my tea when I read you were paying up to $9 a yard. I WISH!!
We rarely get fabric for under $14 a meter (39") here. Lots of gorgeous quilting shops but $$$ fabric. I try to get down to Joanns in Washington when I can and watch for sales. I like the quality of the more expensive fabrics, but....I want to make a king size quilt for our room, its going to cost me an arm and a leg at these prices!
Laura
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: Patty22
Date: 09-09-2006, 09:56 AM (7 of 22)
After ruminating about this all evening I realized that the cost of fabric is prohibitive to many individuals. I have only purchased specific brands and they have always been the best the industry could offer at the time (remember early 80's there was only Cranston and VIP which today would be considered "low end"). My other fabrics I bartered services (making store samples) or won in quilting contests. I did buy beautiful reproduction prints (when they weren't that popular early on) from Reproduction Fabrics in MT and did lots of mail order to Japan. I just want to make sure the art/craft transends this generation into the next and was wondering how other quilters with young families were able to do purchase fabric. Some of the new lines of fabric coming out are quite beautiful. Recently I've noticed Windham (Baum Textiles) has been producing the most authentic reproduction prints around.

After reading the posts, maybe my questioning should be redirected to American quilters.

To my Canadian quilters I want to explain that I'm not cheap. Maybe as the years have passed other costs of living have overtaken our budget such as health insurance (even with health insurance a visit to the hospital for 14 hours we were billed $10,300 and that was only for some tests - no surgery.) The least expensive policy we could get is $760 a month and that doesn't include trying to help our kids with their insurance and RX's that aren't covered.

I'm not cheap, I'm just over taxed with the cost of living. :sad:
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: MissTaraTara
Date: 09-09-2006, 11:35 AM (8 of 22)
I'm not cheap, I'm just over taxed with the cost of living. :sad:

I agree that the cost of fabric is steadily rising. My local Walmart does not carry a wide array of fabric (none of the 4 in my town do). Usually it carries the same thing from year to year. Most of my fabric purchases are made online because I don't like shopping. By the way, my friend and her husband are both retired. They must provide their own medical insurance = $1200 per month.:shock:

I'm with Kath, if I'm going to my time and energy into making a quilt, I certainly don't want to go fall apart the first year.....but I tend to use coupons and go for 50% off notions/thread sales, etc

When I buy locally I, too, tend to wait and stock up on sales days and always use my 40-50% off coupons at JoAnn and Hancock. I have yet to begin quilting. My sewing is mostly for my daughter so I tend to buy washable fabrics...mostly cotton and I've found some nice ones on the clearance table. I have accumulated quite a stash over the years. It forces me to really think about every purchase as I know once I go home I'll have to find a place to put it. I think the most I've ever paid per yard was $12. Of course when I got it home I didn't want to cut into it. I still have it around here somewhere?
User: MissTaraTara
Member since: 01-24-2006
Total posts: 227
From: Mom of Six
Date: 09-09-2006, 12:04 PM (9 of 22)
OK I am CHEAP. I won't buy fabric if I can buy the item for 1/2 the price already made. I shop at Walmart & JoAnns markdown/sales only.
I don't quilt much I like to make Kids clothes &clothes for myself. I have never had a problem with my cheap fabric falling apart (except some I kept way too long & not stored properly). I have been sewing enough to be able to tell by the feel if it is going to hold up for what I am making. I very rarely pay more than $4 yd. for anything I buy.
Barb
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Patty22
Date: 09-09-2006, 01:13 PM (10 of 22)
Barb......

I saw the pictures of the cute outfits you made for the little girls. I don't think of you as cheap and those little girls didn't look into the camera thinking you were cheap.

Because you want to give to others, you shop wisely.
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 09-09-2006, 01:13 PM (11 of 22)
I'm with you Barb.. I watch for sales and I can tell by touch what is good and what is not.. I chuckled when I read back up in this thread where someone said Cranston VIP was "low end" fabric.. That is my favorite in all the cotton world.. No fading, no shrinking, no off grain ever... I don't care if other brands cost $100. per yard, you cannot beat it for quality..
Sew With Love
Libby
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: Patty22
Date: 09-09-2006, 01:37 PM (12 of 22)
Libby...

I had said that VIP and Cranston were about the only cottons available in the early 80's. Now, many consider those low end; especially compared to some of the fabrics labeled "Quilt Shop Only."

Those VIP and Cranston have held up very well over the years in quilts I had made for lots of wear and washing. I made a quilt for one son with blocks from a friendship group. I gave it to my son when he was six and he has taken this quilt everywhere. The funniest time was when I found it stuffed in the bottom of a duffle bag filled with dirty t-shirts (he had packed his own clothes to go to lacrosse camp.) bwhahahaha That was 21 years ago.

I think for fabric to jump from $8.10 to $9 in a period of four months is taking a major jump. I was just wondering if this was going to become the trend (steady price increases quarterly).

I don't think that just because fabric comes from a quilt shop that it is necessarily better. I still judge fabric for it's hand and prior results using the manufacturer. Sometimes I need it specifically for the color. (I wasn't one to get into dying fabric because my luck I would have breathed in all the dyes.) :bolt:
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: esrun3
Date: 09-09-2006, 08:15 PM (13 of 22)
Patty, I agree fabric going up, up, up. While I don't consider myself cheap I consider what I'm making too as far as where I buy my fabric. Quilting fabrics I tend to spend a little more on, if I'm making something for the kids, cheaper fabric will work-they outgrow faster than they wear it out. I have a limit-I've often walked away from fabric that I really liked but wouldn't lay out the money for-someitmes I go back for it in the end but most of the time not. It's just something I can do without. So..shop frugally (coupons, sales, discount stores) but be sure you are getting the quality you need/want.
Lyn
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: lvquilts
Date: 09-10-2006, 09:05 AM (14 of 22)
Boy oh boy do I agree fabric is getting pricey! However, where I am in Western NY it's not as bad as others. Quilt stores are typically $9 a yard. However, there is an area about an hour south of me that has several stores run by Amish people. They have the name brands (Kauffman, Benartex, etc) for as little as $5 a yard. The only kicker is that it isn't the latest prints, it's usually a couple of seasons old. Every so often a bunch of us go together and hit up all the shops.
User: lvquilts
Member since: 07-16-2006
Total posts: 29
From: Patty22
Date: 09-10-2006, 10:15 AM (15 of 22)
How many of you are willing to recycle fabric in order to use it in your quilts? For example saving old jeans, flannel shirts, etc.? The clothing would be in good condition but just not worn much or out of style.

Are you willing to pay big dollars for quilting fabric if the quilt is being made for someone other than yourself?

I am also willing to wait for a fabric to go on sale or be "out-of-season" in order to get it at a price I can afford. My question is.....when you find a great piece of fabric, do you buy it knowing that you will be able to utilize it, or do you only buy for your current projects?

What do you consider a stash? I could sew continuously for the next 5 years (making at least one quilt a month) without running out of fabric. But sometimes I just need one or two pieces of fabric to make the quilt special. Would any of you just do with what you have, or would you bite the thimble and go out and purchase more fabric?
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: Chrysantha
Date: 09-10-2006, 08:54 PM (16 of 22)
In Canada...do you have to pay import duty on mailed items ???
I've been mailing items to Spain and 'sandy places' for quite awhile now. I wouldn't mind helping out, mailing fabric for someone...but if the duty and mailing cost what fabric in Canada costs, it's not worth the trouble.
Let me know...

Kath (inFL)
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: Magot
Date: 09-10-2006, 09:11 PM (17 of 22)
Specailist quilting fabric in the UK is about 9 + a meter
($16-17 per yard -ish or $19CND-ish)
I like to reuse fabric - my quilts are made from fabric that I have used when dressmaking or from fabric sample books. For highlights on a quilt I would maybe buy one or two fat quarters (about 2.50 to 3.50 = $4.5/6.5 or $5.25-7.3CND) jus to lift something. I often get hold of cheaper material for backing (it is sometimes cheaper to buy a sheet that get the fabric) and so quilts don't cost me that much and I have memories stored in them with love. My advent quilt was made mostly with Tony's old shirts and a couple of highlight fat q's. Batting is relatively cheap and I got a sheet in the sale for the backing -bargains!
love and kisses, Jan
Guts-R-Us
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: Chrysantha
Date: 09-10-2006, 09:55 PM (18 of 22)
Same goes for you Miss Jan...I have a LOT of fabric...I'd be willing to share...or get you something totally wonderful, colorful...(and not Asian...:wink: )
:bg: :bg: :bg:
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: carman
Date: 09-10-2006, 10:59 PM (19 of 22)
no we don't have to pay duty or taxes on fabric that comes from a personal address and says gift on it, at least we here in Alberta don't have too, thank goodness, as soon as it has a business name on it though, those taxes come in effect. i but ALOT of eBay and with exchange and all it still is cheaper, usually putting it to about 9 or 10 bucks a yard or so. plus we don't get the variety here either.

i love to make scrap quilts, but when i am making one for a gift or something i like to use quilting store fabric and suck it and pay the horrible price:sick:
User: carman
Member since: 04-17-2000
Total posts: 692
From: Chrysantha
Date: 09-10-2006, 11:52 PM (20 of 22)
Just let me know if you want something....
I really AM willing to help out....

Kath (inFL)
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: plrlegal
Date: 09-11-2006, 12:52 AM (21 of 22)
I guess I have never thought about quilt fabric as being "in" or "out" of style! The main reason for the price increase in not only fabric, but in almost everything, is thanks to the big moguls on Wall Street that keep hyping how much shortage of petroleum products we're going to experience that has incited the oil companies to keep increasing the price of gasoline, etc. Shipping costs for everything has sky rocketed this year and I don't know about where the rest of you live, but here in Oklahoma gasoline prices are dropping like a rock (we're down to $2.25 a gallon today) yet when you go in the grocery store, the prices are continuing to increase on everything or at least it seems that way to me.

Patsy
Patsy
User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: HeyJudee
Date: 09-11-2006, 07:30 AM (22 of 22)
Just to add to Carmans comment about taxes. The item being sent as a "gift" has to have a value of less than $60 CDN. Otherwise they charge the taxes and administration charges. I haven't bought anything on-line yet as I have an abundance of quilt shops within my shopping area and they all carry different types of fabrics.

Since I seem to have developed the fabric addiction...my stash has grown so that I really and truly don't want to start buying on-line. I know me...once I'd start, I would probably end up with fabric stacked to the ceiling and only having pathways to get around the house. :shock:

Oh, yeah...I don't recycle either due to the fact that I have built up that stash and need to get it down. But it seems that every project that I want to do there is never quite the right amount, right colour, etc. So it usually means buying something!!! :up:
TTFN from
Judy
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
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