Monday, February 1, 2010

Does this ever happen to you?

I was in my local quilt store over the weekend and picked up some fabrics to add to my stash.  The great thing about it is that they were free!  Well, actually it was my reward for purchases I'd made over the last few years.  I don't shop there often but I guess I had reached the limit for a $20 bonus.  Yeah!  Free fabric!!

What I was wondering about is if this ever happens to you.  Did you notice that the fabrics I picked out are coordinated?  I do that all the time, even when I'm stash building.  I don't know why but nine times out of ten the clerk asks me what quilt pattern I'm making and they're surprised when I say that I'm just stash building. 

I don't know why it happens but it's been going on with me for years.  Maybe it's just some unconscious thing that's going on in my head, who knows?  It is interesting though, I'd love to hear if it happens to you as well.

I also made another trip to Joann's and had more good luck.  One thing that I'm always encouraging quilters to do is to make yourself familiar with fabric lines.  I always check out the online fabric stores even when I'm not buying, just to see what's out there.  I make a mental note of fabrics I like and maybe don't like enough to fork out the cash, but would be interested in if they went on sale.

Now, we all know that a lot of the fabrics at Joann's are printed on lower quality greige goods so they aren't always a good buy.  However, I've noticed lately that there are more of the high quality fabrics in their fat quarter selections.  This is where knowing your fabric lines can really pay off.  Since I know the designs that are out there and have been out there for the last couple of years, I'm able to spot some real bargains.

One way to know you're getting a better fabric is the selvedge edges.  If you see the selvedge edge cut off, with part of the white edge showing, then you're probably getting a higher quality fabric that the manufacturer or designer doesn't want anyone to know is being sold at discount.

I used to work in the discount grocery business so I know how this works, often high quality brands are repackaged, or stores are not allowed to advertise that they have them.  This is because they want to "protect" their brand.  If it got out that you could get that brand cheaper then no one would buy it at full price.  I think that's what's happening here, the fabric suppliers need to unload older fabrics, but they don't want to downgrade their brand so they're making Joann's remove their selvedge markings.

One line I've been admiring for a while is Linden by P& B textiles.  I like the simple shapes and the colors.  I had snagged a few pieces of the line over time but was thrilled when I saw it in a fat quarter bundle at Joann's.  What a steal at $6.00, (gotta love those 40% off coupons!).  

I also had some luck in the folded fat quarter section.  These are also name brand fabrics with high thread counts that I picked up for $1.29 a fat quarter, (half the price my local quilt shop charges).  I recognize all of these from lines still being sold in online shops at about $9 a yard. 

Make sure you check out the fat quarters carefully.  Usually they're very poor quality but if you look for a non-shiny, tightly woven, heavier weight, with clearly printed designs you might very well have a winner.

I really need to get some sewing done, I seem to be getting further behind every day.  Where does the time go?  I wish I knew!  Anyway, until next time,

Happy Stitching!


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