One of the major fabric retailers in Australia had their big fabric sale over Easter, with 40% off all fabrics in their store. I needed a couple of things for some projects, so I went along this morning.
It got me thinking about my fabric buying habits. Where I shop, what I buy and how much I spend.
|I bought this jelly roll – no idea what to do with it! I just loved the colours.|
My budget is very minimal. Fabric is very much a luxury item for me – it comes a distant last once bills are paid, groceries are bought and all the other necessities of life are paid for. I must admit – I get a bit envious when I see people on instagram post seemingly daily shots of new fabric! Aargh! I want more! There are so many designer ranges I want to collect and have in my stash. But alas, it cannot happen. Today I spent $68 on fabric. That is A LOT for me. Most of purchases are very modest – usually $10-$20 here or there, and I usually buy when there is a sale or I have a discount coupon.
So where do I shop? Everywhere. Anywhere. In person, I go a few different stores in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. I shop at three different Spotlight stores (Spotlight is a bit like the Australian version of Jo Anns) and I have a great quilting store nearby as well. My LQS has a fabulous $2 fat quarter table and I have often picked up some great bargains of designer fabrics there. I buy yardage there occasionally, but if I need a lot I will buy it online – designer quilting fabric is extremely expensive here – between $20-$30 per metre. Frustrating when it is $8-$10 a yard in the US.
|Bought these today for my stash – I just liked them! The elephant print is lovely unisex colours – handy for new bubs.|
Online I usually buy from the US. I have shopped at fabric.com, Hawthorne Threads, Etsy and eBay. I have no preference, I just try to find what I’m after and will buy from whoever has the best price and reasonable shipping. Shipping to Australia isn’t cheap so if I buy online I usually do a big order to make it worthwhile.
|A cotton print for the exterior of a new winter sleeping bag for Lucy.|
In terms of what I buy, I’m pretty bad at fabric shopping! I get so excited about being in the store and seeing so many things I want, I forget to buy the things I actually need! I’m always drawn to bold prints and colours, and I’m only just starting to really think more carefully about making sure I get coordinates and solids. Now that I’m patchworking more, fat quarter bundles make a lot more sense to me. Pre cuts like charm packs, layer cakes and jelly rolls are great too because you get a sample of an entire range, and they are great for beginner quilters like me.
Choosing the right fabric for a project is a real skill and I think it can really make or break a project. Many sewing and quilting bloggers have a certain style and you can pick their projects just by seeing a picture. I don’t think I have a unique style yet – it’s an evolving process for me. I’m getting better at it now that I’m embracing solids and ditsy prints as well as big prints. I love colour and I’m not shy using it in my projects.
My wish list at the moment – I’d love to get some Tsuru by Rashida Coleman Hale, Geekly Chic by Amy Adams – I love the glasses and cassette prints, and I’d love a few more Echino and Kokka prints.
What are your fabric shopping habits? And what is on your wish list?