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I am working on a pretty moda disappearing 5 patch queen size quilt. Even tho I am getting everything on sale, it is going to cost over $200 easy.  Am I doing something wrong?  How can you guys afford to keep making quilts for family, friends, and charity, when it costs this much?  I want to have a quilt going at all times, but it sure does add up!!  I have been searching online for better fabric prices, but they are all pretty close. And I do not want to use low quality fabric to do all that work. I want my work to last. Any ideas would be so welcome.  Thank you.

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yep...it is getting pretty expensive......I am lucky that I have a fairly ample fabric stash bought when I was working and most at 6-8 dollars a yard....I think the investment returns on that fabric are way greater then most investment funds  :)  Anyway....I do check out the clearance and sale fabrics a lot both online and at the local shops.  Around here, a lot of the shops have some form of punch card where you get a free yard after being so much....my favorite shop is where after I purchase so much....I get 20% off all the yardage I buy at one time...I usually try and have a couple of quilts planned for that spurge....I also do check craigs list because every once in while, someone is clearing out their fabric...gotta look at the fabric...but this fall, I got about 20 yards at $2 a yard and it was fine cotton fabric...a bit of the older stuff..but hey!  the price was right.   I do try and pick this bargain fabric by if it can be used as a blender fabric and stay away from the really theme and novelty fabric unless I love it and can think of a potential use for it even it is as part of a backing.  I have also been collecting a bunch of "scrap" quilt patterns and have started cutting my left over's into 2 1/2 inch strips, 5 inch squares, etc.  I did decide to get a fabric cutter to make this easier and purchased some small bins to keep the cut scraps in.  oh...and there seems to be a critical mass when it comes to fabric scraps...I can't believe I used to purchase the fabric scrap bags at some of the shops (good fabric..low price )  now I have scraps everywhere!  enough for at least 4-5 good sized quilts I think....look at Bonnie Hunter's website for ideas on what to do with scraps...she has a lot of free patterns also ....the site is quiltville dot com    And you are not doing anything wrong....I just put about $250 dollars of fabric into a king sized flannel quilt for my nephew...I did all the piecing and quilting on it so I figure the quilt would cost quite a bit to replace...so I told him he absolutely could not leave it at a laundromat if it needed washing and his mom told him...to just bring it over, and she would babysit it while it was washing.....We had brought it to a laundromat to wash it after I made it and one person offered to "watch" it for us if we had chores to do and two others inquired about where we got it and did I make them for sale....not to be suspicious but I wasn't leaving it unattended.  I am also planning on buying a roll or two of batting after I use up the package batting I also "stashed" during my working years.   Lin

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There are several good discount fabric shops online that you might want to try.  I have purchased from them and the fabric is good quality and I have never had any issues with the fabric.  Most of these shops get fabric that might be out of print or 6 months to a year old and reduce the pricing.  Some shops have weekly discounts on certain lines of fabric.  I never pay retail for fabric it is just too cost prohibitive for me.

Here are a few to consider

thousandbolts

stitchnframe

fabricshack

whittles

connectingthreads

fabricdepot

quiltfabriccloseouts

discountfrabrics

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Laura gave a great list of online stores.  I  also get e-mails from Hancocks-Paducah which has a "web site sales" area and I  buy from them.   They have a 20% off everything right now.    Can't remember how long it lasts.

 

Another one is:  quilthome.com (get their e-mails for good buys)   And it pays to check this site every day.  They usually have one line of fabric on sale for 25% off for one day only.  Their prices are not quite as high as some other sites.

 

Quilt making is getting very expensive.

 

Marilyn

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I was in JoAnn's recently picking up more plastic boxes for my sewing room and I happened to stroll past the fabric section.  I spotted some "Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz" and it was a couple of fabrics from the line I hadn't seen.  I'm making a quilt using this line and have made most of my purchases at quilt shops or online and paid around $12 a yard for it.  It didn't feel so bad because I bought a little at a time.  Well, at JoAnn's this fabric was $14.99 a yard.  I couldn't believe it.  It was on sale for 30% off and it was two that I didn't have so I did buy a yard of each, but sheesh...that's pretty expensive for JoAnn's.

 

I've been slowly getting my room back in shape to start quilting again.  I've just about promised myself not to buy any more fabric until I get a few more quilts done.  I have at least ten quilts ready to go with fabric and pattern in a plastic box not to mention the ten or so waiting to be quilted.  I'm blessed with a ton of fabric, but this took time.  I bought good stuff when it was on sale or when I had extra money and certainly when I "just had to have it". 

 

Peggy, like I said, my stash took time to amass.  A lot of time!  Buy on sale or use your 40-50% coupons for things at JoAnn's like batting or some really nice fabric (they do have some nice stuff too just be discerning).  Buy online.  Go to the Beverly's site online and mark the site as a favorite.  Their fabric is very nice and it is always a couple of dollars less than anywhere else.  The shipping is very reasonable and fast.  Every day they have a "daily deal" and the three fabrics they showcase that day are $2.97 per yard.  We used to be able to buy as much of it as we wanted to or what ever amount they had of it, but now you can only buy 3 yards of it at a time, but if I want it for a backing I just buy it then hang on until it comes around again.  Sometimes it does.  Non-quilters do not have a clue of how much it costs to make a quilt and that's figuring your labor as free.  That's how I weed out people.  If one asks me to make a quilt I tell them maybe if they buy the materials.  They change their minds fast when I tell them what it will cost.  If they're someone I really like or care about they will get one eventually as a gift, but at least they will have a clue to the value of it.     

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Go to the Beverly's site online and mark the site as a favorite.

 

I like Beverly's too.  I don't know if they will accept Joann coupons online but they do in their retail stores.  A couple of the online stores I have ordered from that have regular sales are:

 

http://www.fabric.com

 

http://www.intrepidthread.com

 

I have never ordered from this site but have seen it mentioned several times on here I think.

 

http://www.marshalldrygoods.com

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Fortunately I can also take advantage of my local quilt shops when they have clearance sales - currently one here has $4/yd on end-of-year clearance.  It won't last long though.  Get on their mailing lists so you are notified when a sale is happening.  I realize not everyone has a quilt shop nearby.

 

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I'm big on online shopping.  Over the years, I have found that the sites with the best prices change.  Right now, I buy alot of material froom Hancocks of Paducah, always planning my purchases ahead since they offer a one- or two-day percentage off sale at least monthly.  Their sale fabrics can also be a great deal but you have to watch for what you want.  I also like the sale pages at The Thrifty Needle.  I also have learned over time when my local shops have their sales and try to time my purchases for then.

 

That said, I agree with Sylvia that quilting today is an expensive hobby.  But that is partly because an industry has arisen that recognizes that many quilters today quilt for pleasure and have money to spend.  If you can resist the urge to have the latest fabric lines and patterns that the magazines and retailers are selling, you can keep cost under control.  We just have to think more like our grandmothers and less like consumers.

 

P.S.  Check out some of Bonnie Hunter's quilts that reclaim good fabric from shirts and such purchased at thrift stores.  I have a friend who gets much of her fabric that way, and her quilts are gorgeous!

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Many quilters I know say that quilting is their "boat"...."hunting shack"...""snowmobile" etc.  In other words, their husbands hobbies are pretty darn steep too! It is a pricey hobby....AND it involves the sweetest, most creative people!!  We are lucky to be able to call ourselves quilters!

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My hubby doesn't see it that way. But if he really wants to divide assets, I would still have my stash, machines, and probably get a few of his toys too. He complained about a $80 charge for my machine maintenance, but doesn't think twice about $600 for his toys. By toys I mean snow machines, not one but if I remember last count 4, motorcycles, I don't want to count them, I'd get mad. Trucks, trailers, camper, 4 wheelers. We have toys!

They don't count ours the same.

Shirley

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American quilters are very lucky with the price of the fabric.

In Australia Quilt shop quality is between $20-$25 a metre admittedly that is 40" not 36".

 

Specials you are lucky to get it for $10.

 

It is eye opening to have a quilts valuation done so you can see what it is worth. The give it to the recipient too.

BUT I still love to know that the quilts I give are being used!

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This is a great discussion!  I am making a list of all the sites being recommended.

 

Just got an e-mail that the Chickadee Shops are having a 70% off sale this weekend.  Use promo code CLEAR during checkout, sale ends 01/20/14.  http://www.chickadeeshops.com/

They need to make room for new inventory, so it only seems polite to help them out. ;)

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As some of you know, our sewing group has a sizable quanity of fabric (when I finished the studio remodel, I counted 650 bolts).  It has, for the most part, been bought when it was being sold as overstock and being clearenced.  I would guess that the average cost per yard is about $2.50/yd.  Once we bought a lot of a white chinz we use for dying. for $0.75 per yard. (200-300 yds)

 

When we run across a bargin we try and take advantage of it.  Now we have the buying power of a group of about 8 people which helps.  We also try and take advantage of oportunities for free fabric.  Someone dies and leaves a huge stash, we're willing to go in and sort and clear it away for the relatives.  We've spent days sorting through the fabric picking out what is suitable bor quilting, and finding somewhere to give the rest away.  A lot of work.

 

I would like to remind everyone, this is a hobby for us.  Hobbies cost money.  I often set people a back when I claim that quilting is an inexpensive hobby.  But think about it.  What does a round of golf cost?  How much money does a dedicated fisherman spend every year on his boat?  How about hunters trips, and stamp collectors stamps?  The RV.  What does a wood worker spend on lumber to build that blanket chest?  Dollar for dollar, we get a lot of enjoyment from the hobby.  Don't try and keep track of what a quilt costs you to make.  Live within your means, and enjoy your hobby.  That's my take on it.  Jim

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Quilting is my hobby and relaxation.  I have more fabric than I could ever quilt in my lifetime.  I have no guilt.  I figure that if I just get the enjoyment of touching and buying it that is ok.  It's cheaper than therapy!  I  am going to vegas this weekend and will not put a nickel in a slot machine....but will probably drop a small bundle at the quilt shops!  What is the difference?  At least I will go home with something!

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This is a great discussion!  I am making a list of all the sites being recommended.

 

Just got an e-mail that the Chickadee Shops are having a 70% off sale this weekend.  Use promo code CLEAR during checkout, sale ends 01/20/14.  http://www.chickadeeshops.com/

They need to make room for new inventory, so it only seems polite to help them out. ;)

 

I agree we SHOULD help...

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When I go to the quilt shows I always visit each vendor there. I look at the fabrics and patterns, usually the newest that has just come out and if there is one that I really like then I write it down and search for it online.  This way I know first hand what the fabric looks like, pattern/color and there won't be any surprises ordering it online. I can usually find it for a better price online.  Same thing with patterns/books/notions.  I always search and shop the sales.  Very, very rarely will I purchase retail.  

I also have a HUGE stash that keeps me quite happy.  I purchased alot of the fabrics on quilt shop closeouts/going out of business sales. I purchased when I was working as I knew when I retired I would not have the funds to spend.  This was before the cotton/fabric prices went sky high. Boy, am I glad I did this! :D

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I have to chime in here - living in Europe and having prices in €uros (presently 1€ = $ 1.35), the prices in the States are more than reasonable. Lately my purchases have been €18.50/meter - please do the maths! Sales are rare 10% maybe 20% if you are lucky. Agreably quilting is an expensive hobby, but most hobbies are expensive.

My stash is just starting to grow, and I would love to profit from the many online stores in the States, but postage rates quickly make you think twice (as well as import duties if your order is large). So we quilt, and quilt and enjoy. As my grandmother once said "you can't take it with you", so I quilt with tons of pleasure!

Sue from Luxembourg

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Another viewpoint here.  I am watching closer to the fabrics that I buy, but still do most of my purchasing at the area quilt shops because I need to see the match factor and quality.  If we all keep doing most of our purchasing online, then our local shops will be gone and we will be in the same position as those who no longer have the option to make a quick trip to the quilt shop for needed items. 

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