Category Archives: Online quilt stores

Buying Fabric Online

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I’m always amazed at the number of women I meet who have never purchased fabric online. Their main reason is that they want to touch the fabric before they buy it. This always makes me smile! If you’re purchasing good quality quilter’s cotton, there is very little chance that you will get a fabric that feels too cheap or too stiff.

With the exception of The City Quilter  in New York City, I buy almost all my fabric online.  I like the selection of an online store. In most cases, the fabric arrives within a few days.  The prices are very often better than available locally. It’s not that I don’t want to support our local quilt shops, but the convenience, selection and cost from an online store usually win my business. Here are a few of my favorite shops, in no particular order, to get you started. (Please note that I have no financial interest in any of these companies.)

Fat Quarter Shop — This is one of my favorites.  They have a great selection and a good variety of fabrics. They also send out a nice newsletter on Fridays with a fabric special. Their shipping is extremely fast and they package the fabrics in cool clear cellophane.

Pink Chalk Fabrics — Pink Chalk Fabrics is new on my favorite list. They are a modern quilt shop with a really nice selection. They offer a lot of bundles, especially of modern fabrics and solids, and many of the collections come from bloggers. They have an excellent blog! The few times I’ve purchased from them, their shipping has been very quick.

eQuilter.com — eQuilter has an amazing selection and also sends out a great newsletter with their new arrivals. My favorite part about eQuilter is that they have a color matching tool. I use this a lot, especially to match solids for modern quilts. The major downside to eQuilter is that their shipping is very slow (often more than a week). I’ve contacted them about their slow shipping a couple of times … they usually send me back an excuse about it being a busy time. I’ve purchased from them for several years and the shipping speed has not improved. I stay with them for their selection.

Fabric.com — This store has the best prices and free shipping if you purchase more than $35 in fabric. They also have frequent sales on top of their already awesome discount prices. My favorite part of fabric.com is that they show a ruler with each fabric, so you know its scale. (I wish all companies did this, but they don’t.)  Shipping is usually fairly quick, although my daughter and I have both run into speed problems recently. They are a great choice for novelty fabrics and also sell upholstery and fashion fabrics.

Web Fabrics — Web Fabrics carries full lines of all their fabrics, which is great because most places (especially locally) do not do this. It is a particularly great source for blenders. Shipping is fast and they seem to almost always have everything in stock. They send a short weekly newsletter describing their newest fabrics.  They also sell sample packs of their blenders, so that you can easily match blenders to your own fabrics.

If you haven’t given online fabric shopping a chance, give it a try!  Subscribe to some of the above stores’ blogs and/or newsletters, and enjoy some browsing without getting off the couch. Happy shopping!

eQuilter Fabric Warehouse Tour

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I think, at some point in their lives, most girls dream about moving into Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland. Not me. I would move into a quilt fabric warehouse and never come out. I’d fashion myself a mattress out of quilt batting, make myself bedding from the finest quilters’ cotton, and sleep on a cutting table. I’d read their magazines and audition threads. It would be a great life.

I think that eQuilter operates the warehouse I would most like to live in. The Youtube video below provides a tour. After shopping in warehouses in New York’s garment district, I had expected all fabric warehouses to require a hunt for fabric. Clearly I was wrong. The inside of eQuilter’s warehouse looks exactly like many of the quilt shops I’ve visited.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjP1Kswp7HE

Over the years, eQuilter has given more than $1,000,000 to charity. I found it interesting what causes they support and how decisions are made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsajQ93XkRo

Please know that I have no relationship with eQuilter, other than being a happy customer. eQuilter’s website is http://equilter.com/

Special Delivery: Some Online Orders Take Longer Than Others

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Recently I’ve been in fabric ordering mode. There was a particular line that I wanted and it was not fully in stock at any of the vendors I deal with. As a result, I ended up placing orders at Webfabrics, Hancocks of  Paducah, and eQuilter. All of the orders were placed late afternoon on Sunday, March 18th.

On Wednesday, I received the order from Webfabrics! It was complete and correct. Kudos to Webfabrics.net. Three days from order to delivery is awesome, especially given that I ordered on a weekend. Their store is located in Virginia and I’m on Long Island, NY.

http://www.webfabrics.net/

The next order to arrive was from eQuilter. That order was confirmed on Monday, March 19 and mailed the following day. Given that eQuilter is located in Colorado, that was reasonable turnaround.

http://www.equilter.com/

The Hancocks’ fabric arrived on Saturday.  Their store is located in Kentucky. Basically, I was ecstatic to have received all three orders within a week.

http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/

Fabric.com always offers wonderful service. I placed an order on Friday, March 23rd and it is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, March 27th. Their orders are almost always sent same-day and arrive within three days. They are the only vendor listed here that offer free delivery if you spend $35 or more.

http://www.fabric.com/

I didn’t have such luck with Virginia Quilter. I placed an order on Monday, March 5th and ordered six kinds of Moda bias binding. They contacted me on Thursday, March 8th to say that they had discontinued one of the bindings and could only send half of the amount I ordered. The order was finally shipped out on Monday, March 12 — a full week after I placed the order — and they again contacted me to say they were missing half of the black binding I’d ordered. Their order arrived (incomplete) on March 14th.  I did receive the additional black binding a few days later. Needless to say, I’m looking for another source of Moda binding.

http://www.virginiaquilter.com/

Although many people are hesitant about online shopping, it is sometimes our only alternative. Our local quilt stores, although wonderful, cannot afford to carry the large variety of fabric available online. The only problem I’ve ever had with online shopping is waiting for delivery, and I am constantly fine-tuning my list of vendors to only include those who provide great service.

Connecting Threads Fabric

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If you’ve never purchased Connecting Thread’s fabric, you’re missing out on a great deal. Their fabric is high quality, original, and very affordable. Most collections are $5 or $6 a yard — almost half of what you’d pay in a quilt store. Their selection isn’t spectacular, but their fabric collections are well thought out. I have always been extremely pleased anything I”ve ordered.

For some reason, their new collection — Folk Heart by Jenni Calo — was a must order. I was a very attracted to the idea of the collection and the fabrics, quite frankly, made me smile. That’s a big deal when it’s dark by 4:30 PM and we’re facing a long winter in the northeast!

Here are the fabrics I ordered. You can check out the rest of the collection at 

http://www.connectingthreads.com

Some of the Folk Heart fabric collection, by Jenni Calo, for Connecting Threads

Perfect Scissors (Really!)

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When I was at the Philadelphia Quilt Show, I rested my rear end for a while and attended a lecture on new gadgets in the quilting industry.  One product they recommended was Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors.

According to the package, the advantages of this micro serrated blade are:

1. Keeps fabric from slipping so cutting is more accurate

2. Helps to prevent frayed edges

3. Cuts up to 8 layers of cotton fabric easily

We had the opportunity to test these scissors and they did, indeed, cut through 8 layers of fabric. I bought a pair and have been absolutely delighted. For the last month, I haven’t used anything else.

You can find out more about these scissors at http://www.karenkaybuckley.com/index.php. The scissors retail for $25.99. (PS: I have no financial interest in this product.)

Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Scissors

5 Reasons I Love Online Shopping at Fabric.com

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I love online fabric shopping and there are many, many great webstores that I will review over time. I know many quilters are hesitant to shop online … but I highly recommend it. The selection in the big stores is well beyond what can be found at your local quilt store with 3,000 or 5,000 bolts of fabric.

I order from fabric.com more than any other online store. It is my favorite for several reasons:

1. Price — Fabric.com generally has the lowest prices of the big online shops. They also offer free shipping if you spend more than $35.00.

2. Great coupons and sales — Enclosed with your order is often a coupon to save 15% off already low prices. Around holidays, they tend to have a sale of $10 off purchases from $50 to $100, $15 off purchases from $101 to $149, and $20 off purchases over $150.

3. Fast service — I usually get my order 3 days after I place it. This is — hands down — the fastest shipping of the big companies.

4. Ruler markings on website — It is so hard to tell the scale of fabrics when shopping online. Fabric.com has a ruler shown with all their fabrics. Very few other companies do this and it is a GREAT feature.

5. Great selection — Fabric.com is awesome for printed, novelty quilt fabric. It is well categorized and the website is easy to use. They carry full lines and indicated the number of yards on hand.

Please note that I have no financial interest in Fabric.com — except for purchases placed on my Visa card.