Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Online Shopping Tips

I like to add to my stash every once in a while -- just to bring in something new even though I don't necessarily need it.  And, I like to support my local quilt store.  For instance, as I was finishing a quilt last year I went to my local quilt shop and paid $12.99 a yard for fabric that was going on the back of a quilt.  What was I thinking?  Well, what I was thinking was I had a couple of yards of fabric for the center and some to add to the center top and center bottom to make it long enough.  I just needed some fabric on the sides to make up the correct width.  My only thought was to get the fabric that matched the top and bottom addition.  As I was leaving with fabric in hand I realized what I had done.  Luckily, I have some of it left so it will see the front of some project. 

Online shopping lets me have almost immediate gratification, ok, 4 or 5 day later gratification.  But don't you love getting fabric squishies in the mail?  Yea, I do too.  So my recent shopping has been online at sales.  Oh yea -- I like getting fabric in the 4, 5 and 6 dollar range.  So here's my most recent purchase.  

Ok, you may think it is weird but honestly is was $5.65 a yard (and that includes the postage).  Here's the scoop.  I keep up with Craftsy and Connecting Threads when they offer their kits or precuts on sale.  I skip the 20 to 30% off offerings and hone in on 40 to 50% items.  The fabric shown above was from a Craftsy kit.  It had 19 pieces totaling 7.875 yards.  You can tell from above that it had a lot of variety.  The pattern as a download was included in the cost but I didn't even think to download it.  I really only wanted the fabric.  

So here are a couple of tips when trying to grab bargains. 

1) Wait for the really big sales.  Most of the time both online stores have discounted items in the clearance area.  But keep checking to try to get the 40 to 50% off items.  

2) Know what you are shopping for, or why.  I knew all I wanted to do was add some fun newer fabric to my stash.  Heck I've been quilting for over 30 years and some of the stash looks like it has been with me all that time! 

3) Remember postage adds to the cost. 

4) Think about the size of each fabric piece you most likely will get.  7.875 yards broken into 19 pieces means I didn't get any huge pieces of fabric -- some were fat quarters, some 1/3 yards all the way up to 3/4 yard. I hadn't thought about that when I ordered so I was surprised. But, thinking of how I sew I realized that will work fine for me although I would have liked a few bigger pieces. 

5) Think about looking at the precuts and kit offerings in catalogs long before they go on sale.  I've decided to mark items I particularly like and then check back a few months later to see if they have gone on sale. I do this mostly with Connecting Threads.

6) Go to some blog that has a link to Craftsy and use that to get into your account.  They get a little something (not a whole lot) and you lose nothing.  I didn't think about this until recently. But it dawned on me that it would be a small bonus for a blogger I follow and like and would not hurt me in the least.  If I think hard on this I will probably pick a blogger who offers a lot of free tutorials rather than sells her patterns.  

So those are my tips for online shopping.  Do you buy kits to take apart for the fabric?  Please, make sure you leave some for me though if you do!  

I'm linking up with Midweek Makers and Let's Be Social.  Take some time to see all the gorgeous things folks are making. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


  1. I try to keep an eye on Craftsy sales, and tend to purchase kits for the fabric, too.

    Supporting the local quilt shop is important. Since there's only one shop in my area, I try to purchase items whenever I'm close by.

  2. Thanks for the tip about the Craftsy click-through! I have never bought a kit, whether for the project or for the fabric. (Though, come to think of it, at our guild rummage sale I scored 10 packages of a Joann's BOM that yielded a bounty of useful fabric. The BOM blocks themselves did not appeal to me.) Like you, I do shop sales and I click the "clearance" section of websites for fabric (and L.L. Bean, etc.).

  3. Great tips! Thank you for sharing! I'm fairly new to buying fabric online, so I really appreciate your post! My local quilt shop, @lcbernina, is starting to post their discounted fabric on Instagram! Your fabrics are so bright and cheerful! Ha! That seems to be my favorite description for the posts I've been seeing online lately! :)

  4. Love those types of fabric sales - they're the best! Kits are always a great way to add to the stash, whether they get used as such or taken apart. Thanks for sharing your new finds and how to find them on Midweek Makers!

  5. You did a good job of adding some fun fabrics to the stash. I usually try to shop the sales. Though I'm really trying to use up some more stash before I do much refreshing.


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