Tips for Buying Fabric


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I got an email this morning from a reader asking about where I buy fabric. Locally or online? I thought I would answer it here in case others find it helpful!

Local Fabric Shopping
If you are looking for fabric from a certain designer (like Amy Butler) go to their website and search for local retailers. On the Amy Butler site there is a tab called "Where to Buy" and then leads you to online AND local retailers near you. Generally, if you go to an actual shop you'll pay the same as you would per yard as online, but there's no shipping.

Online Fabric Shopping
I predominantly shop online, especially if I am looking for a specific designer fabric. Once I know a certain line of fabric I want I check eBay and Etsy. They seem to have better prices than bigger online stores.

Saving Money
1. The thing to remember about Modern quilting is that there is a lot of negative space. I splurge on designer fabrics that I love and then purchase really inexpensive white fabric for the negative space. It seems to make the financial blow a bit easier!

2. Plan ahead. In getting ready to make the tutorial for my Gracie Quilt I knew I needed under 20 strips of patterned fabric so I was able to buy a half a jelly roll on Etsy for cheap. Find a pattern, commit to making it and THEN purchase the designer fabric amount you need.

SHOP RECOMMENDATION: The Intrepid Thread. I recently found and fell in love with this Etsy shop because she sells modern, designer fabrics and sells them in bundles where you can choose your own bundles of fabric in the amount you need. Holla!

3. Fill with non-designer fabric. Consider purchasing a few fat quarters of bold statement fabric from a designer and then taking it to your local fabric shop and matching smaller scale prints and solids.  Recently I purchased fabric from the Modern Meadow line by Joel Dewberry for this quilt. I got a bundle of a few choice Fat Quarters online and then when it arrived I took it to my local JoAnn Fabrics and found filler fabrics that matched perfectly and were way less expensive (especially if you rock those coupons!).

in the picture below the top row is the designer fabric.   The bottom row is from Joann Fabrics and was less than $5/yard.  Mix the two sets of fabrics together for a less expensive quilt!

Hope that go forth and shop!