With the seemingly exponentially rising gas prices, we’ve noticed that quite a few quilters are begrudgingly decreasing their quilting activities – mostly because, as we all know, quilt shops are destinations and you usually need to drive quite-a-ways to get to your favorite shops.
However, with all of the wonderful technologies these days, quilters can still get their fabric fix, without ever leaving the comfort of their robe and coffee. We’re talking online shopping! While yes, you may have to pay for shipping, it will probably still cost less than it might cost you to drive to your favorite quilt shop. We also recognize that many quilters (ourselves included!) just love to touch and feel the fabric. Keep in mind that if you buy a great deal of Moda fabric (for example) and you like the weight and feel and texture of it, it will still have that same feel whether you buy it online or in the store. So sometimes it’s nice to find a manufacturer you like and just go with it!
If you need (or want) new fabric, but are trying to save money by driving as little as possible and your nearest quilt shop is a 60 mile round-trip, online shopping may be for you. Online quilt shops often have specials on shipping charges, which can be a great way to save a little extra on that online order. Online shops’ shipping specials and free shipping offers vary wildly, so if S&H costs are important to you, it’s best to check out each individual shop’s policies and costs before you start shopping with them. Keep in mind, though, that if you plan to purchase X, Y and Z fabric anyway, the total cost of that fabric may be enough to get it shipped to you free-of-charge. Just think: if you aren’t spending the gas to drive to the shop and you get your order shipped for free, the money that you’re saving really adds up!
Another perk to online shopping is being able to see what the latest trends in fabric, patterns, techniques, and notions are without having to travel to multiple quilt shops. We will be the first to recognize that we do not – and CANnot – carry everything. We like to mix traditional and contemporary, but you will not find Kansas Troubles in our store. If you are looking for both batiks and Kansas Troubles, you may be able to find a quilt shop in your area who carries both, but you may also have to travel to two separate shops to get what you want. It all depends on the aesthetic of your local quilt shop. Some shops are strictly traditional, some only carry batiks. You may have to shop with multiple stores to get every piece that you want/need, but you don’t have to travel anywhere to order from two separate shops when you shop online!
Our last tidbit of information is regarding one of the quilting world’s most treasured activities: shop hops! While it may not be as fun as jumping in the car with your friends and spending a day driving to all the local quilt shops, online shop hops can help fill the need of a traditional shop hop while saving on fuel costs. The FabShop offers monthly online shop hops (more information HERE). They are organized with many of the same aspects as traditional shop hops: they start on the 1st of the month and run through the end of the month, there are prizes awarded for those who collect the most bunnies, and there are random drawings for prizes and gifts. We’ve participated in 2 of these online shop hops and will be participating in the May shop hop as well. We have also had numerous clients participate and express how much fun it is just to see what all the different shops have going on. Perhaps a fun twist to add to an online shop hop would be to participate with a few friends! You could all get together and crowd around the computer to look through the fabric options (isn’t this what we do when we find a particularly beautiful bolt of fabric anyway?).
Hopefully these tips for online shopping for quilters will come in handy in these times of hefty gas prices. Remember that our website boasts over 1,900 products and is open 24/7, so if you ever feel the need to see what we’re doing here in the store but live too far away to just hop in the car, you can always check up on us online!
So tell us: what are some of your favorite things about shopping online?