I like fabric. A lot. This is just a part of my stash, some favorites and piles that just seem like they belong together. I’ve been getting a lot of inquires as to where I buy my fabrics lately so I thought I would take a few moments to talk about my favorites sources.
How I buy fabric.
I buy fabric to use immediately sometimes (mostly solids) but the majority of my fabric is bought with Stash Building in mind. Rather than having to rely on using single fabric collections it allows you to mix and match. I buy fabrics that function as bold centerpieces with lots of visual interest and basics like polka dots, stripes,squares and solids that can function as background players. When I get a commission for a quilt or just plain inspired, I pull piles from my stash and come up parings I might never have considered, had I been buying it all at once. I bought a Kona Color Card. It’s a great investment if you want to buy lots of fabrics online, or if you want to find the perfect match for a print and order a coordinating solid. Kona has 221 solid shades!! Awesome!! Most designer print fabrics are only available for a limited time. They are released during the Fall or Spring Quilt (fabric) Market and are (generally) only available while stock lasts. They then become out of print, and then hard to find (or in fabric
obsessive collector terms OOP’s and HTF’s). I didn’t know this when I first started buying fabric and quickly learned that the beautiful fabrics I had gotten attached to had tripled in cost over the course of a year. Now, when I find prints I love I buy several yards, to avoid hoarding it forever and actually use it. It might be a sickness!
If you’re interested in learning more about this process, I would highly recommend jumping over to Jeni’s blog In Color Order, to check out her “The Art of Choosing” series. Great advice, prettier pictures and her pet rabbit George makes frequent appearances!
I would say that my fabric purchases are about 70% local quilt shop purchases and about 30% online. Most of what my LQS’s (local quilt shops) sell is readily available online, but I like to support local businesses where and when I can. If you love fabric I would highly recommend checking out True Up. The site is packed with information about new fabrics as they are released, designers and tons of pictures. They also put out an excellent roundup of online sites having fabric sales every Friday, saved me quite bit of money! I subscribe in my reader and always get excited to see what new releases they’re previewing.
Some good resources to see what’s available and fabric lines (past & present) in their entirety is by checking said companies site. Here are some of the biggies,
Free Spirit Fabrics
Amy Butler Fabrics
Riley Blake Designs
Seven Islands Fabric
Michael Miller Fabrics
Alexander Henry Fabrics
Once you’ve looked around & found some designers/prints you like, this is where I tend to buy from when online shopping. I would highly recommend searching for a Local Quilt Shop, its nice to support the small carefully culled shops and sometimes pictures just don’t do fabrics justice. Plus they’ve usually got great recommendations and loads of insight. Just don’t be shy, they love to talk fabric! Some of my all time favorites photograph terribly not matter the lighting. They lose something in the translation. Anyone else ever notice that? So without further ado, a list of reputabale shops. Fellow PMQGer’s/quilters feel free to add shops in the comments and I’ll add to the list as they come.
Fat Quarter Shop
Above All Fabrics
The Fabric Shoppe
Fresh Squeezed Fabric
Sew Mama Sew (also check out their blog!)
Fabric Shack super cheap Kona and nice variety of prints
Super Buzzy For all things Japanese craft. Love this site.
Spoonflower print on demand fabric and a wealth of independent designs
Nido Fabric and Yarn
Purl Soho great blog, amazing selection
Pink Chalk Fabrics
When searching for older collections or prints my first stop is usually Etsy (or ebay if I’m desperate). If you search under supplies there is a ton of HTF and OOP fabric as well as tons of current prints. I comp shop the sellers on etsy.com frequently, especially with OOP as there are some people who artificially inflate the prices of older collections (so not cool!). Make sure you check any shops feedback before you purchase and comp shop the prices if you can. I try to find the lowest shipping or closest seller (to meagerly reduce me carbon footprint) I find that these formulas yeild the most consistent results for harder to find prints:
fabric designers name + name of the fabric line
fabric line + specific print name
specific print + fabric designers name
print name + colorway
That might seem a little silly, but if at first I don’t find what I’m looking for I try searching like that and I rarely turn up empty handed. I’m rather
OCD awesome at finding things. Let me assure you much thought has been put into the best way to save money and search for fabrics…so the money I save can buy more fabric:) Sorry Ben, thank you for loving me in spite of my cotton weakness!
You can also try swapping fabric with other sewers on sites like flickr.com! Search the groups for fabric swaps, fabric destashing, modern swapping. So much fun!
Here is my short list of some favorite designers. Almost every single one has a regularly updated blog:
Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Erin McMorris, Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, Melody Miller, Liberty of London, Heather Ross, Tula Pink, David Walker, Liesel Gibbons, Monica Solorio-Snow (PMQG!!), Violet Craft (PMQG!!), Aneela Hoey, Urban Chicks, Cosmo Cricket, Riley Blake, Valori Wells, Lizzy House, Kate Spain, Etsuko Furuya Echino, Joel Dewberry, Jay McCarroll, Momo, Alexander Henry, Wendy Slotboom, Sandi Henderson, American Jane
I hope that this list helps and I hope that if you’ve got a excellent source that you’ll share in the comments. I’ve got a list of notions/hardware links I’m working on now so send those my way too, if you’ve got them! If you have any further questions or want to know where I got that one that time, drop me a line. I do my best to reply to them all!