Unconscious Foresight

I shared this on Twitter and Facebook last night:
“Now that quilting fabric is over $11/yard, I’m grateful I had the foresight to stock up”
I was being cheeky, of course, but there is definitely some truth to it.  Maybe stashing/acquiring/hoarding fabric was not really a conscious endeavor… but in hindsight, I’m thankful to I have a good sized stash of fabric to work with. 
You see, once the retail price of quilting cotton went over $9.99, I became very aware of the reaction my psyche had to seeing the $10+ price tag.  And I have to say, it prevented a lot of purchases that would have otherwise been impulse buys.  And, now that the Fall 2011 fabrics have all been hitting the stores at near, or over, $11/yard I’m only buying what I have an actual immediate project in mind for or need for.  This is incredibly rare for me when it comes to my fabric obsession.  
I’ve been reorganizing my stash, hence the Instagram photo in the first place, and as I was folding and refolding and sorting fabric, thoughts swirled in my head about how my purchasing habits have changed and evolved over the past five or so years.
I’m curious how you see it…
Have the higher prices of quilting cotton in the U.S. slowed your buying any?
Are you buying just as much as you did two years ago?  
Are you buying more because the variety of prints and collections on the market are greater and more varied every season?
Do you close your eyes and ignore the price when you find a print you adore?
Do you buy the fabric anyway because you want to support the fabric dealer (LQS or website dealer)?

18 thoughts on “Unconscious Foresight

  1. I think I get more excited over bargains now… I remember fabric.com had a free spirit blowout a couple of years ago, and I got something like 16 yds for $35-ish dollars (low prices with coupons & free shipping), which was a-freaking-mazing. Don't see that anymore, so deals get me a bit more excited nowadays. I'm probably buying more selectively now, I have a lot of random fabric from a couple of years ago that I know I'll never use and am trying to destash with someone to make charity quilts (any ideas??). I'm buying more on etsy because they don't tend to sell at that higher $11 MSRP as much. I also can't resist the $2 FQ table at my local Japanese fabric store (seriously, when did FQs become $3.50 each??). And sometimes I just click “buy” because I really want the print (Washi tape and those Melody Miller typewriters come to mind)

  2. I'm with you and celebrating my stash. I'm choosier now about what I'm buying.

    There are a few lines out that I'd like to buy. But unless I have a definite project for it, I won't get it.

    When I buy fabric, I try to buy it from my local shop. And if they don't carry it, I'll get it from an online retailer. Local First. Local shops are my lifeline and social quilting hub that keeps me sane. So they get my business.

  3. I am absolutely being very price conscious in my fabric buying. No $10-$12/yard for me. I am certainly buying fabric but it's sale or some of those wonderful stores that are out there that sell at a lower margin than the big quilt shops.

    I remember a post that encouraged fabric buying before retirement so that a stash would be available when income became fixed. Made sense to me and I embraced it completely. I pass that along to others who need to “shop”! 🙂


  4. Oh I see sticker shock each time I go in search. But I have a lot of project that I need to work on and fabrics for them. I do not have a lot of stash though to start anything new so I sometimes wait for the shop hops when I can get 20 percent plus on to buy some fun new fabrics which I crave. This past weekend I went into a shop I had not been to before that had a back room with 30 percent off and I bought 3 1/2 yard pieces of some 30's fabric that I did not have any of. I love all the 30's fabric and have a hard time passing it by.

  5. I shop online, I'm still too greedy to pay 10$ a yard, maybe 7 or 8… I send fabric to friends overseas- they order it and I repack it and ship it over, they pay around 20$ a yard…

  6. Bless my mess has quickly turned into bless my stash. The prices of fabric have really changed how I go about purchasing fabric. It is almost all needs based with virtually no impulse purchases. If I really cannot live without a print, I try to support my LQS or favorite online shops.

  7. I'm still shopping on line from the US, it's still cheaper than the UK including postage! at nearly £13 a meter, my habit has been curtailed a lot, but bargain sale prices I can't resist! But I have a a great unconcious foresight to fall back on too! 🙂 Careful, savvy smart shopping has become the order of the day 🙂

  8. I only buy when I have a project in mind now…..unless it's something really special…I have a large stash that was going to be for my retirement ….but singledom came first (and unexpectedly) so my buying was severely curtailed!! Fabric is $20-22 here but I still support my LQS most times but for larger purchases (say borders / backings) I shop online in the US unless I can find the fabric on sale here.
    When I look at some of the fabrics in my stash I just wonder what I was thinking when I bought it!

  9. Quilting cottons here tend to go between $12-24/metre (Canada). I've been buying a lot online because the prices in the US are way cheaper and I can get stuff not carried at my local but I like to support my local whenever possible. They get all my batting business and I never leave there without a yard or two, or a handful of fat quarters.

  10. I paid $13/yard the other day at my LQS without realizing it. It just never occurred to me it could be that high and I'm still in shock. I certainly won't do that again! :))

    I think it's much easier to find reasonable prices online (even with shipping) and that's probably where I'll continue to do most of my shopping. Even though I have an online shop – I don't carry everything so I still have to shop for fabric!

    I do like to buy fabric when we go on trips. I consider it my “souvenir” and it halps me to remember the trip. In that case, cost/price doesn't matter as much.

  11. Definitely buying much less. Finances in general have hit the skids and that is the first reason to stop. I have stopped BOMs.. have finished out most of my commitments.

    I too moved my stash in the fall and in touching and sorting and folding was great soothed and happy to find some great goods.

    Cotton prices are suppose to come down in the next year. While I do not thing prices will go back to $8.50 a yard, I am curious to see if the fab companies pull the prices back when their raw materials are cheaper…

  12. I haven't noticed the higher prices of cotton fabric, so I guess that means it doesn't affect my buying decisions. When I first got into quilting about 13 years ago, I bought a lot of the designers' new collections just to start a stash. But nowadays, I buy prints I really love, and I buy what I need, which is usually basics and solids to extend my stash. Some people have fabric stashes so big they couldn't possibly use up what they have in two lifetimes.

  13. I am one of those people Terri is talking about. I “justify” the size of my stash due to the fact that I have been quilting nearly twenty years, worked in a quilt shop and am one of those stashing away for retirement. That being said, this year I'm definitely “shopping” my stash, which feels wonderful, and also donating some of it (and lots of scraps) to newer quilters trying to build up a stash, which also feels great. I now think about things in my shopping cart and leave them for a couple of days. Either by then I'm totally obsessing (and buy) or have forgotten about them (which means I don't need them).

  14. LOL, I was wondering why recently every fabric I liked was $10.50 or better. I'm having a hard time justifying those prices as well unless I've got a project in mind. Oh well, guess I need to make some of those projects I've had in mind that I have fabric for.

  15. I have a large stash and lots of UFOs so I am going to try to use what I have. But when I see a new line and fall in love with it, I'll probably have to get some of it. I am terrible at impulse buying. But I always look for the sale rack to see if there is something there for backings.

  16. see, this is why i'm a scrap quilter! use it all, even down to the very last bits. it goes an awful long way. hee hee!

    i haven't been buying much fabric at all, lately. i've wanted to buy some of the new ds line at JoAnn's, but it always seems to be at 25% off, so it's not a very good bargain. so i keep waiting.

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