Once again I had to go out of town this past weekend. My wonderful friends came over and sat with my fur babies. They said they were going to go and drool on my fabric but I don't think they even made it upstairs to my sewing room. Gosh, no drool to wash off! Oh well.
Of course any time I travel I have to stop at quilt shops out of my normal area. Once again went to Florida and stopped by the Lake City, Fabric Arts Store. They do have some lovely fabric! What can I say. I did pick up a few pieces. My excuse to my hubbie was that I had to bring my buddies back a couple of pieces of fabric for their stash. I always love it when my friends bring me pieces of fabric! It is nice to be thought of and even nicer to figure out ways to use those pieces that someone else purchased with you in mind.
When I have the wonderful fortune of having someone bring me a piece of fabric, I typically find that is is not anything I would have bought myself. Not that it is ugly but it is just somewhat different from my normal taste and let me tell you, these are the best stash builders you can get. I will always find ways to use them and typically they are the stars of the piece when I throw them into the mix. Why, for just that reason, they are not what I normally buy!
If you check it out with your own buying habits when purchasing fabric you will find that you tend to lean toward one type of fabric or one shade of fabric when you have extra money and just pick up something because you like it. I will typically pick up a medium shade of some color that is typically a fairly vibrant color. Peggy loves florals and most of her fabric that she picks has flowers. Other friends do other things consistently. We do purchase other things when we go to the store particularly to purchase a border or sashing or something in particular we are hunting but if we aren't looking for that one particular piece we revert to old habits.
Take a look at your stash of fabrics that contain fabrics you have purchased and see what you find. Leave out those others have given you and what you won at the guild meeting and see if you can pick out your typical fabric purchasing habits. Is anything wrong with doing this.....noooooo. Absolutely nothing is wrong with this. What does happen is when you do decide to reach into the stash and try to pull out fabrics for a quilt you wind up with fewer choices than if you make a real effort to change up your purchasing habits.
I will typically try to do this a couple of times a year. When we go on a shop hop or just a few of us get together and go visiting a few places in the area, I will decide that today I am only going to purchase light colors, or dark colors, or maybe kiddie prints. You can make it anything you want except what you normally purchase. I can't do medium shades of vibrant colors because I have so many of those already. I have found that this works very well for me! I just make a conscious decision before leaving home that today the only fabric I can purchase will be neutrals and I stick to it! That's my real problem, sticking to my decisions when I am in a fabric store, I always find other things I want to buy and they are medium vibrant colors!
This really does help my stash. This way, when I want I can go to my stash and usually pull out fabrics to complete a quilt except for the borders! To me this is just awesome. It's like getting something for nothing. It also makes it wonderful when I have decided to do some quilt gifts for Christmas or birthdays or weddings. It helps me keep my budget in control and that is something we all have to watch these days.
Now back to my trip, or really before my trip. This week was our local quilt guild meeting that we hold each month. Jackie had the program and she had spoken with some people at the Ronald McDonald House in Chattanooga about a donation of some type of thing they could use for the kids and they pointed her to Chattanooga's Childrens Hospital and said they had a need. When Jackie talked with them they told her they like to have each room made up for the kids with something special, like a pillowcase that is bright and cheerful, or a stuffed toy (I think she said) or a little quilt or blanket. This was given to the child being admitted to the hospital and the staff said this was really a great thing for the kids. Jackie brought the project to the guild and brought alone some fabrics to make some pillowcases with along with directions on how to sew a pillowcase and several members also brought pillowcases they had sewn to give to the cause. It was really nice because Jackie had figured out that purchasing 1 yard of 2 different fabrics meant you could make a couple of pillowcases with the main body of one being the same fabric as the cuff on the other pillowcase. Sort of neat really that you could make two pillowcases that coordinated. This would be wonderful in a room with twin beds or bunkbeds for boys or girls. Also a great ideal for Christmas or birthday gifts. All of this in addition to if you want to give some to a charity. I think this would also be a wonderful gift for a womens shelter or a homeless shelter. There are so many ways to use this really simple thing that it is amazing.
At any rate, I stopped at this little quilt shop, where I have been a couple of times before and it was a really great place and the staff was so nice and friendly. Of course being about 350 miles from home, I don't make it down there with any regularity. I found fabric that I wanted to purchase and had it cut and went to check out and at the check out counter they started handing me a ticket for me to save to get so much off my next purchase or you can bankroll them to use several at once to get a bigger discount. Well gosh I was just there a month ago and I already had one in my purse, but they would not go back and redo anything so I just couldn't use it on the day I was there. They said don't worry, they never expire! Gosh, that wasn't what I wanted to hear. I guess that will teach me to get my ducks in order before I stop at these shops that are not in my area with people who don't know me! Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter to them because they are not going to be doing a lot of business with me because I'm so far away. To my way of thinking this is really very poor service. And while they may be nice to their customers that they feel may be repeat business if you are from out of town they don't have to treat you as nicely. Sad if you ask me..... So beware when visiting out of town shops, and get your ducks in a row before you go. Also you may want to ask before you have them cut anything or ring up any purchases about store policies and prices if you purchase all the fabric at the end of bolt, is there a special discount? Do they give a discount for people who are members of a quilt guild? Do they have special savings cards or bags that give you extra discounts? Why ask?
Well there are certain fabric stores that give a 10% discount if you belong to a quilt guild and can prove you belong to the guild. JoAnn's does this. If you are purchasing a backing or several pieces of fabric this can mount up fairly quickly and mean you are able to get some extra fabric or even batting at no cost. Those are good days ladies!
One store gives you a 30% discount if you purchase all the fabric left on a bolt! If you are purchasing borders or backing, again that 30% discount means you can get an extra yard of fabric for every 3 yards you purchase. This adds up quickly. Check out the discount tables or shelves at your local shops. You never can tell what you may find. I ran across some Jenny Beyer Fabric at one quilt store on the discount rack at 50% off. This is a deal!! I got all they had.
Discount racks are also a good place to add to your stash when you can find some neutral colors or some kids prints that you can use at Christmas or for birthdays etc. I love discounts!
Many stores will have discount cards to be used when you have purchased a particular amount and then you can use the card on your next visit. Depending on how far out of town I am, I may or may not bother to get one. Chances are if I do, I may not remember it when I'm back in the store many weeks later. Sort of like the Florida deal and it always frustrates me no end when I miss something like free money!!
I hope you all have a great night and I'll try to get some more pictures posted next week. Got several things going on right now that I think you will all love!