Monday, May 24, 2010

Ordering Fabric Online

I've been reading on a few blogs about taking the process pledge and blogging more about the process of creating, as well as finished quilts. Although I love to see everyone's finished projects, reading about others' way of going about things always gives me new ideas and fresh ways of thinking.

Now, for me the first part of the process (and the most fun) is acquiring fabric, whether for a specific project of just to add to the stash. I'm plunked in the middle of the Canadian prairie and although we do have running water, there's no quilt shop nearby that carries the fabric I'm drooling over. So, 90% of my shopping is done online. This has an up side, which is that with two kids under the age of three, I can shop in my chair, without any of the hair-raising experiences that every mom knows happen with kids and stores.

The one problem though, (besides the cost of shipping) is the gamble of purchasing something you've never seen or felt. I've found the swatches I view on my computer to be very accurate in most cases, but there's also a few times when I open up a package and say "ick."

And when it comes to finding fabrics to coordinate with something you already have? Impossible. This is where I've found stash photos from other quilters to be invaluable. Somehow, a close up photo of the fabric in which you can see the actual texture helps me out.

So here's a few fabrics I've ordered recently, and my rambling impressions of them:

First up, Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Flower Field in Orange. I love the entire line of Modern Meadow, but I fell deeply for this print, so I ordered a 1/2 yard of three of the colors.

The flowers are so whimsical. I love their shape. But the orange in this print just isn't doing it for me. I admit I'm a little picky with my oranges. But I put it together with a few other oranges from my stash to compare.

To me is seems a little pinky and washed out compared to these other prints. I'm sure I'll find a use for it, but it's not something I'll order again.

Next up is the two others colors that I ordered in this print and these two did NOT disappoint. These colors work well with so many of my others, and the colors are so clear and lovely.

This is the only navy print in my stash, and I'll be on the lookout for sales so I can purchase some more.

Next up is Monaluna Mingle Squares in Red, Tangerine, and Aqua.
These were a great purchase as well. The colors are bright and true, and the design adds such fun, without being too busy. And Robert Kaufman fabrics are so soft as well.

If I've tempted anyone to go buy some more fabric then I've accomplished my mission!


  1. I find it frustrating not being able to buy what I want locally - we have two quilt shops locally and they have one or two modern lines but the rest is very old fashioned. I think I need to gain confidence in buying online because you just can't see and feel the colours and really know what you're getting and whether it meshes with what you've already got. Especially with solids. I'm investing in a Kona colour chart in the hopes that this helps me with those at least. Interesting post.

  2. I do all my fabric shopping online too. If you haven't already, I recommend a Kona cotton chart. Like you said, trying to match fabrics is the hardest part!

  3. Thanks for this post. Shopping for/choosing fabric is my absolute favourite part of the entire process (hence my Stash Reduction efforts).

  4. A great post! You're absolutely right about not being able to compare fabric in real life. Your pictures are really a great idea.

  5. Great post! I too am stuck in the middle of nowhere, Canada. I love ordering online, but you are so right about finding coordinating fabrics. I've never been disappointed with a Kaufman print. Thanks for sharing your process.

  6. I too order my fabric online and what is frustrating to me is not being able to tell how it feels --- They all say 100% cotton but the differences are incredible maybe fine for quilting but not if you want a soft blouse, etc.
    I wish stores would try to describe the feel. I loved the feel of Heather Ross' Mendocino but will all her other lines be the same?, etc. Or for that matter all Free Spirit fabrics. How do you tell?

  7. I am so tempted...thanks a bunch! Like I need more

    I order 90% of my fabric online and I live in Houston. The stores around me just don't have what I want. If they do its 9.50 a yard.

  8. I love your post! I live in Winnipeg, which is a big size but there are really no "designer" fabric stores...unless you count the one I found that had some Amy Butler on "sale" for $15/meter! So online is definately the way to go. I try to buy fat quarter of half yard cuts from a line, to know they all coordinate, but I am certainly a sucker for the online clearance section...and end up buying single fabrics thinking I'll use them for a dress or something, but that often occupy my stash for quite awhile. But I love online shopping, and the ritual of checking the mailbox every day until that glorious package arrives just adds to the excitement!


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