Scarcity of fabric shops in your area ..or just mine?

Sorry, this got a little long, but please read and I'd love to hear what others across the country say:


Where do you buy your fabric: quilt shops or online? I just started getting back into quilting and have been shopping the Hancock's here.  Hancock's is a regional fabric store chain that's been around for as long as I can remember. It is my go-to place for fabrics, supplies.

 As for quilt shops,those privately owned shops, which I would love to support: well in my area (memphis, TN) I find only two and quite small. I want to support them and try to, but their hours are limited and stock is limited, understandably, and when you  are competing with online stores which have such vast amount of fabric available ...

As for Hancock's Fabrics... I went to two of their stores yesterday and they both are remodeling. It seemed like they were adding more general crafts supplies and that cheap "Made in China" home decor stuff that so many crafts stores sell. They used to be so fabric and sewing oriented... this change made me sad. I guess I'll have to wait it out and see when the "remodeling" is done to see how it really will be.


Oh well, just a lament. Maybe it is different in other areas of the country.  Just wondering what others find in their areas of the country as far as availability of fabric, fabric stores, interest in quilting in general.

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Hi Angie. I buy my fabric at various places. I try to support the local quilt shops, but I do buy in other stores as well as online. We have a shop about 10 minutes away and that is the one that I use the most. Online I like Hancock's of Paducah. I have bought from other online stores. Sometimes I find something at JoAnn Fabric in Bangor. I use to visit the Hancock's Fabric in Ohio when I visited, but the store closed a few years ago.
Hi Angie. Here in Clarksville, Tn we had two quilt shops. One was here for several years and other was open for maybe a year, but both of them have closed. I bought some fabric from them, from WalMart (when they carried it) and we have both Hobby Lobby and Hancocks. I haven't bought any online, but I have bought at Paducah, Nashville and Knoxville's quilt shows.
I do most of my fabric shopping at Hobby Lobby.  I have quilt shop in the area but haven't bought from them yet. They moved all the Jo-ann's Fabrics out of Atlanta and moved them 30+ miles away.  I try to go there once a month when I visit my aunt.
I am lucky enough to have several locally owned quilt stores in my area, but I do find their fabric to be a little out of my price range.  I don't feel I am an experienced enough quilter to warrant sewing with $10.00/yd fabric, lol. I shop at Joann's for the fabric I use in my purses and lately I have turned to online shopping with great success. My favorite shop right now is Great prices, quality fabric, and fast shipping.  I share your lament of a lot of stores "cheapening" their stock of supply and I suspect it will only get worse with the price of cotton skyrocketing.  I have read on another site that a lot of people are having success finding fabric at thriftshops and garage sales; I have not tried that yet.
I know what you mean.  That is the only reason I've only browsed my quilt shop.  My goal is to work my way up to the pricey fabrics.  As far as thriftshops, I've heard of people using bed sheets instead of fabric by the yard.

I've heard of people using bedsheets for backings, but I wouldn't do it.  The weave is way too tight.

The only fabric I'll buy at a thrift store is silk, and usually in for form of scarves; I want to learn  how to incorporate silk into art quilts.  I have silk thread, but I don't have silk batting yet (it's probably the most expensive batting around!).  I thought if I were going to use silk on the front of the quilt then I needed silk as a backing as well, but an art quilter here said she always uses cotton as a backing on her silk quilts.  I really want to do a small project, but I hesitate because silk is sooooo slippery and you have to use some sort of fusing material.  She recommends Misty Fuse.

I once read instructions for using a flat sheet with large designs in it.  They put the batting and backing on and machine stitched around the designs. It's like tracing around the design.  Then all you have to do is add the border. Just a thought for a quicky quilting project

my paternal grandmother used to use sheets as backs and/or fillers for her scrap utility quilts. she would also use old blankets as fillers for heavy winter scrap utility quilts. i have several of her utility quilts. mostly made with old wool clothing, cutains, and other heavy fabrics. she just mixed whatever into them. polyester, wool, cotton, you name it. they aren't very pretty, but they sure do the trick for keeping you warm.

she did make one that is rather pretty and i have it hanging across the quilt rack in my bedroom, where i can see it every day. ;-) reminds me of a bit of my quilting heritage.

my mother also used to use sheets as backs for quilts, especially whe she was making a bedsized quilt. in fact, she has used sheets as top and bottom to make simple tie quilts for children's rooms quite often. sheets also make nice matching curtains. ;-)

what a lovely note. my maternal grmother raised me. she made my clothes, taught me to sew, to do 'stuffed work' and had started teaching me to do cutwork ...when our lives took another path. years later i inherited her quilt tops, and the quilt that was on my bed while growing up. her tops were the incentive to learn quilting. her hands were so deformed with arthritic contractures by the time she took me in that she was no longer piecing quilts. but the shirts she made favorite memories...all the diff fabs and colors in each one...each piece was a dif fab. all i have of her are her tops and her little feather wt which i treasure and carry w/me to my quilt group meets.

i envy you the quilt tops! a cousin of my father's literally stole most of my grandparents' valuables, including the handmade quilts from past generations and the quilt tops that had not been made into quilts. under the guise of helping my grandparents move from their farm to a house in the city she had her husband and her sons load the good stuff into a different truck and haul it to her house, while loading the other things into the moving van and taking it to my grandparents new place. the sheriff and police couldn't decide who had jurisdiction and ultimately my father was unavle to get my grandparents' stuff back. i hare that my father was cheated of his inheritance of things that really meant something. and, i mourn for the lost heritage of quilts made by the women of my family going back generations. i do have the quilt frame used vy those women, though. my cousin didn't realize what it was and left it in the basement, along with a box full of canning jars, except that under the canning jars was a lot of pink depression glass, which now resides in my china hutch and gets used frequently! but, i used the quilting frame in my sewing room. it is from the late 1800s and my father actually has quilted on it with my grandmother and other women in the family. i hope to someday do a quilt on it with my daughters and granddaughters,

families can be full of  sad tragic little people that do things the way your cousin did. my husbands family had a couple of those too. i was blessed by being the only one of five children to know her all those years and the family history from her too. and it was some quirk of fate that brought her quilts and the featherwt to me after she passed. He works in His way...and no other. so i do believe that what goes around comes around. i loved my gramma...she was my mom as far as i was concerned and she knew when we were together. and now i have a little piece of her.. i even continued to sleep under my old quilt until i met and married my husband and learned to quilt and almost died of embarasment to realize that i had nearly 'loved' that old quilt to pieces and it is safely tucked away. and plan to hand quilt the tops for my two grbabies. they are only 2 & 4 ..fortunately ..cause i do tend to procrastinate!

What wonderful memories.


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