If you are into multimedia fabric art, then you will love this multimedia fabric heart Valentine by Terri Stegmiller.  Using foundation paper, Neocolor crayons and a quilting technique she has created a look that is truly one of a kind.  The unique black thread stitching against the soft pinks and neutral background gives it an eclectic feel. This is another project that could have multiple applications.  Add it to a Valentine quilt, use if for a great throw pillow or even tote bag, the possibilities are endless.

Quilted Multimedia Fabric Heart Valentine

 

Multimedia Fabric Heart Valentine

Sewn Valentine Heart by Terri Stegmiller

 

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valentine fabric

Shop your favorite online shops for Valentine inspired fabric!

 

Fabricworm has Kiss Kiss by Abi Hall!

fabricworm valentine fabric

Owls & Drum has Love Struck by Alexander Henry!

lovestruck valentine fabric owl & drum

Fat Quarter Shop has Valentine Rose by Tanya Whelan!

valentine rose valentine fabric fat quarter shop

Pink Castle Fabrics has Floral Bouquet from Lecien

floral bouquet pink castle fabrics

Marie Madeline has Slipper Roses by Tanya Whelan!

Slipper Roses Valentine Fabric Marie Madeline

Sew Simple Fabric has Botanique by Joel Dewberry!

botanique sew simple valentine

Fabric Spot has Simply Sweet from Riley Blake!

simply sweet fabric spot

Sew Modern has Surrounded by Love from Deb Strain!

surrounded by love sew modern

Shabby Fabrics has Antique Rose by Lecien

Antique Rose Shabby Fabrics

Canton Village Quilt Works has Rose Garden by Martha Negley

rose garden canton village quilt works

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So how does a Fabric Shopper shop for fabric?  Today I am going to give you all my secrets to finding the very best fabric at the very best price.  These are my online only tips, because some of you are like me and can only get great designers and manufacturers online and not at local quilting shops.  Also, I may give a few specific shop names as examples, but this is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list.  There are thousands and thousands of great shops from which to buy.

how to shop for fabric online

How to shop for fabric online

 

How much fabric do I need?

When I have a specific project in mind, the first step is to know what type of fabric you need, how many prints you need, and how much of each of those prints you need.  So let’s say I have a little girls dress that calls for 3 prints: a half yard of a main fabric, and 2 quarter yards for details and trim.  Now it’s time to shop.

What type of fabric do I need?

Most projects that I sew require quilting weight cotton.  It’s the most common.  Sometimes I might need a minky for the back of a blanket, so then I typically go to JoAnn, but many online fabric shops carry minky these days.  I rarely shop for knit, rayon, or voile, but all of these are easily found at many fabric shops as well.  When I need home decor weight fabric I like to go to Fabric.com because they have a large selection and free returns.  Always make sure you know what type of fabric your project requires.

What brand or designer?

I typically like to find fabric that is made by a manufacturer I know and trust, like Riley Blake, Micheal Miller, Free Spirit, or Art Gallery.  These are just a few companies (though not an exhaustive list by any means) from whom I know the kind of quality I’m going to get.  Also, most of my favorite designers produce for one of these 4 companies, so they typically have what I like.

My personal favorite designers usually depend on the project as well.  Some, like Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, and Joel Dewberry are great for sewing for around the house or something I want to incorporate into decor.  The Quilted Fish, Lori Whitlock, and Patty Sloniger are perfect for kids and baby items.  My Mind’s Eye is great for boys fabric.

What price do I want to pay?

If I don’t have a specific fabric in mind and I am looking for something easy on the pocket book, I start shopping sale sections.  So I might go someplace like Fabric.com and see if they are having any current sales on any of these manufacturers.  They typically have daily specials, so it’s a good place to start.

Or, I go to the sale sections of some of my favorite online shops and see what they have.  Hawthorne Threads, Fabricworm, Fat Quarter Shop all tend to carry just about everything, and they have sale sections that are easy to navigate.  Most of the Fabric Shopper sponsors have great sale sections and I highly recommend starting with any of them.

Sometimes I see a newly released collection and know I just have to have it!  Then I am looking specifically for prints from that collection and I use the following steps for this instance as well.

How do I choose coordinating prints?

Now I know I need 3 coordinating prints. When shopping online, it’s always safe to stay within a specific collection. That completely takes away any guesswork.

Fashionable Fabrics is a great site to browse by collection and before you even click on the section you know if that collection is on sale.

fashionable fabrics collection with sale

Fashionable Fabrics Collection with Sale Tags

 

Fabricworm has sale % sections and even though they aren’t listed by collection, you can find all of the prints from the collection beside each other in each section.

Fabricworm Sale Section

Fabricworm Sale Section

 

Fat Quarter Shop gives you a lot of ways to organize your searches, by name, price, etc…

Fat Quarter Shop Sale Page

Fat Quarter Shop Sale Page

Hawthorne Threads is a great reference because the collections are always broken down into color palettes, like this:

hawthorne threads palettes

Hawthorne threads Palettes

 

But maybe you’d prefer to mix prints from different designers and difference collections.  The Fabric Shopper has a great series called Mix It Up Monday that almost always shows photographs of fabric bundles.  How does this help even though computer monitors can still show colors slightly different than real life?

coordinated fabrics

coordinating fabric lines

 

Let’s say I want my project to be red.  I don’t care if that red is slightly berry red, wine red, or clay red.  I do however want to make sure that I don’t end up with one of each (ick!) So the photograph may not make it perfectly clear which red is showing on my monitor, but I can tell that whichever shade they are, they will coordinate.  Fool proof!  The same goes for any shade of blue, green, yellow, whatever color you’d like!

Time to buy

So I’ve decided on my 3 prints.  Now where do I buy them from?  This decision can be influenced by many factors too, not the least of which is “where can I find them in stock”.

1. How soon do you need them?  If shipping time is a strong factor, then you are going to want to choose a shop that ships same day/next day.  Check the shipping policies to find out if there are any guarantees.  For instance, Fat Quarter Shop promises same day shipping.  Hawthorne Threads ships almost always at least by the next day.  Fabric.com may take up to 2 days or so to ship.  So what is more important?  Price or shipping speed?

2. What is the price?  If you aren’t in a hurry and shipping speed isn’t the major factor, then you can shop around for the best price.  Compare the place you originally choose your prints to other places on the web.

You can choose to just click to places you know and see their prices.  You can go to Google shopping and bring up multiple sources and compare prices.  Another place I like to go is EtsyEtsy is a venue of independent sellers and there are thousands of fabric supply shops selling almost anything you need.  Search for the prints by name and designer, and you can even choose to show results by price.

A few caveats about buying from Etsy.

  • Double check the size of the cut.  Often fabric is cut by the yard, half yard, or fat quarter.  Know which increment you are pricing.
  • The second and most important thing is to check the shop’s policies (especially the shipping policies).  Etsy doesn’t calculate shipping well for fabric sellers and most will come right out and tell you their rates and let you know they will refund the overage.  Look for this info first, but if you are not sure, contact the seller and ask.
  • And third, before buying from a shop on Etsy, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check the seller feedback.  Look for comments like “easy to work with” “fast ship” “great packaging”.  Let other shoppers’ experience be your guide.

3. Is there a return policy?  This differs by shop.  Some allow you to return and some do not.  If this is important, check the shop policies.

4. Method of payment.  Did you want to use Paypal? Many online fabric shops allow you to do so.  Rather use credit? (remember, most credit card companies will reverse charges if you can prove non-delivery, so this might be worth the protection if you are ordering from someplace new).  Make sure they accept your credit card type.

5. Go with what’s familiar.  Often times buyers will look around a little, but they become primarily comfortable with buying from a handful of online shops.  Some buyers are even loyal to the point of only ever buying from a single vendor.  If you have a place you like and the prices are right, go with it.

Always remember…the most important this is that you are comfortable what you have purchased and from where you’ve made your purchase.

The benefits of buying fabric online are infinite, so use these tips the next time you are starting a sewing project.

Anyone else have tips they’d like to add? 

Leave a comment and let us know what had helped you buy fabric online !

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sale fabric

 

Marie Madeline Studio – Hi everyone!  The new year is always a good time to make changes, and marie-madeline is no exception.  We plan on continuing to design and sell our sewing patterns (!), but we will be closing down our fabric store.  That means great prices for you!  All of our fabrics are now $6 per yard, with our sale fabrics $3.00 PER YARD!!  Our boutique and sale sections are also now 45% off!We thank you for your continued support. Happy new year!  xo Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

Sew Simple Fabric – A few great prints remain in our Shop Closing Sale!  Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of 45-60% off prices!

Fabricworm – Great codes “linus5” is $5 off orders of $50 or more “bulk10” is $10 off orders of $100 or more

And don’t miss out!

fabric coupon

Check out the sale sections of your favorite shops for deep discounts on great fabric prints!

Canton Village Quilt Works – clearance section starting around $5/yard & up! Lots of Batiks for around $7!

Chit Chat Fabrics – sales section, right now, all reduced to $7/yard!

Cuts of Cotton – find your favorite basics on sale, ranging $3.50-4.50 per half yard!

Fashionable Fabrics – lots of tempting fabrics in their sale section, ranging from about $4-$8/yard!

Fresh Squeezed Fabrics – sale section! All $6.50/yard!

Fabric Spark – sale section based in Canada!

Fabric Shoppe – sale/clearance section, diverse sale section for every need, lots of laminates!

Fabric Spot – sale section, with average $1-2 discount per yard!

Fabricworm – great weekly sales and sale section ranging from 10% – 60% off!

Fat Quarter Shop – lots of sales and weekly specials on bundles, notions, yardage beginning at $5.25/yard, kits, and much more!

Hawthorne Threads – huge sale section, starting at $4.99/yard!

Lemon Tree Fabrics – check out the great sale section, starting at $4.99/yard!

Marie Madeline Studio$6/yard section!

Mimi’s – Great finds in the clearance section, most $6.99 and under!

Moona Fabrics – Large sale section starting around $6/yard

Owl & Drum – sale section! Most full yard clearance is marked at $7.99/yard!

Pink Castle Fabrics – sale section starting at $6/yard!

Sew Fine Fabric – lots of organic prints in the sale section!

Sew Modern – epic sale section!

Sew Simple FabricsSHOP CLOSING, $6/under!

Shabby Fabrics - sale section!

Skye Reve Fabrics – sale section!

Spiceberry Cottage – sale section with tons of selection!

Stitchin’ Stash – sale section starting at $4/yard!

The Intrepid Thread20-30-50% off sale sections!

Three Dolls Fabric - sale section $6/yard and under!

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fabric coupon

Exciting news!  Your favorite online fabric shops are giving you a secret fabric coupon to use in their shop on January 24th & 25th just for being a Fabric Shopper subscriber!  Several online shops have already signed up to participate and this means big savings for you!

You will receive the email Friday, Jan 23rd and you can use the coupons that weekend!  Don’t miss out!




 
 

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