Warning: This post may get a little political!
We’ve all heard of the folks that encourage shopping local, for food, and I have no problem with that, if the food in question is available from a local source. But that’s not what this is all about.
It’s about quilt shops, our local quilt shops, otherwise known as LQS.
As we travel, and opportunity presents, I shop at other than my LQS. Each quilt shop has its own character, and there are often fabrics not seen in an LQS that just call out to be taken home. Last year, we travelled across country, visiting 6 different provinces and 20 different states, and there were quilt shops in all of them, and I bought at many of them. Even, early in the year when we made a trip to northern BC for my niece’s wedding, I stopped at a shop that is an LQS for my sister-in-law – and found some perfect fabrics for our DS1 and DDIL2 for their wedding quilt.
But as I’ve travelled, and chatted with quilt shop owners in Canada, they tell me of a disturbing trend, which is ringing a death knoll to many shops.
The trend? More and more people are heading south of the border to do most of their quilting shopping. Especially those of us who live within a short drive of the border, and easy access to quilt shops not far away.
Okay, I understand – selection, price, a road trip – fun, right!
But what of Canada’s LQS’s? It was recently pointed out to me that in the US, fabric is sold by the yard, where in Canada fabric is sold by the metre, which is about 10% more fabric. So, add to the price of a yard another 10% for the equivalent metre that you would buy in Canada.
That’s just the first consideration. Then add a percentage for the difference in the dollar, which on my credit card statement just recently was as high as 8%.
Okay, then now that $10.95 per yard fabric is equivalent to about $13.00 per meter. Add to that the gas spent to get there, the lunch eaten while out, and you’ve probably spent more for a metre of fabric than you would in the LQS.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t say you have to stay at home and shop. As I said before, when we’re travelling, I take advantage of the quilt shops along the road, mostly because there’s variety out there – and it’s fun!!! But, I do think we need to be aware that if we choose to shop for our fabrics and other quilt supplies outside of our country more and more, the Canadian quilting market is at risk of dying a natural death. And what of the quilters who can’t go south to shop – because of their distance from the border, or because they are restricted physically from travelling?
So I say, support our LQS as much as we can, and keep them alive so everybody can keep on quilting!
That’s all I have to say about that! And, having said that, I want to share with you my recent fabric purchases, some of which, I admit, came from our trip to California.
First, a fabric to go along with the baby animal appliques that I did back in April:
I have the whole alphabet, and a quilt in mind that will be a great cuddle quilt for a little one. This one was bought in California, and I do want to mention that the shops that we visited there appeared to be struggling as well – and this panel at about 0.6 of a yard, cost nearly $10, so converted would be about $14 per yard, or $15.40 per meter, plus the exchange, so not a saving. But a fabric I haven’t seen around here, and I wanted it!
And these I couldn’t resist, reminded me of Harry Potter, and I thought would make another fantastic kid’s quilt:
And this was just too cute to resist:
Then a few days after we got home, my neighbor stopped by to tell me she’d had an opportunity to shop at a fabric warehouse, in Canada, just an hour or so down the road. She’d stocked up, and had lots of extra to share, at a good price, I might add. So, talk about shopping local! I went just a few hundred feet down the road, and came home with some beauties. First, some basics:
And then these beauties:
I really have no idea what I’ll do with these, but they were just too pretty to leave behind. If anybody has any ideas, please share.
Happy quilt shopping! Blessings, Peg