A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

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I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Shop Local

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.

25.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:

011

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!

Then, at a little, but fantastic shop in Washington, I found these.  This first one will be used with the animal appliques, and alphabet fabric, I think:014

And these I couldn’t resist, reminded me of Harry Potter, and I thought would make another fantastic kid’s quilt:

013

And this was just too cute to resist:

012

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:

010

And then these beauties:

008009

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

9 comments:

  1. Lovely fabrics - you did good! I agree that we need to support our local businesses when we can. I do think that people are not shopping like they used to. I hardly ever go the mall and when I do it is never really busy. Even now, there still seems to be shops closing.

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  2. I agree completely, Peg. I do buy fabric when I travel, but is is mostly small bits, or things I have trouble finding here (e.g. Aurifil thread).

    Visiting quilt shops is a fun part of vacationing for us, and once we're in, we feel obigated to make a at least a small purchase. But I have lost two LQS's in the last 10 years, and I don't want to lose any more! So, I'm willing to pay a bit more to buy local.

    However, I am not prepared to pay a LOT more. One local quilt store had cones of Signature thread for $42!! I refuse to be gouged.

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  3. It's good to shop locally, rather than on the internet, too.

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  4. I usually base my shopping on selection first before price. I think that is what value is. Finding what you want and can afford. Wherever that may be.
    Sadly many small shops are opened without a business plan in a bad location just based on the hopes of owning your own place. Sadly they often fail and their dreams are dashed.

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  5. Hi Peg. I enjoyed your post. I totally agree about supporting our shops. I only shop in the states while traveling because that's part of the fun ; )
    Enjoy those cute fabrics

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  6. I, too, prefer to shop locally. Alas, there are no LQS that would be considered local. :-(

    I have only lately been on the lookout for quilt shops while we're traveling. Most of our destinations don't have any nearby. :-( Although we did stop at Hancock's of Paducah on our way to Florida back in May.

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  7. I do as much as I can...but the sad reality is that my LQS charges $18.99+ per meter, and sometimes I simply can't afford to support my local shoppe, much as it saddens me to resort to on-line sales.

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  8. I usually do a combination of shopping, LQS, on the road and on line. I am a bargain hunter. This week my LQS has their annual 50% off sale. Guess where you will find my Sat. oh and then the rodeo

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  9. Which reminds me... I have some really cute fabrics that a friend gave me when she moved. I'd like to donate them to your stash. I'll send pictures (as soon as I find them again).

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