Posts filed under ‘Stash’
After my post about finding Heather Ross fabric…I slipped into an ugly downward spiral of obsession. I realized there are so many gorgeous Ross prints that I didn’t have in my collection yet! I had to have them. I HAD to HAVE them. (I know I’m coming off as super materialistic – pun intended – but I pinky swear that I’m not THAT bad. This is my big vice. This and dark chocolate.) So after two days of Googling and emotionally justifying the cost, here’s what I have:
Yup…a whole STACK of Munki Munki pajamas. All beautiful Heather Ross prints that aren’t made anymore. Now, if you look at this and think, “what the heck is she going to do with all of those PJs?” then you aren’t thinking like a sewist. If you know the Munki Munki line, then you know the PJs were often sold for upwards of $80 retail. And if you know me, you’ll know there’s no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that I would pay that price. But thanks to Google and some digging around time, I found all of this stuff on sale for well below retail. It’s funny how value is so subjective. The pajama sellers just think this is older stuff that hasn’t sold and isn’t being printed anymore…so clear it out. I’m thinking these are hard-to-find prints of out-of-print fabric from a fabulous designer that are valuable. Go figure.
These lovelies are going to be sliced and diced into lovely pieces for patchwork. If you can’t see the prints I got: Bicycles, Brides, Gnomes, Vans, Shoes, Ice Cream Truck, Coffee, Martians, Sushi, and Yoga. Isn’t it neat how you can see how this early work of hers influenced some her of later stuff.
There’s a mix of PJ shirts, nighties, and the best finds…tops and bottoms (the Ice Cream Truck and VW Buses – SO cute.) I shopped around and bought the largest size of whatever PJ was available. And I only purchased the cotton poplin although I was sorely tempted by all the fun flannel that I found. I’m happy with how large each piece is and I figure I have a nice amount of yardage here. These are going to be so fun to play with!
Here are my faves (cuz you can’t have enough Munki love pictures.) Have you seen these before? They’re just the cutest things ever. I love love love the ice cream truck print…it’s so cheerful and fun and completely captures the essence of the ice cream truck excitement.
And because I know I’ll get asked…this is a combination of shopping ebay, Amazon, and Only Pajamas. Repro Depot also has some straight yardage left of Munki Munki prints. The “poolside” print may have to find its way into my collection…
I’m mulling over an all Heather Ross quilt top (from the PJs and the other fabrics in my stash. ) But the prints are so different thematically that I’m not sure how that would really work. So I’ll probably just work in pieces into projects here and there. Whatever I end up doing with them, I know these will add whimsy and delight to the project.
Now if my Far Far Away pre-order would just arrive.
Wow! Little Knits got Koigu in stock!!! And she has a ton of colorways. AND it’s listed for $12.25/skein…which is less than a lot of other places nowadays. (Still freaking expensive considering Shibui – another fave of mine – is usually under $10/skein.)
Since I have, let’s just say – a LOT of KPPM already, I thought I’d share this news with you. If you get some, let me know so that I can stash vicariously through you!
There are few things that tick me off in a fabric store more than poorly cut fabric. Ok, the customer that snags that clearance bolt that I wanted kills me. But after that…it’s the mis-cut fabric that I seem to often get from both brick and mortar and online stores.
Every store seems to do it differently. Scissors, rotary cutters, snip and tear…I’ve seen ‘em all…and I’ve been hosed by them all. I just finished folding fabrics from 3 different shopping trips and was amused and bemused by the inconsistency in the cuts of fabric I had. To that end, here’s my little manifesto about fabric cuts.
- Whatever cutting method you use…use it consistently. Store owners…pick your method, train your employees.
- Recognize that you are likely not cutting in a straight line. Look at the piece you just cut from the bolt. If you just take a step back, you can usually see if the cut is really wonky or not.
- Grant your consumer a 37″ yard. Sure, they’re only paying for 36″…but that extra inch goes a long way to covering up miscut issues, length lost in pre-washing tangle, and cultivating customer goodwill.
- The shortest length of the fabric should be the length requested by the customer. Most stores only look at the side (fold or selvedge) closest to them when cutting. But often, cuts veer inward as you extend your arm which means you may have 36″ near you but only 34″ away from you. I don’t call that a yard.
- Slow down. I know it’s tough when the store is packed and you’ve got a bajillion fabrics to slice. But take an extra nano-second to make your cuts in an effort to make them straight and even.
- Offer bolt ends at a discount as a continuous cut. A bolt end would be anything shorter than 18″ left on the bolt if you made that final cut. This is easy to eyeball before you cut and it leaves the customer with nice long length and it clears you out of the bolt if they take you up on it.
- Keep your cutting area clean. Fabric loves picking up on random gunky bits on tables and it’s terrible to get home only to realize you have an errant ink, ice tea, or envelope glue stain on your beautiful fabric.
- Not necessarily related directly to the cut…but please don’t roll your eyes when I bring up a large stack of bolts. You sell fabric. I’m buying fabric. Sure, it may not be fun to cut 14 individual yards, but that’s what you signed up to do. (In return, I promise to try and pace myself and hold back if you’re really busy. Unless it’s a sale. Then all bets are off.)
Of course…the counterpoint to this is probably a code of conduct for us customers. I’ve seen some pretty horrific behavior from customers in stores before that I wouldn’t want to put up with.
So fellow fabric lovers…what say you? Am I being too strident? Did I miss any big things? These are my thoughts on getting yardage cut but there are other peeves I have when I shop for fabric. But that can be for another grumpus day.
…or how to spend less (theoretically so that you can buy more.)
I’m a notorious stasher. It’s pretty well known amongst my friends that I collect certain things with an uncompromising passion (ie obsession.). Stamps, yarn, paper, and fabric… I have tons of it all. I know I’ll get around to using it eventually. In the meantime, it helps insulate my house which reduces energy costs, right? *nudge*
Since I’m not made of money, I’ve had to become a pretty savvy shopper to keep me in excessive supply. I almost never pay retail for anything and when I do, it’s only after I’ve done a lot of research to make sure I can’t find it cheaper elsewhere.
Thanks to online shopping, we’ve got stores from across the country (and around the globe) available to us. I’m a big fan of shopping locally and supporting your town’s craft stores. You can find great deals in the sale sections and with coupons and you should take advantage of those when you can. But barring local deals, the internet is a shopper heaven…and hell considering the sheer amount of info out there. But it’s often worth the effort.
For example, Heather Ross recently announced that she will not be releasing new designs in the near future and existing lines will not be reprinted. Suddenly her fabrics (which were already in high demand) are instant collectibles. But what does that really mean? It means some sellers are raising their prices from sale/retail to collectible/rare prices. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay that.
The Fabric Shopper, which is an absolute favorite site of mine, is running a little piece on finding some of Heather’s fabrics. (What’s that, you didn’t know about The Fabric Shopper?! Quick…subscribe to their feed asap! It’s awesome.)
West Hill Article Lightening Bugs and Other Mysteries Article
They’ve done a great job of finding the fabric for you on Etsy and other major online sellers. But as I started cruising those links (and I won’t list any specific stores here to protect the “innocent”) I realized that there was some definite supply-and-demand pricing going on. A yard for one pattern was listed for $35! Fat quarters are being listed for $13 and $15. I, personally, am not willing to pay that much…especially when 15 minutes of my time will suss out everything I want for more reasonable prices. And I had to find more reasonable prices since Ross is one of my favorite designers and I have to get my hot little fingers on some of that fabric before it’s gone gone gone!
Here’s where Google comes in. Through my day job, I have a solid knowledge of search engine practices. And here’s the thing…sometimes you have to go deeper than page 3 of the search results. Corporations pay companies like mine a lot of money to help them figure out how to optimize their website so that it appears on the first page of search results on Google. And there’s a business reason why. Studies show, clicks are maxmized from that first page and that most people don’t dig into the results more deeply than the 3rd page.
But for bargain hunters, there’s treasure to be found beyond page 3. Small retailers don’t have the website build/taxonomy know-how or website traffic to get their pages on those first results pages. But they have the product, and they have it at good prices. Sure, their site may not be flashy or pretty…but who cares?
I spent 15 minutes searching through Google results for “‘Heather Ross’ fabric” and I went through the results up to the 20th (!) page of results. But what did that yield? I found Heather Ross prints I didn’t find on Etsy or ebay. I found prints listed in the sale section of stores for 1/2 off retail (and that’s for yardage going for premium prices on Etsy sellers and on Ebay.) Sure, it took some digging on the various websites…but when an Etsy seller lists a fat quarter for $13 and I find a yard of it for $8.95 it’s worth it to me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Etsy and eBay fan…especially Etsy. I find great bargains there all of the time. But the Heather Ross example is a great instance where Etsy/eBay are not going to yield your best deals or even your best selection.
You may be asking “What’s your point?!” by now. My point is – I hate spending more than I need to and in today’s economic times, I wanted to share my experience with you so that you can save a little money but still fuel your craft habit too. The Heather Ross example is just a single example. Dig deeper in search results and you’ll find a plethora of buried bargains for anything you want to buy.
And to save you some time…here are the prime links I found for Heather Ross’ Lightening Bugs and Other Mysteries and West Hill collections. You can often find pieces of her other lines at these stores too…but I focused on the two previously mentioned lines. Happy shopping!
On Board Fabrics 1
On Board Fabrics 2
Sew Mama Sew
Crafters Vision (search for Heather Ross)
(update 4/6/09 – After a couple of reports from you, I’ve removed Around the Block from this list as it appears they are out of business but still taking orders. Grrr. Thanks for keeping me informed everyone!)
Shop Crafty Planet
I’m sick. I hate being sick. Especially when I’m so sick I don’t have the energy to craft. It’s like…I finally have some free time but I’m too sick to DO anything. Gah!
So to fulfill my urge to craft, I garnered the energy to refold my latest stash acquisitions (which had previously been stacking up in random areas of my craft room floor). For your viewing pleasure (and I know y’all out there totally understand the beauty of this) I present approximately 2 months worth of fabric stashing. The little stack on top are just fat quarters. The three big stacks on the bottom are mixes of 1 and 2 yard cuts. (You can click on the pic for a larger view – cuz that much gorgeous fabric needs to be seen as big as possible, n’est ce pas?)
For the record, this doesn’t include two quilt kits (and backing) that I picked up. Hmmm…those yards of heavy weight and home dec fabric didn’t make it into the picture either. Oops.
There are people out there who only buy supplies when they have a project in mind. They buy just what they need/want for that project and walk away happy in the knowledge that their precious fabric has purpose. I am not that kind of person. I’m schizophrenic when I shop for fabric. Hmmm…pinks and greens…I want to do a pink and green quilt someday. Oh! I like brown today. Wait, the new Joel Dewberry?! Mine! I rarely have a plan when I go into a fabric store, I grab bolts impulsively, and rarely do the things I walk out with have any reason between them.
But for those of you who pooh-pooh scatter-shot aimless stashing…I present a selection from the above piles. These are from eBay and 2 local shops.
Are you seeing the magic I’m seeing? Stashing RULES.
As soon as I saw the preview of Amy Butler’s new fabric line, I had to make sure you knew about it.
Midwest Modern. The former mid-westerner in me loves this so much. It sounds like it will be lighter weight than the Nigella line – which is nice because Nigella broke the bank for a couple of its heavy-weight yards and made it hard to coordinate with other fabrics. I imagine these will end up in my stash when they come out.
I fell in love with Heather Bailey‘s Freshcut line the moment I saw it. The patterns are feminine and classic…but with a modern twist. Perfect! Sadly, the local shops I frequent don’t carry the line and I, for the most part, had to admire from afar. I did pick up some charm packs on eBay and I used some in my 2nd bagsket. That really just whetted my appetite for the fabric.
There were many times I filled an online shopping cart only to close the browser and walk away (look! I can exhibit self-control). I certainly don’t need more fabric right now. And how to choose which pieces to get? But finally…finally I had to give in to my inner stash-a-holic. I think the magic words “free shipping, no tax” sucked me in.
Although I’m not known for my restraint when it comes to craft supplies…this is a pretty big splurge, even for me.
Those would all be 1/2 yard pieces – the complete line in all three colorways. Bliss.
I missed the Black Sheep Gathering last year and regretted it. And with all the craziness in life right now I almost missed it this year too…but at the last moment Mike and I decided to make it happen. It was a fibery good time for me and a lesson in loving patience for Mike.
You know Mike’s not having such a bad time when he starts saying, “We could keep some sheep! It doesn’t look too hard.” Of course, keep in mind that this is the guy that went to Mt. Rainier and said “That doesn’t look so tall.” 30 mins into the hike later he rescinded that comment. Needless to say, we came home sans livestock.
Presenting the requisite haul photos. I want to point out…this stash enhancement demonstrates extreme restraint on my part.
Of course I would NEVER go to the Blue Moon booth and walk away STR-less. That really would be sacrilege. You can’t see it, but this also represents the greatest personal tragedy I experienced at BSG. Apparently, Blue Moon had a WALL OF SECONDS when they opened. But alas, when I got there it was all gone. SECONDS people! SECONDS! I can’t believe I missed out on that. Medium weight skeins were just $14. Alas. I managed to comfort myself with this:
And here’s where I spent the chunk of my “budget” (ha! budget. as if.) I’m currently a complete geek over Lori Lawson’s stuff from Capistrano Fiber Arts. Whether it’s BFL, Merino/Silk or Alpaca/Merino/Tencel…it’s all pure magic. Her eye for color is phenomenal…really one of the best in the industry. I really wanted to ask her to just pack up her whole booth and put it in the back of our car. Look at this stuff…can you blame me?
Finally a few lovely random bits:
And, of course, some superwash merino from my beloved Crown Mountain Farms. Colorway: Secret Agent Man. Really, 8.5oz of hand-dyed fun for only $19? It’s still the best deal around.
So see, all in all not TOO bad. *cough* At least I did restrain myself from buying pounds of the baby camel and baby alpaca that was there. Realisitically, I’m no where near having the time to spin for a sweater. But really, I petted those bundles of buttery softness until the vendors shooed me out of their area. I can’t wait for next year!
That’s what I managed to spend at the Weaving Works sale on Thursday. It was crazy! Women were lined up outside before the doors opened and the crush inside was a bit scary. It was a lot of fake-politeness. “Oh, am I blocking you from reaching the $2 box? I’m so sorry! [but I won't move for you!]” Thankfully, Shiori was there too and helped keep me a bit grounded (well, except for something I’ll tell you about in a sec.)
This wasn’t in my plan:
But Shiori picked up every white ball of Misti Alpaca lace weight, and I was consumed by the need to stock up in light of the sudden shortage. Do I need this? No. Do I already have a lace project languising on the needles? Yes. Am I sick? Apparently.
The ongoing theme of “impulse control – what’s that?” continued with my acquisition of more “Gu” (as Janell calls it.)
Ahhhh…sweet sweet Koigu. If there is a yarn that can induce a chemical high…this is it.
Thankfully the crush of the crowd got to me and I got out of there in 25 minutes. The really scary thing is…the sale goes through Sunday and I’m starting to think about that bag of Classic Elite Wings I left behind.
As some people know…I have a bit of a compulsion when it comes to craft supplies. I have a bajillion rubber stamps, enough scrapbooking paper to anchor a yacht and don’t even get me started on my french beaded flower phase. So why would knitting be any different?
The sheer variety of sock yarn is intoxicating to me. And let’s just say I have a bit of an impulse control issue at times. The word “sale” is like heroin. Anyway. When we moved into our new house we had this “extra” china hutch that I inherited from my grandparents. Turns out it was really made to store/display my sock yarn and not my dishes.
I have to admit, I take immense pleasure from looking at it all tucked away in the hutch. The colors are inspiring and I feel comforted knowing that when the next Ice Age comes, my family and I will have the toastiest feet this side of Ecuador. And actually, seeing all this yarn together kind of helps me pull back on shopping because I really do have ENOUGH.
The extent of the madness:
- The top shelf is 100% Koigu. (please note the nice space at the top of the shelf for more Koigu in case some should happen to come home with me in the future.)
- The next shelf down is: left – Etsy sock yarn purchases and right – Socks that Rock, Angora Valley, Fleece Artist and Shaefer Anne
- The next shelf down is: mostly Lorna’s Laces with some Etsy thrown in. Oh…and Trekking XXL.
- The bottom shelf is: Random assortment of sock yarn from Hello Yarn and other random places
Don’t ask about the drawers below. It’s not sock yarn…but the rest of the stash flash is for another day. And don’t worry…I have a closet full of other yarns too. God forbid my stash comfortably fit in one hutch!
So there it is. The sock yarn stash that has led me to walk into some yarn stores and think, “Hrm. I have a better selection of sock yarn than this.”
So Janell…bring it!
(And you know, now that I look at it…there’s really far too much space left in the hutch. Better go see what’s happening on Etsy.)