Confessions of a Quilt-aholic: Buying Fabric…


Let me start off by saying, the original title of this post was “Buying Fabric and Smuggling It Into Your Home”. Yes… I buy a lot of fabric, and yes I do it with my money, and yes, I still feel the need to hide it. Once, I was sitting in the parental unit’s living room with my Cousin-In-Law and I had her picking out fabric for her quilt. MY Cousin proceeded to ask me how much the fabric costs. He was curious because I had a bin full of about 300 fat quarters. I started to tell him, and my Cousin-In-Law told me to ‘Shhhh’. She said he didn’t need to know how much it costs. All I could do was laugh. She just didn’t want to tell him how much she had been spending on fabric. She also sews and someday I think I would like to make a quilt with her. I think we would have terrible amounts of fun! But, back to the main purpose of this post… Why doi we hide how much we spend?

Is it embarrassing to admit it out loud? Would your Significant Other be upset? I feel like I’m not in the same boat as a lot of people who quilt, as I do it for a living as well as for a hobby. So, I try not to spend more on fabric than I had sold my previous quilt for. It doesn’t always work. In fact, Joann’s had batting 50% off, and I stocked up on a lot of it! I also get paid on Friday and plan to go and buy more. I buy quite a few king sizes as that is what I use to fill four 60″ by 60″ lap quilts. At 50% off, you just cannot beet it! I’ve had to smuggle them past the person I live with because I feel he would be upset to see me spend money on something he deems ‘fiscally irresponsible’. I just don’t think he understands that I do make money off of this, but I suppose I’ll just have to keep smuggling it in.

When I made that last batch of E Cards, I did the one shown above as a remnant of truth from a friends story she told me. She said her husband found a Joann’s receipt and he blew a gasket, so once she needed some fabric and literally smuggled it in with her groceries. I thought that was mildly excessive when she told me, but now I understand. Once someone told me that they quilt because it is cheaper than therapy. I responded with, “That is a lie and you know it!” I’ve seen how much people spend. I can assure you, my therapy bill is a lot less than what I pay for fabric. Or, what I should say is, what I used to pay for fabric.

Lately I’ve discovered the joys of estate sale auctions. I can buy a box of quilting fabric for a few dollars and it has about 20 to 30 yards in there! Now, you don;t always get the colors you want, but hey, it’s less hand a dollar for 4 yards. I’ll take what I can get. Then, I only have to buy a few different kinds when someone wants to buy a quilt from me. I find it very fiscally responsible! I also recently got a bag full of zippers and other findings for only a dollar. It was quite marvelous! I encourage everyone to go to estate sales to buy there fabric. Just try not to bid against me!

Thanks for reading!

1 Comment

  1. Becki says:

    I guess I am fortunate: I grew up with a mother who sewed and introduced me to the joys of a good quilt shop (and acknowledgements of their prices), and I have a husband who knows how much I spend on fabric for quilts and is okay with that. (He spends much more on his camera equipment for the small films he makes, as well as the models he hires, the musicians he hires, etc; so it’s not like he has a leg to stand on if he DID complain!) The key is using the fabric, thus showing that the fabric has a purpose. I try hard not to just “stash shop”, but to purchase fabric for a specific project (though I sometimes slip, it’s not usually too bad). My husband understands that I will eventually (probably) use the fabric I buy, and he enjoys what I create. Maybe just communication is key?

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