Works of Late and Buying Fabric Collection by the Bolt

Lately, I have been beyond busy. I am working constantly on orders, no time for much else, and I’m still behind on them. I had a bit of a sales hike in July/August and so that is why the delay. I wanted to thank everyone who is waiting on an order for their patience.

These 3 quilts shipped out last week.

This one is my Honey Honey quilt, shown here in crib size. I’m pretty crazy about this collection and now almost have all the bolts to it. Sometimes I will buy just a few bolts at a time until I have all of them in that collection. I think I’ve combined about 8-10 different prints here. Each time I sell this quilt, I buy a few more bolts. I usually only do this when the fabrics are not on sale. When fabric manufacturers do have sales, I’ll snatch up a whole collection at a time before it runs out. Budgeting is a necessity for me. I love fabric so much that if I didn’t try to budget I’d just be buying buying buying all the time.

I did a meandering loopy quilt design on this one.

This is my Big Sunset Quilt, crib size. This is such an easy quilt. The only semi tedious part would be the sun, but even that part is easy.

I did the curls quilting design on this one.

Don’t you just love a big stack of quilts?

Back to buying bolts…..

How do I decide which fabric collections I’m going to buy? Most of the time I will buy something I like, but a lot of the time I’m just buying a collection b/c my customers keep purchasing the same quilt over and over and it makes more sense and saves me money if I just buy straight from the manufacturer instead of buying from fabric shops.

Fabric shops charge anywhere from $9-10 a yard, whereas the manufacturer sell them to you for around $5.25 a yard depending on which one you are buying from. The only difference is you usually have to buy 10-15 yards. Yeah, so the bolts are quite a big expense. There is also a minimum amount purchase that comes into play.

If I’m just purchasing a collection to put in my shop, I usually have to like it, but I also try to have a variety. I tend to lean towards aquas and greens and peaches as my favorite colors, but I wouldn’t want ONLY fabric collections with those colors, so I try to make sure I’ve got some of everything. If I had a red and turquoise collection, I wouldn’t want to buy a different collection with those same colors. I need variety to appeal to more potential customers.

I have purchased collections that didn’t sell and years later I’ve still got TOO much of those fabrics. Sometimes it’s a bit of a gamble. Now I am just much more pickier about what I buy.

I do get on runs of the same designer. When I first started Amy Butler was my fave and I had everything she came out with, then Joel Dewberry, now I’m loving Bonnie Christine, but I’m trying to limit myself to 1-2 per designer, so that everything is not the same style.

I used to just buy the collections the way they came using all the prints the designer made to go together. When I first started making and selling my quilts on Etsy, there wasn’t anyone else doing what I did. So I could have a quilt in a collection and it be the only one out there. Now there are more and more quilt shops using all the same fabrics, so I try to take a fabric collection, leave some fabrics out of it and add fabrics from a different collection to it, making it my own, making sure nobody else can make the same thing and making my shop stand out a little differently.

I still have a few fabric collections there are all of the same designer, but I’m slowly getting away from that.

I also buy a lot of basics, which are just a simple prints like polka dots or stripes. You might have noticed them in my shop more and more. I buy almost all of these from Riley Blake fabrics. I love how easy their website is to use and navigate. These are great to add into a fabric collection to make it your own.

I will talk more about buying fabrics by the bolt and about each of the fabric manufacturers in another post.

Thanks so much for reading this uber long post!

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