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Thursday, February 13, 2014

How We Stock the Quilters' Quarters

Every now and then I'll post a new resource here.  Quilters' Quarters is in its fifth month of existence this week, and our goal was to have a strong presence in town and on line by the time we have our first annual celebration. That gives us seven months to be sure that we are carrying things that you want us to carry.

Here's a look at some of our suppliers, or resources:

New England Quilt Supply

  •  Located in Pembroke, Massachusetts, NEQS is a four-floor warehouse of fabrics, notions, batting, books, rotary mats, cutters, blades and threads of all sorts. Because Quilters' Quarters is a registered retail store with them, we can buy goods at wholesale prices. We then sell them in our shop or online at retail prices, but can discount to promote however we wish (and can afford to do.)
  • This company has an online catalog of all of the products they carry. Customers can go to the catalog, where they will, upon clicking open an item, find retail prices, order numbers, manufacturing details etc. A customer can then browse at leisure and let us know via email any products that you would like us to carry or stock personally for you. As we will have to buy a full bolt or at least a half-bolt, we will do order and if it is something that we think other customers will want as well, we will order it and sell at retail the limited amount that you want .  But, if it is truly unique and we don't think we'll find another buyer to buy the rest, or at least more, of the bolt, we will ask the customer ordering it to buy the full or half-bolt from us. Most bolts at NEQS are 15 yards, but they will split a bolt in half if asked, charging a small fee of $1.00 per bolt.
  • You can find a link to our shop on New England Quilt Supply's Retail Store Locator by clicking Massachusetts on their map. A large number of local quilt shops work with new England Quilt Supply and their websites and locations are available at this link. We are happy to refer to other quilt shops to help our customers find what they are looking for as quickly as meets their needs. 
Quilting Treasures
Click Here to Link to the Linus Project Fabrics

  • Located in Cranston, Rhode Island and owned by employees who live in many areas, this company has a long history of providing quality quilt-shop fabrics. Once made in a factor in western Massachusetts, the fabrics are now ordered and delivered from South Carolina and New Jersey. The designs, patterns and kits are all developed specifically for Quilting Treasures. Our Quilting Treasures Sales Representative lives nearby in Southern New Hampshire.
  • Each season a new line will be released, and will be available for at least two years. Fabrics that sell well will be repeated for another two year cycle. Designers are creating new sets of pattern designs continually. 
  • One of the panels I've ordered (which will arrive in mid-March, 2014) is of Linus holding his blanket; this is part of the Linus Project, which the Merrimack Valley Quilt Guild has supported. I'm happy to be a part of that guild, and will continue offering fabrics that are child-centered.
  • As with New England Quilt Supply, we will order full bolts of 12 yards each. 
  • Quilting Treasures also has a second line of fabrics called V.I.P., which have lower prices per yard and sometimes fewer yards on a bolt. These are fabrics that you may also find at large retail chains like JoAnn's and Walmart. We can order those also. 
  • Customers can view fabrics of Quilting Treasures at their website
A Traveling Salesman named Joe
  • Joe travels from shop to shop offering fabrics from many manufacturers (similar to the lines of fabrics offered at New England Quilt Supply, with whom he works directly.) Joe's bolts are  10 yard bolts, and prices are very similar to both NEQS and QT. 
  • Joe does not (to my knowledge) have an online catalog of his own: however, he does deal in fabrics from Timeless Treasures, Henry Glass, RJR and many more. I bought several bolts of 'blender' fabrics from Joe on his first visit to our shop. Blenders are tone on tone small prints that provide complementary backgrounds for quilt blocks.  
  • Joe deals only with quilt-shop quality fabrics. I will get a complete list of the companies he deals with in the near future, and customers will be able to browse those company's sites and I will be able to order through Joe to find those fabrics being sought. 
Online fabric and notion websites
Occasionally, I will go online to purchase something for the shop.  Some of the sites I favor for this shopping are easily accessible, and most offer "follow by email" links to give a heads-up now and then for special sale items. Shipping is always an expense, but occasionally free shipping is offered if buying in quantity. Here are my favorite on-line sites:
  • Keepsake Quilting a shop in New Hampshire filled with fabric!
  • JoAnn Fabrics lots of coupons for special sales
  • Annie's many pages of fabrics, notions and classes
  • Craftsy video classes for nominal fees, and easy to save and refer to when needed
  • Fons and Porter more notions and books than you could shake a stick at - fabric quarters, too.
And, don't forget: You Tube has a lot of FREE videos on specific quilt skills and ideas! Once you try one, you'll see many more along the side margin.  Some of the advertisements can be skipped after a few seconds. Give it a try! This one is one of the companies that has many videos that are very clear. 

Enjoy some quiet computer time that will whet your appetite for visiting quilt shops! I love having company in the shop and talking with quilt makers - such nice people!

If you're reading this in your email - THANKS! for signing up to follow the blog:

Happy sewing! ~ Terry

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