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How to Save Money on Fabric Part 1

Hello, my fellow quilters!

Today I want to talk about fabric--and how to shop smarter.

If you are anything like me, you probably love fabric.  And there are a lot of options when shopping.  Most fabric companies release new collections monthly--some even release 3-4 collections per month.

As much as I wish I had an unlimited budget for purchasing fabrics, the truth is, I have to have a budget or else I get into trouble.  

As a former fabric shop owner, I had to learn quickly that I couldn't buy every collection that was released.  And I had to learn how to shop smart and stay on budget--while still having a well-rounded selection for my customers.

Even though I closed my shop to care for my son and homeschool him, I realized a lot of the same principles applied when buying for myself.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share my top tips for shopping smarter while still "building a proper stash."  (if you don't know that reference--check out my most-read blog post series here).

My #1 tip is to begin by organizing what you already have. 

I hope I'm not alone here, but I can't tell you how many times I have ordered fabric, only to find that I already had enough. 

It happened to me enough times that I learned to start keeping my fabrics more organized.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but just sorting your fabrics by color will help a lot.

I purchased medium sized bins and created these labels to help me get organized. 

You can download these free labels by clicking here.

I prefer to sort by color as it makes curating fabrics much easier.  If I know I need something blue to round out a fabric pull, I can easily see if I have the right shade.

This helps eliminates unnecessary fabric purchases.  

If you have quilt kits or fabrics you know you want to use for a specific pattern, group those together with a note on the pattern you plan to use.

I like to use gallon size ziplock bags and put the fabrics and a note or the pattern cover page in it.  

This will also ensure you don't accidentally use a fabric you had planned to use in a quilt.

My labels also include a category for backing.  I prefer to buy backing yardage when its on sale.  If possible, I buy 6 yard increments as that can usually cover a large throw size or two baby size quilts.

I store that fabric separately so I know not to cut into it. (Or know that if I do want to cut into it, I'm going to need to buy backing again when it's on sale).

If you would like more in-depth tips for storing and organizing your fabrics, check out my blog post on organization here.

For now, simply start by sorting your fabrics.  I bet you will quickly start to see what your favorite colors are and the kind of prints you gravitate to.  This is a win because knowing your personal style will also help guide future purchases. And you will also see what fabrics you may need more of.

Next week, I'll share my second tip for shopping smarter!

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful week and have some time to quilt.


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