How Do you Shop? (for Fabric)

There is something you probably already know about me – I get bored easily. My husband says my attention span is about a year – I think he’s being rather generous with that estimate. 🙂 So what does all of that have to do with shopping? Well – I am considering a complete website overhaul.  I’ve been messing around with new headers – but I feel like I need more of a change than that – SO  if I’m going to do this I figure I need YOUR input!

How do you shop for fabric?

This is how it goes in my mind each time I see a print:

1.  That was manufactured by Westminster Fibers (Rowan).

2.  The designer is Amy Butler.

3.  The collection it belongs with is Daisy Chain.

4.  The print name is Kaleidoscope Dots

5.  The colorway is Rose.

I know, however, that some people look at the print and go.  “Oh cute pink with green dots.”  So, I’ve been trying to make my website more shopper friendly for everyone.  I believe my website has come a long way since I launched it.  Improvements have been made but more can be done.  So IF I am going to redo the whole stinkin’ thing, I’d like to get it right!  So tell me –

How do you shop for fabric?

Do you come looking for a specific designer,
an exact print,
a “genre” of fabric (ie children’s prints)
a color you need to find,
do you look for “older” prints,
are you shopping for the newest thing out there?

Thanks for your input.  I’m not promising anything soon.  Another thing you might have realized is that I’m a little bit slow sometimes with getting things done!  But that is a trade off I’m willing to accept so that I can be a Mom to my kids too.  😉

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26 Responses to “How Do you Shop? (for Fabric)”


  1. 1 Melanie April 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    PS I guess a link to my current site might have been useful. it it http://aboveallfabric.com in case ya didn’t know 😮

  2. 2 Melanie O April 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I can give you a bit of insight from my recent survey 🙂 I know my readers are looking #1 for ease of use. They want to find things quickly and usually are searching for specific designers or prints. Since I spend a lot (umm, far too much) time on fabric shop websites, I can give you more info, if you would like. DM me on Twitter if you want my in depth opinion and I’ll send you an email (with more survey results, too!)

  3. 3 Kelly T April 21, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I shop for fabric by main color then fabric lines. For instance I want to make a quilt that is purple and avocado. I look for those colors then I want to see 5-6 fabrics that the person selling the fabric says matches. Thats how I am ok buying online without actually having the fabric in my hand.

  4. 4 ProudMom April 21, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I think I look at color and genre…in no particular order…or at least, based on the project I’m working on. 🙂

  5. 5 Jane April 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Hi, I can tell you more what I do not like than what I do, when I go to an on-line shop, I want to see the fabric right away, I do not want to click through pages and pages to find the picture. I like to now who made it and from what company, but most of all I want to see it right away, hope that helps a little,.

  6. 6 Marissa April 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    All of the above is how I shop. It depends on the project I’m doing but I do shop all those ways.

  7. 7 badhuman April 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I’m usually looking for a specific designer and then possibly a collection or color. But I usually browse through anything labeled “new” just in case I find something I didn’t even know I “needed”.

    I also think it’s helpful in the description to mention all the colors or at least the major ones. I can only imagine how time consuming this is but since colors look different monitors what is actually yellow may come off as green etc. I buy most of my fabric online without seeing it in person and it’s so depressing to get something that doesn’t look at all how it did on the monitor.

  8. 8 Melanie April 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you for all the comments so far! I really appreciate it! Keep ’em coming 🙂

  9. 9 craftapple April 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I shop by designer and manufacturer mostly. When I’m in a brick and mortar quilt shop, I just browse the entire shop, but when I’m at the computer I usually know what I want and if I don’t, I usually default to designers that I like. I also like to see what’s new, even if I’m not going to buy it. Staying current with what’s new is always nice!

    A complete site overhaul? Sounds scary! I hope it goes well for you!

  10. 11 Ericka Reynolds April 21, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I usually look for a specific designer first and then by collection. I don’t often go by specific colors when looking online….if I am at a fabric store (your house) then I might go for a specific color palette….know what I mean?? good luck with the overhall!!

  11. 12 Abby April 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I usually shop by color because I’m making a quilt to match someone’s house/bedroom. For example, I’ve been searching and searching for green/turquoise/brown and if it’s hard to get to pictures of the fabrics in the line, it can take forever searching! The most helpful, is when a line of fabric is shown with all the colorways and prints in one picture and I can decide if it’s anywhere close to what I’m looking for. Once I find the line/designer/etc with the right colors, I start shopping around 🙂

  12. 13 Jana April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    When I shop online, I like to shop by designer and/or collection. When I go into a shop, I shop by color and print. I think it’s because it’s hard to trust the color on your monitor. If I’m looking for a specific shade of green, I will go in somewhere. If I am looking for the green that goes with a Michael Miller collection, I’ll go online because I know I’ll find exactly what I’m looking for.

    I think that’s more answer than you wanted!

  13. 14 Lisa April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    In order, usually genre, then designer, then newest =)

  14. 15 Suzanne April 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I look at all of the above, BUT I love it when you click on a print that you like and then below that print are several complimentary fabrics from either the same line or not. THAT’S what I love!

  15. 16 Jackie April 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Okay, so it depends on the project. I do a little of both. But I would have to say that most of the time, I am looking for a specific color or type of print. I generally like to add to my stash and if something strikes me and I don’t have a specific project in mind, I just buy it.

  16. 17 Melanie April 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Awesome! I’ve already thought of several easy changes I can make quickly to make improvements! This is helping!!! Keep the comments comin’ 🙂

  17. 18 Miss Snips April 22, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I am amazed at the insight into shopping for fabric that all the other people commenting on here are saying!
    For myself, I would would say that shopping for fabric is first off based on colour, and secondly on scale of pattern. I often do look for a specific theme, such as child type prints or floral, or batik. I rarely take into consideration the maker or designer unless the line offered fits in what I happen to be looking for at the time — choices for a quilt MIGHT include a particular collection but would also include supporting choices from where ever they can be gathered, regardless of name or brand.

  18. 19 Kelley April 22, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Just found your website today. Very excited as I love fabric too! When I shop, I start with fabric type (cotton, flannel, minky, satin, etc) then I start with main color, then pattern. Occasionally I’ll start with a designer (I love Amy Butler and a few others), but that isn’t always my first stop.

  19. 20 jenny April 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I usually look at the new fabrics first, then look by designer.

    I second Suzanne’s opinion above — I love seeing “suggested coordinates” that go beyond just showing the rest of that fabric line. Fat Quarter sets that mix up manufacturers / designers are great!

  20. 21 Jenifer April 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    i just linked over from u create (i think)…
    LOVE the fabric selection and cute/trendy style you have.
    in my humble opinion, you just need to work on the initial image QUALITY of your pictures. it was REALLY hard for me to see the fabrics in the first small square… it’s blurry. and, i get frustrated having to click on each one twice before i can see it. (love the swatch circles– it just seems cuter in circles?!)

    if i’m shopping online, i do stick with well-known fabric designers and collections. i wish your site had a “fat quarter pack” picture of the whole collection… so i could see it together. you know, just like you see it on the shelf, all coordinating, and then you can pull of your favorites for the back and stuff… on your blog, you had some collage-type pictures of new fabric lines that you loved… those were PERFECT. Made me want to buy the whole group. but, i got a bit lost on the website trying to picture what the group looks like.

    don’t know about other shoppers, but i’m not really shopping online for “something green” i do that in a shop, online i go for better selection, trendier prints and groups that my little lubbock quilt shop doesn’t carry. seeing the collection all together is VERY tempting. i LOVE the etsy shops where they create packs- like homemade charm packs, with all the cute fabric for not too much money.

    i don’t mean to sound all picky, and i only told you cause you asked… overall, i think you have a GREAT shop and a good eye. good luck with your future endeavors!

  21. 22 Melanie April 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    So much to process! Thank you

    Guess maybe you can start to recommend great web designers too 🙂

  22. 23 randomrevelations April 22, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I rarely shop online, but when I do I just hit the clearance section! I like Suzanne’s comment. Good luck in your overhaul.

  23. 24 lia April 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I like to shop by designers too. It would be great if there were a play to save recently viewed or favorite fabrics so I don’t have to go back and find them again. It is so hard for me to make up my mind about fabrics I usually have to look at them several times to decide.
    Best of luck.

  24. 25 colour du jour April 26, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    actually I think your shopping site is pretty well organized and with lots of info for us information hogs. I like seeing how many yards are available.
    a bigger picture would be helpful tho.

    I hope you get Lila Tuellers Santorini. in like a layer cake or the 5in square set . forget the name.

    You’ll like your laptop…I’m on my 3rd one!


  1. 1 How Do you Shop? (for Fabric) « Fabric Family and Fun Trackback on April 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm

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