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Not all fabric stores can fulfill the same needs. Bigger chain outlets and major fabric retailers will be much more overwhelming and a lot less personal. There are typically fewer employees per customer at the larger retailers, so they are sometimes unable to tailor to your individualized experience when you shop with them.
Helping with the process of picking fabric or getting you started on that first sewing project is the type of one-on-one experience that a smaller, privately run quilt shop such as Inspired to Sew can offer.
The pricing at major retailers is usually more competitive, there are more sales and coupon availability, and most of the time a much larger selection, which works for simpler projects. But if you are looking for that sense of community, the craftsmanship, and the shared interest with other sewists, we know just the place!
The key thing that will set Quilt Shops apart from the major retailers is that we're quilters and crafters ourselves. We’ve spent years learning the craft, collecting various patterns, fabrics, and tips, plus our staff will be enthusiastic when answering any questions you might have.
Finding a smaller, independently-owned store will ensure that you'll find dedicated employees who can answer your questions, offer opinions, or even explain unique and interesting techniques. An independently owned store such as ours will also carry higher-quality and more unique fabric selections than most major retailers.
All fabric is not created equal. Between the thread count, the dyes used, and the production methods, all fabrics are different, and these factors inevitably impact the quality of the finished product. As with most things, when it comes to fabrics, you truly get what you pay for.
The reason you pay higher prices at independently owned fabric stores is because the fabrics are typically much higher quality and may not be available in large quantities. They are also heavier cottons and linens created to endure the test of time.
Larger retailers usually buy lesser quality fabrics in bulk and sell larger quantities of fabric, yet when the fabrics are the same everywhere, it is difficult to have a one-of-a-kind heirloom piece. They also have many employees who may not have the sewing experience necessary for the projects you are working on.
Now, of course, depending on your budget, there's absolutely no reason that you can't use lower quality, more affordable fabrics that you'll find in the larger retailers; especially if you’re making something that will be of limited use, like a Halloween costume that will only be worn once or twice, or items that are going to be discarded after use. Lesser quality and priced fabrics and materials make sense.
Alternatively, if you're going to be sewing a wedding quilt that celebrates the uniting of two hearts, you'll want to invest in higher-quality fabrics. You won’t regret the decision, as the finished product will show the love and care that was invested in creating a lovely heirloom for many generations to treasure.
As independent business owners, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming and inspiring environment, and we will continue to work to be the store for you and to have your needs met. When considering your next project, we hope you visit us at Inspired to Sew in Cedar Rapids. We will help choose the right fabrics and materials to make your project come to life. Stop by or give us a call today at (319) 373-0334.
Image Source: HollyHarry / Shutterstock