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Friday, October 22, 2010

Fabric Diva's TRADE ON!

I’ve seen some stashes that I’m in awe of here on Stash Management (including Teresa’s GIANT WALL O’Stash) and as you know I do not possess such a stash in the RETRO-Fabulous Sewing room. Still, I’ve managed to outgrow some of my earliest pieces & have had to send them on to a loving home. My ‘extra’ quilting fabric goes to RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and I always keep a nice freebie pile at the house for new quilters beginning their stashes … but sometimes you need a SPECIAL FABRIC.


And the best way to get it is by bartering.


What to do when the must have orange fabric of last year leaves you uninspired? Or the giant pile of reds that prevent you from buying more fabric because they take up an entire shelf in your little sewing room?


Swap it online for the latest must have fabric that your stash is in desperate need of and you can have the room to purchase some unexpected, delicious combination(s) to go with it.

Why Trade? The barter system comes and goes in popularity but it seems to stick with fabric collectors, since it is of course, a VERY VALUABLE commodity. Let’s say for instance you MUST have some Judie Rothermel’s Aunt Grace Scrapbag Fifth & Tenth Anniversary Fabrics but her online shop is out and it’s out of print. None of your local quilt shops have any left, the fabric company that prints it (Marcus Brothers in case you’re wondering) doesn’t sell direct and you haven’t found it through any search engines. You’ve been checking for close to a month in every single second of free time and your family is beginning to worry about the signs of OCD that they heard of recently on television. Give up? OH NO, don’t give up!! If it’s a fabric you must have, find it by trading….though I’ve yet to find someone with this particular fabric…anyone? Anyone???

Be sure to post that you’re interested in trading (or purchasing, if that's the case) & what you’re offering in return. Be very specific so neither you nor your readers will be wasting precious fabric shopping time. You’d be surprised by what people are willing to send in most cases. You don’t have to offer the same type of fabric in return…in fact, you’re probably better off if you didn’t.


Unless of course you find your fabric soul mate (cue choir of angels)---in which case, the two of you could swap faves indefinitely, clapping your hands in excitement with each new package that arrives.


I buy the latest fabrics my local quilt shop has available or offer a nice selection from the stash for most trades. Other times people don’t need more fabric (can you imagine??) but might be interested in the quilting book on your shelf that has been collecting dust since you received it as a present 8 years ago. * BONUS* that’s eligible for media mail and will cost you very little to send on to its new home.


Someone else may be trying to amass blue and white combinations and will happily send you quite a bit of their repro stash that sits in a sad fabric dust cocoon in a lonely corner of their crowded studio if only you could find it in your heart to send some blue & white fat eighths from your little ‘ol stash.

A new machine quilter must have every variegated thread available and will gladly ship you a giant box of out of print fabrics her aunt just gave her in return for a dozen spools. How cool is that??


I find most trades through online quilters groups. You can easily find some by googling your particular interests. If someone knows I’m on the hunt for Nancy Mahoney blues, greens by Darlene Zimmerman & anything from Chloe’s Closet or Bev Proulx's Posies + Puppies line and their sister-in-law happens to be an avid collector of said fabric, they make a call and it all comes together rather quickly. Traders may only swap a couple of times, get more than they need for a particular project and go on with life…others are collecting indefinitely *ah hem* and will never….I mean NEVER have enough.

Trade on dear fabric divas, trade on!!

Thank you, Madame Samm for keeping us in the know.


Happy Swapping!!
Heather

23 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Heather! A decade ago, when I was a newbie quilter, I traded charm squares via a forum thread. It was a great way to get variety in my stash.

    Sue

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  2. Trading fabrics is very fun. We are going to have a flee market in our local quilt guild on thursday. I am so not into Bali fabrics anymore, so I have packed all that stasth and will bring it with me for either selling it or trading it :)

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  3. Fascinating post. I had no idea that was going on. I would happily trade some of my vast quantities of fabric. Do I just put it on the blog?

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  4. Good Morning Heather...how timely is this? My ladies at our quilting group were just talking about having some kind of theme stash exchanges...this is along the same lines...I am sew sure you will many thinking of doing some trading. Stash Trading vs Stock Trading. mmmm I bet we won't see any crash anytime soon. Us Stashers have enough STASH forever and a day. Piece be with you ...madame samm

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  5. Good post! I visited your website and very much enjoyed the tune, "The Goblins Return" on your playlist. Unusual! and CUTE! Where did you hear it?

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  6. Heather! I love it! I never even thought of it. And sorry...I did have some of the green print at one point but whatever I have left is cut into strips and in my scrappy selections. Thanks for the great idea!

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  7. I agree great post!! I recently traded my scraps for orange pieces of fabric. I was trying to collect enough orange to use a differnt pattern for each of my Dear Jane blocks. I had a hard time finding a good variety on my own, so I posted a request to trade online. I ended up having so many people trade so many wonderful fabrics with me that I now have nearly enough for the whole quilt! What I did was they sent me orange pieces and I mailed abck about the same weight of fabric in scraps I had. It was great! I would love to do this again. :)

    Cheers!
    Rachel

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  8. That sounds like a great guild program to me! blessings, marlene

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  9. What a cool idea for a future thing to do on my blog!

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  10. I think I fall in the "Collector.....can never have enough fabric!
    The guild I belonged to before we moved used to host a "garage sale" and we would bring fabric, books and sewing items to sell. Everyone who participated just took a chair as their "sales table" and placed their items on it. No one went home with any money because we basically just exchanged fabrics, books and sewing items. LOL!

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  11. I've done this on the local level, never thought about online groups. This is how I first discovered batiks, swaping for 30's and retros.

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  12. Great idea! How much do you need of the pink and green Aunt Grace prints? I definitely have both since I am in the Aunt Grace autoship club.

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  13. I am AMAZED that you posted this and someone actually happened to have the fabric you were looking for which could not be found through all your searching! What are the odds :)

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  14. Is anyone interested in scraps --- some strips, some squares, some odd-sized little things, great for paper-piecing, string quilts, etc.? I have a couple of drawers full that I'd be willing to trade for just about anything!

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  15. Are we able to reply to a comment? I would happily trade Donkaloosa's scraps for something she would like but I don't seem to be able to reply just to her. Can anyone help an Aussie learner blogger.

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  16. Hello Heather, now this is very interesting. I think you have something there. Your ideas are worth noting and I am taking this to my next guild meeting. I love coming here, you all have so many wonderful ideas.
    big kiss Dee

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  17. I had to check my stash because I used to have the lily of the valley in all of the colors. Alas, all I have left is a half yard of the lavender. I also have the anniversary print (little smaller motif) in red.

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  18. WOW I do have some of the green print. Would love to trade with you Heather.
    How would we go about doing trades? Can you email me? qltnrobin@Hotmail.com
    I have tons of really cool fabric bundles collecting dust, would love to trade for items that I am in need of like threads and background fabrics and batiks LOL.
    Thank you!
    Robin in Idaho

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  19. I never thought of trading! Good idea! Back when computers were "new" we used to have swaps on the chat lists.Those were always fun because different fabrics sold in different parts of the country. There weren't many quilt shops and lots of the fabrics came from chain stores but they were always good quality.

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  20. Trading fabric sounds great. We used to have a shop in Sidney, British Columbia called Fabric Trader where you could take in any fabric that you didn't want and trade it for something in the store. Sadly, they are no longer in business. But I think it was a good idea.
    Sounds like someone has the pink and green lily of the valley you are looking for. If you need it in blue, I have some.

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  21. Dee,

    Thanks for your comment! I was unable to reply directly to you. There are some tips to setting up trades included on my current blog post at this link:

    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com/2010/10/guest-blogging-about-trading-fabric.html

    Happy TRADING!!
    Heather
    =)

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  22. Wonderful ideas! I loved this post. I just left a comment on your follow up article as well. This is perfect for the guilds I'm involved with. THANK YOU!
    Justine B

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  23. I have been on a really intense search for that Lily of the Valley fabric by Judy Rothermel (Marcus Fabrics) and have come up empty-handed! Apparently it is one tough fabric to find! My friend gave me a small piece of the pink, and since then I've been searching everywhere for more of it! I love lilies of the valley and this fabric is the best I've seen. I am looking!!!

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