Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fabric Shopping on Black Friday

Do you know Kim of Darwin? Not only is she a fabulous sewer and knitter, she's also hysterically funny. She recently wrote this entry about shopping at Jo-Ann's on Black Friday and how crafty you have to be to get the best fabrics. I've never experienced shopping like Kim describes at Jo-Ann's! It must be a fight to the finish in a small town where there is only one store for miles. Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, Jo-Ann's has a blockbuster sale on flannel from 6 am to 12 noon. In years past, the flannel was on sale for .99 cents a yard. This year the price went up to $1.49. That's still a tremendous savings on fabric that can sell regularly for around six dollars a yard.

Since I live in a big metropolis, I have quite a few Jo-Ann's to choose from. There are two within six miles of me and another three within fifteen miles. On the day before Thanksgiving I had scoped out four stores, just to see which ones I wanted shop at on Friday. I thought I would "try" to get out the door before six am to visit as many as I could but I was up late Thanksgiving evening trying to get some sewing orders finished and in the mail. Consequently, I didn't leave the house until 7:30 am. Even so, I was able to make some great finds at the Porter Ranch store and the Reseda store on Friday.

My shopping spree.

Usually, I'm looking for interesting prints to make my oversized Christmas stockings or animal prints for fleece and flannel throw blankets. For the first time, I was shopping for baby themed flannel prints. I was shopping to build an inventory. My goal is to work next year on making some patchwork baby throw blankets. Many people have told me they are very easy to make and I thought I would see if I could tackle a patchwork blanket.

I've made a few patchwork blankets before, but I bought the patchwork fabric already made that you see in the images of this blankie.

It's a great print with different prints of blue and a chenille blended into the patchwork. Jo-Ann's has some great patchwork fabric in a few pink, green, or blue themed colors but the regular price ranges from $13 to $17 a yard. I need two yards to make a 42" x 59" throw which means just the fabric alone will push the materials cost of the blanket close to forty dollars. I have to wait until it's not on sale and use a coupon to make the price affordable.

Here is a close up of some of the baby flannel prints I will use when I start work next year on making some limited edition, patchwork baby throws.

I also wanted you show you the big roll of cotton chenille I scored a few days ago with a 50% off coupon. This is regularly priced at $12.99 a yard. I will use this fabric in making the the flannel patchwork blankets.

In the mean time, I am sewing, sewing, sewing every moment I am not writing up my coverage of the Phil Spector retrial. I am getting sewing orders about every other day, and it's been an interesting balancing act trying to get to court on time, sew orders, blog on the trial and keep my house clean. As you can probably guess, the clean house is losing. We won't be having anyone over until long after the holidays have passed and the Spector retrial has a resolution.

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