Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wal-Mart Fabric, quilting notions

I've just read that Wal-Mart is phasing out it's fabric and qulting notions departments, starting, apparently in the South but planning to stop carrying them everywhere. Why should I care? There's no Wal-Mart in Manhattan and none within my usual sphere of travel. But there's a big one near my family in Indiana and it's always a destination when I visit there [once a year or so]. I know their fabric wasn't top quality but then I'm happy enough with non=top quality fabric either for backing of charity quilts or for small amounts in other quilts. And I am far from a batting snob tho' I like 70% cotton for nice quilts rather than polyester.

It's just that I feel discriminated against by some "power-that-decides" out there in the retail realms. I had he same feeling when Woolworths folded, not just fabric but entirely. And even earlier -- maybe few people remember this -- but when the big department stores stopped carrying fabrics and then Sears followed. As quilters we are in the millions. Yes, the fine fabrics at good quilt shops are gorgeous and probably worth the $8 to $15 a yard being asked. But I'm a stingy one who has always preferred true scrap quilts to well planned, color coordinated ones.

And while I'm groaning and moaning I discovered some months ago that Barnes & Noble which for years had a couple of shelves of quilting books has reduced the size of their selections drastically and seem to have replaced them with knitting books. I feel betrayed. It's like the big world out there has thumbed its nose at my favorite passtime. Well, I might just have to thumb my nose back at them.


Evelyn said...

I'm conflicted - aren't we supposed to hate Walmart anyway? :-) Unfortunately, my closest Walmart is about 30 minutes away, and I've never been there. Maybe I'll call to see if they still carry fabric.

I have another fabric store annoyance to share. I went to Joann's this weekend, to get some flannel (for a rag quilt). The person cutting them for me did something I've never seen anyone do before. If the starting edge wasn't even, she would line it up and cut off the last inch or two to straighten it up! After the third time, I couldn't help myself, and asked why in the world she was doing that. Every other person I've ever had cut fabric for me would just measure from the shortest part. She said that someone actually measures these bits of fabric and counts them as "waste". And boy, was she exact in her measurements - I got 18", not a smidge more. If this is a new policy of Joann's, I guess I'll be shopping at other stores more often, because I just think it's so wasteful, and time consuming, and annoying as all get-out!

Stephanie D. said...

Wal-Mart here closed down their fabrics over a year ago.

I did notice a lot more towels than there used to be.

I didn't know that was an equal trade.

MaryContrary said...

I first heard that Wal-Mart intended to phase out the fabric sections late last summer (2007). I checked it out on line and found several message boards for quilters and other needleworkers that were clogged with irate letters from those whose Wal-Mart had already discontinued fabric and related supplies. Many lived in rural areas and discovered that they had no local supplier left. Wal-mart had driven them all out of business. My local Wal-Mart has been cutting back for the last couple of years. First they reduced the numbers and kinds of pillow forms; then the kinds of quilt batting. About a month ago I went in for embroidery thread only to find it had been totally discontinued. When they finish discontinuing the department, I will be left with very few choices. The Hancock's Fabrics closed last summer. It is a 25 mile trip (one way) to the local JoAnns. Michaels has been cutting back on many of the items I normally use. I guess they just aren't popular any more. I am beginning to feel like an orphan.