Desperate Quilters – March/April 2006

With a computer and a few sleuthing skills, you can locate those fabrics you
need just a little bit more of—if you’ve taken a few precautions.
Quilt shop owners across the country receive calls daily from distraught quilters who have run out of a particular
fabric needed to finish a project. Often, they don’t remember important details such as the designer, manufacturer, or when and where they originally bought the fabric.
Computers and the Internet now provide a great way to broaden the search for fabric you desperately need. However, in order to make use of revolutionary search systems,
you may need to alter your fabric purchasing and storage habits. Without certain details, no quilt shop, online or otherwise, will be able to help you.
Successful fabric finders say the key to locating specific fabrics is maintaining detailed information about your stash. This will allow you to conduct successful searches when
you need additional fabric. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Before storing your fabrics, find a section on the selvage of each one that shows the fabric collection name and manufacturer. Cut off a strip of fabric that includes about an
inch of the printed design as well as the selvage information.
2. With a permanent marker, write on each selvage section where and when you bought the fabric. Store marked selvages in a basket, drawer, notebook, or plastic zipper bag
for future reference.
If you need more fabric and it’s not available at the quilt shop, turn to the Internet for modern fabric sleuthing. Use a search engine such as Google
( to begin your search. For example, enter the words “quilting fabric” and click on “Google Search”—
multiple pages of sites that organize fabrics available by manufacturer will pop up.
At you can use keywords to search for fabrics. Instructions on the home page of the site
explain how you can also conduct an e-mail fabric search, sending your request to over 1,000 quilt shops!
Sometimes, material shortages sneak up on quilters. However, armed with the right information and some great Internet sites, you can locate the fabric you need.
Fabric websites:

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