Why I haven’t set foot in a Quilt Shop for months. And it makes me sad.


Note: The owners of Fancy Tiger Crafts did not send me negative emails - they are a fabulous and super welcoming shop. xoxo

Note: The owners of Fancy Tiger Crafts did not send me negative emails – they are a fabulous and super welcoming shop. xoxo

I used to visit a small quilt shop at least twice a month. I’d go in because there was something I needed, or I happened to be shopping nearby and I wanted to see what was new, or because I was traveling and I needed blog material (like: check out this new quilt shop I found!).

But then something I never expected happened and it’s still hard for me to think about without a lot of anxiety.

To preface this… my thought process when writing a new blog post has always been ‘what will be interesting, funny, or helpful to my readers?’ Not: ‘how will my blog sponsors or the companies that give me fabric respond?’ Because really, you guys are the ones I write for. Not them. If their interests coincide with mine and they want to sponsor me or send me fabric, great! If not, no biggie. We can still be friends, right?

Not always, it seems.


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So this past summer I wrote a blog post called ‘My 5 Best Tips for Buying Fabric Online.’ Because let’s face it – we all shop online. It’s not going anywhere. I don’t think shopping online replaces shopping in person, but it’s super cool.

I wrote the post late one night and slept peacefully only to wake up to an inbox of angry emails from quilt shop owners and a phone call from the president of a certain fabric company demanding me to take it down. Yup. Wow. I was in shock, to say the least. I learned really quick how fast opinions can turn. Even after you have been supporting, promoting, and cheering on those same people for years.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I caved. My anxiety went through the roof and I took down the post – even though it was getting a lot of readers. I mean, who wouldn’t like tips for fabric shopping online??? That sounds like just the kind of article I would read too.


The last piece of electronic hate mail I received was two weeks later from a shop owner in Washington who said that because of my ‘infamous blog post’ (infamous after being up for less than a day?) she wouldn’t be supporting me. And she said that I was despicable.

If we skip talking about my own personal anxiety issues and how much medication I took that week, I’d like to point out that many online fabric shops are women owned small businesses too. Why do shop owners who have a brick and mortar location deserve all the support? What about the moms, grandmas, and military wives who are supporting their families by storing and cutting bolts of fabric on their kitchen tables? Or brick and mortar shops that decide to open up an online shop too?

But I wasn’t thinking about shops when I wrote it – I was just thinking about writing something that YOU would like to read.


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And, back to what I was thinking about when I first started writing this post… I haven’t set foot in a quilt shop for months. Why? Because I’m afraid that my local quilt shop owners despise me now too. I don’t think I could face being chewed out in person – it was hard enough to read in emails.

Logically, they probably never even saw the post because they were too busy running their shops to follow that crazy blogger lady who comes in now and then. But what if I am wrong?

My heart rate is elevated, my hands are clammy, and I feel the need to take medication even now as I think about it, lol!


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And I cancelled my trip to Quilt Market this year too because of anxiety. I’ve always considered Quilt Market an oasis of inspiration and a place to make new friends but now I can only imagine myself attending with a big hat and dark sunglasses trying to stay incognito. That’s more stress than I can handle!

This is totally silly, right? I must be imagining a mountain out of a molehill.

I’d love to hear what you – my readers – think about all this. I’ve already heard from the shop owners. What about everyone else?

xoxo,


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266 Comments

  1. I am sick to think that you had to endure the rants of so many thoughtless people. It’s disheartening to think of how many people think it’s OK to attack people online or in emails in a way that they wouldn’t in person. Please know that you have many more supporters than detractors. I have a friend who was attacked in a similar manner last year and it has been devastating to her personally, mentally and to her business and creativity. Wish I could give you a big bear hug right now. Hope you can feel it!

  2. I am sorry people are so thoughtless. I check your sight everyday and enjoy what you have posted, I support online and brick and motar fabric shops and check thrift shops for fabric as well. People need to take a breath and consider if they would say the angry words, that are so easy to type, face to face before they hit send.

    Have a lovely day

    Ms. Sue

  3. Hi Caroline,
    I’ve been reading your blog in the UK for quite a few years now. I would never have gone into a fabric shop without your amazingly generous tutorials. You are a real force for good and I’m sorry that people have made you feel anything less than that. It’s easy to attack, but building a site of true creative joy is something you should be really proud of.

  4. Honey, you don’t need medicine — THEY do!

  5. [object Object] says:

    I support my local quilt stores but I also buy online without guilt. As a Canadian I try to shop Canadian but I do not hesitate to purchase something I can’t get at home from my friends south of the border.
    We have a marvellous f/b group called Canadian Home Based fabric sales that supports small businesses in remote places and I need major centres. Were I you I would start something similar there and thumb my nose at them!

  6. Shawn Stoen says:

    Caroline, it truly saddened me to hear about the response to your blog post. I am glad that I saw it and printed it out to keep before you were able to take it down. You alone have been an inspiration for me to take up sewing again. Because of you I am not going to brick and mortar quilt stores, the fabric section at larger craft chains, and even the fabric section at Walmart. I have also ventured to ordering fabric online – when what I need is not available or not cost efficient in the physical stores. I am all about supporting local businesses and do attempt to at all times however there are times where I too need to support myself and shop efficiently and if that means ordering what I need online then that is what I will do.
    The bullying that you received as a result of your post is inexcusable and to be honest I feel those that did it owe you an apology BIG TIME!!! To be honest, I am sick of the way society is working right now….people feel the THEY are entitled to more than what they deserve. This feeling of entitlement has led to history being erased by removing books/art etc. We need to learn to all get along – we need to learn from past mistakes and move forward so that those mistakes are not repeated. We need to get our heads out of the sand and start to live in a way that embraces ALL.
    I am sorry for the way you have been treated and am sending you a virtual hug. Keep up what you do – just make sure you do it for yourself and your family first.
    God bless,

    Shawn

    1. Thank you Shawn! It really helps me to read letters of support like this from my readers. You are the only ones I write for! ❤️ Hugs!

  7. I’m sorry that happened. It would be helpful for me to read your post. I buy a lot of fabric from local shops. For me fabric needs to be looked at closely and felt! I love a local shop that gives incentives during your birthday or after you’ve purchased so much. I’ve also bought a little fabric on-line because local shops can’t carry everything. It’s a little scary because if I’m not familiar, is it going to be good quality? Maybe some shops that are more isolated could experience problems from on-line shopping but I would imagine that most of the time it wouldn’t make a huge difference. Personally, I don’t understand why people feel they can be so nasty on-line. Would they act the same in person? Have they never heard of constructive criticism? Thank you for sharing and keep up your good work!

  8. It’s not silly. Your feelings are valid, you are worthy of being treated with respect and kindness. I’m sorry you didn’t get that. I’ve been following your for a while, and I’m not aware of any exclusive sponsors/contracts you had with a specific brick and mortar store to promote them. I am extremely disappointed in the fabric company calling you, and I wish you could reveal who it was because I don’t feel like supporting them anymore–they acted very foolishly since probably their fabric is available online anyway.
    I buy about 25% in person and 75% online, both for fabric and any other non-grocery items. This is just the wave of the future. Like you said, it is easy to support small businesses online. Besides, I think a physical store is kind of backwards if they don’t offer online shopping. Plus, if online shopping gives me the opportunity to purchase different lines of fabric than what is only available locally, do these jerks think that I shouldn’t be allowed to like these different lines??? It makes me very angry!

  9. Wow … in this day and age, any opinion you or any one has is subject to intense hatred. Unfortunately, because you tried to help fellow quilters, you were on the receiving end of such nastiness. I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better. I don’t own a quilt shop, but I did manage a fabric store for 30 years, and with the onset of the internet, I noticed the vitriol come through when someone didn’t get what they wanted. Don’t give up… keep doing what is right, and don’t let the hateful people get to you

  10. Lisa Graetz says:

    First time reading your blog. I am fortunate to live where quilt shops are plentiful (like 12 within a 30 mile radius). Yes, when possible, I buy local. I have also bought off of ebay when that was really the only online option. I have also participated in Row x Row. Some shop owners even refused to sell multiple kits to be shipped across country! This year a shop owner asked me to help sell her prior year kits online. Unfortunately, shops that aren’t inviting, don’t welcome "newbies", don’t offer something that you can’t get in an online transaction will discover their clients have gone elsewhere. That elsewhere can also just be the brick and mortar a farther drive away or online. We live in an age of Amazon, they need to realize every interaction is important.

  11. Sallie Huffman says:

    I believe the shop owners seriously overreacted. There’s a place for everyone in this business. Most of us love to shop in person, but (1) we don’t always have time, especially if we work and have kids, and (2) local shops don’t always have what we need. Please hold your head up and chill—you have our support. If the shop owners are mean to you, they are shooting themselves in the foot!

    1. Thank you Sallie! It makes me feel better to think of it as an ‘overreaction.’ I’m guilty of that too sometimes. Hugs! 🙂

  12. Dear Caroline,
    I am so sorry for the way you have been treated. This was so unfair and I really wish you had told us what fabric company treated you so crummy. I order a lot of things on line because my local quilt shop does not stock some of the lines that i am interested in. I totally understand why you do not want to go in to a shop and be treated disrespectfully.
    Suzan

  13. Kelley Jensen says:

    Personally I would love to read the post you removed because there are no fabric shops within 100 miles of where I live. I do all my shopping online.

  14. I think people who already shop online will continue to do so and people who prefer to shop in shops will also continue that practice. Anyone who reads blogs must know they can shop online.

  15. This is appalling! I’m so sorry for the attack you suffered and I am a big supporter of brick and mortar stores. I also shop online because there might be something I want that I can’t get locally. My LQS owner knows this and has never said an unkind word about it. I’m sorry for the anxiety this has caused you but they were out of line.

  16. I’m so sorry you were treated so poorly and that it’s affected your confidence to live your life as you choose. I’m a lurker on your site—because of my work, kids, and lack of sewing space, I rarely sew, I just mend. However your blog gives me great joy! I’m grateful to you for sharing your expertise, creativity, and self with us. You make this world a better place (as all of these comments attest!). Perhaps when you’re ready to visit an LQS or Quilt Market you could tuck a printout of these comments in your purse so we are, in effect, walking in with you.

  17. Susie Carcione says:

    I would love to know which fabric manufacturer and quilt shops responded in such a hateful, bullying manner so I can boycott them. There is enough room for both online and brick and mortar business to thrive. If the business is struggling, they need to look at their own practices first instead of blaming others.

    1. I would have mentioned names in the post, but honestly, I don’t want to punish anyone. I would like to believe that people overreacted because they were under stress caused by other factors. However, I don’t think I should hide what happened either. I would like to help people understand how hurtful their comments can be – even though they can’t see the person getting hurt.

  18. Mary Roberts says:

    Wow it never ceases to amaze me how vile folks can be. How much easier it is to write it than it would be to say it in person. I mainly shop online because I do it late at night when I can’t sleep. My local shop went out of business because she was, a cow with a bad attitude, and folks stopped shopping and attending what classes she did offer. I’m sad for you. But personally I would carry on as if nothing happened and if they do verbally accost you fight with your feet and take your business elsewhere.

  19. The internet is for everyone all the time. Keep cool and continue.

  20. I am so sorry you have been treated in this ridiculous way, we don’t all have local shops as they have closed due to redevelopment. My nearest shop is now 35 miles away. Therefore I can only shop on the internet and hope it is as good when I receive it as it looked. I used to enjoy feeling the material I was about to use, however you cannot fight progress!! I feel these people have been very blinkered, they put you off going into their shops and have made the whole experience an embarrasment to you. Are they not realising they’ve lost your business and that of your supporters due to their own reaction. Please put up your post again.

  21. Like Kelley I would love to read your original post. Few shops near me carry the collections I want to purchase or only a few bolts and not the ones I want for a border to go with a precut. I purchase online from online shop owners in both Canada and the US. I also support my local quilt shops, purchasing fabrics, joining monthly $15 quilt, block of the months, taking classes and sewing with friends at an open class. We are quilters supporting quilters. I shouldn’t be however I am shocked people would be so narrow minded, cruel to take the time to contact you and spew their hate at you. A blogger providing a few tips you yourself would find useful as a quilter to your readers. Know it isn’t everyone it is horrible few because as you mention the shop owners are too busy running their shops. I am so sorry this has happened to you. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your trauma with us. Take care

  22. Hi from New Zealand, wow was shocked when I read this. I buy online from the US so I can get a better variety of fabrics at a better price, yes even with postage. I’m sorry that you have been bullied in this way, yes that’s what it is bullying. Keep your chin up and your head held high. The quilt shops will miss out further if this is how they treat people.

  23. Candace Maffei says:

    Don’t get me started! LOL. I love your point about women running online businesses to support their families and I bet I can guess which fabric company president bullied you. In my opinion there is plenty of room in the quilting business for everyone and there is no need to pick sides. I am lucky enough to have about ten brick and mortar shops within striking distance and I visit them all regularly…. too regularly! Each one has its own niche and personality, just like the owners. I love them all and I do make it a point to support then. But…. sometimes I do shop online for the convenience and time saving factor. Sometimes the shops don’t have an older fabric from a collection and what about people that don’t live near a LQS, can’t travel due to mobility issues or can’t afford LQS prices and search for fabric online? Are they malicious or wrong? I know several LQS owners who also have online businesses…. is that okay? Just hold your head up high and keep moving forward. We have bigger issues to focus on in the quilting world than black balling a member of our community because their shopping habits are different than your own. How about banding together to promote quilting to the younger generation so it doesn’t become a “lost art”? I say, “You go girl!”

  24. Linda Menkes says:

    Wow! What a horrible response from the Quilt Shop owners & fabric company! I LOVE my local shops (the few that there are) but they don’t offer the selection that I can get online. I purchase from both brick and mortar and online. The local shops don’t offer hours that I can always come in to do my shopping. I don’t think you were taking anything away from the brick & mortar shops by posting that article. It’s nice to hear that you ARE concerned with what your readers think, it seems like some bloggers are more concerned about the money that their faithful readers. Thank you for such an entertaining and informative quilt blog!

    1. Thank you Linda… this experience just makes me feel more loyal to my readers than ever. You are so sweet! Hugs!

  25. susan leisy says:

    Your original blog idea was a good and needed. More fabric is a good thing. Access to variety of fabric is challenging to some of us and to limit information to your readers would be a disservice. I appreciate info. Sorry, for the abuse. No good deed goes unpunished.
    Thanks,
    Susan

  26. I’m sorry you have to deal with rude and hateful people when you’re just writing about something you enjoy. I shop at both real and online stores. Sometimes the few local places don’t have the items I want. Sometimes I don’t have the time (and won’t for weeks) to go across town to see if the real store might have something I’m interested in. I wonder if it ever occurred to your complainers that some people have a hard time leaving their homes, either for mental or physical health, transporation, or time reasons. I know how hard it is to listen to the supporters and ignore the negative comments, but please believe there are more good, supportive people than not who rally for you. Write what you want and feel. The crabby people will leave, and in that case, you shouldn’t want their energy anyway. Much love to you.

  27. Gianna Barrow says:

    This was the first time I read your blog and am disappointed in the negative responses you received. Living in a rural agricultural area and quilting for 35 years, I remember long before the internet and driving 35-100 miles one way to look for fabric. Actually, I still do that a lot as I don’t always trust the on-line shades unless they are from the same line or designer. Online, however, I have found specific fabrics and designs that I am wanting to match, have seen used by someone else, or are no longer available at shops. I don’t always use material right away or not sure of use, won’t have enough. That’s when internet shopping comes in handy. My world is big enough for both!

  28. Rhonda Mills says:

    Caroline, brave you for writing this article. That took gumption.

    Like one of the other folks who responded below, I live in the beautiful middle of nowhere and have to purchase most of my fabric online. However, I love visiting quilt shops when we travel, but that’s only two or three times a year, so online fabric shopping is very much my norm. For me, there is a happy place for both in my sewing and quilting life. 😉

    Besides, it is unrealistic for any shop owner to expect her or his clients to purchase all their fabric in one place. And, as you said, my online fabric purchases oftentimes support small cottage business owners who help make ends meet or pay for a child’s piano lessons or the family vacation.

    Anyway, you have every reason to hold your head high—you were honest, meant no harm to anyone and were sincerely trying to provide your readers with meaningful content. Thank you for creating such a terrific blog. It takes time and wisdom and discipline to put together a good blog and a whole bunch of us enjoy the fruit of your hard work!

  29. Jan Welander says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you and very surprised at the fabric company participating in the hate. I’m sure that they sell online also. I don’t know the reason and I’m sure it’s a very small percentage but some of the nastiest people I’ve ever met are my fellow quilters. Sounds like they all got together to email you. Just try to think of what unhappy people they must be in their personal lives.

  30. If you go to market again we can brave the masses together. I get the hate mail too – but not quite as bad as you did. Don’t let it get you down if you can help it. I know it’s hard. I have a hard time shaking stuff off too. Just remember for every mean email hundrededs of people love what you did but don’t take the time to send you a nice email.
    Melissa

  31. Regina Arlauckas says:

    Sorry you were bullied into removing your post. Your blog does so much to promote the industry both online and brick and mortar, and as you said, many small business women and men operate in both arenas. I work part time at a local shop, and also shop online, or at other area shops. One can’t be all things to all customers. We’ve even given links or references to customers if we know we can’t get what they want. Customer service to me is more than making the sale, it is learning interests and styles of our customers and doing our homework to help them. That is sometimes remembered more than the sale.

  32. I think people who write nasty emails and posts don’t realize there is a live human on the other side reading it and having feelings about it. They might have read something else about how sales were down and quilt shops were closing, and then come to your post and had to vent somehow and the anger got misdirected at you. I don’t feel like I need to support anyone, but my dependents. That is the nature of capitalism isn’t it? If a store (any store) sells what I want at a price I am willing to pay, at the convenience I want, I will buy from them. If not, I will go elsewhere. If that makes them go out of business, it’s not my fault. I am not responsible for their decisions.

    If you didn’t have agreements with your sponsors that you can’t support their competitors or some such thing, then they can’t tell you what you can write on your blog. Freedom of speech and all that.

  33. [object Object] says:

    By the way, I think if you saw these people in person, I would like to think they wouldn’t say anything rude to you. My hope is that if they bring it up at all, they would give you a chance to respond and have a civil conversation.

  34. Devorah Koehler says:

    I think that everyone who purchases online instead of locally needs to consider that if this growing trend continues, you won’t have any local stores to shop at. You won’t be able to see, touch, compare the quality.

    For fabrics, I doubt you can even begin to mix or match between lines and designers color wise due to the huge inconsistency in color representations due to inconsistency of lighting of the photographs and variations in monitors. You can’t pplace fabrics next to one another to see,how,the,color,of,one affects the color,of,the next.

    And I would say SHAME on people who USE local shops,to select fabrics in person due to the vagaries of on line shopping described above, and then shop the lines ON LINE to find a cheaper price…..

    Be careful of what you wish for, you might get it.

  35. I’m from New Zealand and would have loved to read your advice for shopping online. We have 1 decent shop in my city and the one main chain store which controls the monopoly which keeps fabric prices high. $30 per metre for most quilting fabrics. For sewing to survive we need blogs like your. When China made clothing floods our stores at prices we can’t buy the buttons and zippers for in fabric shops how can home sewing thrive.

  36. You must go! Don’t let fear stop you! You are strong and you can do it! Don’t let the bullies win. Sometimes you have to stand up to them. It won’t be easy but sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same thing. Be brave!
    Jen

  37. Jeanie Sullivan says:

    How rewarding that one person, one single woman can cause a so called big manufacturer csn br threatened by your opinion? Gasp… hahaha!! Girl you are amazing. You have a mind of your own, you are allowed to help your readers. How wonderful that she felt threatened by you! Did you ever think you would havd so much power? You have followers that cant visit all these shops. Lets face it, im thrulled that these power suits have ideas, but how did they get there? The shops depend on you too. They have just forgotten. Dont give up on your blog. For every call you received there are 10 more of your followers that have a different opinion. Dont let them intimidate you. Go to the show! Take your notes! Put your lipstick on and hold youd head high! You made them sweat!!! Make them work a luttle harder. It wont hurt them one bit to comd up with a new strategy to make their product work. The quilter in the end us the winner!!!
    Jeanie Sullivan
    Make it your Happy Place

  38. I am so sorry you had to go through that No one has the right to criticize someone for their thoughts and feelings. My question to the brick and mortar people is “what are you afraid of” Please do not let this stop you from doing what you do

  39. I am not good with words. You keep doing what you feel is best and then try to ignore all those little people who are jealous of what you have accomplished with your "little blog". I found your blog just a couple of months ago when I did a search for free tote bag patterns so I could make myself a temple bag that I have been wanting to make for several years. I have a very tight budget so the fabric was purchased online from a big box retailer for much less than I could have found it in any fabric store. You have a calling here and I think you need to re post the original blog for all of us who purchase online. Brick and mortar stores are just fooling themselves if they think that bullying you will give them more business. I worked retail for several years and I loved it but they are an old broken system that refuses to get with the modern times. Their fault not yours.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    I would love to hear what you have to say. If brick and mortar stores are going to have a hissy fit just because you are giving tips for buying fabric online than they apparently dont have a smart business mind to also offer that option to their customers. I have no quilt stores close to me 1 is an hour away and is very small they don’t carry a whole lot. 3 others are over 2 and 3 hours away. So shopping with them is very difficult. I need to plan a whole Saturday. And that another thing a lot of quilt shops are not open on Sunday so working people only have one day to shop plus get other things done.

  41. Terry Mowszowski says:

    There are so many people around the world that do not have access to go and visit these glorious quilt shops, and browse through the delicious fabrics touchy feely, smell the scent of fresh fabrics and absorb the sight of bolts of color, flip though books, explore the notions and just enjoy walking around the stores again and again, that people who live close to stores can just pop into anytime they like can do. Online shopping is all they can do and excitedly await the arrival of a notice from local post office, a parcel has arrived for you or the local UPS delivers it to your door. I can understand that stores are very threatened by this online shopping, as so many of them are going out of business. not just fabric stores but many others (e.g. Toys R Us and others) For those that can and, I am sure do support their local quilt shop (lucky you) will continue to do so. but for many of us we don’t have any other choice but online shopping, dont feel so bad, theres room for everyone..
    TerryM
    Israel, (yes, I do support my local quilt shop too)

  42. I also buy fabric online. I would not let these people intimidate me. I would restore the original article/post. The ones that sent you hate mail are shops that are not competing in a free and open market economy.

    I guess I am lucky my local quilt shop owner ask me for fabric from time to time because I source unusual and highly specialized fabric, fabric she could never sell a bolt but a customer wants a far quarter or a meter.

    And I run to my local shop on a panic I miscalculated my fabric and I need an extra meter or two to finish a year long project. My LQS owner helps me find a perfect filler fabric

    And a manufacturer, they sell fabric who cares if it is being sold online or in local shop.

    Aonhokd your head up high and say the competition is your problem not mine I support and do the best for my readers

  43. Rhonda guinn says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around the hate you received from women, from quilters! We are known for our kindness and love of fabrics and willingness to teach others what we know. I wish I could give you a big hug right now and tell you to keep going doing what you are doing. There will always be haters in this world and many times from those you thought were friends. Please don’t let it cause you anymore anxiety. You are doing a wonderful job and you are loved. Shake it off!!! Stand up and keep blogging!!

  44. I completely agree with you! I recently posted in a facebook discussion about how employees of big box stores had no less right to be employed than owners of small businesses, and I couldn’t believe the amount of negative responses I received. I’m so fed up of small quilt shop owners whining about it being a tough market and how they should be supported to the exclusion of the likes of Jo-Anns – why should they? If you don’t have what I want, guess what, I’m going to shop elsewhere. Small quilt shops can also be some of the most clique-y, exclusive (in the sense of excluding people) places have ever encountered in my life. So no, good on you, you shouldn’t be ashamed to go into any store of your choosing, and if they don’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours.

  45. I think their reactions to your original post say more about their insecurities as business owners than any so called wrong-doing by you. I’ve worked as a salesperson and as a call center employee and I promise you people are much nastier to you when they can’t see your face. Find a supportive friend and do your thing.

    1. Becky Petersen says:

      I agree. I think that their negativity shows their insecurities about their business plan.

  46. I’ve been quilting since 1985 and fortunately have only encountered only a few negative experiences, but am noticing a bit more as I continue. We should all be able have an opinion when necessary. I find more friendly than not. I go where I feel comfortable and thought everyone should know that we all look wherever we go. I avoid negativity and don’t usually comment about it. Quilting is so much fun and I will continue to enjoy. There are many ways to suggest things, try it you’ll like it.

  47. Luke Orser-Schwalm says:

    Continue to be true to yourself and keep putting your readers first when you write. My mother always used to say, “It’s none of my business what other people think of me” when I used to get anxious. You’re doing great work and thanks for all you do!

  48. Trish Palmer says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so badly treated. I buy fabric at my local quilt shops- there are 2 within a20 mile radius of my home, but I also buy on line if there is something I need they don’t have or if one of my on line stores is having a great sale. I think as smart consumers we (and you) should shop for the best fabric you can find at the best price. I love my lqs because they offer so much more than fabric. They have classes, advice, encouragement and friendly faces.

  49. I personally don’t like the fact that everything has gone to online instead of in person. I like to have the option of either, or. I like to Be able to touch the fabric, and to buy what I can’t find in person online. I have anxiety about buying fabric online, but I am finding myself more and more without a choice as stores close around me. It really is a shame that people would be nasty to you, if they don’t keep up with current trends, that’s what would hurt them, nothing you say or do will change the way the market place works. That’s capitalism. You keep up with demand in whatever form necessary to stay relevant. Not harass people that want to help people like me who don’t have much choice in the matter. Hope it gets better for you, that article would’ve helped a lot of people I’m sure. Stay strong.

  50. I’m very sorry to hear that shop owners are being so nasty. I live far from quilt shops so online is often my only resource. I believe that on line shops should get our support also, like you said many are young moms trying to run a business.

  51. Sally Grimmer says:

    I am so sorry you had to deal with nastiness from people who don’t get it. There is a place for both type businesses in this world and to think otherwise is having your head in the sand. I shop at both and enjoy both. As someone mentioned earlier, quilters can be a condescending nasty lot. I recently stopped going to one of my local quilt shops because after going there multiple times the employees could not be bothered to look up from their own projects to say a simple hello. I gave them multiple chances and they failed every time. However, I am lucky enough to have other brick and mortar stores in my area that are a joy to go into. I have found that people who are communicating through electronic methods tend to say things that they never would to someone face to face. It’s the anonymity that protects them. I find it interesting that those that lambasted you did so over the internet and not in person… talk about being two faced! Love your blog- keep up the awesome job!

  52. Veronica Gerhardt says:

    Oh ick. Go to market. Wear a big hat and funny glasses. This too shall pass. Go in your local shop. Spend $$$$. Smile act like nothing happened. Don’t give up. We all need you

  53. Patti Maley says:

    I actually read that post and appreciated the information. Geez, some people have to get over themselves. It’s not all about them. I’m especially sorry such a mean spirited group of haters have kept you from things you love – like Quikt Market. Keep shining your light and being you! ❤️

  54. RobinsQuilt says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your article and for your bravery. Don’t let the haters win, Sister! Just keep being honest, kind, and brave.

    Really, folks, is it EVER okay to be hateful? I support local quilt shops AND buy online. Does that make me a bad quilter? I don’t think so.

  55. Laurie Devers says:

    Caroline, I very much appreciated your Tips For Buying Fabric Online. I am homebound and do not drive. I am forced, therefore, to do all my shopping online. I truly do miss being able to wander aimlessly among bolts of fabric and patterns for hours at a time, but this has become a part of my past. Necessity demands that I wander the internet instead. It is unfortunate that quilt shop owners and a certain fabric company cannot understand the absolute need for this market. Please feel good about the information you provide your readers and do not feel anxious about the reaction of those who are without understanding. Have confidence that you provide many of your readers with essential information. I, for one, am grateful for you and all of the information and projects you share! God bless!

  56. Unfortunately social media and blogging has given many the opportunity to be rude and express ridiculous opinions. I have bought fabric online for many years, mostly because of the price, and secondly for the selection. I appreciate that someone had the expert business sense and skills to find another way to sell fabric other than paying high rent and requiring me to drive somewhere and spend way too much time shopping. It also has always bothered me that quilt shops (in my experience) do not arrange their fabrics in collections – but by color. I would much rather buy a bunch of coordinated fabrics that one of the amazing quilt designers did rather than have to choose a bunch myself. Please do not dwell on their words, they were pretty rude to treat you that way and obviously very insecure in their quilt shop existence. We are all free to shop wherever we want and one simple blog from someone we love and respect will not turn everyone away from their shops if that is where they want to shop.

  57. Went Bermingham says:

    First of all, I am sorry this happened to you! I work for a lovely gal who has an online quilt shop and the hate she receives is horrible! In the day and age of social media people are sure quick to be mean and all judgy when they are not face to face with you. And what ever happened to freedom of speech? I am sure if you went into you LQS or to market you would be just fine!

  58. Karen Dowd says:

    I am sorry you had this bullying experience. I have a local fabric store (they don’t call themselves a quilt shop) and I shop there on occasion, but they are expensive so i save it for my "good" projects. I also shop at Joanns and ebay and other online stores. Sometimes you are just looking for that specific fabric so you have to look to the online sources. I love the local store because you can share your ideas with them and they can help you figure out a pattern, help you with fabric coordination, show you how notions work, etc. But we should be able to shop where we want, when we want without fear of being bullied or looked down upon.

    I think you should hold your head up high, you’ve done nothing wrong.

    Keep smiling!

  59. Melissa Shultz says:

    First, I want to say that I’ve been following your blog for years. I don’t sew as much since I bought my house because I don’t have the time. But I still enjoy reading your blog and pinning all the things I want to make with my fabric collection some day.
    I just read through all of the comments here and I can’t really add to what everyone else has already said. It is clear that you are an inspiration to many of your readers. Some of your readers started sewing because you gave them the confidence to do so. Wow, that’s pretty awesome! You are such a sweet and giving person. An easy target for the bullies that sent you hate mail. You are also a very grace-filled person to not reveal the names of those bullies. I completely respect you for that. Please know that your faithful readers are behind you 100%. I love Rachael’s idea. Take our comments with you to remember we are with you wherever you go. Hugs!

  60. How dare they! There are so many who have online shops only who are working just as hard. Also, most quilt shops sell online as well. We can shop wherever we want!

    I do most of my purchases online only going to store when there is an immediate need. And I also end up buying more when I do go. Shopping online gives me a lot of freedom. To sew more, to plan better, and to spend wisely. These websites also offer so much inspiration as well.

    I am so sorry that so much negativity came your way when you have done nothing but help and inspire so many. You continue to do what you love to do and try not to let those sorry comments get you down.

  61. Tanya Weiss says:

    Keep up your great ideas! I have 2-3 blogs that I read religiously every morning and yours is one of them. I think I remember reading the post you’re talking about. I’m sure the business owners who were so angry with you are more angry with themselves for not being proactive and having an online presence. Don’t they understand business?? You must stay on top with the latest technology to survive and that means having an online store. I love reading your blog but, more importantly, I admire your tenacity and ability to always come up with interesting topics. I sometimes wonder if you have a little tribe of elves that help you. You seem to do much more work than one person could dream of getting done. Thank you for being an inspiration to me!

  62. Diane Osment Graham says:

    I’ve not been in a Quilt Shop in years. The closest one to me is open M-F from 9am to 5pm. When you work M-F 8 to 5, makes it hard to go without taking a day off work. I have a great relationship with a few online stores and find I have more time and patience to group fabrics and try different combinations without having a shopping cart full of fabric bolts trying to make my decision and other people wanting some of the fabric bolts I’m reviewing.

    On another note. I have severe anxiety attacks and I feel so much better shopping online.

    Thank you for your article. I so enjoy your site for the projects. Keep up the great work.

  63. Becky Petersen says:

    Well, I guess you are using up your fabric stash, then, right?

    I’m sad you got those reactions, but I’m not surprised. It is a bit frustrating that so many quilt shops and quilt shop owners seem to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the trend to on line shopping! It is mind boggling, in fact! Do they think it’s all just going to go away?

    I’m not famous, so I can say what I want on my blog – I guess there is total freedom in that.

    I’d bet if you re posted that post you took down, we’d share it around – especially now that we are aware of the pressure exerted on you to take it down.

    I would love to know your 5 tips for shopping for on line fabric!

    I’ve thought for a long time that the whole industry is way too "controlled" by certain factions/companies. Seems like your post exemplifies that. If you are afraid to go to a quilt market because of them, then, wow…just wow. That saddens me.

  64. OMG! Has the quilting world sunk so low! I am very sad to learn of the narrow mindedness of both the company and overreaction of some of the LQS owners. Until last month I lived in a very rural area and purchased fabric online from stores with brick and mortar as well as online only. As the other comments note, not all lines are carried by all stores so I spend my $ where I can afford the materials and where the purveyor has the items I need.

    If retailers are that thin skinned, they should get out of the business. Your posts are so genuine, you are the voice for those of us who don’t blog. Caroline, PLEASE keep writing. You are more confident and courageous than you think—it’s the self-talk many of us have to overcome.
    PS—just because we moved to more metro area doesn’t mean my choices have expanded. In fact, online may still be my best option!

  65. I sew clothing, crafty and home decor items, so I rarely go into a local quilt shop. I tend to go to about the only large storefront fabric store now available. I did have a local fabric shop, but she’s retiring next month and closing. When local stores don’t have what I need, then it is online. Honestly, it was a new thought that these ‘little online fabric shops’ were doing so to support their families. Again, my mentality has been to ‘big stores’. I appreciate the enlightenment. Which is exactly why you write your blog. Perhaps, if your sponsers don’t support your views, they should also be dropped. Then seek out new sponsors that do not diminish your values. Be courageous and keep blogging!

  66. I’m so sorry you were on the receiving end of these types of negative emails. I’d even go so far as naming it as bullying. Society has become intolerant of differing opinions and demands that others change to align with their views. I say hold your head high and repost the article. This was your article posted on your blog. Take back your power and repost. You matter!!

  67. Betty Cesky says:

    There are people that are home bound and their only means of shopping is on line. People can be so mean and they need prayer. Remember who you are “in Christ” and do not be anxious for nothing Caroline. There will always be those that disagree with you, but your intentions were good and you are a good person. I feel it is their loss losing you as a customer and giving you negative feedback on your blog. Don’t change who you are because we love you!
    Betty from Tampa Florida❤️

  68. Kresti Lyddon says:

    I think today’s practice of firing off comments on line, especially when they are anonymous, is terrible! The bashing you received may not have been anonymous, but it was still inexcusable. I am so sorry you had to face this, just for posting helpful information for your readers. Unfortunately, this is a symptom of a larger problem: "you can’t be right unless you agree with my viewpoint" applies politically as well as when expressing opinions about how to shop for quilt fabric. Best wishes, Caroline, and please continue to post all of your interesting, fun and inspiring information. I support you, and will continue to follow your blog! Thanks for what you’re doing!

  69. I buy fabric everywhere. Etsy, eBay, small sellers, Australia, a brick and mortar store 7 hrs away with great customer service and an online store. I also shop at a store owner who runs a facebook group. We are too busy not to shop online at leadt some of the time!!

  70. Sue Marsh says:

    Oh dear this is very sad. Here am I reading this in the UK, knowing I will never be able to visit any of the quilt shops you might mention, nor probably buy online from fabulous fabric sellers who are based in the US but I still enjoy reading about both means of buying fabric. I am a self confessed fabricaholic and enjoy the pointers given in blogs like yours. So head high, keep doing what you are doing and celebrate your love of sewing and quilting by writing your wonderful blog. X

  71. Tav Huffman🏝 says:

    I am a relatively new quilter, and I want to tell you that your posts are some of my absolute favorites! As a brand new quilter, I was so intimidated with other posts that are all about this or that “ collection” of new and very expensive fabrics which must be used together in order to produce a beautiful quilt. You focus on the process instead, and your gentle encouragement of my own design and creativity helps me to take bold steps and expand my skill set. I love your sharing of patterns and skills, your always kind and complete instructions, your tips for fabric choices and uses and the tone of your blog. I am not near any quilt shops and usually buy my fabric online. I would have loved your tips about buying online, and I am sad that I missed seeing your post before you took it down. I love seeing what’s new in the quilt shops but honestly, I cannot afford to buy at full retail and I am a bargain hunter. While the newest collections are gorgeous they are not practical for many of us. Your tips about fabric selection help me to use my own comparisons and creativity when it comes to pulling fabrics from my stash for a project. My online purchases have supported over fifty Etsy shops since I started quilting, and I believe each purchase is important, no matter that it is an end-of- bolt sale or discounted deeply by the shop. I love the idea that someone cuts that fabric on their kitchen table and mails it to me. I get a “rush” when the package is at the post office and I am always excited to open it. Going to a fancy quilt store and spending hundreds of dollars for the latest collection just would not be the same. So please don’t be discouraged and please know that I deeply appreciate your blog every day. Thank you for supporting my creativity and teaching me so much.

  72. Well, for heaven’s sake! You being shamed for writing a blog post about shopping online is ridiculous! First, like some others, I live half the year in a very small town where my local fabric options are a Joann fabrics, and a teeny tiny local quilt shop with very limited selection. I’ve come to appreciate the value of quality quilt fabric from the major manufacturers, so Joann is out, and therefore I frequently have to buy my quilt fabrics online. And those online purchases are usually from family-owned online businesses, or quality independent quilt shops who also sell online. But when I have the option of buying from a local quilt store, I do that, too. And, yes, there are times I even buy from the big box online retailers. So, we all need a variety of options for our quilt fabric shopping. Those shaming you are completely out of line. Take heart. You have lots of support here!

  73. Caroline, I read your blog every day faithfully. You’re one of my favorites. Remember you are awesome! Say good bye to those negative nillies, you don’t need them in your life. You are a kind and giving person, they are narrow minded. Keep being you, we love you just the way you are!

  74. Vicki Gammon says:

    First of all, I would like to say it is SO VERY EASY for people to "say" hateful, unkind words in writing – words they would most likely never speak in person. For some reason, we become braver behind a keyboard or screen. I would like to say how I’ve come to value your insight, advice, tips, tutorials, etc. You are doing great. Don’t let the opinion of others change what you do!! Keep up the good work.

  75. Ann Meitzen says:

    Bravo to you for being egalitarian and writing an article on how to shop for fabric online. I only wished I’d read the article before it was pulled. It’s hard to think of fabric manufacturers and shops as “big business” but they perceived their bottom line was threatened. If only we knew in advance how others might perceive what we read or write or say. As Robert Burns put it , “oh the gift the Giftie gee us, to see ourselves as others see us.”

  76. I support both brick and mortar and online shopping. My lqs is an hour away. It’s a beautiful store, but their prices are high. I have received both excellent help and no/rude help, depending on who was working that day. I take classes there. My machines are serviced there. I support them best I can. But- if there is a fabric I want they don’t carry, I buy online. If I need something oop, I buy online- Etsy and EBay are great. If there is a great sale, I buy online. Overall, have had little problems with online shopping. I look at what a behemoth MSQC has become- a huge store with a huge online presence. Should they not have developed their online business for
    the sake of their brick and mortar?

  77. Becky Parzek says:

    I have been reading your blog almost since the start. I love your blog. I love the information you share. Some of it applies to my life, some does not. However, learning is what it is all about. If you have knowledge of shopping online for quilting fabric and supplies and want to share it with everyone, why shouldn’t you do that? The same applies to shopping at a local specialty shop or a thrift store. What difference does it make to someone in Washington state if you are talking about online shopping or brick and mortar? I would think your opinion would help them make the decision to open an online shop along with their store front or not. I, for one, love your blog and website. I learn something new everyday. Do not let anyone bully you into taking a blog down because you mentioned online shopping. They are the one with the problem, not you. Until we meet again (or your next blog posting) keep up the good work. Much love to you and yours.
    Becky Parzek

  78. E Hurtado says:

    I echo many of the comments made below.

    We’ve become a society where self expression is no longer tolerated and in cases vilified.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You do it in good faith. You may loose a supporter here and there but you will remain true to you.

  79. ANN BLANSETT says:

    The nearest quilt shops for me are over an hour away, and in opposite directions.
    I work full-time. So,YES I shop on-line when I must, but I still miss seeing and touching the fabrics, and the beautiful colors and scents and all that are in a real Quilt-shop. I miss seeing the new releases, all lined up… But when I am out-of-town… where do I go? What do I look for? the closest quilt shops!! and when I go, I not only look, but BUY… to support these shops, small and large! (and because.. I just HAVE to have it.. whatever "it" may be – fabric, notions, patterns or all of the above!)
    I think these folks over-reacted… and BADLY!!

  80. The way I feel it is your blog and you can write about whatever you want to.
    I also believe when you don’t go into the shops with your head up hi and a big smile you have let them steel your joy. So get your purse and head into those shops don’t ever let anyone steal your joy.

  81. Yvette Niesel says:

    Wow. I would have thought the quilting community had more self-respect and respect for others. Apparently I’m wrong. I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that you got that response, but it honestly does. I’ve read most of the comments you’ve already received on this post and I can tell you that their shopping habits mostly reflect mine. I shop at local quilt shops. In fact, I love it. But the closest LQS is 30 minutes away and the majority of their clientele do not shop for the fabrics I love, thus they rarely have what I want. Not to mention that they are usually open when I’m at work. Makes it inconvenient for me to shop. I think that they need to wake up and smell the coffee! The people who BUY the fabric dictate everything. Thankfully (and they should be thankful), the average age of quilters seems to be going down. And this is a good thing. We need to keep the craft alive and well. They need to start catering to those of us who are carrying on the tradition of quilting and that means they need to change the way they do business or they’ll be out of the picture. That may be harsh and we may not like it, but that’s the way ALL business is trending these days. You can either type out harsh emails to innocent people who are just trying to make a living themselves or you can get off your A$$ and do something to keep yourself relevant. Sorry for the long post, but this just hit a nerve. You keep taking care of YOURSELF and your family.

  82. Micky Bretton says:

    I too, say support the local shops when you can. The emphasis on when you can. But what about people like me that can’t get out? Does that mean I can’t buy fabric? I used to feel guilty about shopping online. However sometimes I can’t get out (most of the time). Sometimes they don’t carry what I need or want. Sometimes they’re too far from me. Sometimes the local store isn’t friendly. There are all kinds of reasons to shop online. Learning how to go about it the right way or tips for shopping online are nice to have in our arsenal. Thank you for all you do.

  83. Kathy Gaines says:

    Caroline, Having read most of the former comments I must say thank you for a most enjoyable blog. Keep up the good work and coving both sides of controversy. I am a longer quilter and feel so sad when a customer apologizes for her choice of fabric. Many of them have limited funds but still desire the joy of quilting. It’s a big world and there is room for all.

  84. Deb Kolaras says:

    First time reader of your blog, and also new subscriber here! As I read your post today, I couldn’t help wishing the other one was still available! What I was also struck with is how bullying can take on many forms, and I feel that’s exactly what happened to you. I’m sorry people thing there should only be one way to shop for fabrics, and I fear for them being threatened by online shopping replacing them entirely. I don’t see this happening, and have seen small shops do big things to make themselves an absolutely vital resource in their communities. That said, people like myself, who live off in more rural areas, don’t get the convenient option of toodling around fabric shops as often as we’d like. Online options give me just that — options. I support both models, and it’s already been noted, but worth repeating: there are people behind those online shops, working hard, educating and sharing the craft of sewing that we all know and love. Some are way more friendly and joyful than some in-person shops I’ve been to, and that’s saying something!
    To me, there’s plenty of room for everyone, but there’s no room for bullies. You are doing a marvelous job and I hope your anxiety is being replaced today with happiness for all the support here 🙂

  85. Collette Mckee says:

    This is a good example of online bullying. Sister since you saw they were going to punish you regardless of whether you took the post down. Put it back up. But turn off the comment section and let someone else filter your email for a few days. And honestly the people in your local quilt shop probably won’t act like that in person. People go way farther online and say much nastier things than they do in person. Take a supportive friend and try. If they are mean and nasty then you know. My guess at worst they will ignore you. Which really isn’t your problem. They need to get over it because you’re just spreading the love to all women small business owners not just brick and mortar. Stand up for yourself sister and know that they should be better than that. Plus if you’re writing for us you are giving us your best advice the owners can lump it!

  86. Thank you for sharing all that you do! I love your ideas, suggestions, and cute patterns! Your readers can make up their own minds regarding where they shop! The closest fabric store to me is over 30 minutes away. I am grateful that I can order online. Thankful for your help!

  87. Whoa, I find it unprofessional of any store owner to think you owe them something just for supporting them on your blog. They choose to give you the fabric for the support. Unless you have a signed contract with them you had every right to write your blog as you see fit. Myself, I am sorry I didn’t get to read this article. It is right up my alley. I do support my local fabric store, but I have to buy material on line also as they don’t Lways have what I want. You can’t imagine he number of re-buys I do because I screw up the first order. Stay strong and don’t worry about what others think and say. They are very narrow minded.

  88. Donna Lee says:

    Caroline, I’m so sorry for the stress and hurt you’ve experienced because of your blogpost! It’s sad that our culture now accepts hostility and meanness as "honesty". Like others, I am mostly homebound, but I’m also chemically sensitive, and a visit to my local quilt shop makes me literally sick. I love to touch fabric, too, but shopping online has made it possible for me to buy fabric without becoming ill. When my fabric arrives, it goes straight into the washer to remove the toxic chemicals that are often used to treat fabric. Your blog is so informative and helpful, and I hope in time the trauma of this fades and you can go to local shops or market without being afraid you’ll be bullied!

  89. First, thank you for the emails I get everyday with links to fabulous patterns! It’s too bad that the shop owners are thinking only of themselves when they responded so hatefully to you. Where I live, there’s a wonderful fabric shop called The Fabric Cobbler. She is a veteran and began selling fabric online. She has done so well that now she’s has a storefront and it’s wonderful! She has a thriving business online and employs local people. It doesn’t get better than that!

  90. Wow, that is just awful and unbelievable that any shop owner or fabric company would think they alone should be put above others. I almost exclusively shop online except for once in a blue moon when I travel to a store for something that I just have to see or feel in person before buying. I have 4 kids and although the thought of strolling into a little fabric store sounds lovely it isn’t usually a reality for me so knowing what to get and where online is fantastic. If they choose not to sell online for whatever their reasons are they should NEVER harass someone for doing so, how absurd. Do they not realize there are millions of other people online all reading and writing posts about this stuff already? It’s not like you opened some secret that no one knew about, it’s just sharing with people what you personally like in the online world. I think you are wonderful and the amount of help and inspiration I have received from your blog and posts is priceless. Thank you for everything and I hope you won’t let it get you down for much longer. You have a right to love both online and in person shops and share your love of both without all that hate.

  91. Irene Garcia says:

    I’m sorry you’ve experienced such a negative response from the shops. You never told people not to buy fabric from their local shops so I don’t understand the horrible comments. I watch a lot of quilt and sewing shows on TV and often hear about the fabrics used so I go to look for them at shops nearby. Many times those specific fabrics I’m looking for are not available locally, therefore, I have to look online. I also receive all sorts of offers via e-mail and, some are too good to pass up. Shame on the store owners for being so awful. I have found some rather uppity shops that I will not go to any more. If I can find good deals online I go where I get more bang for my buck. Keep up your good work and walk tall you’ve done nothing wrong. Irene Garcia, Austin, Texas

  92. I love your blog Caroline. Keep your head up. Keep strong. Ignore the naysayers coz I wager that a great percentage of us quilters appreciate your wealth of knowledge and the great patterns you introduce to us. You are honest, humble and giving. Carry on!

  93. Ruth Cadwallader says:

    Oh my gosh, my heart is so heavy for you right now! I deal with anxiety along the same lines as yours and some days it’s a harder struggle than others just to make it through the day so I DO understand where you’re coming from. I’m in the process of trying to figure out how to start my own online fabric store to supplement my retirement and I know first hand from the response of my LQS owner that they are not all created equal. She is supportive of my endeavor and knows that online shops are here to stay and that as long as her shop is around I will continue to shop local as well as online. She understands that she can’t carry everything a sewer/quilter needs and she buys online as well. Folks are entitled to their opinion but to respond to your post in such a hateful way is not acceptable or appropriate. It’s also not worth allowing them to take away your strength or power away. They are bullies and as such should not be given a second thought! I absolutely love your blog and look forward to every post and tutorial and pray that you continue on your creative path and gain strength and power over your anxiety each day. Ruth

  94. NancyB from Many LA says:

    This is so horrible! ! It just shows that so many people are mean. Supportive? Nope. Realistic? Nope.
    I feel so bad for the shaming you had to get. Nobody should have to go through that. If the people who shamed you would get off their high horse and come back down to earth they would realize that it was a good, necessary, useful post. Not everyone has a quilt shop near them. Not everyone has a quilt shop near them that sells EVERYTHING that they need or want. Not everyone has a quilt shop near them that has helpful owners/staff. Or good hours. Or nice people. The list can go in and on…

  95. Andrea Fleiner says:

    I think, I saw and read the article. Fun, interesting but I don’t think it steered my fabric buying habits to more online buying, if that’s what those people worry about.
    Beginning of the year I helped make our guilds Opportunity Quilt and I and another member of the group were chosen as the "fabric-buyers" because the others liked how we approached colors. One member of our group wanted us to support a often helpful local quilt store and so we met there. Looked through the fabric, it was a scrap quilt and we needed the right colors for sashing, background and border. We found what we were looking for and asked at the register, if they had a guild discount. The lady working didn’t know about the local quilt guild, told us, that she saw no point belonging to the guild, doesn’t take classes, sees no point in it, because she takes all her classes online!
    My friend and I didn’t say much, looked at each other and when outside I looked at her and asked: "So, why exactly are we shopping here today?" Later I let the member of our group, who recommended that we shop that quilt store, know of our experience and asked her to relay the information to the shop owners.
    I am sad if stores close and I want them to be here and shop them first, but it happens sometimes that they run out of a fabric or don’t have it and then I may order or look for it online.

  96. Are we to restrict our purchases to only those fabrics sold in our local fabric shop in order to keep shop owners happy? In which case I would be restricted to quite subdued colours as my local shop doesn’t do bright, or extra wide backing fabric or glue pens for EPP, etc, etc. I know we should ‘use them or lose them’ but sometimes they just don’t have what we want and online is the only option. And what about those who physically cannot get to a quilt shop. Your online tips would have been perfect for them. Hold your head high – you did nothing wrong.

  97. Charlotte says:

    Wow, this is ridiculous. With all the bullying going on with the kids adults act like this. I would love to read your article on tils to buy fabric on line. I have my mom living with us and I don’t get out a lot as she has cancer and I don’t leave her, plus we have a lot of doctors appts.
    Anyway I am so sorry they did that too you. I
    I like what Collette said. Put it back up and turn off the comments. I would love to see the blog.
    Have. Wonderful blessed day.

  98. Followers and supporters may come and go. Keep being true to yourself – you don’t owe anyone else a thing. We enjoy your blog and all you put into it. Thanks.

  99. Caroline, First and foremost I feel your post was relevant (even though I was not able to see it) and a reality for many people. I have a "healthy" stash of fabrics that have been added through the years. Most of it in person at brick and mortar shops and quilt shows, but also from online sources. For me, when I am working on a project I have a specific fabric design/color in mind and if I can not get it locally (my options are very limited) I turn to the internet to find that perfect fit for my project. During the years I have purchased online from brick and mortar shops that also have an online presence, eBay, ETSY, and online only quilt shops. It makes me sad that you received such hateful (and narrow minded) responses to your blog. Your topic seems "spot on" for every single person I know that sews, quilts, and crafts. Hopefully, the same people that shamed you for your advice will read the positive responses you are receiving today and that online shopping is a reality, and in the end, helps promote quilting. There are many projects I would not have made (and possibly inspired someone else to make as well) if I only had access to the fabric selections that were close to where I live.

  100. Holly Colvin says:

    I agree with all the previous comments I’ve read. I think we can and most do, support local and online shops. I think you should go with some moral support, to your local store, and keep doing what you do. I also hope you re-post the original article (with comments off). Whatever you do, I hope it brings you joy, and no more anxiety! Shame on them for exacerbating that!

  101. I think it’s awful for them to react that way. Many bloggers have posted their favorite places to buy fabric online. I buy most of my fabric online because I only have one place in my area to buy fabric and it’s not a local quilt shop – a big box retailer. They rarely have what I need. And I agree – many of the online shops I buy from are independent, individual owned shops. Nobody will ever please everyone and I hope you can find some peace amidst the chaos that our world has become.

  102. Kimberley Godwin says:

    Shame on them! I do support local businesses, but like stated in past comments; not every businesses carry everything. It would cause them to lose business that way. I have major health problems that does anxiety. When I can leave the house and do the shopping at the the store great! Otherwise, I look for blogs like yours to help me find what I am looking for and how to make my projects better. You are doing them a service but talking about them. This is your blog and should be true to that. Please repost it without the comments. Many of us do have your back and support you!!!

  103. Laurie de Vries says:

    You just keep doing what you’re doing. You make the world a better place and there is no way I’m the first person to think that. You do a service to those of us who live overseas, too, just because we do. I can’t sew in Dutch, it’s that simple. We only have one fabric shop in town. The minimum price per yard of fabric is $18. The man who owns it…I bought an embroidery machine and a sewing machine there. I had no end of trouble with the embroidery machine and when I kept bringing it back (under warranty) he told me he was ‘sick of my face’, which played into every anxiety I have. I never went back, and I no longer machine embroider. You just go right ahead with your online recommendations. I can’t use them because of shipping costs, but I still find all of your posts inspiring. Best wishes from Laurie

  104. Kimberlee says:

    Caroline, big huge hugs to you!! I completely get the social anxiety and wanting to hide! I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this and I can see you have a lot of self-awareness and please remember you are not chocolate, thus you will never make everyone happy. And focus on the support you’re receiving over the negativity you got from that post. It will outnumber the trolls.
    And really, a shop is a shop! And I have been more unimpressed with small businesses when I try to support them, especially around Small Business Sunday. It’s never because of what they do/don’t offer. It’s always their lack of warmth. Even my friend on the east coast experiences the same thing. We really do want to support small brick & mortar businesses!
    I digress, Bc that’s not what your post is about. You do bring up valid considerations.
    I’m just stumped by the fabric President…online businesses are selling their fabrics. What the heck?

  105. Thank you for sharing this difficult experience. I help out in my local fabric store and also shop online for fabric. I love the fabrics in our store but they aren’t always what I need as it is impossible for any store to hold every fabric in stock. Equally not everyone can make it into the store so we also have online shop on our website and an Etsy store. It seems very short sighted of businesses to bully and upset anyone that works so actively to encourage others to sew and get involved in crafts. It would make more sense to appreciate the article and ask if you could do something similar to help promote shopping in store too. Keep doing what you do as you clearly provide inspiration to many. As for the bullies, that’s their insecurities that they need to deal with. Thanks for all the great stuff you do!

  106. It is a strange world we live in right now! When people ask me where I get my fabric, I tell them I try to support local and online shops equally. If any of them disappeared, I’d feel the loss. Shopping online also gives us access to things that may not be available locally. The more excited we are about sewing the more we do go into our local shops as well to fill out what we need for a project…oh and get the other cute fabric I see while I’m there! But shopping online let’s me think through and relax and really do more. This ultimately benefits my local shop. Hang in there. I’ll bet they shop for things online too. It’s convenient.

  107. Lisa Walker says:

    We are experiencing a strange time right now. Unfortunately you were caught up in some of its craziness. There are those out there who want to scream and holler and claim they have been mistreated or affected. Your information for others did not make the shops go away nor did their negativity do away with online retailers. It’s a big world with room for everyone’s creativity. Keep doing what you do and remember you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try! Love your tutorials, your Craftsy classes, and your information!
    Please continue what you do for those of us who appreciate you and what you bring to our table of creativity!

  108. Mary Kay Hargrave says:

    I totally agree with you and your article. I think it is too bad that some shop owners were offended. If they were confident in themselves and their talent, it shouldn’t be a problem. It isn’t like you introduced the new concept of on-line buying. Keep your chin up and carry!!!

  109. Carol Nelson says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I have thought of buying fabric online, but have not done so, feeling that there could be problems. Any tips, suggestions that you may have would be much appreciated. Do not be intimidated by bullies, for that is what they are.Certainly do not let them dictate your actions, by putting you off attending shows etc. Carol B

  110. Jennifer Brooks says:

    I am so sad that you experienced this. I’m with many of the other commenters-sometimes you can’t physically get to a shop that has what you need. I’m not even a quilter! (I arrived here via your tutorial for the "kindness pouch". Ha-a little kindness would have helped if all those shop owners had tried to have it, huh?) I have to buy eyes for my little yarncraft animals and some colors of sock yarn online because the are not available in brick and mortar stores, even in my fair sized city. And I love to go into shops! I am sorry for your trouble! I like the suggestion that you re-enter your local store with an assertive friend along for moral support. The quilt shop community has lost by treating you this way. Ok, I’m done ranting now. Stay strong and thank you for the cute pattern and the others I have pinned, and used,over the years.

  111. Alice Power says:

    Oh my goodness, what is wrong with society lately? We all have shopped online for fabric unavailable at local shops or items they do not, will not, or cannot carry. Do not be bullied … what you wrote was, not only relevant, but your opinion … we all have varied opinions; even the brick and mortars have their opinion. They are opinions, not the only way to think. Although haters will hate … remember that lovers will love. Big hat and sunglasses? Whatever makes you feel safe! Don’t change your beliefs for anyone else … live your truth and you will be free.

  112. Ginger Carpenter says:

    The internet is a wonderful place where you can find and give knowledge, inspiration, support, etc… It is open to a world of wonderful people you would never meet otherwise. Unfortunately it is also open to truly hateful (and hate filled) people. These are the people you avoid in person. Many two faced people use the internet and social media to spew their hate and anger but would NEVER say these things to your face. Please don’t let these narrow minded people silence you. It is your blog with your opinions. Enjoy those who enjoy you and ignore haters. Put on your SASSY pants and priss into quilt market!

  113. Pamela Danner says:

    WOW! I am really sorry to hear about how you were bullied for posting useful information for YOUR followers, and that is exactly what it was, bulling! Here we are trying to teach our children and grandchildren about not bulling others and the adults behave this shameful! Why in the world the the President of a fabric company think they had the right to tell you what to do! Don’t you listen to them! You have a wonderful blog with so much useful information. I wish I had seen the post you made and hope you will post it again. I shop in stores and on-line and it is my decision to shop when and where I choose, that is the American way. To sit behind their computer and leave mean, hurtful comments is very cowardly. I love going into to shoppes and browsing and maybe finding just what I wanted but if I cannot find what I want, then I want the option to look elsewhere like on-line! I have actually gone into some shoppes to find rude and unfriendly and unhelpful sales help or owners. I don’t find that on-line! I am also on a budget and some times cannot afford the very high prices of local quilt shop. Yes, I would like to help to support them but not to the tune of going broke myself! If they are not getting enough customers then it is THEIR fault. Please do not take their rude comments to heart, and again, you have a wonderful informative blog and I actually made a washable coloring book for my grand-daughter following your instructions. Thank you for all you do! Have a wonderful day!

  114. I live in a country where I flat out /can’t/ get certain fabrics in brick-and-mortar shops, because the local market is minuscule. Or I might be able to find it, but it’s a big foreign firm charging $15 a meter for eg plain jersey knit because they’re effectively the only known seller of that particular fabric in the country (I wish I was joking). Buying fabric online is just plain pragmatism at that point.

    Also, from a purely economics perspective? It’s the company’s job to cater to consumer demand and compete for it. NOT the consumer to change their demand to cater to the companies. This goes double for a market like the fabric market, which generally has a lot of small firms selling similar products. In that type of market, it doesn’t really make a difference to the consumer what firm they buy from. The firms don’t want to compete in the online market, that’s their choice. It’s not on consumers to supoort them anyway.

  115. Janette Anderson says:

    Quite often my local quilt shops do not carry the fabric I would like to buy, especially pre-cuts. Also some of the prices are getting crazy and often on-line is cheaper. i way the pros and cons before I purchase, but in the end it is my choice where I buy fabric. Your your blog I am sure, if I had seen it, would have been helpful, but I have been buying fabric on line for years and with Google one can find information about almost anything including tips on buying fabric on-line. People need to chill and not react so quickly to some things without thinking it through for at least a day or so.
    Janette

  116. Andrea Franklin says:

    Oh Caroline, please no more guilt, anxiety or suffering for you! You did nothing wrong. Please re-post your original blog (as others have suggested) of tips on shopping for fabric, etc online! It will help all of us! Personally, I shop anywhere I can find what I want and need at the time = LQS, Big Box Fabric/Craft store like JoAnn or Hobby Lobby, and Online. I live 45-60 minutes away from any fabric store so I have to shop online for many items. Without online stores I’d be very limited in my purchases. I also visit LQS’s when traveling (I live in CA) and have found a wonderful LQS in Phoenix that I visit twice a year. I love the MSQC model of stores and online shopping both! Please be encouraged today and smile a bunch! Enjoy the quilty love.

  117. Connie Hitch says:

    I believe in freedom of speech. They were wrong to get mad. It’s your right to say what you want. Be strong and stand your ground. Go to the local store with your head held high. They will respect you more cause you believe in your views. Plus they still want your money. Don’t take any shit. Be strong!

  118. Haters gonna’ hate. 🙂 Do you and never mind about them. Besides, that blog post was great for people like me who don’t have a local fabric store. I have Joanne, and I think they are doing just fine!

  119. I have many charming quilt shops in my area but I choose to shop on line. I have health problems that cause me a lot of pain. It is much easier to Oder on line than to go from shop to shop. I wanted to make a friend an attic windows quilt with backyard birds. It is in memory of her Dad. All I had to do was enter it in the search engine and I got so many choices and prices to choose from. It is my shopping choice.
    Quilt shops are still fun. But I really do go for the browsing and the occasional special purchase. My main mode of shopping is online. I am so sorry that you were hurt buy speaking to us. I do appreciate it.

  120. Everyone has a right to their opinion without the fear of retaliation such as you had. But the real problem I see here is the manner in which shop owners treated you. They can also give their opinion with kindness. What ever happened to “do unto others as you want them to do to you.”? People need to realize how much hurt and damage they can do with their words and actions. Let’s all be considerate of others and kind in all we say and do. Remember how much we affect others lives.

  121. Cathe Woods says:

    As a relatively new quilter, tips and tidbits are so enthusiastically welcome. A somewhat encumbered pocketbook also plays a factor. I am slowly building my stash so I like to weigh my options. Our little rural town of barely 4000 has only one quilt shop and I support them with not only my patrinage but verbally with anyone who will listen. They are exceptionally friendly, helpful and supportive. Having said all that there are occasions when my vision of fabric for a project just cannot be found in the local shop, so yes; I dilegently search online for the perfect fabric. I too like to support independent sellers. Most of them come from persons like you who post affiliates (sponsors) found in your blogs. Thank you so much for your support for us newbies. Hold your head up high. Pretty sure a great percentage of quilters do the same and appreciate a variety of options to finding the "perfect" fabric.

  122. Susan Seale says:

    I moved from the city and now I live 78 miles from my nearest quilt shop. I went once. Just once. They were snotty and rude and treated me like an interloper. So I go to my old quilt shop, 140 miles away (each way!), where they are nice and sweet and oh so pleasant. I would love LOVE LOVE for some tips to buying fabrics online and let the postman drive those 140 miles instead of me! "Local" is open to interpretation and isn’t an option for everyone.
    As for the bullying, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it can be delivered nicely. Shame on them for being rude about it.

  123. Ls Artstudio says:

    Thank you for sharing!!! I also agree with previous post. Keep doing what your doing! I appreciate it.

  124. Heather Grintz says:

    I remember seeing that article, and honestly think it had some really good points! The problem is that some people don’t think about others who are unable to get out to fabric shops or even leave their homes do to severe anxiety or illness. (Not saying I am one of those.) And shopping online makes it much easier to get what they may need in order to even do their projects! Everyone who sent you hate mail are not thinking along those lines, they were just thinking you were throwing them under the bus when that wasn’t the case. And they were probably a little jealous they didn’t think of it first, or they haven’t taken their businesses online yet. You are not capable of pleasing everyone, take it from a reformed people pleaser. It simply cannot be done. Shame on them for making you doubt yourself! They were the ones who were wrong in this case, not you. Information serves everyone, no matter who likes it or not! So ((HUGS))! You need them right now.

  125. Lara Trottier says:

    I think I read it, and I do support both local (few and far between) quilt shops, but I also look online for some good deals or some different fabric that I can’t find locally. Personally we all need to realize that online is here to stay unless something drastic happen like the earth looses all of it’s electricity. Can’t we all just get along? Wouldn’t life be so much happier. Hugs

  126. Pat Vetterlein says:

    I wouldn’t stay away from shops or quilt market. I didn’t see this "infamous" post, but it sounds like it was along the lines of "helpful shopping hints." I can’t imagine that many people would still be fretting over the post (if they did see it) or even remember that you were the one who wrote it. If they are still worried about it, they need to get out more, get a life, or something along those lines. I live quite close to my LQS, in fact stop in pretty much every week, buy fabric and supplies, take classes, etc., but STILL SHOP ONLINE TOO!

  127. megan boesen says:

    I’m sorry that those in the industry reacted poorly to your blog post about Fabric Shopping Online and felt the need to harass you about it. Because let’s be real, thats what it was.

    As one of the new kids to the brick and mortar world I find myself confused by a lot of the reactions the old guard has to things. It seems as if being inclusive to other thoughts, ways of doing things, and asking questions is a big no no. So, I’m sorry you had experience that.

    As someone who also deals daily with anxiety and depression I know how negativity like this can hit. How these negative comments from outside can turn into negative inside brain comment loops. I think I can remember every negative interaction in my life much clearer than the good interactions.

    I’m sure you have heard the old saying that for every negative comment/review you get that there are 10 more out there. I think that was true when you had to sit down and write a letter by hand, stamp it, and mail it. Now I believe the saying should be revised, For every positive comment know that there are 10 to tons more out there that feel the same. The quick ability to comment, write an email, post on FB/Twitter/ect had changed the way people talk. The angry folks put it all out there, but the happy folks just go "ah that was great." an move on. So I hope you don’t take the outside/grumpy messages to heart.

    Thank you for your newsletter everyday. Thank you for your blog posts. Thank you for being you.

  128. Ragmop/Sandy says:

    Handquilting: I have to buy my supplies online because the 6 shops closest to me don’t carry handquilting supplies. “Oh, no one handquilts anymore,” say the clerks &/or owners. I reply, “Yeah, only about 10 million of us.” The 4 closest shops carry similar fabric lines; Love ya’, Moda, but we’re missing variety. Lots of variety. Which I can find online. It’s my money, I’ll shop as I please. *** You’re all right, Kiddo. Hang in there & keep writing. And quilting! 🌻

  129. Hi
    I live in a remote area and do not get to quilt shops very often, so by being able to buy online is great for me, the thing is I buy from brick & mortar shops who have online shopping as well, so why don’t the whiners do the same sell online as well. It is much preferable to enter a shop and see all the fabrics, as the colours on line are not always true. I love getting your emails keep up the good work stay positive you are a godsend for us quilters living in remote areas.
    Thanks again cheers Michele

  130. Hi just read about the rotten reponse to your online fábric shopping hints. How sad that people áre so self centred that they cannot see outside of their own interests. Thank you for your free tutorial

  131. I buy on line too. We have few shop and often they do not have the fabrics I like. I don’r have much choice unless to buy on line. When I can find a quilt shop I usually buy $100 and frankly that is the low side of my expenditure. I want to pet the fabric, feel it, and talk to clerks and others in the shop about fabric. But this is not always available to me. I do know one thing as well, I have not always been treated really nicely at some shops. Not very helpful clerks and when this happens I usually do not go back. However, at least two of the online shops I deal with always send me a personally written thank you note. They deserve business too. I am sorry you were treated so badly by these shops, only goes to show that to deal with you like that is not someone I want to do business with.

  132. Clarinda Fong says:

    I’m a fairly new reader to your blog and did, indeed, see that post you’re referring to. My first impression was, ‘Ah, she gets it! There are some people, like me, who do need some hand holding. We’re ‘that group’ that are mostly self taught, living a bit too far from really nice quilt stores and appreciate any advice from those further down the quilt road. Please don’t let those naysayers (who seem to have the bottom line as their main goal) keep you from doing what’s right for the vast majority of your readers – the every-day person just trying to improve their skills. It’s unfortunate that you’ve had to be on the receiving end of negative comments. It reflects more on the authors’ small mindedness when they could be part of the positive and supportive quilt community.

  133. Suzann Rogers says:

    Most of all, I am so sorry that you were treated badly by other quilters. As others have said some people can’t get to a brick and mortar store. While being treated for cancer I didn’t have the strength to get out nor did I want anyone to see me. I support our local stores as much as possible but sometimes they don’t carry lines that I really want. Does that mean I should not be allowed to have them? Bless your heart!

  134. Katherine Rayburn says:

    I missed the article, but I am truly sorry you felt bullied into taking it down. I am lucky to live in a major metro that has multiple quilt stores as well as a wholesale fabric district and even then it’s sometimes better/faster to order online. No one store can carry everything (not even Amazon) and in an ideal world they would be willing to order something they didn’t have for you, but that’s just not possible due to dealer and distributor arrangements. I own a small, local shop in another niche industry (card and board games) and regularly have to make decisions about what lines of products we can and can’t carry due to revenue and simple space. When someone comes in asking for what I don’t have, I always offer to order it if able and if they’re unwilling to wait for a special order, I generally know which of the other game stores around carry some of the other lines and can direct the customer. Sure, I will lose out on the sale of something I didn’t have to begin with, but more than once I’ve had a customer come back for something else because I sought to get the customer what they wanted rather than imply they should only like what I like. By bullying you these store owners have pushed customers away from local shops (you at the very least) creating the very situation they were trying to stop.

  135. Sweet Caroline, I’m so sorry that these people made you feel bad. You did nothing wrong.

    Please don’t allow these people to have this kind of power over you.

    Hugs.

  136. Perhaps this is a bit vindictive, but I think the shop owners who sent you hate mail don’t deserve your support! Yes we all shop online, and that’s not going to change. At least not anytime soon, so the sooner the brick and mortar shops accept that fact of life, the better for everyone concerned. Yes, I like to support local businesses… but I have to buy most of my fabric online because only Walmart has any fabric in my town. There’s not one fabric shop within reasonable driving distance. And, let’s face it. The quality of fabric sold at Walmart just isn’t up to standard with what would be available at a quilt shop or even a shop that only sells fabric suitable for making clothing.

  137. Kim Trick says:

    I must say that part of me wants you to name the stores that chose to bully you so that I don’t accidentally support them but then I guess that would be stooping to their level. Helping people find different ways of obtaining materials simply broadens the community of quilters that might one day walk through the doors of a local shop! I hope you gather a few friends and walk proudly into the next Quilt Market knowing that you are contributing to the growth of the quilting community.
    P.S. So glad to hear Fancy Tiger Crafts was not one of the bullies as I ALWAYS stop in their shop when in Denver visiting two of my sons.

    1. Judith Goldthorp says:

      I must say that part of me wants you to name the stores that chose to bully you so that I don’t accidentally support them but then I guess that would be stooping to their level.

      I was going to say the same thing . . . but you said it first.

  138. Sherry Jameson says:

    I believe we can all learn from this post. It seems that life happens, and people are gonna react in negative ways no matter the post, especially if it was intended to help those that are shut in and unable to get out in public to shop. I hope the shop owners that sent you negative emails or calls can professional apologize to you and see it as an eye opener for their business that a online store would help those of us that are unable or live to far from a shop. Hope you feel encouraged and know we appreciate your thought and efforts. Bless you

  139. Suzanne Cloutier says:

    I am so sorry to hear about how you were treated. I am reminded of someone telling me once, “what others think of me is none of my business!”.

    Your posts are appreciated by your readers. Be true to yourself and Keep them coming!

  140. Well, if that’s all it took for some people to get their knickers in a knot you are better off without them! I think your idea was a great one (I’m sorry I missed it) for all of the reasons you mentioned but perhaps even more because I live in an area where fabric stores are few and far between. We have one store locally and I drive between about 3-8 hours to visit others.

    Hugs from a fellow anxiety sufferer.

  141. Karen Johnson says:

    Bullying is bullying, whether it is in grade school or adults on line. Shame on those who participate. I think you probably hit a nerve with them for them to react so. And I believe I’ve read articles citing that the B&M stores are fiercely competing with online sellers in all areas of commerce. When I see some of the prices in the LQS, I back away. Most of us are not making heirloom quilts for the rich & famous. If it means more people will sew, young people will learn, and creations keep coming, then any way we purchase fabric to meet those needs should be our business. You provide a place for all to speak their minds, but it should not be at the expense of yours. Caroline, you bring much knowledge & fun into our sewing world, keep on doing it.!

  142. Elizabeth says:

    You can post your own experiences anytime you like. We have become such a rude society that people think if you publish something they don’t like, they are offended and feel like they have the right to attack you. They have the right not to read it, period, unless it is libel. Personally, I shop more in brick and mortar than online because I like instant gratification.🤪 i do, however, sometimes, purchase on line, and sometimes, I have been burned. The fabric that arrived at my door was cut badly, or stuffed into a pouch,wadded not folded. The same has happened to me in stores that I won’t name here. We,as a nation, need to get a grip on reality and remember that, just because you think something that does not mean you have to say it, or write it, or retaliate against the imagined offender.

  143. Gene Judge says:

    Caroline, shop where you need/want to shop. Brick-and-mortar stores that feel the need to chastise us for looking at all our options should be chastened themselves. I have experienced stores that treat me like an interloper when I ask for things they do not have. Of course, there are other local stores whose staff show interest in and desire to help me with my projects. I love those stores and always go to them first when looking for things I need.
    My sewing friends and I quilt for families in need and for veterans. We look online for the best deals and we especially like Connecting Threads for their very nice fabric, for their frequent sales, and—gotta say—for their free shipping for orders over, I think, only $50.

    Please let me talk a little about an astounding online situation that happened to me a year or so ago. I sighed up for a pattern place that was a monthly purchase kind of a thing. This was a new adventure for me. I have never been a part of a regular expenditure, preferring to buy on an as-needed basis. Anyway, their patterns are SO very darling—and, importantly,—not available locally. The first 2 shipments each had a very minimal correction required. The owners were so upset with my questions that they took me off their subscription list, refunded my purchases and tsk-tsk-ed me. Their words were pointed and went along the lines of "Everyone else thinks we are the bees knees. So you can’t buy here anymore." (My words, not theirs. But that was the gist. )
    All this to say that either way, online or down the street, sellers can be—just like the rest of us— rude sometimes and amazingly kind other times.
    We, as shoppers and humans, do the best we can with what we have from moment to moment. You, who offer the sewing public all kinds of interest, deals and tutorials, deserve accolades and gratitude. I feel it’s safe to say that a HUGE percentage of people who buy from you and who use your Web site for your free tutorials and advice are among your cheerleaders.

    Keep those who applaud your work close to heart when you do go back into a quilt shop, Caroline. Imagine us all walking behind you when you open that door

  144. The people who attacked you could have simply asked you to write another piece about wonderful quilt shops and to list all the ones who support you. They could even have gotten more business out of it – especially if they have on online presence and you gave their website addresses!!

    Sorry you have to go through this – and thanks for sharing! Everyone on-line pretends their lives are so perfect – I love your website because it’s so real – and of course because you have great patterns, ideas, promotions and links!!!

    Ignore those vicious "troll" attacks and carry on!

  145. I’m sorry to hear about the hateful emails you got, and how much you suffered from them. But please remember that there will always be spiteful people, and mostly they are just scared or frustrated. They don’t really know you, so try not to take it too personal. Also remember that all the shopowners who are okay with your post probably didn’t bother to write and tell you that, so it’s not because you get a lot of angry mails, that there are only angry people, it’s just that you don’t hear from the ones who are happy just to get along with their business… And lastly, maybe, if you miss your quilt shop, you should just go and visit? Take a friend if it makes you feel more confident. Chances are they are perfectly happy to see you, and if not, then at least you really know. Because now you are spending a lot of time thinking about what they might be thinking, which is a waste of time and energy which is better spent sewing! 😉

    I totally understand that you took down the post, though. You were under fire and didn’t feel like this was a fight you wanted to fight, so you retreated. Wise move, I would say :-).

  146. I already made two of your zola pencases this school year (thank you for the pattern!), and I shop both online and in "real" shops, and I even mail order in "real" shops, which is a bit of both…

  147. That is so ridiculous how those shop owners made you feel. You should stand tall and proud knowing that what you did you did for all the right reasons. Tell the rest of them to go to hell.

  148. Amy Marlo says:

    First and foremost you are fantastic and keep us all inspired-never doubt yourself! The internet unfortunately allows bullies-how many of those negative emails would have said it to your face-very few! I happen to live in an area that is fortunate to have many quilt shops that I support but I also shop online. I don’t like to pay shipping so I shop local first and I don’t like to wait. There is no way for all the shops to have all of the available fabric lines, notions, patterns, etc. I have also found that many of the Etsy shop owners (as you say small at home businesses) have some of the older fabrics I am looking for that the shops and even bigger online stores no longer carry. I have seen many of the fabric, pattern and notion companies selling on Amazon-our the local shops made about that? Local shops need to focus on customer support (I look to see if they greet me when I walk in the door, do they help me with color selection, etc), class instruction, supporting local guilds or sewing groups, encouraging new quilters/sewers, things that can’t be offered by an online store (yes I know there are online classes and "guilds") but nothing is better than sewing with others since our hobby is primarily a solo sport. I understand that running a shop is hard. Fabric and shipping costs have increased enormously. There are many free patterns on the internet, why buy one in a shop. It is a tough market but I bet a small local pharmacy would say the same thing about big box pharmacy competition.

    Caroline, thank you for sharing your experience so we can let you know that you were not wrong and as you say, you write for your readers! Do what makes you happy and let go of the negatives! Now go buy some fabric : )

  149. I’m gonna say it again: The best thing about the quilt industry is that it’s filled with women. And the worst thing about the quilt industry is that it’s filled with women. We tend to operate first on an emotional wavelength, and it causes us to lash out inappropriately sometimes. This is one of those times. As an author, journalist, magazine publisher and editor, I absolutely stand by your post and urge you to stand up for yourself and re-post it. You have nothing to fear. Their actions were completely out of line. The fact of our industry is that we have choices in how we buy and a successful business is successful not because it’s online or B&M, but because those involved work hard, understand their customers and fulfill a need in a profitable manner. We would do MUCH better as an industry if we worked together to better understand our customers instead of fracturing into cliques. Caroline, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You were serving your customers–your readers. I personally would love to see your tips on online shopping. What you were hit with is some industry people’s fears. They are terrified of losing their business and becoming irrelevant. But, and this is my final thought here, just because you are afraid does not give you the right to attack and abuse another person. Stay strong Sweetie. Find your gumption and gracefully take your stand. They don’t have to like it or you, but plenty more do.

    1. Gene Judge says:

      "Find your gumption…" I LOVE it !

  150. Joyce Schroeder says:

    I have tried several times to submit a comment on this, and this will be my last attempt; it seems technology doesn’t want me to express my views today! That being said, I am happy that many people have already expressed much of what I was going to tell you: that you have nothing to be ashamed of; that your viewpoints are valid and could be of much assistance to many; that the bullies who wrote/called to express their "displeasure" at your honest attempt to inform and advise your readership are just that: bullies! And they should not be allowed to win.

    Why is it that social media seems to give so many the cahones to tell people off and bully them into submission? Whatever happened to differences of opinion being freely expressed? When last I checked I lived in the USA, where Freedom of Speech is granted to all her citizens via the Bill of Rights. I am aware that Canadians have much the same style of freedom of speech. Just because someone espouses a difference of opinion it does not give me, or anyone else, the right to shout down that opinion simply because I don’t happen to agree with it.

    I am happy to say that I stumbled upon this post because it showed up in my cell phone. I chose to read it because I was interested, and I am so glad I did! Why? Because I have now found a new blog that I am excited about and cannot wait to read. I have looked through what is already here, and I am excited to see someone who speaks her truth in a very kind way. I don’t find your posts to be threatening at all, even those I may have other opinions on. Methods you use might be a little different from mine. But that does not mean that I can’t learn something from what you have written. And I am excited to find out what I may learn from what you have written.

    I would like to propose, like some others have, that you go back and re-post your thoughts on online shopping. I don’t think you need to apologize for trying to inform your readers about what lies in Internetville and how to take advantage of what is out there. There are many reasons why some of us find online shopping helpful. Some of us don’t have access to wonderful B&M shops nearby. Not all B&M shops carry the supplies we need. And some B&M shops have very snippy staff who do their best to make an "outsider" feel more and more like an outsider. I have shopped at some of those, and while I won’t go back, I also didn’t find it necessary to berate the shops publicly until they either closed down or replaced the entire staff with welcoming, engaging and fun people. But my experiences don’t speak to everyone’s experiences, either.

    Much like a quilt, we NEED differences of opinion, different options, and alternate ways to obtain our supplies in order to create beauty. If every patch in every quilt had the same intensity of tone or hue, or depth of color … if every patch were in the same color family, but not at all harmonious to anything else near it … what an unattractive quilt that would be, indeed. As a quilter, I WANT my quilts to be vibrant, and it is the good business owner who tries to keep me as a customer. My local shop doesn’t carry every single thing I need. And as a hand quilter, they know that my needs are usually simple (needles, hand quilting threads, etc.), but they will order whatever I want in order to keep me coming back and happy. Does it work? You betcha! Because they also know that I will buy fabric whenever I see a piece I love, and last year I spent money buying a new sewing machine, so they benefitted from being that "good shop owner" who was willing to keep me happily coming back, even if there are days when I only go in to pet the fabrics and visit with them!

    So I say it’s now time to band together and make Lemonade out of those lemons you got! As quilters/sewists, we should all select a beautiful piece of fabric that we love, and we should all make ourselves a Supercape! And that Supercape should be worn whenever we create! Why? Because we have been put here to bring sweetness and light into the darkest corners of the world. And how difficult is it that a Superhero can make a difference without their Supercape? I say, Supercape wearers unite! I hope you have a really blessed day, dear (new) friend, and I am anxious to see what you post next!

  151. Valerie Duff says:

    You hold your head up! Local quilt shops are great, but lots of quilters don’t have access to them due to distance. (My nearest LQS is 70 miles away!)

    Additionally, if online shopping and places like Tuesday Morning make quilting affordable for people, then I’m all for them! To me, it’s far more important to "spread the quilting gospel" in any way possible than for LQS’s to have the corner on the market.

    I volunteer at a charter school in south Georgia, teaching sewing and quilting. Many of those kids wouldn’t be able to participate if I didn’t purchase discounted fabric. I also lead a newly established quilting "guild" (we use that term very loosely). Many of the ladies in our guild are on fixed incomes and can only afford discounted fabric.

    Last week, I did the unthinkable for quilting snobs… Our local WalMart was closing its fabric department and had all the Waverly cotton solids marked down to 50 cents a yard. I bought one hundred yards of decent fabric for fifty bucks! No, it’s not Kona, but it’s good enough for my kiddos! And our guild ladies will be happy to have it, too.

    Yes, I will support LQS’s when I can… but I’ll continue to choose enabling more folks to sew and quilt over giving LQS’s the corner on the market!

    Hang in there!

  152. sandie @ crazy'boutquilts says:

    Intimidation tactics are just another form of bullying. Re-post it, let them get upset–they clearly are only thinking of themselves and they crossed a line. You have a much healthier outlook and are thinking of everyone. Thank you. Stand tall and proud~ you have a great group of followers and we won’t stand for bullying.

  153. Competition is a part of business and if they thought your blog post hurt them then they should look at their business and figure out a way to up their game. No shop carries everything and they know that customers go where they have to to get what they want. Are they offering online sales? They could and take advantage of that blog post instead of being afraid of it. I understand your anxiety because mine makes it so I can’t sew for days on end. Don’t let them get to you, it is not possible to please everyone. Call a friend and go fabric shopping!!

  154. Well what wonderful comments from your ‘friends’ out here in quilting/sewing world
    Take heart my friend, we are with you all the way.
    Hugs
    Gayle Z (Australia)

  155. Carol Sanborn says:

    Caroline, I will continue to enjoy your blog as I have since you began. I will shop where my business is wanted local shops or online. And above all where I want to shop. Thank you for helping me be a more informed shopper and quilter. Do not let the negative comments upset you.
    Life will go on and we will all be here supporting you! Many hugs and wishes for a beautiful tomorrow!

  156. You were absolutly right to write this post, so useful for all those people living far away from quilt shops (I’m one of them), and because online shoping has never been a competition with local shops. Not in quilt related, nor in book related fields. This is the so old fight, buying online will kill local shops. No. No and no. No way, this is two different things, and for different purposes. Local shops will never replace human advices, contact, and so many precious little things around socialisation. Don’t listen to whom insulted you, they are wrong and don’t understand the world we live in. Sorry, I’m angry too, and my English is not good enough to tell you all I want to say! Just, I’m on your side. And I guess you can enter again in your local quilt shop, I bet they will understand.

  157. MPaula Whelan says:

    I’m 4 U – no doubt at all. Keep on, Caroline!

  158. Donita Scott says:

    I have been a quilter for several years and I find that so many sewers turn to quilting. I am a babyboomer and look to quilting as a therapuetic way of releasing stress. Many quilters get frustrated looking for inspiration., Go online, order magazines, join a guild, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. Let us spread the knowledge, wisdom, and truth about shopping and gaining insight into designing and sewing a quilt. Don’t let the quilt snobs bully you. They forget that they did not come out of the womb with a long arm in their hands. They too started from scratch let us encourage one another and support our habit or hobby. People in general are looking for good deals, share the wealth. Many of us do not have the time or money to find great deals at quilt shops. Smaller quilt shops are limited on their inventory. They also shop on line. Let us encourage and support this culture of quilting especially for beginners. Keep blogging

  159. Lesley Gilbert says:

    I live in England in a city with about 200,000 residents and as far as I know, we only have one shop that sells ‘quilting’ fabric and it’s not cheap. So I either have to buy on-line or find great bargains at my local charity shops. I hope you find the courage to re-post your blog about shopping on-line – I have a feeling I read it at that time and found it very informative. Good luck and sending you (((hugs)))

  160. Judith Goldthorp says:
    1. You are entitled to your opinion, about politics, fabric, the weather, your favorite sports team, etc. You posted a "how to" for the benefit of people who might be in need of your advice. No one had the right to demand you take down your post. I find it ironic that these bullies would go online to bully you, while they demand you come, in person, to their shop.
    2. I understand that Local Quilt Shops would like us all to shop there and not online. I am fortunate to have 5 shops within a 10 mile radius, with another 5 within a 25 mile radius. Not everyone is so fortunate. For some people in rural areas, there is no LQS. It’s WalMart or order online. LQS need to figure out how to carve their niche — what do they have that I want to buy, rather than search online. One of my LQS gets most of my business because they track my purchases, and every time I get to $100, I get a $10 credit. Another LQS has a Quilt Club that I attend once a month. While I am there, I will probably buy some fabric or a pattern, or sign up for a class. Another LQS has a long arm for rental.
    3. LQS exist to provide a service. They provide fabric and patterns for sale. Some sell machines. Many give classes. If they don’t provide a service that you want to purchase, then they won’t succeed. Your post about buying fabric online won’t make the shop close. Their poor customer service will cause them to close. How welcoming are they to new quilters?
    4. The online quilting community has brought many people to quilting who would not have thought about going into a quilt shop. Think Angela Walters, think Jenny Doan/Missouri Star Quilt Company, think Fat Quarter Shop, think Craftsy. Their videos, which I usually watch late at night, when the LQS are closed, have inspired me. My LQS recognize that we look online and have made it possible for me to shop both in their shop and online. The Quilt Shows have vendors from both the bricks & mortar and online areas. They don’t seem to have a problem coexisting in the vendor area.

    So do not allow people to bully you. You did nothing wrong in presenting that information.

    Judy

  161. Catherine S. says:

    People need to learn to be kind. Period. You did nothing wrong. Keep smiling.

  162. People always have opinions. When shared kindly, listen. When done with malice, I say ignore it. Those kinds are not worth listening to and they are usually not satisfied regardless of what you would do or say. Keep your head up and do what your heart leads. Above all, “treat others how you want to be treated”. I enjoy your emails and posts!

  163. Pauline Pearson says:

    Caroline, I support you 100%, go with your instincts and blog about whatever you decide is interesting to yourself or to us. Bullying behaviour exhibited by small minded people should never ever be accepted or tolerated. That being said, I too have suffered from anxiety caused by similar opinionated outrage and you have my sympathy. Believe in yourself, be honest, be happy.

  164. I love receiving your news and comments! I also think that people who abuse others online are themselves despicable!! Please continue to give us the wonderful sewing hints, tips and articles we all love to receive! Thank you for doing what you do!

  165. Last I checked it’s called freedom of speech. It’s not OK for people to become rude and nasty just because of their own fear and disagreement. I really love the quilting community; however, I have noticed a very clear passive aggressive nature when someone says/does something that someone may not agree with. It’s called “discussion” people, let’s try it. Your article was on point and totally relevant. Keep doing what you do, it is very much appreciated!!! If quilt shop owners want to disparage people for shopping online or for writing truthful articles, they don’t deserve our business…and this is the real reason they go out of business. Very sad.

  166. First of all, there’s a 1st amendment issue. You have a right to put what you want on YOUR blog.
    I am handicapped and running into the quilt shop is difficult for me now. Though I like love my LQS, much of my shopping is done on websites. I would have appreciated reading whatever help you had to offer.
    Chin up and press on.

  167. Everyone is not
    Fortunate enough to have. Local
    Place
    To shop. What about the quilters that are homebound or dependand on others for transportation? It is great to support local shops but everyone does not have that luxury.

  168. Vivian Oaks says:

    Aren’t online shops "shops" too? Of course they are!! There are a LOT of us who don’t live NEAR a quilt shop. The closest one to me takes 45 minutes through the back country to get to. I just can’t do that very often. And even then, the quilt shop that’s 45 minutes away is a SMALL shop. For their size, they have a lot of fabric. They DON’T have a lot of fabric compared to Missouri Star Quilt Co…. When I shop online I can look at hundreds of batiks. When I go to the quilt shop that’s 45 minutes away, I get a choice of 10-12. Sorry, but there’s no comparison!!
    When I’m away from home and see a quilt shop, I love to stop and check it out. However, when I’m in the middle of a quilt and need more of a particular fabric, I check online! It just makes sense. Your detractors will ALWAYS have something to complain about. Forgive them, let it go, and go on with your life. You’re not the bad guy!! Wish I’d seen that blog post, since I HAVE to do most of my shopping online….
    Vivian

  169. Vivian Oaks says:

    I had another thought after sending my last comment: If a fabric distributor had a problem with your blog, I can’t imagine why! Whether it’s a B&M store or online, they still all have to buy their fabrics from the same manufacturers…. Moda fabrics come from Moda…Robert Kaufmann fabrics come from Robert Kaufmann…Riley Blake fabrics come from Riley Blake. If there are black market fabrics, nobody is going to buy the stuff if it’s a bad knock-off!!! There is something wrong with that guy (or gal). IT ALL COMES FROM THE SAME PLACE!!! WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE WHO BUYS IT TO SELL TO CONSUMERS????? You’re right, honey! Don’t give it a second thought.

  170. Your critics are out of touch with reality! I, also, have little access to B&M quilt shops. I have a small shop with limited stock 6 miles away and the the next closest shop is 35 miles away. Whenever I travel or visit someplace new, I search the internet for local quilt shops to visit. I would not be able to find them without the internet. So, yes, the internet may cost shops some sales, but it also brings in shoppers. We live in a digital age and quilt shops that recognize that and embrace it will survive. It’s easy to tell you not to care about the negative backlash, but I can understand how shocked and blindsided you must have felt. So sorry for the anxiety it has caused you, and hopefully the support you are receiving will help.

  171. Maryanne Wilson says:

    Love vour articles and insights. Please keep up the great work you do

    Realize you ran into some nasty bullies and they use any and all types of intimidation, you have to wonder how they treat their customers

    You have loads of followers and friends: Please be our friend and Facebook neighbor as Mr Rogers said you are special just the way you are!!!

  172. I thank you for helping crafters first. If the brick stores have a problem with that to bad they seem to have forgotten that more things count then their bottom line and actual helping their customer and not taking them I would love to read that blog but understand if the pressure is much god bless and keep up your mission

  173. Leslie Randall says:

    For some of your readers, like me, we live in rural areas with no access to even the small quilt shop unless we travel, so I appreciate your efforts to help us. Thank you.

  174. I meant to respond earlier. My thoughts are: "perfect love casts out fear." You did nothing wrong unless you had a contractual clause with these sponsors that said you cannot talk about online sales. And I don’t think you did anything wrong morally or ethically. So, don’t let their angry reactions cause you to change your life, activities (Quilt Mart–what neat ideas have you missed, and not shared with us, because you didn’t go this year?), etc. If the angry sponsors choose to take their sponsorship elsewhere, they are free to do so, just as you are free to write interesting blog subjects to your readers. I, too, would like to read this article. Perhaps you could do a similar article, but talk about the benefits of shopping at the LQS (equal time). Most of all, be yourself. As long as you are not breaking a law or contract, use your best judgment in what you want to share with us! We love your articles and creativity! Don’t let other stifle your writing. You have taught me much already and I’m looking forward to more.

  175. Hi, for someone like me, that lives miles and miles away from any good quilt fabric shop , buying on line and bothering my friends to bring it out my frabic to Patagonia . Is one of the only ways to get fabric to do any quilting. So keep writing we need you!

  176. I’m sorry you are being bullied. My local quilt stores always tell me to shop online when I can’t find things in their store. They cannot stock everyday.

    Go to the festival, hold your head high and be proud of who you are and the help you give us

  177. I read that blog. I loved it and thought the advice was really helpful to any quilter looking for new ways to buy unique fabric. ~You did nothing wrong!
    ~I think you should post it again!!!
    ~Be fearlees, don’t give “them” power over what you think or write.

  178. Caroline, I have a March 2010 Threads magazine #147, and it has an article, “Fabric Shopping on the Internet”. It has good advice, as I am sure your article did also. Your angry detractors need to realize that online buying is here to stay and that many brick and mortar stores sell online also. I’ve not said anything new here, but I felt a need to say something to support you. I look forward to getting your blog/newsletter. It is bursting with your creativity, and we are the fortunate recipients. Keep on letting your star shine brightly!

  179. Linda Rife says:

    I can’t believe you had that kind of reaction to your post. I love visiting quilt shops and usually buy a lot when I visit. Truth be told, I can get most things cheaper online. And, truth be told, a lot of us are looking for a bargain. I feel like I spread my spending habits out. I enjoy the physical shopping of a quilt store, the comradery with the staff and just browsing through all the material. When I do, I usually spend a pretty penny but feel good because I’m supporting these great shops. However, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to go home and buy items online too. What’s wrong with both. You should NOT feel bad for write your blog. Recently I have noticed so many hateful remarks on others blogs or just a small post. Are there that many angry mean spirited people out there. If so, what makes them so unhappy that they feel a need to share their hateful remarks. You know that saying, "If you can’t say something good, don’t say it at all!" Keep posting what you feel we would like. Those that respond in such a negative manner, well, try your best to ignore them or just say "Sorry you interpreted my blog that way," They are the problem, not you. Keep blogging and shopping with your head held high! 🙂

  180. It is unfortunate that folks live in fear- that they will loose business because of the online shops. I am an online quilting fabric retailer and very honestly- no competition to the local shops. I sell at quilt shows and we all have different fabric. There is so much to buy and sell out there- we can’t sell it all.

    It really upsets me that a fabric company would intimidate you- they shouldn’t be in business if that is their attitude.

    I can tell you not to feel the anxiety but I know that doesn’t help. Just know you aren’t alone in this crazy world of quilting. 🙂 Keep posting what YOU want to post!

  181. Sandra Allen says:

    For those of us who are homebound, all of our shopping is done online or by others. It’s sad that you were bullied. Most of the brick and mortar stores could offer online shopping too if they chose to. I rely on bloggers for good info on buying online.

  182. I’m sorry you caved, it seems like what happens in the SJW world hit you too.

  183. A Quilter says:

    Ridiculous. One of the very few things that I hate about the quilting industry is their inability to adapt to the times and the expectation that a business deserves support simply because it exists, regardless of how well it actually conducts its business. Pretending that the internet doesn’t exist will not fix a shop’s inability to adapt. I buy 100% of my fabric online. I have several LQSes easily accessible and they sell things I want to buy. I simply choose to buy online instead, it is my preferred method of shopping. As a consumer it is my right to buy from wherever I want to buy from. If those LQSes offered online shopping they would likely get my business. But most of them don’t even have a website where I can find out what they carry, nevermind online sales (tip for businesses: if your entire online presence is a Facebook page you are failing — as someone without a FB account I cannot access your content nor is that content helpful to me.) Buying online is more convenient for me and the selection is better. The customer service is at least equal and often better. The always open aspect means that I can shop even though I have a full time job. The prices are also often significantly better. Why shouldn’t I try to save money? Why shouldn’t I support my favourite online shop run by a single woman trying to support her family? I will never, ever understand the argument that supporting an independent bricks and mortar shop is better than supporting an an independent online shop. Pretending that every online shop is akin to Amazon is nonsense (And even if it was, so what? I have friends who work at Amazon, I don’t want them to lose their jobs either.)

    I look forward to the day when the quilting industry as a whole accepts the internet and all it has to offer. I look forward to when the "Support your LQS" people acknowledge that online shops are as valuable as brick and mortar ones. I look forward to when the Row-by-Row program realizes that an online customer is just as valuable as an in person one. I look forward to when every LQS has a fully featured online presence.

  184. There are 5 quilt shops in the county I live in. Each carry different fabrics… modern, novelty and blenders etc. They are 5 to 45 minutes traveling distance. They all have their niche. All a very nice and helpful. I have a hard time getting enough fabric I like at one shop. They may not carry a whole collection or if they do it is not what I want. I have bought more fat quarters for a throw quilt I will never use because they can be persuasive that a fabric will look great in the quilt. Sometimes I feel guilty when I take in fabric from somewhere else ( most probably in my head most times). I find great prints online through online or brick and mortar shops. Sometimes the fabric is exactly what I want sometimes the colours are not quite right (sigh). While away I found some great fabric but was not thinking binding, I came across the same collection at a brick and mortar shop that does online also in Toronto. They found me a colour for the binding that is very close to one colour in the fabric I had. They could not have been more helpful. I also find fabric in store ( in my area) then look online for other colour ways if I really like the print. I have only made two quilts and have two needing sandwiching and quilting. I just wanted to let you know how fabric shopping for me is hard. I still am learning what I like and make more missteps with purchasing fabric than not. Luckily most are half meter or under. No more jelly rolls! I will subscribe to your blog and wish I could have read that post you took down. Many would have loved it I am sure. Don’t lose your faith in us. It amazes me the meanness of people sometimes. If a person don’t like something stop reading it and move on to something else.

    Take Care
    Kind Regards
    Lisa

  185. Merilee Kennedy says:

    I don’t own a quilt store but I work at one a couple days a week to fund my “habit” in retirement. No small store owner can afford to carry every piece of every collection. I use online purchasing to supplement parts of the collection I can’t buy locally or to get more of something we’ve sold out if and can’t get in again. I don’t feel disloyal because I get what isn’t available otherwise. I also use online resources to get a feel for what others are interested in and what’s new. I can then help the owner order things into the store to increase traffic and business. I understand the online shopping concerns of owners but it’s hete to stay. So you learn to leverage it to your advantage or wring your hands. I’m sorry so many feel they need to castigate you for your blog post. I always wonder if people had to say it to your face if they would be as nervy and hateful!

  186. Caroline, that is sad. Lots of mean people and I don’t get it. Have a couple of stories myself. A few years ago was invited to a quilt shop here in town to sit and work on what I make with other ladies. When I came, it was on of the girls birthday and everyone brought something to eat. Was NOT told this. Well there was maybe 8 or more ladies and NO ONE asked me if I wanted anything to eat. I felt so bad. Then just two weeks ago signed up for a table runner only to get to the church and no one was there! Called and she said they cancelled. Why not let me know? Said she emailed me. Went home and that didn’t happen. And wasn’t in my spam.

  187. Ann Madison says:

    Focusing on your readers is an excellent blogging philosophy. I live hours from a quilt shop, these days and most of my purchases are made online. When I lived closer to quilt shops I balanced my purchases between the friendly shops and the friendly online shops. I would most likely have learned a few things from your post and I find that I resent those that caused you so much stress that you had to remove your post. Online shops are here to stay. A wise shop owner may want to beef up their online, and especially, their social media presence.
    I am sorry that they made you feel threatened. That is their disgraceful behavior and you should not feel bad about feeling anxious. It is a normal response to a large number of threats.
    I hope you re-post but, I understand if you don’t. Just know that many of us appreciate your informative posts.

  188. I see you live in the same metro area I do! Receiving negative feedback is hurtful and to put it simply: It’s cruel, insensitive, and cowardly to bash someone because you disagree. THAT’S what I feel is the major issue with the article you took down (which I did not read, but am basing my comment upon what you wrote in this post). I don’t understand why folks have to go that route. Logically, we can deduce that they’re afraid your post may turn folks away from visiting their shop. However, many people LOVE and PREFER to shop locally to support their community.

    I recently went on a shop hop held locally and something I realized was how poorly I was treated as a consumer by over half of the shops I visited. One shop in particular is one I’ve decided I will never again step foot in.

    I believe in the trickle-down effect, where the persona at the top trickles down through the team. On the contrary, a shining-star shop I visited is just that because the owner is hard-working, has a welcoming and delightful personality, and warmly asks if you need assistance. Walking into her shop is like walking into Grandma’s kitchen, where she asks you to sit down and have a cup of tea and some fresh-baked cookies – that’s the feeling you get, there! 🙂

    I’ve found that there are quilt shop owners that don’t know how to run a business. They don’t know how to offer quality customer service, how to acknowledge and appreciate those who step into their shop, and those who buy from their shop.

    That shop I’m never stepping foot in again? I had full intentions to purchase something from every shop on the hop. At that shop, I was at the counter with two bolts of fabric in hand to have cut. The owner was eating her lunch on the other side of the table and, although she knows me (I participated in a BOM she hosted early-on in my career in the quilting industry), she was rude (short answers to my attempt at making conversation) and acted like I was bothering her. It was so disheartening, holding those bolts in my arms and the urge to purchase was quickly dissipating. Secondly, the only two ladies behind the counter cutting for customers were bundling up strips for their shop hop quilt kit, which I believe they ran out of. One lady ignored me and the other was rolling up the strips and tying them together. I figured she’d take the bolts and cut what I needed after she was done tying the bundle she was working on, but she proceeded to begin rolling the next bundle of strips to tie together. Believe me, I’m as patient as the day is long. However, I had had it. I calmly set my bolts down on the counter, walked away, and walked straight out of the store. Although this shop is a sewing machine dealer as well, I’m surprised she is still in business after all of these years because I can honestly say that I’ve never felt welcome in that shop. Don’t get me wrong . . . I do wish her continued success. She must be doing something right because she’s been in business for many years, now. However, I think she concentrates more on the sewing machine sales because of their high-dollar value. What I’d suggest she do is to treat EVERY customer with respect and I bet she’d see a dramatic change in her bottom line.

    Okay, jumping off my soap box, now . . . 😉

  189. How stupid that these people tried to take the joy out of your blog, your fabric shopping (off- or online) and that they raised your anxiety levels so much! I think people sometimes don’t realise How much impact comments and e-mails can have, just because they are read on screens instead of told to you in person. I would have loved to read your online shopping post. Shame on all the shop-owners trying to tell you How to run your blog! I really hope you will feel better soon, and feel confident enough again to walk into a shop!! Keep going with your blog, it is great!!

  190. Please repost your post!

  191. Marianne ten Kate says:

    OMG, what’s happening in this world of ours? Shame on corporate America if an industry the size of quilting fabrics and the various shops that sell it, can’t stand a bit of competition from the modern world. As your astute readers have commented, many of us have no easy access to a friendly, well-stocked fabric shop. Our only option is to buy online. I’m desperate to find out how you would advise me to avoid the many pitfalls I have encountered with my online purchases! I am also keen to support brick and mortar shops, but with surly staff and eye wateringly high prices, I do so only sparingly as a treat to myself when I find a shop that sells what I want.

    I urge you to repost your tips; freedom of speech is too important. If that’s too scary, perhaps you could email your subscribers with a special newsletter – “What The Big Boys Don’t Want You To Know”! I’ve just signed up having come from While She Naps and I’m now off to make that fabulous toddler mat! Keep up the good work!

  192. Sounds like that blog post would have been very helpful, Caroline. I’ve attended quilting retreats where the organiser has said we have to take our money to brick and mortar stores, not online. In a room full of 300+ women, I said nothing, but it in no way changed my shopping habits. I buy what I want, where I want, based on factors like price, convenience, fabric lines, quality, etc. Sorry you were bullied, and that it caused you to be anxious.

  193. I’m very sorry that you were bullied. I too would like you to repost the original post. I purchase fabric at brick and mortar stores, AND online.

    Some brick and mortar shops treat me like an annoyance. I don’t ever return, no second chances after bad service. Some treat me like a guest that they’re happy to see, are very helpful, and are willing to refer me to another shop if they know I can find something else that that the first shop doesn’t carry. I will return to them again and again.

    I don’t find price differences to be all that much between brick and mortar and online shops. I don’t shop online to "get a deal". I shop online to find things I can’t find locally.

    If brick and mortar shops offer a quick smile and excellent service, they will do well. If they treat customers like an annoyance, they will fail. The internet is not their enemy.

  194. After reading many, many of these comments, I had to stop and say good night. I just want to echo what everyone is saying and add another number to your support group!

  195. If your (Caroline’s) original post said that you go to LQSs to touch fabric and then buy the same thing online for cheaper, that’s… not very nice. I don’t own a quilt shop and I buy most of my fabric online, but when I do go to a local store, if I see something, I like I buy it there.

  196. But it’s not (nor does it have to be) either/or, one or the other. If there is something I must have immediately, or if I feel the need to pet some fabric, I’ll saddle up and drive the 15 miles to the local store. If it’s an item I found online that I love and want, or a notion for a project that I’ll need in an few days, I buy online. It’s a bigger sandbox. Let’s all play together nicely!

  197. judi crespo says:

    I’m sorry you were bullied into taking your post down. Sounds like something I’d like to read. I am not a subscriber of your blog but I think I’ll sign up for it now!

  198. So having lost my first comment, let me begin by agreeing with Jan C. and Nancy V.

    I buy from the locally owned fabric store when I can. (they don’t always have what I am looking for). I occasionally from the local JoAnnes. And I buy fabric online.

    Mostly from Dharma Trading Company because, I am a hand dyer. I buy a bolt of cloth at a time and the fabric stores do not carry what I am ordering! I dye my own fabric and sell it on etsy as well as make clothing for myself and quilts. Also, I occasionally but online from several stores that are also brick and mortar, so what’s the beef?

    So brick and mortor stores, let’s get real. There are a miriad of reasons that we ALSO buy fabric on line. I would like to see the article reposted as well, along with a new blog about reasons that we all buy on line also. Emphasis on the ALSO.

    I would be happy to give my reasons, the first being that sometimes the local brick and mortars either, don’t carry a certain line, or are out of it. Where do I turn – to the internet. Last time I did this, my search ended up getting the fabric I wanted from a brick and mortor who also sells online!

    So… happy sewing and have a great day.

  199. Big hugs to you. I suppose all industries have their own politics. Brick and mortar’s are fighting for their existence, but I do wish they would fight in ways that offered more to the customer without demanding more from the customer. Retail shops have a chance to be so valuable in the community, but sometimes I feel that the most vocal of those brick-and-mortar shops are whining that their business is diminishing, without putting in the effort to reinvent or adapt. I don’t know what the answer is, but shaming someone into doing business with you seems creepy and unsustainable. (which is purely a statement of how I feel sometimes when I hear shop owners talk about the direction the industry is going). Good for you for recognizing something that would be of use to your readers. I don’t know where your main source of income is, but as a business, you have to both lead towards and follow what you think will be profitable. Good luck!

  200. Janet Balzer says:

    I shop at both depending on time, distance and availability. I think it’s horrid that you were bullied. No one should endure that just because they don’t like your opinion. I read your posts, all of them, and thoroughly enjoy them. I respect you not naming the guilty fabric store, but if you had I would boycott them just because of their wrong attitude

  201. Nothing but love for you, Caroline. I buy online and in the brick and mortar shops. If they don’t carry a fabric you are looking for, what else should you do? It’s a shame that people are acting so nasty these days.

  202. I’m so sorry to hear of your painful experience–not so shocking in today’s mainstream climate of anger, chaos, paranoia, and cruelty. HANG IN THERE–you have special talents to share with creative people WHO CARE. Not everyone is judgmental and unforgiving.

  203. You poor lady- think your doing right by all sewing ladies out there-(and you are)
    I live in
    Australia – shop locally-and on line – spread it around .
    I cannot believe this has happened to you-the shop owners should hang there heads in shame to do this to a person and cause you so much stress- it’s all competition – which is great for we fabric shopper ladies -keep the shop owners fabric prices in check .
    And who doesn’t love a bargain-I am sure the owners of the shops also love a bargain as well-even if it is on line-you cannot tell me the shop owners do not shop on line.
    Do they go out and support local even though it may be more expensive- also they have to remember there are those ladies out there with a passion to sew and cannot afford local shop prices and look for a bargain on line. Good on you- keep up what you do and don’t let them make you feel insecure about yourself.HUGS xx

  204. I’m adding my support for you with all these lovely quilters already commenting. Sadly you are not the first to receive this kind of bullying and you are not likely to be the last. Such ugliness reflects on the giver, not the receiver. Do not own their problem. It is not your problem. Be strong. Be brave. Be free. And please keep blogging. Virtual hug coming your way…

  205. I am fortunate to live within 45 minutes of 3 quilt stores. Within the past 4 years 3 others have closed their doors in my city. Because I often travel around the country by car, I am witness to the closing of many quilt stores in small towns. So I stop where I can and I shop where I can to keep these brick and mortar stores alive. I phone, drive, and search their websites to help keep the local businesses in business. Only then do I go online. Sometimes I pay more for my local habit – sometimes I save. Although they don’t have everything, they do have inspiration! All those pretty fabrics, all those finished quilts on the wall, classes, staff who will help you find a colour match when you bring in a half finished quilt, and who give you welcome advice when your sewing machine is acting up. The staff at some of the stores know me by name and there is no substitute for personal service – unless they cannot supply what I need. There are pros and cons to both ways of shopping. I have also lived in a town with one quilting store that eventually closed and left us with nothing within 4 hours’ drive. If we sacrifice the local shops for the variety and (usually) cheaper route of online shopping, we lose a lot of the personal touch and camaraderie that online shopping doesn’t give. If we refuse online shopping, we lose variety and access to a greater world. There is room for both.

  206. [object Object] says:

    One more thought: How about calling back or emailing those people who contacted you with negative comments and give them an opportunity to tell their side of the story and their reasoning as part of a blog post? Some will jump at the chance to tell their side of the story, others will back off. It will be hard for them to continue to be mad at you, since you have given them fair hearing. I don’t condone their behaviour – and aside from the president of the fabric company it seems they were all using emails to hide behind. It is very hard to be vitriolic when you know it is going to be public – let’s see who steps up. For your peace of mind, this will give you the opportunity to make them take back ownership of their negativity and free you.

  207. Anita Lane says:

    Don’t let the shops intimidate you EVER! I shop both. My local shop doesn’t always carry what I want or need. Neither does Joann’s and/or Hobby Lobby or Michaels. You keep on giving good advice. Love your blog.

  208. I shop as much as I can online because I find my fabrics cheaper much of the time. And on a fixed income, I need cheaper. I have also found the quality of the fabrics online are just as good , if not better than most of the quilt shops.

  209. I’m sorry for the way you were treated. I am a shut-in quilter. I don’t know what I’d do without online access to fabric. I guess, like many people, they weren’t thinking of handicapped people’s needs. Only their own need to make money. Unless they’ve started a delivery service from their store and have a catalogue of all their fabrics to mail out and I wouldn’t hold my breath for that, how would I know what they have. There are also sources online for yardage of old fabric lines that are no longer in production to get more of the fabric that you need if you figured wrong and need just a little more to finish a project. Ahem. Not that I would ever make a mistake like that of course you understand!

  210. My family moves every two to three years so I typically only shop online! I need to shop online because for the past five years I’ve lived outside of the US. So I don’t have access to a brick and mortar shop. I am sorry they sent you such messages, that seems uncalled for given the day and age we live in.

  211. Instead of being angry at people who buy online — and, honestly, every single fabric store I shop at online is a small, local business — why not be angry at the people who are really ruining the ability to run profitable brick and mortar shops? There are greedy landlords who raise the rents to make it impossible to run at a profit and therefore cause anxiety or store closure. They don’t care what you add to the community and money is the only thing they understand. Whether it’s a quilt store or yet another restaurant selling mediocre food, they just want more and more money. Rant over.

  212. Hi Caroline,

    Monetize your Tips for Buying Fabric Online blog post!

    By not going to Quilt Market, you’re allowing the bullies to win. Take someone with you and face the bullies head-on.

    Keep writing for your readers!

  213. Asondra smith says:

    Don’t worry your pretty little head about it my dear. You live on this earth too. I like your thoughts and ideas. I shop on line and in the small shops. I missed your blog so put it back up. Please! I personally wouldn’t want to shop at a place that treated you that way.

  214. Maureen Mate says:

    Look at all the support you are getting on this issue – 250 comments! I read many of them and didn’t find one negative comment. One comment suggested the people who emailed you with negative comments be invited to support their views on your blog. Good idea I think, especially that fabric company president! I wish I knew which company and I’m sure they sell to online shops also. I try to stretch my dollars and I will shop wherever I damn well please! I hope you will put that post up again and also go and enjoy the next Quilt Market with your head held high!

  215. I’d be interested to find us who the Washington quilt shop was. I shop at both, brick and mortar and online. Due to health reasons, it’s not always feasible for me to jump in my car and drive to a local quilt shop. There are quite a few in the area I live, but they don’t all carry what I want or need. So oftentimes, I buy online. Usually from someone cutting fabric on their kitchen table, and I’m proud to be able to help them by buying from them. And when I get a package in the mail, it’s a little bit of sunshine. Shame on the shop owners for bullying you! Small businesses can and do operate online. And honestly, if more quilt shops offered online sales, it would be great! I don’t understand why they don’t. Keep being a vocal person for all your readers! We love your articles and insight!

  216. Michele H says:

    How sad to hear that quilt industry people treated you so poorly. Mean! In-called-for. I bet the vast majority of us shop in person and online. These retailers need to grow up and face reality. If they create the kind of warm, welcoming, helpful experience we look for in a quilt shop they will always have loyal customers.

  217. Brenda Willman says:

    Caroline,
    I have to comment on your post you made about shopping on line. The ones who made nasty comments are very sad. Many shops that sell on line also have brick & morter shops. Some towns have no quilt shops (my mother’s town), not all shops have everything we want or need. Please go to quilt market and if anyone has comments to make, tell them to put their big people panties on and just walk on down the line. Don’t cave to spiteful people. JMHO
    Peace, Brenda

  218. As a disabled veteran I cannot always get out of my house to travel to the two fabric, not quilt, shops within an hour of my home. Both have large online selections. I consider myself lucky to have that option at all. There are many of my friends who live outside town or who medically do not have that option. Brick and mortar stores should look at what you wrote about online shopping and use it see if they cannot incorporate some of those things into their stores to remain a cut above the online option.

  219. Karen May says:

    I want to be your friend Caroline!! This blog article popped up on my news feed this morning. I had 15 min waiting for a store to open so I read this blog that you posted in Sept of 2018. You have gained a new fan!
    I once worked for a quilt shop who also had an online store. There is room for everyone to get their share of the pie. I hope this post finds you not worried about what the negative nancy’s think. Keep writing for your fans! Karen from AZ

  220. I do not have a quilt shop close any longer. One fabric store about 30 minutes away, so yes, sometimes I go there to get what I need but it is not always easy with my limited time. I shop online. I find it relaxing after a hectic day, to just browse and when I see something unique, I buy it. I don’t get the problem. I think these shops need to get over there big brother attitudes. This is America! We have freedom of choice! Let us use it without you quilt shops getting your knickers in a twist! Honestly, get over it.

  221. Dette Maurel says:

    Sugar. You were doing a good thing with your blog about how to buy fabric online
    I wish I had been able to read it!
    Something most of the shopkeepers didn’t realize was that the information you were telling just might have inspired quilters to also check out the local merchants; lol, nothing like instant gratification if possible.
    Like others, I can’t always make it into a shop physically and online is my only option.
    How sad that this has caused you to question yourself and kept you from going to functions youve obviously enjoyed in the past. (Not to mention the additional revenue shopkeepers are missing out on from you)
    So… I am praying for you, peace in your heart, body and soul. Get out there and do the things you love and help make us good at! You have alot of good people rooting for you.

  222. Jeri Brainard says:

    Not everyone 6a quilt shop close to home. I have friends that live 2 to 3 hours from a fabric store. Online shopping is a blessing for them. When they come for a visit, we hit all of them in my cify.

  223. First I want to say that I would have been a person that read that post. I wouldn’t see that you are stepping on any toes you’re awesome. Writing specifically to a certain person or company that’s what makes it so awesome. I don’t take kind to bullies and that’s what I consider everyone that wrote you a big bully. If I was you I hold my head up high you write your blog for us the consumer I to shop online and shop at quilting boutiques. I wish you the very best and shame on those people and Quilting Shops around your area. If you were to post every name of every quilt shop that wrote something they get up about you I would not shop there anymore I live in Washington best of luck

  224. I have no idea if you read comments so many months after your post but I’m going to say…I am not a quilter. I sew. I don’t see designs in quilts that are so obvious to the other women in my family…I enjoy sitting under a quilt most days of the year in MN and the quilts are as beautiful as the person who made it for me!

    I also have no idea how your blog post showed up on my phone feed but I’m thankful it did. My favorite cousin is here visiting from Australia, she is a quilter, and she said she would have enjoyed reading your post as she doesn’t have easy access to fabric there. Passing on knowledge from one person to another is a good thing.

    After looking around your blog I am excited to watch some of your videos in hopes of making some fun items. I just made a fabric purse with the help of my neighbor who is also a quilter. It is so fun to sew, I have purchased more fabric than I could ever use in my lifetime and I’ve given away (and received) more fabric than I will ever use.

    I make cards and there has been the same unkindness in rubber stamping as in the quilt stores. I have one sentiment that says, Be the reason someone smiles today! Thanks for allowing me to smile while I read many of your happy posts. Don’t let unkindness ruin who you are…Be strong.

  225. Vicki Lantzer says:

    I’m sorry you had to go through that. People will b;&$h about anything. Usually it’s because you struck a real nerve that they don’t want to face. In this case, it’s that brick and mortar is seldom the go to place and a business owner must change with the times. The raw nerve probably stems from the fact that some small business owners are scared and not knowledgeable as to how to change their business with the times. But alas, it is survival of the fittest. Maybe that’s the next blog post….how to help small quilt shop, fabric store owners change with the times. It’s a fact of life. Things change and brick and mortar stores, of kinds, must change too. That’s hard but if you want to survive in the internet age, you have to!

    Cotterpinmom

  226. Cynthia Baker says:

    Thank you for you blog. I am so sorry you feel so stressed over your post on buying material online. I appreciate all info on material buying. I do both quilt shop buying and buying on line. Thank you for your hard work.

  227. Gay Ferland says:

    Down with the quilt stores!!! Lol
    Sorry for the abuse, they only think of the money they cut throat from others. Keep your chin up, we are here to support YOU!!!
    Thank you!
    Gay Ferland

  228. Yes Caroline, take comfort with you to your next Quilt Market, such as your sister. Don’t hide from bullies!!!

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