Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I have a gripe!

But before I complain, I want to tell you what a wonderful time Becky and I had at the quilting trade expo in Sydney on the weekend. As expected, Saffron Craig's stand was delightful (sorry for the poor picture quality) - lots of inspiring quilts, clothes, bags and softies as well as a new fabric range coming out soon!

Becky, Saffron and me
Saffron was so kind to show my quilts and give out order forms for my patterns (I almost look legit with those little business cards don't I?). She not only has amazing talent for fabric design, but is just the loveliest person to be around!

I also met some great local quilt designers - Anni from Hatched and Patched and Natalie from Natalie Ross in Stitches. They were happy to have a chat and share some tips with a newbie like me.

Becky and I bought a couple of things, but mostly just browsed around discovering what was new in the way of fabric in Australia. At the next booth along - "Be Be Bold" had this gorgeous mini quilt. I had to buy a little bundle of these textured japanese fabrics- not my usual style, but couldn't go past it nevertheless. I've never made a mini quilt before.

And aren't these owls just the cutest?

Have you seen Kellie Wolfsohn's (of "Don't Look Now") quilts? Here is her new one - Peak Hour. Her quilting is just amazing in real life. Wow!

Just look at this bundle of Far Far Away 2 loveliness. I was so excited to see it I just had to snap a pic...
And when I discovered that Laurie Wisbrun's tufted tweets were coming to Australia I nearly squealed (well I actually did - rather embarrassingly).

Now for my gripe. Why is it that these fabrics wont be available for purchase in Australia until August, when it's been and gone in many American fabric stores? I want to support my local fabric shops, but why should we have to wait for so long (and pay so much more)? Sorry local peeps, I couldn't wait - I got a little bit from Kerri at Sew Deerly Loved. If you hurry I think she has a couple of bundles left, otherwise August it is...


  1. I know how you feel - I had a similar gripe when I couldn't get Ally McBeal on DVD in the states, but they had it in Great Britain for years!!

  2. Looks like it was just lovely Kate! And I hear ya - most quilt shops in Canada don't even carry the designer fabrics I like so I order almost everything from the States! However, I did pick up my stack of Far Far Away II at Quilt Market and I just won a fat quarter bundle of Tufted Tweets over at Heather's - very happy girl I am!

  3. What fun to see all the new stuff!
    I agree as it is probably coming from Asia not the US so we should all get it at the same time.

  4. Hey Kate, I agree. I have been griping about this for years. I always feel guilty buying from the US. I think the few fabric distributors in Aus have quite a monopoly and the local stores just have to put up with it. I'm glad you had a good time at the trade show.
    Cheers Leanne

  5. LOl.. seems you and I have the same idea Miss Kate.. I snapped up the last 2 bundles from Kerri... doing the big happy dance here!

    I totally agree.. I dont know why we have to wait so long.. and pay so much more! It stinks really!!

    Glad you had a great time.. your pics look FAB!


  6. Completely agee! Why do we have to wait so long and have to pay so much? I have never come across a decent sale either.

  7. oh I hear ya!
    Here in Canada they don't even carry designer fabric (at least not much of what I like!)

    and it's like $15- $20 Canadian dollars a metre!
    even the non-designer stuff is this expensive.
    no fair!

    I order 8/10ths of my fabric from online!

  8. Hi, visiting your blog from Sandefjord, Norway - small worlds ;-)

  9. Hi Kate, How do you think we feel when the dollar goes our way but the wholesalers dont pass it on to us. Like everything in Australia the US control, but I encourage all to support the Australian shops or they will not survive.

  10. Oh, I'm so jealous. It looks like you had a fun time and Saffron's stands looks great.
    XO Amelia

  11. Congrats on the mag article, Kate. Saffron and your stand at the quit expo was sensational. I passed on my thoughts about how we have to pay so much and wait so long to some of the dinosaurs who seem to think they have control over what us retailers have to sell. I would like to support Australian business but when they say 1000.00 min order I don't feel guilty about buying small quantites from os.

  12. Hi Kate,
    So true Carmel. It would be sad to see more Australian patchwork shops close down because we are not supporting the local economy.
    Congrats on the magazine cover.

  13. I agree with you Carmel and Rachael. I do support Australian patchwork shops because it would be terrible if they closed down. I'm just asking the question. I spoke to some distributors at the show and they were disappointed to find out that some of the fabric was already released in America that they couldn't get until August. So where's the breakdown happening? And why can I buy retail in the states for the same price I can buy wholesale here? I don't understand. Surely shipping can't cost that much? Anyone know the answer?

  14. Hi Kate, Here are just some of the additional costs: Australian dollar conversion, import tax, customs duty, GST, Freight, Distributor costs which include things like their staffing and Rep. costs,(Distributors here pay staff to pack and ship fabric throughout Australia and also pay for Reps to be on the road and show the shops what new fabrics are coming)plus the distributors have to add their margin for being such distributors otherwise they would not make any money and would not be in business. Then we have the retailers overheads which included things like staff costs, rent, insurance,taxes and then we may get a little profit at the end. So you being able to purchase fabric "cheaper" overseas has only come about by use of the internet. Thus cutting out all the middle people. But the most important thing to remember is that by buying in Australia the import taxes,customs duties and GST all goes to creating a stronger Australian economy which in turn creates jobs etc. and a better society for all Australians.So by buying overseas you are strenghten their economy and creating jobs for their country. The more people that are aware of this helps you to understand why we must buy Australian and this does not just apply to Patchwork Fabric. Hope this has given you a better understanding.Thank you for the opportunity for letting me expand on this.

  15. Hi Carmel,
    Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful response. It has given me a better understanding of the processes involved in bringing fabric to Australian stores. Its unfortunate about all the added costs involved, resulting in higher prices, but at the end of the day I agree we need to support Australian businesses.

  16. Hi Kate - if it makes you feel better, I live in the US and I order fabric and patterns from Australia all the time. I see things I like in the Australian quilt magazines and I can never find them at my local OR US online shops. As far as the Laurie Wisburn fabric is concerned, it didn't hit the shops here until July, so don't feel too deprived. Sherry Hutchens, Walnut Creek, California


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