Friday, February 18, 2011

On My Soapbox

Next weekend is my small group's annual quilt retreat and I have been setting out some things that I want to be sure and include in my packing. As you can see my priorities are right, along with fabric and a great new quilt book to share with my best quilting buddies is the popcorn, chocolate, peanuts, etc.

Speaking of the the quilt book, the very wonderful Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy, I had a little moment of indignation. Last week I was shopping at a local favorite quilt store with a friend and I picked up this book. We have all been hearing for several months that the price of cotton is going up due to shortages in the cotton production the last couple years and this shopping trip proved the shortage has reached us. The price of a yard of the latest fabrics at this particular store was almost $2.00 more than the some of the previous lines of fabric that came out last fall. But, back to the book. As I was setting things out to take on retreat I noticed the price sticker on the back of the book. Being the type A personality I am, I peeled it off and then the shock.

Underneath the sticker, in the bottom corner of the back of the book was the publisher's suggested price of the book. I have my own small machine quilting business and I know what wholesale is on the price of pattern books to quilt stores. The markup for the sticker cost was over 100% (actually 115% - I got out my calculator). I understand how tough the economy is and how hard it is to run a small business. I know the increase in cotton is hurting our quilt shops, and I have every intention to keep buying quality fabric for my quilts, but seriously, 100% markup? This reminds me of every little excuse to raise gas prices at the local gas stations. I could be appalled at the price gouging, but I am actually just hurt at the taking advantage of a loyal customer.

And that is my soapbox moment,


  1. I can understand your shock over the price. Unfortunately, she may have purchased that book at the lower price but increased it after the fact, something I see at grocery stores all the time. As a person in the lower income bracket, I have to do my research on-line before I do any shopping, including all my quilting supplies.


    PS - Have a wonderful time with the "girls"!!

  2. I felt a little guilty about it but I bought that book online because I knew it would be more at the quilt shop. I love my local quilt shop and I want to support it. I'll just have to buy more fabric the next time I go :0) It is a lovely book - enjoy your time with your friends.

  3. I went in my local JoAnn Fabrics this week to pick up a washable marker for applique'. I was amazed that the prices of their fabrics have increased over 100%. Your Civil War Bride Quilt is gorgeous!

  4. In Australia our prices for fabric, books and notions are approximately double yours. When I first started quilting 16 years ago, fabric cost about $12/yd. Now we spend about $22/yd, but it has been higher. The cost creeps up slowly and we are trained to accept it. I don't think there is much we can do about it except to be careful consumers.