If I could tell you how many hours I have spent looking at fabric online, adding it to my cart, and never buying it I would probably be embarrassed. As a beginner one of the hardest things for me has been learning about different fabrics. The closest store to me is Joanns, so of course I have been there but I want to go to a "real" fabric store. There are a couple about 1 hour from me but finding 2 hours to commute and then time in the store to wrap my head around everything equates to one full day. The next time I have a full day to myself will be... ummmm.... well.... errrrrr...yeah, you get my drift.
I did check out More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina from the library. This book is great. Not only does it give a description of the fabric it goes into a lot of details about working with the fabric. Everything from preshrinking, needle to use, presser foot, thread, and more. It has been quite helpful but I need to FEEL the fabric.
The need to feel it led me to finally pull the trigger and sign up for the Julie's Picks Sample Club at fabricmart.com. It seems to be a easy way to get a handle on some of the options available and familiarize myself with different fabrics. I called last week to inquire and she gave me the rest of this year and next year for what equates to about $3/month When January 2011 rolls around I get a $25 coupon which really means this will cost somewhere around $1.50/month.
Let me tell you I was like a kid in a candy store waiting for those samples to come. She told me once they go out I would probably get them in 2 days. Sure enough on day 2 in my mailbox was a nice little envelope from them. Inside, about 30 samples, 5-6 per page, with descriptions. Joy. They provided a nice variety of fabrics and a nice price range as well.
Please think back to your days as a beginner and give me some advice on how you went about buying fabrics. How long did it take you to start buying fabric online? Fabric mishaps? Do tell!!