Oct 13, 20161955 views

Quilting Article by Abby Glassenberg

Hey All! This article came out yesterday and I thought I'd share it. Here at Massdrop we sometimes hear how we're hurting, not helping, a community and while we don't agree with that sentiment, I do think that Abby eloquently states both sides of the coin.
So what say you, Quilters? Do you shop on Massdrop but still support your LQS? Is price the only factor when making a purchase? Have you found the site to be helpful in creating a community for you? Let me know what you think!
http://craftindustryalliance.org/massdrop-threat-local-quilt-shops/
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evan.kahn, Duncan, and 16 others
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I live overseas, and there are no LQS in my area. I can drive 2 hours to get to IKEA though, for wide backing fabric, but that's another kettle of fish! I love to browse Massdrop to see what is new and what is coming, and I love the wide array of tools and battings. I've bought 100-packs of needles, and bulk of Superior Needles, as well as a few other tools I definitely didn't see when I went back home to the States. To be sure, I go to every LQS we could find while I'm there, and I pack my bags full, but for me; Massdrop is an indispensable way to round out my materials, and sometimes the shipping prices are even less than ordering directly. If I lived in the States, I'd want to be a part of the LQS for classes and Friday night sew-ins, and I'd drag my mom along too for the social and community aspect. I think that is a part of local shops that is ripe for development. Still, if the online quilting community both selling and blogging and teaching didn't exist, I would feel genuinely adrift, as I suspect many of us would.
I buy what I need when I need it, and as a handicapped Sr Citizen, it is usually online, whether from Mass, Amazon or Joanne, Missouri Star Quilt or any of the other online shops . I now have to have someone take me to local quilt shops or Joanne, and that doesn't happen often, because my husband refuses and son works.
I think places like Joann Fabrics hurt the LQS more. I've bought from LQS, Joann, Etsy, Amazon, and Massdrop. I get what I want after researching. Or on a whim.
As an aside, this sentence reeked of sexism to me: " It’s one of the smallest and the only one specifically geared towards women." MANY men quilt and do fiber arts.
This is the same issue as the big box stores versus mom & pop. I buy from who has what I need (or want!) I shop at my LQS due to the customer service and classes. I was primarily a fashion sewer, but there are very few high quality fabric stores anymore. Quilting is a relatively new hobby and purchasing specialty tools is expensive. I get my rotary cutting blades at Harbor Tools, simply because of price nothing to do with loyalty.
ConnieH
Never thought of them for rotary blades. Do they have the 60mm?
ailgil
No, only 45mm
I support my LQS and Massdrop. I live an hour from my Bernina dealer and quilt shop and 30 minutes from the LQS time I travel is less time to sew so I like to shop the internet as much as possible. No I don't think it hurts the LQS any more than Amazon does for those of us who hate leaving home.
I buy from both, if I find something on massdrop that I haven't seen elsewhere and I want I will buy. I have bought all the Karen k. Buckley scissors, you can't find a better price. I'm actually thinking about buying another set to take with me to my weekly guild
I live in an area with 5 quilt stores within a 50 mile radius. I frequent them and support them but even so many of the items I have purchased on massdrop are not available here.
Interesting.
I purchased a few things on Massdrop (with great satisfaction), but I think I have supported every LQS within an 150 mile radius. LOL. I can't bring myself to visit a QS without buying something. I just did a 2200 mile road trip - I thought I was going to have to buy another suitcase to get home -- Thanks to the Quilt store billboards on I-80 there were numerous stops and Missouri Star Quilt Company (my final stop).
I agree: There is plenty of room for both! I live in a VERY small town with only one LQS, and unfortunately it is a lousy shop owned by a woman who cannot be bothered to treat her employees OR her clients with the same respect to which she feels entitled! This however is not common in my experience. In general, I am more than happy to support my local quilt shop. Massdrop, on the other hand, helps me keep connected with the pulse of the hobby...what products/brands are innovative and trending, or reliable and trustworthy.
I buy wherever I see something I like for a good price. I hit my LQS often and look at sales and clearance items. I also buy online from Hancock's of Paducah, Missouri Star, Hawthorne Threads and many other sources. I have often been dissatisfied with the customer service models at my LQS, and frankly it's easier to order through my computer than to deal with snippy sales folks. This isn't true of all LQS, but it only takes once or twice and I'm done.... Massdrop carries high end, carefully juried fabrics at a good price. I especially love the linen blends imported from Japan.
I'm more of a knitter than a quilter; but the same sentiment rings true- if you act like your shop is the only place to buy supplies, I am less likely to buy there. I have been told to pay to attend "open knit nights" because I did not buy yarn *and* needles- asked to be proven with a receipt!- at the shop that was hosting. I proceeded to walk out and never return.
There is a pretty large grey area between offering exemplary bending-over-backwards-and-losing customer service, and being a sourpuss who considers everyone out to get your bottom line. I have lived in places where local yarn stores communicated with each other and made stock decisions so as not to undercut each other's businesses- and made suggestions to go to each other if somebody truly wanted Hot Pink Specific Yarn. I now live in an area where yarn shops are closing, and the ones left don't communicate with each other- and it shows.
I'm not saying help everyone who comes in with the most in-depth and complicated questions for free, but there is a time and a place to suggest hiring an instructor for lessons or suggesting a different product you (the proprietor) has more knowledge of.
I learned for the first time about the Millefiore Quilt along here on Massdrop. I purchased the templates and papers. I created my own "Thoroughly Modern Millie" quilt and it was accepted into the exhibit at the International Quilt Show in Chicago. I think there is room for Massdrop. It didn't stop me from purchasing fabric and more EPP patterns from other sites and shops. My purchase actually encouraged me to explore a different avenue of quilting. Keep introducing new products. Quilters are shoppers no matter how much we buy, we always want more.
I shop both at local stores and online. there are some products offered at mass drop that the price can't be beat or products that my local store doesn't carry. Local stores also need to work on customer service. If I'm not treated courteously, I will spend money at another store.
I shop where my wallet and I both are happy and that's a variety of online and in local stores. No matter who you are, online or brick and mortar if you want me to shop with you then you have to meet my budget and make it a pleasant experience for me to shop with you. If you are pricing things out of my budget I'm not going to buy and if I'm not happy when I leave the store, online or b & M, I'm not coming back. No I don't believe the customer's always right, etc. I should just be in a good frame of mind about your store when I leave whether I bought anything that time or not. It is up to you to run your business to attract customers, it isn't my place to spend more money than I feel like to keep you in business.
I always support my local shops.  If I don't they won't be there. when I need something.  Plus there's nothing like touching the fabric.  I support mass drop for those items my local stores don't stock.  They can't stock everything and I want to see more variety.  I also support multiple guilds so there are low cost avenues for people to learn quilting. 
I enjoy getting introduced to some products on Massdrop that I would never otherwise know about. Have had very good luck with my orders. I also shop often at my LQS, but the things I buy there are different.
Massdrop isn't big enough to complete with LQS. Price is always a factor in making a purchase unless you are selling items you can't get somewhere else cheaper.
Honestly I've been a costumer of an online fabric store for over 15 years. I do go to quilt shops but I find them over priced and the fabric selection is often minimal and to the owners taste ( also some can be rather clicky). Due to Myasthenia Gravis my time out and about is limited so online shopping is what works for me. We are a family of techies and appreciate a good start-up. I love Massdrop and check it regularly for items I've been considering or for inspiration. Massdrop is on the top of my list!
Well I have ordered from here and it says 2 day free shipping for bazar purchase. That was 5 days ago. Still no order and to top it off they charged my credit card twice for two different amounts. I have sent email and message on facebook and no one will respond. Now at a LQS at least someone will respond to you.
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Sandy, I see Trisha had no thoughts on my statement. I am not surprised.
lesa_connolly
Why would I be surprised by your statement? You should be surprised Sandy had no comment.
i bought my first item off massdrop in july a sew steady table it arrived broken. im still trying to resolve keep getting we are looking into it looks like I'm out $150. Don't buy here!! rip off
Hi,
I'm sorry to hear that you're having an issue with this. We stand by the products we offer and there is no reason that you should be out $150. Have you been working with one of Massdrop's customer support people or with Sew Steady directly?
I shop at Massdrop and local quilt shops but local means 35-60 minutes away so I don't just pop over there for everything. When Massdrop has grouped together all the components of a pattern I want, such as the Aeroplane Bag Kit several years ago, I buy it. The fuel I would use driving all over the area from shop to shop would make me cringe; ordering it off Massdrop made so much sense. I don't think people should think of Massdrop as the Be All and End All but a convenience that makes sense at times. Driving to the LQS makes sense when I want to feel the fabric, see the actual color and just look at what's available. They both have their place in the world of quilting!
I purchase items on Massdrop that I can't get from my local quilt shop. The majority of my fabic is purchased in person as I like to see and feel the fabric.
Massdrop has introduced me to many products that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. I just wish you would quit including camping stuff in my email just because I bought some socks once.
SWMBO
Camping stuff isn't soooo bad, they keep sending me things about weapons and knives.
I live in a pretty remote area without even a decent amount of quilt shops. I do shop at them whenever I can, but sometimes, Massdrop has items I want, have looked for, or can't otherwise get without a very substantial drive of at least 2 - 3 hours. I love a great shop hop like any other quilter, but I appreciate Massdrop's ability to provide useful tools for my hobby, especially when some of the items I have gotten have only been found at large national shows. The price difference is okay, but not usually tremendously different than what I can find at a quilt shop.
I shop at Massdrop and several other quilt shops. Sorry but you don't carry every thing I need. :-)
merrdoom
Hi @merrdoom, Nothing to be sorry about! That's one of the reasons why we don't consider ourselves a threat to the local quilt shops.
merrdoom
I shop at quilt shops, Massdrop, and online quilt stores. There is only one shop close to me, and I do patronize it, but most of my Massdrop purchases were items I've not seen anywhere else.
I shop on Massdrop and still very much support my quilt shop! Price is not the only factor, and many times once you add shipping Massdrop doesn't make sense. I buy allot of fabric and thread from my LQS!