Monday, February 9, 2015

Stripping the Charm from Pre-Cuts

My HST quilt made with dark and lights is 
coming together. I'm working in my kitchen for 
extra light and table space, and I should have the top 
done early today. I've learned oodles about 
matching points and diagonals, and overall 
it's been a real education in construction 
'Do's and Don'ts.' I'll wait to give you 
all my notes in the finish post.

Many people have asked me the name of the fabric. 
Garden Charm Pack by Freespirit Design Loft for 
Freespirit Fabrics. Purchased about a year ago.

Charm Packs and Pre-Cuts are great sellers 
for stores. There's something alluring about 
all those fabrics hidden in the stack or rolled up 
just like a sweet roll! It's easy to 
pick up a few of each, and sometimes 
you can snag a Charm Pack for under $10! 
What a Buy!


Maybe not awful at under $10, but do you 
know what you're paying for in the convenience 
of that smartly marketed package?

Let's do the Math, folks!

I am using prices good today at the Fat Quarter Shop, 

not to be negative to them in any way--

This is Where I shop! 
I Love them! 
I Follow them!

--but as an example, because their prices are 
right in the middle of 'On Sale' and 
buying at a specialty shop.
(I hope we're good there.)

Let's use Downton Abbey-The Egyptian Collection 

as our example today.

Charm Pack-cost $12.99 each
42 pieces of 5" squares
You would need to purchase 25" of 44" yardage to cut out as many as are in one charm pack. 8 across the width x 5.

Total yardage= .694
at $18.57 per yard

Jelly Roll-cost $44.99 each
40 strips, 2 1/2" wide
You would need to buy 100" of yardage

Total yardage= 2.78 
at $16.19 per yard

Fat Quarter Bundle-cost $39.98 each
14 fat quarters (half yard cut in half horizontally)

Total yardage=3.5
at $11.44 per yard

Half Yard Bundle-cost $69.98 each
14 pieces at 1/2 yard each
 Total yardage=7 
at $9.99 per yard

Yardage from the bolt-cost $75 total for 14 half yards
The smallest amount you may purchase is 1/2 yard.

                                                                           Total yardage=7
at $10.75 per yard
The Skinny

Your pattern says to buy 3 Charm Packs for the project. 
You're getting 2.08 yards of fabric total for $39.
If you would buy a Fat Quarter Bundle for $39.98, you would be getting nearly 1.5 yards for FREE!
That is an additional 2 free Charm Packs 
you could cut from the extra fabric.

I was shocked when I crunched these numbers. I would never pay a yard what I have paid with Charm Packs, but darn it, 
they were so cute when I bought them.
I try to quilt on a budget, and I'm going to be seriously rethinking my retail before I
buy next time.

My next post will be dealing with-- 

  • When it is GOOD to buy that Charm Pack or Pre-Cut
  • The problems and remedies we face when using them
  • An amazing tool to make your own quickly and precisely

Until then, allow me to share a few of my grandmother's, Anna Miller's, Valentines she saved, and passed on to my father.
I think they're quite a treasure.

Aren't they gorgeous? 
More to come before Valentine's Day.

Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.


Maryse said...

Very interesting but sadly true!
Still, there is a good side of buying it that way if you need just a bit of an entire collection. Let's not forget that many stores have a minimum half yard cut "policy". My pre-cut of choice is the FQs bundle.

Skootchover said...

Great info, thank you. Paying for convenience is often not the cheapest way to go, but it's so tempting.

Marly said...

I guess we're paying for the work someone else has done. The question then is whether the price is in proportion to the service.

Shannon @ Modern Tradition Quilts said...

Very interesting! I like how you calculated the cost per yard of the pre-cuts. I need to show this post to my quilting group. We're always (always) looking for less-expensive alternatives in our sewing. Great post. I usually organize my leftover scraps by cutting them into standard pre-cut squares or strips for future projects. You just made my little habit seem like a better idea--it's more profitable (?), or frugal than I thought. Great post!--Shannon

Val's Quilting Studio said...

What a treasure those old valentines are!!!