Since I am pretty new to quilting, there are a ton of lines I have missed out on and would love to get my hands on. Sometimes, like with the Katie Jump Rope, I walk into a smaller shop and I hit the Jackpot. I have found Flea Market Fancy, Katie Jump Rope, Lush, and Heather Ross Lightning bugs...sometimes as low as $2/yard...sometimes still at "regular price" even when etsy or ebay is 3x retail. One man's trash is truly another man's treasure. It takes all kinds of fabric lovers to make the world go 'round.
Want a hard to find fabric? Here are my tried and true tips:
1) When you're driving somewhere new, look for quilt shops along the way. Maybe you are looking for yourself, but maybe it's a great deal you can pass on to others. I am a stay at home mom and I have used these deals to make money which I then put back into quilting fabric *I* like. It's better than leaving a treasure to dry rot on a quilt shop shelf and I'm sure the owners are happy to have room for a NEW bolt since that fabric obviously didn't work well for their clientele.
2) Do not use froogle or google product search! Believe it or not, there are many small quilt shops that do not show up using google product searches. Instead, find the sku numbers for your hard-to-find fabric. These are listed on the fabric company's website even long after the fabric is no longer made. Don't rely on the name of the line OR the name of the fabric. The sku is the key. Type your sku into regular old google web search and start looking. If the SKU alone brings up too much stuff, type in the manufacturer name plus that sku (like Moda, Freespirit, Windham, etc). Today I found almost all the fabrics I needed from an older Moda line for $7/yard...even the desirable prints that are going for $30/yard on etsy. Small time quilting stores abound online- give them a try!
What is your best deal or best tip on sourcing hard-to-find fabrics???