Like everywhere else, inflation has come to your local quilt shop!

Fabric now averages $13 per yard at most of my LQS. One shop owner advised that new batik yardage would be even more when it arrived. I saw charm packs pushing $14 per pack and jelly rolls hovering near $50. No wonder I see so many quilters picking up cross-stitch (again). A few designers issue cross stitch patterns along with their quilt patterns. Aida cloth and DMC floss is a much cheaper way to make a version of your favorite quilt.

What amazes me even more is the cost of some classes and clubs. One local stitch lounge charges $85 per 2 hour class for kids. And their classes are routinely filled. Good for them! Gives me reason to rethink my pricing structure for my classes moving forward.

My previously scheduled class at the quilt museum didn’t meet the minimum enrollment to hold the class, so I had a free Saturday. Sadie and I wandered to a quilt shop in the far north ”burbs to get the scoop on a new Lori Holt club. Membership in the club is on a quarterly basis. It wasn’t a class, but more like a sit&sew, the staff told me. I asked about the possibility of being a drop-in visitor as I had to work most club meetings. They replied that they needed to ask the instructor. “If there’s an instructor, doesn’t that make it a class?” I thought to myself. Anyway, I received a callback as promised, but the fee quoted to be a drop-in visitor for one session was about 1/2 the quarterly “dues” for this club. Guess they don’t want drop-in visitors. I just want a regular sew day with fellow Lori Holt enthusiasts. That’s why I was excited to learn about this new club. Perhaps I’m missing something, but instructional/class rates are not what I expected for a 3 hour sit&sew. Most shops in the area charge $5-$10 for a sit&sew – not what this one was charging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to pay the fee if there’s a kit or special project that the club is making. That’s not what was communicated to me. I’m supposed to bring my own project to work on for 3 hours. Not right now. I’ll do the online QAL and visit my friends at other shops when I’m off for school breaks.

Part of the pre-retirement planning success checklist recommends getting your social networks in place outside of work before you leave your job. My entire social universe has been work, family and a few neighbors for the past 18 months. I’ve missed quilt guild meetings, shop hops, retreats and quilt shows with my quilty peeps. I’ve missed therapy dog visits and reading with the kids every other Wednesday. I’ve missed live performances, street festivals, farmer’s markets, art museums and botanical gardens. Here’s hoping COVID is in the rear view mirror this time next year.