Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Do The Numbers

Six months before we moved to Ireland I was bitten by the quilting bug.

The days flew in and soon we were filling a 40 foot container with all our belongings and some favorite items sure to be missed in Ireland. Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips topping the list and the ‘real’ Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, a close second.

Having been warned of the high cost of living, we also included 27 boxes of Huggies, 62 rolls of aluminium foil and wrap, and 101 Reese’s cups and much more, all bought at CostCo bargain prices.

My thoughts never crossed to stock up on quilting notions, or any quilting items for that matter. Something about the country-esque hobby led me to assume I would find fabric and notions aplenty on the Emerald Island. Um, not likely!

Fabric stores here are tiny nooks selling houseware fabric and shiny satin for making boring curtains and gaudy debutante ball gowns. Don’t get me wrong, you might find cotton fabrics but first you’d have to sell a kidney. The token ten bolts of 100% cotton fabric found in most shops sell for an alarming 9€, 12€, 18 € and up per meter. (This is $13, $17, $26) respectively.)

Needless to say, I’ve become a scrap quilter. My favorite haunts are second hand shops, and even there, the worst dressed hanger of men shirts still sells for a hideous 6€ ($8). I turn green with envy when Bonnie buys goodwill shirts by the pound.

As with small towns, word spreads fast and due to my perseverance and my uncommon hobby, friends and family quickly began saving bags of outgrown clothing and bedding, much to my delight. I find scrapping a cheap and fun alternative, and it keeps DH on his toes—he worries pieces may go missing from his shirts one day!

However, I am still held hostage when it comes to threads and cotton batting. Until now… Ladies sewing and quilting in the UK and IE, behold, I have very good news.

After days of googling, days of phone calls, days and days of doing the math, this is the good news:

I’ve located a lovely shop in Washington who will ship to Ireland. Trust me folks, that is the first key ingredient here. Ability to ship goods! And double whammy—they have prices lower than ever seen for my favorite cotton batting! Let’s break it down, shall we?

For approximately $305 or 209€, your money buys you:

From US: 40 yards (or 36 meters) & shipping costs
From UK: 17½ yards (16 meters) shipping not included
From IRE: 12½ yards (11 meters) shipping not included

My order is placed and I await the results. A duty/tax stamp might await the actually delivery to my home, but at most, that will add 21% to the tab.

Not bad, eh?


Sew Create It - Jane said...

LOL..thanks for the top tip. It's always good to know of the different resources available to us. When I moved over to the UK from Canada I shipped about 8 rolls of freezer paper and boxes of fabric! I gave away clothes and all manner of things, but made sure I had supplies for my hobby (read addiction). I also shipped my daughters toys and a few sentimental sad is that!!

katelnorth said...

Very not bad. Don't think it was a coincidence that I had to buy a second duffle bag to bring my stuff home from San Diego (though to be fair to myself, a lot of that was bought by grandmas, not me).