Online Sewing Resources- Alternatives to a Bad JoAnn’s

There was an unprecedented number of responses to my recent post extolling the problems with my local JoAnns’. Some of you are lucky enough to live near an uncharacteristically great JoAnn’s, but for the rest of us, who suffer with poor service and rude behavior, I promised I would post a list of online source alternatives based on the recommendations of our readers, and here they are. (please note these sources are listed in the order in which I received them, and the fact that they are listed here, in no way constitutes an endorsement on my part. I have not yet tried all of these sources, but I do plan to check many of them out!)

Keepsake Quilting– A great selection of quilting fabrics, including batiks, plus quilting tools, notions, kits, books and a small selections of patterns. You can request a catalog.

photo courtesy of

Fabric Depot– A complete selection of fabrics, including special occasion, fashion and home decorating, PLUS notions, books, patterns & batting. They have regular sales and shipping seems reasonable. They have a ‘Design Board’ for members.
Fabric.Com– A complete selection of fabrics, including special occasion, fashion and home decorating, PLUS notions, books and pattern. FREE shipping on +$35 orders. FREE return shipping.Orders ship within 24 hrs.
Material Girl Quilt– Mostly cottons. A TERRIFIC selection of African, Australian and Oriental fabrics. Patterns, kits and since this is a vendor I use, I can say that the shipping is VERY speedy!
Quilt Home– A very good collection from today’s most popular fabric designers, plus home dec fabrics and flannels. FREE shipping on orders over $50. Weekly Newsletter with a $50 giveaway.
Bug Fabric –  a pretty good selection of fabrics. Fat Quarters available for most fabrics. – HUGE selections of fabric. A VERY cool designing wall to help choose fabric. 2% of ALL sales is donated to charity. Shipping however, is on the slow side in my experience.
Fabric Shack – Decent selection of fabric. They advertise that all fabrics are on sale ALL the time. (The prices DID seem pretty good.
This n’ That Fabrics – Good fabric selection. The design wall looks easy to use.
Connecting Threads – The selection of fabric is great and they advertise that they have the best prices (but I can’t verify this). Free shipping on order over $50.00.
Gorgeous Fabrics–  Well- this really is a appropriate name for this online store- there’s no quilters cotton here folks, just a great selection of specialty high end fabric. Shipping costs look inflated, but fabric looks exceptionally beautiful.
JandoFabrics –  This is a new site for me, and I’ll be checking it out. In addition to cottons they seem to have it all- denims, college team fabrics, flannel, vinyl, suede cloth, home dec, etc.etc. Shipping estimates are based on weight and the site will calculate an estimate for you before your ordered is submitted.
My Blue Bamboo – good selection of batiks and oriental fabrics. Shipping costs are a tad high.
Thousands of Bolts – Another new site for me. GREAT selection of cottons, organized by color. The designer’s palette (board) looks pretty easy to use and the wishlist saves your choices so that you can order it now or come back later. Shipping charges are calculated and applied at checkout.
Sawyer Brook – Cottons, fashion fabrics, foundations, buttons galore… this site seems to have it all. The fashion fabrics are really beautiful, particularly the prints.

So there you have it. It’s definitely not a totally comprehensive list, but there’s certainly a LOT of options here. Please keep in mind that I am strongly in favor of supporting local business if possible, but if the businesses in your area do not merit your support for whatever reason, then here’s some options for you.


Did you find this post helpful? If so, please feel free to pass it on to others in whatever way you see fit. And if you know of a great online source that was not listed here, please feel free to share it, or any other comment you might have in the comments section provided below.

14 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I think this is a great idea! Post away… and if you have (or anyone else for that matter) any great UK-based online resources, then could we add those in too please?
    I’d be happy to send links to good people I find online aswell if you like?

  2. Also try your local quilting shops – wonderful fabrics, and the staff is generally very helpful and may even special order items for you!

  3. Thanks for commenting ladies- and yes, you are post welcome to post more sources here if you have them, particularly international sources, since they were not representing in the above listing.
    And please note- I am ALWAYS in favor of supporting local businesses in your area. Many of you have very fine sewing and quilting stores near you and they are definitely deserving of your support. Count yourselves among the lucky ones! HOWEVER, many of us do not have viable (or deserving) options, and for us, this list is very useful.

  4. I love these 4: Mary Jo’s, Keepsake Quilting, Hancock’s of Paducah, and Craft Connection (fabric, notions, etc). I have used these multiple times and always pleased with prices, customer service and and ease of communication.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN.

  5. MaryJo’s is of course a well-documented favorite of mine, as well!
    Thanks for reminding me to include that!

  6. Thank you! I’d rather take a beating than go to JoAnn’s!! Love that you’re doing this.

  7. thanks so much for this list. some of these i have used and been very satisfied. as a footnote, all of us in my area (pittsburgh) who quilt have noted how expensive our fabrics have been for the last two years. we also note that at the other end of the state (lancaster) prices are $5 to $7 cheaper, some the exact same fabrics! we can only imagine how much more they will increase with the rise in cotton prices. our average prices here are $8.95 to $12.95 per yard. having alternative sources will be the way to go for most of us if this price point continues.

  8. I wonder why the same fabrics are cheaper on the other side of the state? Any ideas?

  9. Another MUST ADD to the list is The owners know their customers by name,
    will call and ask questions and are open generous and pure quality. Prices
    are great too.

  10. I just looked at the list of alternatives to JoAnn’s and I am glad that we quilters are finally starting to complain. Besides the rudeness the poor quality of fabric is unbelievable. I’m 72 yrars old and I remember when the shopping areas were lined with fabric stores and all of the fabrics were wonderful. I stopped sewing clothes because I couldn’t get any decent fabric and I wasn’t going to waste my time and effort sewing with junk. One really good site is “Over the Rainbow” their fabric quality and prices are excellent and their shipping prices and speed are outstanding. I love your newsletters and watching you design and assemble your bags. Keep up the good work.

    Joan P

  11. Keepsake Quilting is great to order from and if you are ever in the New Hampshire area it is a wonderful place to browse. Bright, cheerful, well organized, helpful staff and a huge veranda with chairs for DH to read while you shop!

  12. Keep in mind that JoAnn’s is a “Big Box” store just like “Home Depot” “Target” people just stock they are not hired for their talent. Been there done that!

  13. You are so right! JoAnn’s has been understaffed for years and those who do work there are rude and have attitude! It’s so sad they are the only chain fabric store remaining in most areas of the US and we have nowhere else to go except on-line or the few and far between quilt shops which are becoming very expensive.

  14. Would it be possible to do the list of on-line shops-
    so we could copy the list only, without all the other stuff. Thankyou so much,