Friday, May 9, 2014

Sew San Antonio - Virtual Fabric Shop Hop - JoAnn Fabric

Welcome to the Sew San Antonio Virtual Fabric Shop Hop. I've teamed up with some local crafters to bring you a fabric store review every Friday (till we run out of stores).

If you're new to the area or new to sewing it's hard to know where to go for fabric sometimes.

We're starting with JoAnn Fabric. I have the most experience with this fabric store. (Disclaimer - a few years ago taught sewing classes at JoAnn. I am currently not affiliated with JoAnn in any way and I am not receiving any compensation for my time or opinions).
exterior shot - JoAnn fabric and crafts
 JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts is a national chain with two stores in the San Antonio area. According to my best guestimate (a quick survey of the large floor tile design) the store appears to be 50% fabric and 50% crafts. I won't even attempt to cover all the crafts!

JoAnn carries the widest variety of fabric in San Antonio - quilting fabrics of varying quality (see pic), home decor fabric, vinyl (great for protecting your table from youngsters), upholstery fabric and viny, silky fabrics, flannels, interfacing, burlap, fleece, etc.
different quality quilting fabric
Sample of the types of fabrics at JoAnn
  • kona solids (great for quilting)
  • fleece
  • vinyl by the yard
  • burlap
  • formal wear type fabrics
  • outdoor fabrics
  • knit fabrics
  • lace by the yard
  • prequilted fabrics
  • interfacing
  • denim
  • drapery fabric
  • marine vinyl
  • headliner (for cars - yep, really!)
  • flannel
  • licensed designs (Marvel, Disney, etc)
  • batting
  • special order interior design fabrics - samples in store
  • sample brand name quilting fabric - use coupon or sale!!
 Sample of Sewing and Quilting Accessories  at JoAnn
  • quilting books
  • quilting rulers
  • small label quilting patterns
  • block of the month kit (nationwide and rarely used)
  • precuts (a few)
  • fat quarters (precut and packaged - variable quality!)
  • buttons
  • zippers
  • ribbon
  • embroidery stabilizer
Machines at JoAnn
  • Singer models
  • no service available
  • buy in box, no machine orientation or classes
Cricut at JoAnn
  • Cricut brand machines (currently the Cricut Explorer) (if you're considering this machine you should really check out the Silhouette Cameo before making a decision - I own one and love it!) UPDATE - the silhouette cameo is now available at JoAnn!!
  • Accu-Quilt - fabric die cutter

 Classes At JoAnn
Classroom at Bandera location
  • taught by independent contractors or JoAnn employees
  • "trend classes" are determined by local store
  • classes in printed catalog are determined on a nationwide basis
  • hand sewing/crafting classes for ages 5 and up
  • classes with machines for ages 8 and up
  • other crafting classes also available
  • sewing machines available to use in sewing classes - just reserve one when you sign up for the class
  • sewing and quilting classes are beginner to intermediate level, but I wouldn't consider any of the classes advanced
How to Get a Deal at JoAnn
  • use coupons - JoAnn will accept competitor's coupons, and multiple coupons as long as they have different numbers on them (and aren't expired)
  • sign up for the mailing list to get coupons in the mail and/or email
  • bring in your Hobby Lobby coupon (usually a 40% off one item printable coupon every week)
  • Hancock coupons are also accepted 
  • visit the sales - I buy my flannel on Black Friday 
  • buy remnants 50% off current sale price (so if something is 50% off from the bolt a remnant of that fabric would be 75% off) 


My Favorite Features of JoAnn
  • I can get great deals by using sales and coupons.
  • Variety of fabric
  • And yes, I get stuck in the craft section frequently too!

My Least Favorite Features of JoAnn

  • cotton quilting fabric and especially the fat quarters are sometimes low quality (especially hard to tell with the fat quarters because of they way they are folded onto a cardboard)
  • fabric may not be cut straight on the bolt (employees use scissors not rotary cutter)
  • take a ticket system (but my kids love taking a ticket)
  • the lines - on sale days this is especially bad
So there you have it - my lengthy review of JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. What would you add? What would you respectfully disagree with?  Come back next Friday for another fabric store review!

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