Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thrifty Thread Shopping!

Here I am again, just a week later and posting again! Don't worry the world is not ending, I'm just using the few free moments I have to share some info with all my quilty friends out there, starting with a few little research projects I have done recently.

The boyfriend has wrapped up nursing school, which also means school loans are no longer showing up in our bank accounts each semester. A good thing, yes, but it also means I had to take a close look at my budget and sort out what was necessary, and what could wait until after he started working. After narrowing down the necessities I went back and took a look at my quilty expenditures.... yeah, take a deep breath for that one. We all know it is not the most inexpensive hobby to have, but I keep thinking to myself, there has got to be a few things I could be saving on here! I coupon (not extreme) and I shop the sales other places, so why not pay more attention on the things where it can really add up! This week I'm starting with one that I never really gave much thought to before, thread.

It's a necessity of course, but when we know we need so much thread of a certain color I think many of us do the same thing... toss it in the shopping cart (live or virtual) and skip on over to the fun stuff, fabric!Thread is not nearly as exciting to most of us, and much less fun to 'pet' and play with, but it is an absolute necessity! I've seen quilts made from old clothes, sheets, and rags, but I've never seen a quilt made without thread!

So I started to take a look at some sites and stores I generally shop from and low and behold there really is some significant differences in prices. Below I've chose a few different threads, some very popular and some less well known, to give you all a glimpse into how much you can really save!

Let's start with the uber popular, Aurifil! We all use it and love it, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I definitely cringe a little at the price. Sorry, sweet Aurifil, it's just a habit! Below shows some of the best options for your Aurifil shopping! If you notice, there are actually three shops that all came in at $9.50 for the 1420yd, but only Red Rock Threads carries both the 220yd and 6452 yd as well. This is where you weigh your own opinions on what matters to you most... price, selection, free, shipping, etc.

And just in case you were wondering, a totally different shop takes the cake on the 40wt Aurifil, Carmen Warehouse!

Next up is Guttermann. I've heard both positive and negative on a pretty consistent basis, but I'm including it here simply because it is more affordable than many options, and also very readily available. Love it or hate it Guttermann is not going anywhere, and these prices might be part of the reason why! See that there.... 3,281yds of Guttermans 50wt Cotton as Joann's as opposed to the $40.00 you would easily spend on the Aurifil. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

I also included the comparison on Poly for Guttermann as well. I know I'm not the most experienced quilter, but I've yet to have a Poly disaster with any of my quilts, so if I know I'm making it for me or just for practice, this tends to be my go to thread.

These last two are kind of wild cards. The first one is Isacord Polyester. Honestly when I started learning to free motion quilt I watched A LOT of Leah Day's videos. One thing I remember reading was that she uses Isacord Thread exclusively. As much as that tid bit stuck with me I have yet to try it (yeah, that makes no sense), so I decided this was a good chance to figure out the cost savings if I decide to give it a try. Yeah, $15.80 for 5000m! It might be worth it!

This is a true odd one. I have never used Mettler, but it seemed to be comparable in price so I wanted to show it here. I'm hoping someone will fill me in on it as it seems to go on sale quite a bit! 

So who comes out on top? Well short of breaking it down on how many cents, or percent of cents (say that five times fast) we are all paying per yard of thread, I decided to just give you the two best online retailers that 'won' the most categories. Drum roll please.......

Quite interesting that each store led the way in one Cotton and one Polyester category. Anyhow, I know this isn't rocket science, but to me it was quite an eye opener. I was paying $11.99 for my 1420yd of Aurifil. That means from three other stores I could have ordered and saved myself $2.50 per spool. No, that's not much, but if I take it one step further and change over to Gutterman 50wt Cotton I can save nearly $18.00 for every 6500 yards of thread, and I think that can really add up.

So this is my first attempt at sorting through some Quilt Cost Saving. It's not a perfect science, and the prices will continue to rise and fall with the trends, but for me it works. Next up, solid fabrics!

xoxo, Carly Ann

Here is where I put all my personal disclaimers:

1. I have not ordered from all of these suppliers, so I can in no way vouch for their personal delivery time, condition, quality, etc.
2. Yes I estimated some of the conversions for Meters to Yards. I think you all know which size spool I'm referring to, and if not, email me.
3. These prices to not take into account sales, coupon codes, shipping charges, etc.
4. I was not paid or asked to write about any of these stores. I do not have any sponsors or take any gifts to write these posts.
5. If you have read this far you deserve a prize. How about you go get yourself a piece of candy and enjoy the sunshine for a few moments! Happy Tuesday!


  1. You didn't list the site with the VERY BEST price for Aurifil! Try $8.38 a spool at JHittleSewing.com. It's where I buy Aurifil 50-weight on the spool and on the cone. And with a $100 order (ask your friends to join you!), shipping is free. Better add it to your list! http://www.jhittlesewing.com/sewing/catalog.php

  2. Thank you Carly! How informative. .... looking forward to more of your awesome research!