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May 23, 2020

Open or closed, staying or leaving, selling or keeping..            

Dear Customer,


We all are trying to make the best decisions in life while giving careful considerations to all pros and cons, our possibilities and our limitations, our personal interest and the interest of family, friends. The Governor of Virginia is making a decision about allowing shops to re-open or not, customers are willing or not willing to wear masks, we are figuring out how to do social distancing between bolts of fabrics. And on top of all that Webfabrics was in transition. I can say "was". I have made a decision, after carefully considered the pros and cons for all involved with this wonderful business. That includes you, our customers, who have spoken so loud and clear in so many different ways.


You have made it clear that you would love Webfabrics to stay. No need to change anything, just keep it going. I made it clear to you that that became too much for me. With all the help of the world, the end responsibility is still mine and I was looking for an alternative. I want more time for other things, especially for my two little granddaughters (with a third girl coming in October). Until now, I have not been able to find a buyer who I could entrust my business baby to and at the same time I agree with you, I am also not ready to stop yet either. In a way, your collective response and this Corona-virus has helped me to carve out a solution: Webfabrics will continue as an online business. You can email Kerry and me, call us, we will help you. As always. Nothing will change there. What will change is that the brick and mortar store will remain closed, regardless of the Governor's decision. Webfabrics will be truly only Webfabrics, an Internet quilt shop. 100% virtual. After growing for years into one of the biggest quilt shops in the country, Webfabrics will further evolve into a modern, personal online quilt shop with a focus on basics. Small(er) by design and choice with a caring focus on this community of quilters that we are! We will continue what we are best-known for: complete lines of basics, stickers with identification, the possibility of ordering fat quarters in individual colors, fast shipping, personal help when there is a dilemma...I hope to get more time for creating kits for you, custom, playing with colors. A more creative way of working with all the possibilities our top basics offer. Moda Grunge and Hoffman 1895 will become our core lines and I am planning on having these in stock all the time. We are already top sellers of these lines, so that makes sense.

Sometimes there will be collections that I think my customers may "need". I will have those, but no longer will I try to have the full scope of the quilting industry in the business. Novelty fabrics, reproduction fabrics, flannels... I don't expect these to stay in the assortment. The main focus will truly be on 'Basics and a "Few" More', not "all-round" any longer.


I'm super excited to make Webfabrics' new home pretty. I just walk downstairs where a really nice place with new flooring and freshly painted walls is waiting for bolts and computers. A niche for Kerry, a shipping table. Most of the furniture from the current location will move into the basement, including one of the big cutting tables so there is a lot of room. Oh yeah, there is also a long arm...already three years waiting to be used. And tons of scraps for making more blocks of the months or so. Creative, personal, eye for detail... working together with other fabric people, wherever they are located. Yes, I will miss the walk-in traffic, but quite frankly I simply don't see a return to the old days happening soon anyway. There are so many rules coming, so many requirements just to be open, so much concern about everyone's safety, that it will make it harder to have a profitable and enjoyable business of any kind in the short term. I am convinced that we as a society will be able to come up with a solution for the entire retail, but that may take a while.


What does this mean for you? Online, you will not see many differences. We have a wonderful and successful website in place! The current sale will continue as a moving sale for most fabrics with 25% discount. The Sales Bin is 50% off and will be replenished every day! As I have figured out the move, the basics that will stay will go back to their regular price. I am re-ordering the ones that sold out. All Hoffman 1895 colors should be back in within the next two weeks. That is over 300 colors! Most patterns, most notions, all threads will be on sale and won't come back in. So, I will stop re-ordering these items. You may want to jump on the sale items while they are in stock. Currently we are doing pretty good and are only two days behind in shipping.


I ordered new fabric! Fabric that I don't think we can be without :-). P&B Suede Extra Wides came back in. Four basic colors in 108" wide in quality fabric that quilts up beautifully.


* We received bundles of Tim Holtz fabrics. Urban vintage looking Eclectic Elements and his new line of Provisions, basics that go with his style of fabric. All these fabrics are part of what I call 'Basics'.


* I played with Elizabeth Hartman's newest pattern called Rapid City and followed her colors in Moda Grunge. We have the kits. This is a great example of how I want to play with fabric... showing you different possibilities, combining the best new designs with different fabrics. This way, the Webfabrics' kits are custom, curated by me, and not what you would get anywhere else. Kerry will also re-start the Monthly Clubs in our basics and pick up where we left it when the virus hit our capacity.


* The "Few" More? Calico Horses by Lorraine Turner for Free Spirit. This very vibrant line has wonderful colorful horses, but also some great prints for collage quilting and a different kind of sky. I thought this collection was not to be missed. I definitely want to make some boxes out of this line as well and these will find a spot on the website later.

Local customers can no longer walk into the shop. I know that hurts. But I am convinced you will find the online only part working for you as well. Most of our customers are not local and they are used to this model, so will you. You know who we are and we know you, all that doesn't change. You did this already the last few weeks and months. This worked so well, that I haven't had a day off since February!  

If the Governor and weather allow it, we will organize a gigantic party on the sidewalk outside the next two Saturdays on a row (May 30 and June 6). I am planning on bringing tables with fat quarters and yard cuts outside in front of the shop and put them 6 ft apart. Each table will have fabrics in one color, so we will have a white, a green, a purple etc table, the entire parking lot full. Everyone who wants to attend (with masks please), gets gloves and can find a table and when another table opens up, you can look and touch these fabrics. It is like 'musical chairs' with fabrics. If we talk about a virus, it will be a quilt virus.

We will have plastic bags available for $20.00 (cash only) and each bag can be filled with 10 fat quarters or 4 yards. No inside restroom. It is a mix of a shop and quilt show. By the way, my show display items are in temporary storage... I hope to attend a quilt show in the future and drive a truck, set up a cute little small booth and just celebrate fabric and fabric people!

I encourage you to make sure you receive the local newsletter (Just Sew You Know) as that is the place where I will announce more details, which will be mainly interesting for local customers. I also have some store items like chairs, smaller display tables, thread racks, grids and hooks for sale and all that will be announced in this local newsletter. Some people already told me in March they were interested in certain items. One of the big cutting tables, the best table in the world, is also for sale, but you will have to bring you own manpower to get it out (by the end of June). So, the shop is closed to the public right now because of the virus, and it will remain closed as of today because of the move. The building will be vacated by the end of June.

In these uncertain times, one thing stays certain. It is Memorial Day Weekend and we honor the ultimate sacrifice of the men and women in uniform. So many people are doing wonderful deeds, our first-responders right now are also doing an incredible job. There are so many amazing people! But this weekend, I will always pause and stand still for those who gave their life for all of us, when they answered their call of duty. It was in 2009 that Webfabrics was providing pillow cases for the children who lost a parent in the act of duty. I was invited to come to the big hangar at Andrews' Air Force Base and spend the evening with these children. All kids age 4-18 running around with a picture of their deceased parent on their chests. I will never forget how I set in the back of a real Blackhawk helicopter and two CW2 Army members were explaining to a little 5 or 6 years old boy what all the instruments in the helicopter were for. From my position, I could only see this kid's little hand, but I will never forget how he said that he knew exactly what all the instruments are for. "My daddy crashed in one of these". Once you hear something like that, Memorial Day Weekend gets a deeper meaning.

As always, it's fun to work with fabrics and "fabric" people!


Warm regards,