One thing that has become evident during this COVID-19 crisis, is that not only are supplies in limited supplies, but the shipping/mailing has had an impact. Sometimes the checks will arrive 5-8 days after being mailed, and priority mail (which I currently ship all packages) are arriving sometimes the next day, while other times 5+ days, despite my payment for 1-2 day delivery. NOTE: Since I have found a way to print labels and ship First Class, that is now an option to save on shipping costs.

Sadly, this is not something that I personally have any control over, yet with the tracking I can often (not always if they are not scanning packages) see where things are at. When purchasing, if you provide your email, when I set up your label I can include it on the shipping request so that you can get the notification of shipment as well, allowing you to personally follow.

In ref. to materials:
For the bulk of my masks, I have used materials from my stash of memories (fabrics I have saved from making things for our family, home and when the girls were young to use in future memory quilts), fabrics I have purchased for other projects, as well as a few for this cause. I was fortunate to have been gifted with some 100% cotton sheets, still new in their pkg., that I have (as I do all my fabrics) washed in Oxy-clean and rinsed in vinegar to remove any manufacturing chemicals as well as handling residue.

When the need started out, some organizations offered “kits” which I was not able to obtain for various reasons, one being they were limited in supply, another being they were not yet ready, while another being I am not one to run down or travel long distance for something free, with no guarantee of availability. It is counter-productive.

The supply chain that I am accustomed to having availability of resources has resulted in many “out of stock” statuses. Last week, as I went to order some necessary sewing supplies, such as needles (these need to be replaced often due to constant sewing), thread, bobbins (these are constantly being refilled and I’m trying to slimline my time process) and bias tape, I discovered that my wholesale companies are out-of-stock as well. I am using up all my bias tape for masks made with ties, while at times creating more with material, if I have the time to do so. This process is more time consuming, and I haven’t yet added it to the cost of making the masks for sale.

The dilemma with it all, is not only availability, but also the supply-in-demand effect with increased pricing. I am hoping that this settles down soon, otherwise I will unfortunately have to adjust pricing for all aspects of my business.

Through it all, I have discovered some very reliable on-line fabric stores as well as using my local quilt shop (who also services my machines), that believe in their small business and caring for their customers. I no longer order online from big box stores who have 6 weeks later cancelled on me with no communication, where I now work with companies that either respond via email and/or have a phone number to reach a “real” person in “real” time. Although I am not currently purchasing specialty fabric (well, I did purchase a few for myself), I am opting to make sure I have the basic black and white on hand, with white being the one I use 2-3 more layers (depending on number of layers) than the main, decorative fabric.

For those who have supported me with encouragement and/or purchases, as well as custom sewing and alterations throughout the years, Thank YOU!! You are appreciated.

~ Putting Thread to Fabric ~

Laura

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