I think we all learn by our mistakes. Cheep fabric, cheap thread and cheap batting. Cheap results. Buy the best you can afford. Keep an eye out for sales but be careful. Some times thread may be old. I do not buy sale thread any more. I buy from stores that have a high turnover in thread sales. I also keep a check on my thread here at home and check it for strength. Good luck with your quilting!
Don't think cheap...think quality at sale prices. I once bought batting at Walmart for $10 - BIG mistake. Make sure it is a product that will not beard - those annoying little fibers that poke through to the front and ruin the finished quilt or, in my case, totes. I like Thermore batting because it's thin, won't beard, and is easy to use for quilts or clothing. I also use Headliner, a product that is meant for the roof lining in vehicles, for some of my totes, and cotton batting too. If in doubt about quality make a small quilted block and throw it in the washer/dryer to see how it performs. I did that before finishing a child's quilt and, as a result, undid all the tacking and changed the batting before quilting it. It was annoying at the time to find out that the batting I had chosen was 'cheap' but much better than having the whole thing beard after washing. http://www.connectingthreads.com/tut...ting__D88.html
Wholesale if you can. Always buy the best batting for you and if you're in business, your customers quilts. Joann's Fabrics when you have the coupon is a good buy. Different battings make things look different when quilted.