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Thread: Best Quilting fabrics?

  1. #1
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    Question Best Quilting fabrics?

    What are the best quilting fabrics that can be bought? I have been buying just 100% cotton fabrics, but I want to be sure that the better I get at this quilting the better quality of quilts I produce. Seems weird that I would not be doing that now, but it's only because I don't want to mess up on expensive materials. Is that dumb?

  2. #2
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    With the fluctuation in the price of cotton goods and the base cloth being produced, this is an impossible question to answer. You just have to learn to feel the fabric and learn what is better and not so good. There have been a lot of posts about this question. And to, it is not always the most expensive fabric that is the better and you can get good quality at chain stores and lesser quality at local quilt shops.
    Having said all that, look at the major brands as a starting point in your education about fabric quality. They try to have the best fabric quality.
    I am sure someone here will point you to other posts on the subject. I never have success in searching.

  3. #3
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntBird View Post
    What are the best quilting fabrics that can be bought? I have been buying just 100% cotton fabrics, but I want to be sure that the better I get at this quilting the better quality of quilts I produce. Seems weird that I would not be doing that now, but it's only because I don't want to mess up on expensive materials. Is that dumb?
    I did the exact thing when I was first learning! I bought cheap cotton (that really was all I had available to me while living overseas in Vanuatu-cheap Chinese fabric), but I made 4 or 5 quilts and when I felt a bit more confident and was on holiday in the States, I bought better fabric at Joann's (Keepsake), which at the time was about $4.99/yard. Now, after 12 years of quiltmaking, I use the better fabrics-once you start with the better ones, it is really hard to go back to the cheaper quality. I still find the quality of the name brands at Joann's as good as most I have seen at a LQS, and with their sales and coupons, I still never pay more than around $6.99/yard. I would be horrified if I screwed up and wasted good fabric!!

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    as you become more experienced you will be able to tell by feel the better quality cottons- and you can certainly find great deals on really good quality- you just have to learn to distinguish.
    i've seen some pretty nasty cottons for $10 a yard---and i've seen some really good good quality cottons for only $5-so you can not just judge by price- you need to when ever you visit a fabric store- or quilt shop spend some time===touching- opening up a length from bolts and looking at it- feel it- feel the texture, the thickness- the even(ness) of the print- the absorption of the colors-
    it can take years- or you may be fairly fast at learning what is (good)
    and---
    there have been many, many beautiful quilts made with wally world $2 a yard yukky fabrics----
    and there have been many quilts that fell apart, ran, frayed- made from $12 a yard fabric from a quilt shop-
    just spend time when you have the opportunity- and start---noticing.
    don't just browse by color-and grab what is available- learn to (get up close and personal)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    I've run across fabric at Walmart that looked exactly like stuff I had in my stash. The difference? Thread count. I proved it to myself when I worked in a lab and had access to a microscope. I counted threads! Hold the fabric up to the light and see if you can see through it. You'll get the "feel" for it. You'll know with some practice.

  6. #6
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    All very helpful information! Thank you all. I will do just that, start the "feeling" and the "looking thru" processes! Hopefully they will both help me to be a better quilter. I can't tell you how excited I am to be starting this as i love to sew, just not very familiar with the "how-to's".

    I LOVE THIS BOARD!

  7. #7
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Just another tip that wasn't mentioned. Many times cheaper fabric will have "sizing" in it to make it look crisp and more expensive. That is where the examining and feelings helps you spot that. The more you compare, the better you'll get at telling the difference.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  8. #8
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    They make and I have one a little thing that is a thread count thing, it magnifies the threads so you can count them and has marks on the side to help and folds up to go in your purse about the size of a 1" x 1" box. That would help, I can't remember where I bought it from. There are many brands of fabrics that are well known for quality, but I can't remember them all.

    Some are: RJR, Hoffman, Timeless Treasures, Blank, so my mind isn't good tonight, anyway, eventually you will learn to tell a good quality fabric without looking at the price or the name brand.



    Quote Originally Posted by Christine George View Post
    I've run across fabric at Walmart that looked exactly like stuff I had in my stash. The difference? Thread count. I proved it to myself when I worked in a lab and had access to a microscope. I counted threads! Hold the fabric up to the light and see if you can see through it. You'll get the "feel" for it. You'll know with some practice.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  9. #9
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    There are some on-line stores with good fabrics and low prices. If you're unsure, despite what the advertising is telling you (1st quality quilting fabrics!), just order the minimum amount --- usually yard --- of about 3 fabrics. That's a minimum investment, and will tell you what you need to know about the site. If that fabric is great, you can bet the rest will be as well. If it's lousy, take the site off your bookmarks; it doesn't get better. Don't go on reputation alone. Do your test order. Once a site has your loyalty, use them. Do ask for recommendations, such as sites where other quilters have had success. For instance, I like Connecting Threads -- very decent quality and great prices --- and I like Keepsake Quilting --- very high quality and prices aren't quite as low, but they don't gouge you either. Customer Service at both sites is awesome.

    Best of luck to you!
    MacThayer

  10. #10
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    I mostly go based on the feel of it.

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