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Thread: Fat quarters question

  1. #1
    eweandme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I'm new to quilting, so bare with me. I've been told "if you are going to spend the time making a quilt, you should only use the best fabric". On Monday I went to Jo Ann's and saw fat quarters selling for $1.99 and then I go to a quilting store and they are selling their's for $2.75. Is Jo Ann's fat quarters a cheaper fabric and are they worth spending the money or should I buy the more expensive ones at the quilt store? I could sure use some advise and opinions.

  2. #2
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Maple Grove, MN (by way of GA, NC, PA, NC, AL!)
    I personally have found that the quilt store fabrics are a higher quality, but I have bought plenty of Joann's fabrics because they are such good prices and they do have a really nice selection. Also, since they purchase their fabrics in such high quantities, they are able to sell them for a lower price.

    I would suggest that you don't intermingle the fabrics - if you start a project with joann's fabrics, complete the project with it, and if you start with the quilt store fabrics, complete with the quilt store fabrics.

    If you do "mix" the fabrics, I would recommend that you wash and dry the fabrics first to pre-shrink the fabrics in case there is a real quality difference between the fabrics!

    I have always found that it is just easier to buy what you like - because then you will use it!!

  3. #3
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Carolina
    Those are good points about not mixing farics. You never know about shrinkage or how the fabrics will wear. In the wall hanging that I just pieced, it wasn't an issue,, but I would definitely heed that advice for a big quilt.

  4. #4
    bj is offline
    Super Member bj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ft. Worth, Texas
    I buy from both places. What I find with JoAnn's FQs is that they are a lot stiffer and they are wrapped around a piece of cardboard. I'm not sure why they are so stiff, their fabric isn't so much. The FQs at the quilt shop here are just folded and soft. I find more novelty FQs at the quilt shop. I like those a lot because I make mostly kids' and baby quilts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Hi Donna- You are 'allowed' to use whatever fabric that you want to play with. My first quilt was made from mens' flannel shirts I bought at the goodwill. It lasted forever and I got to learn through many mistakes without spending a ton of money on fabric. Just enjoy yourself and have fun. As alot of people say on this site- there are no quilt police :):):)

  6. #6
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Brea, California
    I also use both quilt store fabrics and JoAnn's. But the quilt store fabrics are quite expensive, so I generally only use them for special projects. Jo'Ann's is a great place to buy fat quarters to build your stash, especially when they go on sale for 99 cents each! Keep your eye out for sales there!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NW Ohio
    i don't usually buy fat quarters at the quilt shop unless they coordinate with something else i've got going. they are getting really expensive! but never say never . . .

    this quilt was made entirely from jo-ann fat quarters (20 of them) for 99 cents each (except the borders, which came off the bolt at jo-anns). i've washed it several times and haven't had any issues (except black pen that my sweet baby got on it that i haven't been able to get out!).


    you really can't beat the 99 cent fq sales at jo-anns! and starting the 29th? all of their notions and quilting notions are 50% off! can't wait!

  8. #8
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    rural Maryland

    One of the best things I like about this board is the "no quilt police". I belong to two guilds and they have their share of members who are "quilt police". I buy my fabrics everywhere and anywhere. It all depends on what I am making and for whom. There are plenty of fabrics in my stash that came from Wal-mart, JoAnns and even the Dollar store. I don't consider any of my work Masterpieces. If I am making it for a child I want it to be sturdy enough to hold up to rough use and lots of washings. I handquilt anything that is not going to be given hard usage. I judge fabric by the way it feels to the touch. As a hand quilter I am going to be touching it a lot. Many years ago when I first started quilting it was not unusual to put a sheet on the back of a quilt. With the advent of blends and the very high thread counts that are now available I would not recommend doing that unless you are going to be machine quilting.

    A big part of quilting for me is collecting fabric and dreaming about using it. I have more plans in my head than I have years left on this earth Purchase any fabric that makes you happy and fits into your budget. Remind yourself it isn't fattening.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The only time I get real picky about fabric choice is when I am doing hand applique. The higher thread count fabric is much easier to use for that purpose.

    If you are making quilts for kids, people you dont know well, football games, experiments, etc. The lower prices might be your deterining factor.

    I have a friend that buys the JoAnns fat quarters for her beginning quilters. They can learn, make mistakes without any guilt about the price.

    You will learn as you gain experience which ones you like to use and which ones to leave alone.

    I have found some very good quality fabrics at discount stores.

  10. #10
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Camarillo, California
    I started out with the JoAnns fabrics and after having quite a few fade on the folds or simply fall apart after a while, I tend to be very picky about the fabrics I use in my quilts. Feel them, see how many threads are woven in them. JoAnns does carry their quilters "best" for a couple dollars more per yard. I occasionally pick up those with my 40% coupon to use as backs. I have a couple of my first quilts that are having issues with the cheaper fabrics and after spending all the time I do making them, I'm not going back there. I do look for great sales and the good fabrics and stock up and buy my backs when they go for 3-4 per yard.

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