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Thread: Have you heard that JoAnn's fabric is poorer quality?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Honeynga's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    West GA
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    I get frustrated, aggravated, exasperated and intimidated by this kind of thread. MY problem is I just don't have the money to buy the "best" fabrics.......I enjoy quilting and am thrilled when I make someout out of a JA's fabric that looks half way decent ! When I think back to our ancestors making quilts they didn't have LQS, JA's, Wm"s, etc...they had to use what they had. If I could I'd buy the finest quality fabric i could fine,but I can't. I'm retired, live on a very limited income, am somewhat disabled, can't work even if I could find a job...no one wants to hire a 65 year old these days anyway ! My heart and my gut tell me to do the best that I can with what I have; I really don't care if these quilts last 50 years or not, I make them for the moment, the joy and the joy of sharing them with my loved ones.

    I still have some clothes of my 30 year old daughter that I smocked for her when she was younger; most of the fabric came from the local Hancocks and still looks GOOD ! Too, I have several framed cross stitch and needle work items that I did in the early 80's and the supplies came from Leewards (remember them?), Joann's, etc......I have one needlework pillow that I bought the supplies from a local needlework shop and it looks like crap.....colors have faded terribly.

    Again, work with what you have available and enjoy it !

    Years back I somehow met this this very old woman that loved to crochet....she had the thin cotton thread and a bent safety pin.......my then husband took it upon himself to take this woman to a local craft store for her to buy her selection of crocheting thread and a selection of crochet hooks......she was thrilled...but you know what ? Her work wasn't any more beautiful than when she was using what she had !

  2. #12
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    I had heard that JoAnns bought second run (somewhat lesser quality) fabric than what is in a LQS; this includes some the "branded" fabric like Kaufmans that I have seen there. However, I noticed that they have started carrying a higher priced (feels better as well) batiks and other cottons under the "Premium and Artist Brands." JoAnn's carries a lot of their "own" named fabric.

    I have bought the Legacy line batiks and have been happy with them.

    I think you have to feel the fabric and see if you like it. It depends on the printing process used by the manufacturer. Check the country of origin on the label on the bolt and see if there is a consistent feel to fabrics from the same country.

    I bought some nice velvet and home decor fabrics there.

    Hancock's carries a little better fabric than JoAnns. Same with Beverly's.

  3. #13
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Peotone IL
    Honeynga, I agree with you. If a quilt is made with love for the recipient, you will receive love in return. We all can't afford the more expensive fabric all the time. I make my quilts with love for the giftee, because the quilt pattern/fabric is "right" for them and because I love to quilt. I don't expect my quilts to become heirlooms (except my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, I hope) but make them to be comforting, useful and loved. I expect the kids' quilts I've made to be "drag arounds" to be used and loved. So what if they fall apart after they've outlived their comfort factor for the kids.

  4. #14
    Junior Member Gayle8675309's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Ashland, Wisconsin
    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that has been taught that LQS fabric is higher quality. Good to know.

  5. #15
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Southern California
    Quote Originally Posted by kpelletier83 View Post
    I too let my money speak for me. I have a wonderful store near me called "$1.99 Fabric Store". They have varying
    qualities of fabric. I feel the fabric. If it is then and stiff I don't buy it. If I were making a special quilt I would spend the
    extra and go to my LQS. If I had unlimited funds I would stick with the LQS cause their fabrics are wonderful.
    DITTO !!! You just have to be able to carefully search thru all the fabrics. JAF is getting more of a better line in their stores but the price has gone up to $9.99 a yard. Even Wal-mart has VIP and some Fabric Traditions. These stores buy in bulk so I doubt if they are buying 2nd or 3rd. Fabrics companies normally sell their seconds and unsold fabrics to dealers who primarily then resell the fabrics to smaller chain stores that can be either flatfolds or on a bolt with a different manufacturer name on the bolt. It is NOT difficult to spot the lower quality of fabrics. Those small chain stores ALL closed in Southern California such as Ben Franklin. You ALSO have to remember that most of the fabrics are being produced cheaply in China.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #16
    Member Threadbanger's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Well, the reason that I buy at Joann's, Hancock etc is simply that there aren't any quilt shops near me. I'd have to drive at least an hour in any direction to get to one. I do agree that the fabric from quilt shops tends to be of higher quality. However, I'm a beginner in quilting so I would want to practice with the less expensive stuff. Maybe if I ever get to the level of expert or have people commission me to make them a quilt I will go with the higher end stuff. Until then JoAnn's, Here I come!

    A fugitive from the Quilt Police

  7. #17
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Outer Space
    This kind of thread comes up all the time and usually ends with hurt feelings. IMO, I'd rather make fewer quilts with the best quality fabric I can find than use lesser, JoAnnes and Walmart type fabric. It's my preference and I'm no snob, just a realist that knows all the hours of my work should last as long as possible. I don't judge others who do buy there, but I don't and that's just my view on the subject. I do buy notions and batting at Joannes, but I'd rather buy the best quality from my LQS or online where I can get the best, LQS fabric for the same price that Joannes sells lesser quality fabric. It's kind of a no brainer for me.

  8. #18
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Monroe, IN
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news for all of you LQS ladies....BUT....you can buy good fabrics at Walmart and JoAnn's! And I have seen very poor fabrics at your LQS. It is very easy to determine quality of fabrics simply by feeling them. The very worst and thinnest are the ones you can see through. The best ones have a heavier hand and you won't be able to see your hand through them (which is why it is very hard for me to buy online). I purchased great fabrics at WalMart just a few days ago for $2/yd. I am not a fabric snob and need to get the most bang for my buck, so I buy the best I can afford without throwing money away. I have been know to run to the LQS when I can't find exactly what I need somewhere else and am grateful for their helpful ideas.

  9. #19
    Junior Member morforles's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Lakeside, CA
    This past year I have seen the quality go down in the fabric at JoAnn's and even had one of the clerks tell me that the new "stuff" coming in is horrible compared to the past. I have found fabric in Wal Mart that is equal to or better than JoAnn's, but like the others have said, you just have to look and feel for yourself. I will say that when I hear quilters talk about fabric quality I wonder about our ancestors who quilted with what ever they could find and some of those quilts are still here today! ?????? Who knows what's best?

  10. #20
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Rustburg, VA (for the moment anyway)
    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    Occasionally on their cheapest priced fabric I can tell that it is too thin; however I don't think it is intended to be for quilting but for very light weight clothing. They sell more fabric than just quilting fabric. I buy according to the usage I have for it. I haven't had any regrets with my purchases. You need to know your fabrics and not be a "quilt snob."
    "You need to know your fabrics and not be a "quilt snob." Those last 5 words were totally uncalled for. You should really watch that, you know. Let's be nice, that is all I am asking.
    Blessed are they that can laugh at themselves, For they shall never cease to be amused.


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