I shop and buy where ever i find fabric I like, is good quality, and can afford. My family can't tell where it came from after the quilt is made. Some of my best quilts have thrift store fabric in them.
I have made beautiful quilts from JoAnn's fabrics, and they have held up well over time. I don't shop there for fabric anymore -- my tastes have changed -- but I don't regret starting there.
I love our JoAnns-the only complaint I have is that we get all these coupons and can't use most of them because everything is on sale-and I try to use them on non-sale items but can't see buying something I already have a lot of just to use the coupon.
I am a former manager of a LQS and you are right, there is an attitude of snobbiness. Even as a manager I had to reject some fabrics because they were not to "our stardards".
I believe that fabrics have a trickle down system. New fabrics that are shown at Quilt Market by vendors are first sold to LQS, overstock is then sold to chains, JoAnns, Warmat etc. That does not mean that the fabrics are inferior they are just a little dated.
You can get the same battings, muslins, basics at JoAnns that you get at the LQS and at a better price..
I agree with you, and have always felt that way. I have found some of the fabrics that I see in Walmart or Joanns in the LQS. In general, what you said about the 'feel' of the fabric is the best indicator of the quality of the fabric.
In any event, I think the maxim with regard to buying fabric should be: "Buy the best you can afford." If I can only afford sale fabric, Walmart fabric or Joann fabric, so be it.
I'm new to quilting, so I don't know what "good" or "bad fabric is. I just bought some fabric @ Joann's and they had a 30% off sale, then I had a coupon for 25% off and I got to use that on everything I purchased, including what was on sale. I've already made a small quilt top with the fabric and it seemed OK. Can someone tell me the difference between good and bad fabric? Thanks.
Edit: I found the "spinoff" thread - I'll follow that.
Fabric quality is relative. Considering that some of Gee's Bend Quilts have been made with recycled clothing and donated corduroy fabric, yet appreciated enough to be displayed in museums and national exhibitions should put some perspective on the subject of quality vs appeal. Snobbery has no positive effect on artistry.
Some of the worst fabric I ever bought came from LQS and was a well-known name brand. I just buy what I like and if it feels good. I don't allow the quilt police, I do not quilt to please them, I quilt to please me!