Getting a Bad Rap
I always hear Joanns and like fabric stores always getting a bad rap from, primarily, quilters. Why is it so?
I understand that Joanns, and such, does not always have the best quality fabric, compared to LQS, but I donít think it is as bad as people make it out to be. Iíve heard several quilters say ďreal quiltersĒ donít shop at Joanns (and most of us know that is ridiculous!).
I donít have much of a choice when buying my fabric. As some of you know, Iím a college student and money is always tight. I love the fabric at my LQS, but unless I really, REALLY want it, I wonít buy it, because I canít afford it. And the thing is when I shop at Joanns I always make sure to get the nicer quality fabric. If a fabric doesnít feel right, I wonít buy it.
(Plus I donít think the best quilts have to be made out of the best fabric out there. The only time quality of fabric should be judged relatively harsh is when it is entered in a quilt show Ė and even then sometimes it isnít the most important aspect of the quilt.)<o:p></o:p>
I've gotten great stuff at JoAnn's and what turned out to be not-so-great stuff at an LQS. The self appointed 'quilt police' are everywhere. Be polite, smile, but then just ignore them!
My first quilt was made with fabric from JoAnns! The first time I went to the LQS and said something about using a book to learn how to make a quilt (one of Carol Doak's books) the shop owner said I couldn't learn quilting from a book. So I went to JoAnns found a main fabric I loved and then asked a couple of ladies who were also looking at quilt fabric for help. They were so helpful when they found out it was to be my first quilt. It's still my favorite. Hmmmmm...think I'll change my avatar to it.
Well said, MissSongbird! The best quilt is the one you've poured your heart into... Personally, I like shopping at JoAnn's, especially now while they have the notions at 50% off!! I picked up a 4" square for squaring up at 50% off yesterday! Yay, JoAnn's!!! :-D
For me it's not the quality of the fabric. It's Joann's management's attitude. I know this can be different at different stores but at my local store you see a sale sign and think the fabric under the sign is on sale, but, the bolt has been put in the wrong place and you find out at the register it's not on sale. Also my store makes it almost impossible to use the coupons. I will say that a few weeks ago I was close near the store and stopped by and used my iphone app for a coupon but the clerk asked if I was on the mailing list and eve though I didn't have the 40% coupon she gave me the discount. Maybe the management's attitude has changed.
I'm on a retirement income so I don't buy much at the LQS so I shop at Beverlys and Hancocks. I use my quilts all the time and they get washed over and over, the "other than LQS" does fine. I do the same as you and go by the feel also.
Buy the best quality fabric you can afford wherever you find it. I am glad I have a good stash to work from because affordable fabric is getting harder to find. Bonnie Hunter uses second hand cotton shirt fabrics for a lot of her quilts. She is the sought after quilt teacher from www.quiltville.com. She's not paying attention to the quilt police.
I have bought alot from Joann's really do not have a bad thing to say.
You do what you have to do. I buy the best I can afford. It may be Joanne's and it may even be Walmart. I am sad to say, there is one small LQS in my town, and I haven't even been in it! I do have a healthy stash, which is helpful!
When I go to JoAnn's, I am armed to the teeth with coupons. I get them in the mail, email, phone app and grab a flyer on the way in the door. I may not be able to use them all, but you just never know what you will find. I have to drive 35 miles to get to a JoAnn's, so I make it a worthwhile trip ;) I do check for quality in any fabric I buy, whether it is at JoAnn's, LQS, or Walmart. And I have found great fabrics at great prices at all three places. And I have certainly found the opposite as well. If I have to find the once certain fabric that matches perfectly, I go to JoAnn's. If not, then I prefer to shop online at Connecting Threads. I have found that I can't beat the pricing/quality/customer service. Free shipping at $50 (very easy to get to that $50 when the batting is on sale....LOL). Sorry, I ramble......I do shop at JoAnn's, as often as I can. You won't find the quilt police knocking my door down, because I won't allow it. I very politely tell them to get lost.
one thing i am consistently surprised by in the quilting community is the extent to which the history of quilting seems to be disregarded.
this was a utility skill and historical quilts were, by and large made out of fabrics that had served other uses. even the much coveted crazy quilts were made of scraps of luxurious fabrics, not whole bolt cuts.
and now because we live in such a wealthy culture, quilting - like so many other things - has a cultural commodity fetishism associated with it. my question is always why we feel some kind of shame or insufficiency for not being able to afford the very best, most expensive of everything. and further to that, why is acquiring the best and most expensive of everything the thing that seems to motivate us to do so many of the things we do?
there is satisfaction in making do with what we have, in taking pride in what we make and knowing that we have lived within our means. and if we have less than magnificent means, we should not feel shame nor poverty of spirit.
if your identity is tied up in what you have, what space have you left in your being for who you are and what you do?