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Thread: Am I looking for the unfindable?

  1. #1
    Senior Member cminor's Avatar
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    OK, so I am a very new quilter - but I am loving the buying fabric part of it! (I keep telling my husband, I am going to be a quilter, not just a fabric collector!) I think becuase it is still so new to me I am also very careful when it comes to spending money on a hobbie that I don't have much experiance with as well as not much to show for it yet. I tend to try to find fabric that costs a little less and often end up going to Walmart and getting the $2.00/yrd or sale fabric at Joannes.

    So now when I see fabric for $5.99/yrd, I think NO WAY! Am I being unrealistic?

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Don't we all love the buying part.!! :-D I love the feel of fabric and the different textures!

    However, I always tell beginning quilters to buy the best fabric they can afford especially if they are making something that will be around for a while.

    When I'm making a quilt for a child whom I know will drag it all over kingdom come I usually use the less expensive fabric and save the good stuff for when that child is older and can appreciate the quilt.

    Others on here may feel differently but these are my thoughts.

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    All I have to say is "you get what you pay for" A lot of the good quality fabrics run $9 and $10 a yard. So if it is a good quality fabric for $5.99, it's really a good deal. If it's around the same quality as what you have seen at Walmart and JoAnns for that price, then that's too much.

  4. #4
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Reasonably, you can only buy what you can afford. So, I would buy the best you can for what you have to spend. Less expensive fabric doesn't feel the same as fabric that costs a little bit more. Actually, you can buy some good quality quilting fabric online, on sale for $3-4 sometimes. That is fabric that originally cost $8-9 originally. In my experience, less expensive fabric can fade faster and doesn't hold up as long. That being said, if you are just starting, buying less expensive fabric for practice quilts, until you discover if you really enjoy it makes sense.
    Just as 150-200 count sheets feel more like cheesecloth and 300-400 count sheets feel more luxurious and silky, so do fabrics. The more expensive ones have the threads woven closer and give a different feel.

    Hope this helps. Watch out! Once the quilting bug bites, you are a goner! lol

  5. #5
    Super Member cuppi duke's Avatar
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    I have found some nice fabric at Joannes and also some lousy fabric. If you are watching your pennies(like most of us) you might try to buy when there are sales. Most quilt shops have sales occassionally. It is hard for me to pay almost 10.00 a yard too but the better fabrics do cost more. You might try on-line shopping, it's great. Just try to pay attewntion to the look and feel of the fabric but remember, feed sacks weren't made of the best quality fabric either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mrs theo's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but my LQS had a great sale after Christmas of 50% off ALL fabrics in the store. With that sale, I stockpiled since I was getting great fabrics for $4-5 per yard. I only buy good quality fabric, even if its for a "blankie" that's going to get drug around. My ex MIL made one for my daughter when she was born. She carted it around for about 3 years and it's still in one piece. I find Connecting Threads to be a good online shop and their fabric is $5.96 per yard :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    I've only been quilting since August. I try to stick to the $3-5.00 range simply because I still mess up. I don't want to be cutting into a $9.00 yd just to mess it up. I figure if it lasts a couple years I'm good to go. Need room for the new ones!

  8. #8
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    All I have to say is "you get what you pay for" A lot of the good quality fabrics run $9 and $10 a yard. So if it is a good quality fabric for $5.99, it's really a good deal. If it's around the same quality as what you have seen at Walmart and JoAnns for that price, then that's too much.
    I agree - but I always check the sale fabrics at my local quilt stores. It is usually half off, sometimes more. Also, some around here give a 20% discount if you take all that's left on a bolt, so I watch for small bolts!

  9. #9
    Senior Member cminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cizzors
    I've only been quilting since August. I try to stick to the $3-5.00 range simply because I still mess up. I don't want to be cutting into a $9.00 yd just to mess it up. I figure if it lasts a couple years I'm good to go. Need room for the new ones!
    Thats a good way to think about it. Maybe once I am more confident in what I do and how it turns out I won't feel ripped off by 7.00/yrd fabric! :)

  10. #10
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cminor
    Quote Originally Posted by cizzors
    I've only been quilting since August. I try to stick to the $3-5.00 range simply because I still mess up. I don't want to be cutting into a $9.00 yd just to mess it up. I figure if it lasts a couple years I'm good to go. Need room for the new ones!
    Thats a good way to think about it. Maybe once I am more confident in what I do and how it turns out I won't feel ripped off by 7.00/yrd fabric! :)
    I think this is an excellent beginner policy. Those of us who are pretty much clueless don't need to spend heavily on fabric. We still have to buy tools and other things. Practice on the inexpensive stuff, collect tools and then splurge when you know what you are doing!

  11. #11
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I buy $8/yard fabric. It works better for me.

    I did a quilt project with students where I told them to go to Joanns and get a few fat quarters (just making blocks). I brought in my scraps to supplement. The students (most with no quilting/fabric experience... ever) commented that mine was easier to work with and felt "different". For me, the Wal-mart one feels lighter, not as solid, and when I poke a needle through it, the hole stays. I like my more expensive fabric

  12. #12
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Oh, and my first instructor said that if you can't afford $8/yard, wait for quilt shops to have sales (fabric.com - love them) and get good fabric cheaper, rather than cheap fabric

  13. #13
    Super Member Evelynquilts's Avatar
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    I also look for on-line sales...fabric.com has brand names on sale...they also offer free shipping on orders over $35.00...Connecting threads also has sales and often coupons so you save on shipping...Joann has some nice fabric sometimes that is $9.99 yard, but if you get their mailers you can use a 40 or 50% coupon...shop around ....however if you are starting out I see where you don`t want to spend alot of money and watch what you buy...

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have bought good quality fabrics at Wal Mart for $2.96 and a little more. I never bought $2.00 a yard fabric. Joanns sells some of the exact same fabrics as what I have bought at Wal Mart, Joanns just charges more for it. Connecting Threads has excellent fabric for $5.96 a yard. I have bought some of it and find it to be excellent quality.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Blue Bell's Avatar
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    I usually wait for a sale at my LQS. There is a big difference in the quality of fabric at the LQS and Walmart.
    You probably have heard this saying: Less is More. You are better off having quality rather than quantity.

  16. #16
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    Don't we all love the buying part.!! :-D I love the feel of fabric and the different textures!

    However, I always tell beginning quilters to buy the best fabric they can afford especially if they are making something that will be around for a while.

    When I'm making a quilt for a child whom I know will drag it all over kingdom come I usually use the less expensive fabric and save the good stuff for when that child is older and can appreciate the quilt.

    Others on here may feel differently but these are my thoughts.
    I feel the same way. There are so many things for a new quilter to buy. Sometimes the cost of the fabric can be scary knowing you are going to cut it up. I have bought expensive fabric that ravels bad, cheap fabric that holds up very well. You do get what you pay for, but low cost is not always cheaply made, even at Joanns. The quilt I just finished had LQS fabric that was very thin and raveled. The second fabric came from Joanns. It was great, had more body and didn't ravel.

  17. #17
    Honey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bell
    I usually wait for a sale at my LQS. There is a big difference in the quality of fabric at the LQS and Walmart.
    You probably have heard this saying: Less is More. You are better off having quality rather than quantity.
    That is how I feel.

  18. #18
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cminor
    OK, so I am a very new quilter - but I am loving the buying fabric part of it! (I keep telling my husband, I am going to be a quilter, not just a fabric collector!) I think becuase it is still so new to me I am also very careful when it comes to spending money on a hobbie that I don't have much experiance with as well as not much to show for it yet. I tend to try to find fabric that costs a little less and often end up going to Walmart and getting the $2.00/yrd or sale fabric at Joannes.

    So now when I see fabric for $5.99/yrd, I think NO WAY! Am I being unrealistic?
    I used to be right there with ya but once you get a taste of the local quilt shops quilting fabric you are not gonna want Wal-Mart and Jo-Anns so much anymore. But I always hit the sale bin at my local quilt shops and you can find great bargains and pay wal-mart/joann prices sometimes. But when I was just starting out which was not that long ago I did not feel as bad if I messed up on the inexpensive fabric and once I got a little more confident and more into the hobby of quilting I really like quilt shop quality. But buy what you can afford, I can not always afford the better stuff but I save for my special projects.

  19. #19
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    And Connecting Threads has good sales, some are on sale now for $2.95 a yard.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You may find that most of the $2/yd fabric is not as tightly woven as more expensive fabrics. This can show up when you cut strips, as less tightly woven fabric will fray a lot more along the edges.

    I usually buy more expensive fabrics and see no threads hanging out of the edges when I rotary cut them. Currently I am working on a retro-style quilt and the thirties prints I wanted were on less expensive fabric. These strips have threads that stick out along the cut edges; if I pull on them, the thread comes completely out of the fabric and leaves a slightly frayed edge. I will be using off-white for the sashing on these blocks, so I need to be careful to purchase a better quality white. A looser-weave white would allow the threads from the colored fabrics to shadow through; a more expensive, tightly woven white, should solve this problem.

  21. #21
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursie76
    Reasonably, you can only buy what you can afford. So, I would buy the best you can for what you have to spend. Less expensive fabric doesn't feel the same as fabric that costs a little bit more. Actually, you can buy some good quality quilting fabric online, on sale for $3-4 sometimes. That is fabric that originally cost $8-9 originally. In my experience, less expensive fabric can fade faster and doesn't hold up as long. That being said, if you are just starting, buying less expensive fabric for practice quilts, until you discover if you really enjoy it makes sense.
    Just as 150-200 count sheets feel more like cheesecloth and 300-400 count sheets feel more luxurious and silky, so do fabrics. The more expensive ones have the threads woven closer and give a different feel.

    Hope this helps. Watch out! Once the quilting bug bites, you are a goner! lol
    I agree.

  22. #22
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    This topic seems to come up a lot. There are those who feel that only fabric that comes from the quilt shop is quality fabric. They are entitled to their opinion and to spend their money as they choose. I can only comment on what my experience has been. I have purchased fabric at quilt shops, at Walmart and at Joanns. The location of the purchase had nothing at all to do with the quality. I have purchased some wonderful fabric at all three places. I have also had some stinker fabric at all three places. Case in point, the project I am working on right now is a kit from a quilt shop. I am ready to throw it out the window because it is fraying all over the place. The only real way to ensure quality in fabric is to feel it and examine it closely.

  23. #23
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    This topic seems to come up a lot. There are those who feel that only fabric that comes from the quilt shop is quality fabric. They are entitled to their opinion and to spend their money as they choose. I can only comment on what my experience has been. I have purchased fabric at quilt shops, at Walmart and at Joanns. The location of the purchase had nothing at all to do with the quality. I have purchased some wonderful fabric at all three places. I have also had some stinker fabric at all three places. Case in point, the project I am working on right now is a kit from a quilt shop. I am ready to throw it out the window because it is fraying all over the place. The only real way to ensure quality in fabric is to feel it and examine it closely.
    Agreed. Now that I have a teeny bit more experience, I go by the feel of the fabric, letting what my fingers guide me in my fabric selection as much as my pocketbook allows.

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    When I started quilting, I used cheap fabric. I didn't want to mess up the good stuff while I was learning. That was a big mistake. The fabric has frayed, pulled from the stitches, and faded. Those first quilts are loved and still in use by my family and how I wish I had used quality fabric. I don't mine using the cheaper Walmart fabric in projects like tablerunner, pillows, pot holders, and costumes but I won't use it in a quilt. The times I couldn't afford the quilt shop quality I would go to the thrift store and buy quality cotton clothing to use in a quilt.

  25. #25
    Senior Member peppermint31's Avatar
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    I purchased lower priced material and deeply regretted it when the quilt started to wear out and the only part that is in shreds is the cheap fabric. Several quilt shops that I go to have sale fabrics all the time so that is where I start shopping. I also find that the less expensive material fades a lot sooner.

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