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Thread: Buying fabric, I am soooo confused.

  1. #1
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    I am very new at quilting, I am trying to buy my fabric for a small quilt or a table runner I have been looking on the internet and am wondering which way is the best way to buy fabric. Should I buy fabric by the yard, fat quarters, charm packs or jelly rolls. I just need some advice and all of you on this board are so nice and helpful.

  2. #2
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    It depends. The fat quarters, etc. are actually more expensive than buying by the yard. Let the pattern you want to make dictate how you buy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend fat quarters unless you are sure you will buy all that you need or will be able to get the same fabric to finish your project. I made that mistake with my first quilt, it is a king size and I bought all I could at the same Walmart and then had to visit every other Walmart I could find in Maryland to get enough to finish. I did manage to get what I needed but I won't make that mistake again. Welcome to the board Cheri62 you will love it here and good luck with your project.

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    A big welcome from East Texas.

  5. #5
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    If you don't have any fabric yet, I suggest you decide on a pattern. Then buy the fabric. I believe yardage is the way to go. When I just buy fabric, not knowing what I'm going to do with it, I buy at least one yard. Of course, I love scrappy, so I always have enough, lol.

  6. #6
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    IMHO it really depends on what you wanna do.. If its scrappy then yes, a bunch of Fqs will work if you are sticking to a pattern buy a lil more then what it suggests for error...

  7. #7
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    When I started, I bought only yardage.

    I would suggest you purchase fabric (yardage)for a pattern/project the first few you do. That way you have what you need for each project. Once you get going and have a favorite color palette or block you might gravitate towards purchasing some Fat Quarters.

  8. #8
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    Being new to quilting also, I find it easiest to first find a pattern I like and then buy the fabric according to the instructions. I often try to find the pictured fabric because I'm not real confident with color choices either. I much prefer to buy yardage rather than precuts inless they are called for by a pattern. They seem a waste of money to me and I don't mind having left overs for another project.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jill's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting I bought mostly yardage with a few fat quarters. I bought a good supply of fat quarters on Ebay a little later while still buying yardage at my LQS and online. I finally settled into making scrappy quilts. I know what colors I like and when I see something I like I buy at least two yards. If you have extra yardage you can always start to fill your scrap box or if you have enough left over from a project just put it back into your stash. Have fun!

  10. #10
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    Greetings, I buy yardage from a quilt shop and if i'm unsure of things I take the pattern with me there often great help, also because I make my share of errors I always ask because fabric changes often what fabric do they keep in stock. Nothings worse than finding I don't have enough due to my errors.
    Sandra

  11. #11
    Senior Member cattailsquilts's Avatar
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    I worked for a quilt/decorator fabric shop when I started quilting (it's where I got bit by the bug, actually). I bought yardage when I had a specific project, and bought out of our 1/4 yd scrap bins when something caught my eye. Now I have a ton of 1/4 yd pieces that I don't know what to do with!!

    I'd either buy for patterns or buy in minimum of 1 yd cuts, if you're looking to build a useable stash.

  12. #12
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Buy what catches your eye, and check the sales if you're on a budget. For small projects, fat quarters and pre-cuts (jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs) are economical. When you're totally hooked, start buying yardage and join the rest of us suckers! LOL! Just have fun and don't spend the electricity money. You're going to need electricity to sew!

  13. #13
    Super Member drivingsusan's Avatar
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    I also agree that yardage would be the way to go. Fat quarters (to me) are very restrictive.
    Find the pattern and buy for it...plus a little extra, that way you know you will have enough.

  14. #14
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnsim
    If you don't have any fabric yet, I suggest you decide on a pattern. Then buy the fabric. I believe yardage is the way to go. When I just buy fabric, not knowing what I'm going to do with it, I buy at least one yard. Of course, I love scrappy, so I always have enough, lol.
    My sentiments exactly....don't get bogged down by overthinking the process...have fun and get quilting!

  15. #15
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheri62
    I am very new at quilting, I am trying to buy my fabric for a small quilt or a table runner I have been looking on the internet and am wondering which way is the best way to buy fabric. Should I buy fabric by the yard, fat quarters, charm packs or jelly rolls. I just need some advice and all of you on this board are so nice and helpful.
    I would suggest you go to a quilt shop as opposed to JoAnn's or WalMart. The staff at the locaL

  16. #16
    Marion Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheri62
    I am very new at quilting, I am trying to buy my fabric for a small quilt or a table runner I have been looking on the internet and am wondering which way is the best way to buy fabric. Should I buy fabric by the yard, fat quarters, charm packs or jelly rolls. I just need some advice and all of you on this board are so nice and helpful.
    I would suggest you go to a quilt shop as opposed to JoAnn's or WalMart. The staff at the locaL quilt shops are usually more quilified and willing to assist.

  17. #17
    Junior Member ergranny46's Avatar
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    I also agree that you should go to your LQS. If you have a pattern in mind take it with you . Explain to the people in the shop that you are new to quilting and you need a little help.
    If you don't have a LQS then you might want to do something like a 9 patch or rail fence and order your material over the internet.
    If you want to do something else and need help let the QB members know and they will help. Just tell us what pattern you want to do.

  18. #18
    Super Member BluegrassGurl's Avatar
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    First.... decide on the pattern to determine the amount of fabric you will need.

    Second .... determine your color scheme. There are several companies that produce fabric lines of harmonious fabrics that are great to choose from.

    Here are some thoughts to consider:

    Jelly rolls - great for scrappy, strip piecing

    Fat Quarters - small quilts....small yardage needed or scrappy larger quilts

    Yardage off the bolt - great for large size quilts --- and for building your stash with whatever is left over.

    Happy quilting!!

  19. #19
    grayma's Avatar
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    This is just my opinion, but I also purchase a little more than the pattern requires, just in case you make an error in cutting. Better to have too much then to discover your favorite fabric is out of stock in the middle of sewing your project.

  20. #20
    Super Member Happy Tails's Avatar
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    Unless you buy them from Connecting Threads, they don't charge extra for cutting. I've spent hundreds with them and am always really happy
    Quote Originally Posted by rusty quilter
    It depends. The fat quarters, etc. are actually more expensive than buying by the yard. Let the pattern you want to make dictate how you buy.

  21. #21
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    Decide on a pattern, then shop for fabric. You all are lucky, I have to go too far for a quilt shop.

  22. #22
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting I bought yardage... anything that caught my eye; that was in 97' I'm still using some of those fabrics to this day... Then as time went on my style evolved and it ends up I perfer to do scrappy quilts. Mostly I buy fat qtrs, scrap bags, and half yard cuts now; unless it's muslin or something I LOVE, and background prints.

  23. #23
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I've been sewing for over 50 years and quilting for about 25. I still pick a pattern first and then buy extra so I'll have some for any mistakes or projects. I'm working on a king size quilt right now that I bought extra for and was able to make matching pillow cases. I still have more for the stash.
    Even after all these years, my stash is not as big as some I see on this site. It's big enough for a scrappy quilt or baby quilt (in any color) but I still buy for what I'm making and only rarely purchase something on the hopes that I'll use it someday...... I've found the amount I got years ago isn't enough or something else that prohibits me using it. Anyhing that has set around for many years may never get used because what looks good to you today will look "old" later on.... and your interests might change as well.
    Long story, but short moral.... Just get quilting... things will fall in line.... and you'll have so much fun in the process.

  24. #24
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I would pick a pattern first, then you will know how much for each thing, like borders, ect.

  25. #25
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    I'd go for yardage, but as a confirmed "fabriholic" I always do yards. I use charm packs for smaller projects and have used them for runners. Starting out I used yards and followed the pattern all the way.

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