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Thread: Buying fabric

  1. #1
    Tigerbaby1981's Avatar
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    How does everyone buy their fabric? with a idea of a quilt in mind or just becuase they like the fabric? How much do you buy? a yard fat quarter?
    Im really new to this, how to you match it all? whats a good rule of thumb?

  2. #2
    Senior Member adyldrop's Avatar
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    I buy something when I see a pretty--doesn't need to be for a special project. The project usually jumps out at me. I buy whatever fits that fabric. If it's a pattern I'd probably use more in a bag, I'd buy a fat quarter or a half yard. If it's a really good print I could see using in a quilt I generally get a yard. Depends on the price too. I am cheap. Hee hee I think we all are! Some websites have a minimum order amount--sometimes it's a yard and sometimes it's a half yard. That kinda decides things for me too. When I'm really in the mood to buy fabric is when I gotta be careful--I'll get a yard of everything and go overboard! Hope my rambling helps somewhat if at all :) and post it when/if you order some so we can all drool!

  3. #3
    Tigerbaby1981's Avatar
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    Thanks it did help. I want to buy Moda Northern Flights collection to make a lap quilt and a queen quilt but I dont know how much i should get. or if I should buy the fat quater bundle.. Ive been drooling over all these nice prints but get stuck at that.

  4. #4
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    You need a reason to buy fabric?? LOL. I pick whatever I want and sometimes I buy a few yards if I really LOVE the fabric...other times I wonder what I'll do with it and pick up a fat quarter. I like scrappy quilts, so a nice collection of fat quarters will definitely be used at some point. I've got my next 3 or 4 projects picked out, so I do stock up on fabric for them which may or may not work----always looking to feed the stash.

  5. #5

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    tigerbaby, if we can help you learn new ways of collecting fabric (and hide it!) have you made the right stop:))I am forever buying fat quarters because I like to collect different colors and I like many colors in a quilt. Say the pink and browns...the 30's fabrics, blacks and whites, reds, creams...omg! They are all good!:))Oh, the homespun flannels! By collecting quarters, you can have a great variety that brings alot of depth and texture to your quilts w/o going to a great expense of too much fabric purchased. To start off, I would recommend buying 'kits' from a quilt store that can be recommended. I have had great luck w/kits to do a quilt and end up usually w/much left over. Big pieces get folded back into my quarter selections, scraps to plastic drawers by color. I do buy 5-6 yards at a time if I find a background type fabric on sale to stash away for later. Most quilters I know buy for a pattern specifically. If you buy only 1 or 2 fabrics that you like, you buy 2-3yrds to put away for building stash. But always remember that you make sure it is not a strange color or pattern that will be hard to match up later to work in a quilt. For me personally, I usually buy for a specific pattern and I buy extra:))When you see a quilt you like or a block...stop and try to figure out why. Is it the color? The Patterns in the fabric? The block? This will help guide you the direction that works for you and your likes. Hope that helps...Skeat

  6. #6
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I generally only buy fabric for what I am going to work on. I'm cheap too.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I buy 2 fats of each fabric, that way you have 1/2 yd to work with.
    I like to stock up on batiks when on sale and I love the marbles.
    Almost finished with a jewel box quilt done with Crystals charms. These charms are just beautiful. Havnt found the yardage but marbles by Moda are the same thing.

  8. #8
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I have found when I only buy a yard of fabric and then decide what quilt I want to do I never have enough. I have just started buying more yardage if I like a piece of fabric. Some day if I am broke I will have plenty of fabric to work with!!! LOL

  9. #9
    Jerrie's Avatar
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    I buy what i like

  10. #10
    MiawMC's Avatar
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    I usually pick fabric up that strikes me at the moment. Impulsive I am.
    That said, I'll literally hunt for the right fabric to finish a project and I mean I'll hit stores everywhere (even on out of town trips).
    It's a gut feeling thing with me. I don't initially look at fabric for a project, I just like the fabric. The project comes from the fabric.

  11. #11
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...I always go in with a project in mind and come out with that plus about 10 more just because they struck my fancy. I'm a fq junkie. I cannot pass up a fat quarter if I'm in the store anyway and they just happen to have some.

  12. #12
    Member Quiltinsolitude's Avatar
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    It all depends on what I've got in my mind . . .sometimes I have a design all graphed out and the colors in mind so I go buy specifically for that - I live in fear of not getting enough material to finish so I always buy extra.

    If I don't really have a specific project in mind, I just buy what looks good to me. If it's on a bolt, I always buy at least 1/2 yard. If it's calling my name, a yard . . . and I never leave that leftover bit of fabric on the end of the bolt because usually you can get that at remnant prices even though it's part of the yard you are already getting.

    I'm hooked (definitely) on flat quarters!! I do a lot of scrappy and those flat quarters are just dandy for that!

    Quick question: has anyone bought any of the "running eighths?" I saw some at Joann's and almost bought a yard, but controlled myself - I already had a cart full of stuff.

    Don't know if this helps . . . but it's how I build my stash :lol:

  13. #13
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I always have to buy fat quarters.
    I can usually stay clear of Jelly Rolls and kits.
    If I like it I buy at least 1/2 yd, If I really like it then 1 yd, If I REALLY like the fabric I will buy at least 3 yds...
    But I have bought fabric that is still lurking in my stash years later....how awful.
    Is that fabric abuse or hoarding :D
    K

  14. #14
    PamH's Avatar
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    I love the fat quarters

  15. #15

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    I just bought alot of fat quarters at Joann's tonight..Went in for a sewing table (yay it was unexpectedly on sale) and came out with a sewing table, a ton of FQs and about 8 yards of white muslin (also on sale..1.49/yd)

    Basically I buy fabric that I like..lol..Then I figure out what to do with it..

    Edited to add..Joann's FQs are on sale for 99 cents

  16. #16
    GMA
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    Junior Member GMA's Avatar
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    I started about ten yrs ago buying 1/4 yrd of stuff I liked. - didn't sew then but wanted to. Then when I started sewing, bought a yard of material I liked when traveling. Then, actually started sewing and making things and running out of material and having to match stuff. Now I buy 2 yds of whatever I want to work with and am working on building my stash.
    :D :D

  17. #17
    Tigerbaby1981's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone this helps a lot. I love fabric! but I have to watch what I buy right now being off work and we have to lil ones.. But I just may have to get two jobs, one to help with bills the other for my quilting.. LOL

  18. #18

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    If I like the fabric well enough to use for borders as well as in the blocks then I'll buy at least 3 1/2 yards (most of my quilts are queen size) but I'm a cheapie so it has to be a bargain too. If I plan to just use it in blocks then I'll buy 1 1/2 yards.

  19. #19
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    I don't NEED a reason LOL. I buy it cuz its pretty. But since I love scrappy quilts, I try to buy in pairs..... I normally buy 1/2 yrd unless I think I can use it for a back, then I buy more...

  20. #20
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I started the same way- buying for a specific project, buffering for errors and then saving the leftovers for scrappy quilts. Now, I still buy for the specific project, but look for fq or sale fabric to match stuff I have to make it go further.

    I like the resources section here as people like to let us know of sales and I check them out. Have saved a lot of money that way too.

    If I am purchasing something specifically, I always look for kids stuff since I do quilts for Project Linus and a yard of juvenile print fabric can go a long way in a baby quilt. Recently I was at Joann's and did this- found about 6 or 8 fabrics, bought a yard each at $2.00 a yard and now have a ton of ideas. Certainly easier than only getting 1 yard for $8.00.

    I don't use household budget money for my fabric. This is my "hobby" and I don't burden my husband with my passion. I use money from my notary public commission- it's not much but it keeps me in fabric.

    barb

  21. #21

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    If you're looking to make a quilt you can always visit www.quilterscache.com, they have lots of free patterns, then when you find one you like you decide how many blocks it will take to make the size you want, and then find one of those free "fabric calculators" (seems a good portion of the online stores have them or you can just google fabric calculator) and that will tell you how much fabric you need to buy for the size quilt you want.

    Other options for patterns are the fabric manufactures (you mentioned Moda so here's their website's free patterns http://www.unitednotions.com/un_main.nsf/free_patterns) they always seem to have beautiful quilts, and they will tell how much fabric to buy to make the quilt, and of course you can always change the pattern to suit your colors and or fabrics, no one said you HAD to use theirs, those kind normally give a finished size and if it's not the size you'd like try to keep in mind that you want to "leave off the border" or "add two more" ect.

    When I'm stash building I buy 1/2 a yard off the bolts that gives me two fat quarters, one to keep and one to share. Though so far all the fabric I bought that way was "shared" so perhaps a yard would have been better... Truly to buy a half a yard is to pay have the price listed on that bolt, so it's not so expensive, and you get to take it home and cut it into two cute little fat quarters (or leave them whole if you don't want to share)

    When you find a fabric you LOVE, and you will know, buy as much as you can, you never know if you'll see it again or what you might use it to make. For instance for a quilt back you need something like this:
    TWIN - 63" x 87" = 5 1/4 yards
    And that would use up a lovely "favorite" fabric in no time. :cry: :cry:

  22. #22

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    Oh I nearly forgot to mention, I buy both because I liked it and because I'm looking for something for a quilt. ;)

    My dream gift is to go to a fabric store and pull down every bolt I love and get a half a yard of it. :D :D :D I told DH and he said something about when he wins the lottery, so I told him when he wins the lottery he has to buy me a fabric store! :lol: Wouldn't that be a nice sized stash.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I watch the sales on line and buy enough $3 a yrd fabric to do a couple of backings.
    I collect fats when on sale at my local shop for 25 for $25. This is only once a yr after christmas but what a bargain.
    Of course its Joanns 99 cent fats that I have the most of.
    I buy batiks and marbles whenever I find them on sale. Cant go wrong with them.

  24. #24
    Senior Member gramadona's Avatar
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    When my kids were little I made most of their clothes and saved every scrap! And now that I'm retired I am making quilts using up all those wonderful scraps... full of memories. My grandkids love to hear stories about the fabrics in their quilts... "that is from your mommy's dress from kindergarten. And this is a piece of grandpa's navy uniform." etc.
    Needless to say, I have loads of fabric, but I can't stay away from the fabric shops! And usually buy a yard of whatever I like unless I am working on a specific project.
    My sewing room is packed with shelves of fabric sorted by color... I need to sew a lot faster and use it up... so I can go buy more!!

    boxes full of fabric
    Name:  Attachment-14371.jpe
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Size:  48.3 KB

    one wall, 5 more shelves full
    Name:  Attachment-14378.jpe
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Size:  53.8 KB

  25. #25
    Tigerbaby1981's Avatar
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    Grandmadona, I would love you sewing room full of fabric :)

    Well I found a really nice collection of Spring meadow by Moda its a fat quater bundle but they have maybe 10 of the yardage.. Now I dont know if i should just by the yardage or buy the bundle and a lil bit of the yardage for binding and backing (since its going to be baby/toddler quilts)

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