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Thread: Buying quality fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Do I get better quality fabric if I buy from a quilt/fabric shop vs Wal-Mart, JoAnn's etc?

    Sara in NC

  2. #2
    RST
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    Yes. You do.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    In general the answer is yes, but you can find good quality fabrics in the discount type stores. Most of us here say buy the best you can afford and if that happens to be fabrics that are discounted that's okay.

  4. #4
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    Quilt shop quality is by far the best, Joanns not so much. But someone said it buy the best you can afford.

    Rita

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    This is a never ending discussion that will never be agreed upon. Buy what makes you happy and is within your budget.

    Don't stress yourself about it. Quilting is supposed to be fun.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    This is a never ending discussion that will never be agreed upon. Buy what makes you happy and is within your budget.

    Don't stress yourself about it. Quilting is supposed to be fun.

  7. #7
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    There are places online you can get discounted quilt shop quality fabric. Thousands of Bolts has many brand name fabrics in the $4-5 dollar range, usually older collections than the current ones your LQS would have. Desperate Quilters has a lot for under $8, newer collections than Thousands of Bolts does. Seawatch Fabrics has the nicer quality Batiks and Asian fabrics at very good prices - usually $2-3 less than quilt shops. Each of these has great customer service and quick shipping. If you find a manufacture you like the fabric quality of, look them up online. You might be able to get what you want at a price you can afford! I buy from many online places and have never been disappointed in any fabric that I've gotten!

  8. #8
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    This is a never ending discussion that will never be agreed upon. Buy what makes you happy and is within your budget.

    Don't stress yourself about it. Quilting is supposed to be fun.
    I totally agree!!! Buy what you like and can afford!!! Don't make it stressful for yourself!! Kick back and enjoy most of all!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I find that fabric from the quilt shops is so very soft. I believe that is because it is more loosely woven. They feel just wonderful.

  10. #10
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I shop at either Jo Ann's or the LQS. Jo Ann's does carry some really nice fabric in their designer collection. At the same time, I've seen some really thin not-so-good quality fabric at the LQS.

    In general, I think that the LQS does have better quality fabric than anywhere else, but you need to discover that for yourself since you could be just as happy with a $7.99 fabric from Jo Ann's as you are with a $10.99 fabric from the LQS.

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    We have some quilters who shop at Thrift stores and use recycled clothing. As the others have said, whatever you can afford and whatever makes you happy.

  12. #12
    Pam
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    Buy what you like and what feels nice. If is is pretty, but feels like it will fall apart after a couple of washes, maybe it will. I would not want to take that chance.

    Before I buy anywhere, I rub a single layer of the fabric between my fingers to see if I like it. I used to think that I just "had to have" a certain piece of fabric, even if it did not past muster. Know what? I don't even remember what they looked like anymore!

  13. #13
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    Everything has some "quality" to it -

    The difference being what KIND of "quality" -

    poor, fair, good, excellent, etc.

    Experience really does seem to be the best teacher for determining what is "good" for a particular use.

    And what is appropriate for one use may or may not be appropriate for another.

    Extreme example: Cheesecloth is great for straining juices when making jelly. A 1000 thread count sheet would not work well.

  14. #14
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    And it's one of those things that you may change your mind on over time. I used to use Wal-Mart fabric all the time; I couldn't tell much difference. But as I have used more quilt-shop fabrics, I notice the difference more, and I am beginning to be pickier about what I use.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ljsunflower's Avatar
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    You can find quality fabrics if you look for them. I guess it depends on how much money you want to spend on fabric.
    I just found cotton fabric on clearance at a couple of WalMarts while on vacation. Good stuff & a great price!

  16. #16
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    I agree with the rest! Buy what you can afford, as you get more experience, you'll change what ever doesn't work for you any longer.
    I used to look only at the price of fabric when I first started quilting,I never threw anything away; some of it didn't really make me happy while I was working with it, or it didn't perform how I thought it should after it was quilted... these days when I bump into something from my stash that is a poorer quality, I get rid of it.

  17. #17
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    And washing fabric really does help "tell the tale" of how a fabric will behave.

  18. #18
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    I have seen fabric at Walmart & Marshalls for 3.00 or less that I have seen at QS for 8.95 or more. In my opinion its the same fabric and same quality. You just have to buy what you can afford. If your happy with it who cares what the rest of the world thinks. :wink:

  19. #19
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    I feel that it's not the cost of the fabric that matters. It's what you do with it. I buy a lot of discount material that has worked well and lasted thru the years as beautiful quilts. But what works for you! :lol: :lol: :lol:

  20. #20
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    Walmart has some fabric that feels crappy, and some that feels so durn soft! I like to feel my fabric, and you can tell a lof about its' quality by it's feel.

  21. #21
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    buy what you can afford and have fun making quilts!

  22. #22
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I agree. Buy what looks nice to you, and you can afford.

  23. #23
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    There are places online you can get discounted quilt shop quality fabric. Thousands of Bolts has many brand name fabrics in the $4-5 dollar range, usually older collections than the current ones your LQS would have. Desperate Quilters has a lot for under $8, newer collections than Thousands of Bolts does. Seawatch Fabrics has the nicer quality Batiks and Asian fabrics at very good prices - usually $2-3 less than quilt shops. Each of these has great customer service and quick shipping. If you find a manufacture you like the fabric quality of, look them up online. You might be able to get what you want at a price you can afford! I buy from many online places and have never been disappointed in any fabric that I've gotten!
    To quote what Terri said to me when I directed her to a site with Asian prints............"You're evil"

    :lol: :-P

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I made a quilt years ago using quilt shop quality 100% cotton. Some of the first I ever bought in a quilt shop. I didn't know not to, so I bought a poly cotton blend fabric from a discount store, not Walmart, I think it was a TG&Y store. I mixed the two fabrics together in the quilt. My DD has the quilt and the good fabric is faded, has stretched thin around the seams, and easy to get a tear. The poly cotton still looks as good as it did when I bought it. I like quilt shop quality fabric for the designs and color and the way it feels and I buy it when it's on sale. I also buy a lot of poly cotton at Walmart. I think the poly cotton fabric has somehow gotten a bad rap for no good reason. It feels great and sews great. And it doesn't distort so much when cut.

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    the good fabric is faded, has stretched thin around the seams, and easy to get a tear. The poly cotton still looks as good as it did when I bought it. . . . I think the poly cotton fabric has somehow gotten a bad rap for no good reason. It feels great and sews great. And it doesn't distort so much when cut.
    I had a similar experience with a pieced binding I did on my first quilt. It was a scrap quilt that turned out a little dull so I decided a pieced binding might spice it up. Not knowing any better, I just picked out the colors I needed and bought a mixture of cottons and poly/cotton blends. The cottons all wore through at the fold but the poly/cottons are still intact. I agree, poly/cotton has gotten a bad rap. That little bit of poly adds a lot of durability. I'd consider using it again for binding a quilt that will get a lot of use.

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