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Thread: Enlightening Fabric Shopping Trip... and Disappointing

  1. #1
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    Enlightening Fabric Shopping Trip... and Disappointing

    I know this has been discussed before, but now I have seen it with my own eyes!! I cheerfully set off on a fabric shopping expedition this past weekend. I am working on a quilt from Darcy Ashtons, 'Bunnies & More' book. I am a certified bunny lover!! As I perused the aisles of cotton fabrics I was not only shocked and disappointed by appalled by the QUALITY of the fabrics!! I felt as if I were looking at cheesecloth.... not cotton fabrics!! I kept going from aisle to aisle as I was not finding anything that worked with my 9 floral bunny blocks. I kept searching through bolt after bolt and found the quality of nearly every bolt to be totally unsatisfactory... I mean come on now, if you can count the threads per square inch without squinting..... that's a pretty good sign the fabric (to me anyway) is substandard!! Honestly, I didn't even bother looking at the price of the fabric per yard even though it was on sale I had no plans to buy a single inch let along a yard or two.
    I moved on to fabric store #2 hoping not only to find a color that worked but BETTER QUALITY fabric!! I most likely do not have to tell you that I didn't find the quality any better than the first fabric store. Again, I was totally blown away by my 'enlightening' fabric shopping spree! I know it's been written here several times but I am totally shocked at the quality of our fabrics right now.
    This was not a LQS by the way.. and I really don't want to discuss where I was shopping but I am sure one could most likely figure it out anyway. I don't want to put any fabric shop down at all as I feel it's most likely the manufacturers that are sending this .... junk to the stores!! I seriously don't blame the fabric stores! JMHO
    Sign me
    One very disappointed fabric shopper!!
    Thanks for listening!
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  2. #2
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    I have found quality fabrics at my lqs - prices have gone up but then so has everything. I really hit them when they are having a sale

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    We happened to be in Walmart's the other day & I just browsed the fabrics. The woman was stocking the shelves with new fabric that had just come in. I believe the price was under $4.00 a yard & when I commented on it, she said it was coming from Pakistan.

  4. #4
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    I did a shop hop friday and WOW- sticker shock.. the prices have risen A LOT... Needless to say I came home with 1/8 of what i normally would of had.. I couldn't force myself to spend that much money..

    I too was shocked to see the fabric quality diminished and the prices rose..

  5. #5
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    This is so sad!!!!

  6. #6
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    One of our LQS in town is closing, as owner is retiring. She has all fabrics listed for $5.00 yr for anything. She carries a VERY large selection of quality fabric. I've been there 3 times in last week & have purchased at least 25 different fabrics with minimum of 4 yds each. I am so excited to get them washed, but I have them spread out on my dining table & am just basking in their beauty.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  7. #7
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    I was also at WalMart and found their fabrics were $7.97 per yd there. There were less expensive cottons too. But the better quality fabrics were more spendy. I did forget to add that I actually did find what I was searching for at WalMart!!
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  8. #8
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    the quality is just not there like it use to be
    cotton is so high right now they are making the fabric as cheap as they can

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    There are a few stores that I just won't buy fabric in anymore no matter what , as I can't believe they can get it that thin. A few times I was lured by a nice looking print, only to find the thinness to be just shocking.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Julie in WA's Avatar
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    Good reason to shop your stash or watch estate sales! I visit http://www.estatesales.net/ each week and check the listings...if it says sewing stuff or fabrics, I go check it out. The fabrics are never the current modern/contemporary lines, but I have found some amazing buys within my budget!

  11. #11
    Member leevenora's Avatar
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    I agree with Julie, shop that stash.

  12. #12
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    I am not sure than any of this is new. I am making scrap quilts from fabric from a variety of places and ages. The texture and "thinness" varies across all lines over time. I prefer the "thick" white base goods, Judy Rothermel uses a lot of this, but go for color and design over all.

    I have not noticed a problem at any of the LQS's visited. Lovely fabric with a good feel and lots of color.

  13. #13
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QandE2010 View Post
    One of our LQS in town is closing, as owner is retiring. She has all fabrics listed for $5.00 yr for anything. She carries a VERY large selection of quality fabric. I've been there 3 times in last week & have purchased at least 25 different fabrics with minimum of 4 yds each. I am so excited to get them washed, but I have them spread out on my dining table & am just basking in their beauty.
    We'd love to see a picture of all that! I'm sorry for your loss and congrats on your booty!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  14. #14
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Several of our members have posted about downsizing their stashes. Hopefully we can help them and benefit ourselves.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SueJ View Post
    We happened to be in Walmart's the other day & I just browsed the fabrics. The woman was stocking the shelves with new fabric that had just come in. I believe the price was under $4.00 a yard & when I commented on it, she said it was coming from Pakistan.
    I also saw that in Walmart but still decided I could use it for some things.

  16. #16
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    Almost all quiltshops have a clearance or sale or end of bolt section, even on line, I shop there first.

  17. #17
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Some very fine fabrics coming in from Pakistan and India. They use the long fiber cottons which make very fine fabric, almost like silk but very strong. They cover themselves head to toe due to the heat so they need fine (thin) fabric. Don't be shy if it's thin and silky, it will wear like iron. I agree to stay away from more open weave but even then I have bought pieces and washed them and with the cotton shrinking, the fabric was extremely nice after ironing. It really is a different market today for cotton.

  18. #18
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    I have a shop in my home...as I was doing my tax workup this year, I stopped long enough to total up what I had spent and what I got year before last as opposed to the same question for last year: I was appalled and SHOCKED to find that my yardage was about the same, but even though I had exclusively shopped sales of all kinds and did whatever I could to control costs, my costs were TWICE AS MUCH!!! My accountant just said, "Well, things of all kinds are increasing in cost." And my reply was "Twice as much???" So, I guess the solution is to refuse to pay exhorbitant costs (despite all the excuses about the cotton crops being so bad, etc. ad nauseum....) and shop our stashes until something happens to bring these folks to their senses....JMHO...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  19. #19
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    I am way sympathetic with your experience and have been decrying the same things for years now. I am probably 20 years your senior, since I have great grans, but let me assure you there are stores out there who have quality cloth. I have no idea where they get their supply, but it is there in a place or two. I found one shop in a remote district of SC one year and you can imagine they charged well for everything they stocked. I think I paid about $25 per yard for what I bought. Colors were bright and clear and designs were outstanding.

    At the same time I saw the quality of cloth changing, I also saw shops going to crafty junk rather than true sewing quality. I wanted Swiss batiste for smocking and dotted Swiss, etc, but all that died when the craft stores took over. Quality was not the order of the day after the good cloth went out.

    Keep searching! Ask neighbors and friends who also sew and one day you will find that special shop.
    GramMER to eighteen, plus two great-granddaughters and four adopted greats soon we hope!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie in WA View Post
    Good reason to shop your stash or watch estate sales! I visit http://www.estatesales.net/ each week and check the listings...if it says sewing stuff or fabrics, I go check it out. The fabrics are never the current modern/contemporary lines, but I have found some amazing buys within my budget!
    Thank you so much for this site. It seems to be a fantastic way of adding to stashes and saving time.

  21. #21
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    Quality fabric is so important when making quilts, I can believe anyone would purchase this poor quality fabric.
    It would seem these stores would loose business by NOT selling this fabric. And either sell better quality or discontinue altogether. LQS fabric maybe higher priced, but can be purchased on sale.
    We spend too much time making a quilt to buy poor quality fabric and have it fall apart when washed.
    You can look at 2 quilts and tell immediately the quality of the fabric used.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieces2 View Post
    Quality fabric is so important when making quilts, I can believe anyone would purchase this poor quality fabric.
    It would seem these stores would loose business by NOT selling this fabric. And either sell better quality or discontinue altogether. LQS fabric maybe higher priced, but can be purchased on sale.
    We spend too much time making a quilt to buy poor quality fabric and have it fall apart when washed.
    You can look at 2 quilts and tell immediately the quality of the fabric used.
    yes you would think...HOWEVER, look who is sewing these days....most of the NEW comers to sewing are the tweens to early 30's and those groups never had a sewing class in their lives! They do not know crepe from cotton....they buy with their eyes, and by NAMES...like Amy Butler, etc. The makers of fabric know this! They specifically target those age groups. You know the NEW mom's making GOOD toys, clothes, etc for the precious babies. Quality of fabric is NOT part of the plan, just being hip and stylish is all they really care about. Same with the newer quilters. Just slap some fabric together, call it a "quilt" and move on to the nursing pillow! Without anyone teaching them to understand fabric quality, how to look for flaws, how to know if it was printed on grain, etc, the fabric makers are sitting back and laughing! They are now selling lower quality goods, often not even worthy of being called a 2nd, and WE keep buying it! The LQS owners are NOT to blame. Boycott or protest with the makers! THough their hands are tied with China now hoarding 90% of the world's cotton inventory!

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    Thanks Julie for that link as just signed up on that mailing list

  24. #24
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    I was at a WM yesterday where they never lost their fabric section, they had fabrics marked down to $1.00-$2.50/yd. They were very nice quality, I bought 40 yards for $69.00.

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    [QUOTE=Divokittysmom;5054859 I am working on a quilt from Darcy Ashtons, 'Bunnies & More' book. I am a certified bunny lover!![/QUOTE]

    I, too am working on the same quilt. It is for ME! My bunnies are hand appliqued and then buttonhole stitched. These bunnies are not going to run away! I have to agree about fabric at the major fabric stores. You have to be so careful. I must say I purchased some cottons at Hancock's recently and quite a few fabrics were wonderful quality. Maybe they have gotten the message.

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