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Thread: Fabric for One Block Wonders?

  1. #1

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    I understand that it depends on the distance between repeats. Do I take my tape measure to the fabric store, unwind the fabric off the bolt and measure? (I can already see the dirty looks from store employees). And if I need to do this then how do I purchase fabric on line??

  2. #2
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    I have seen, at some on-line fabric shops, where they tell you the distance between repeats.
    If not, I'd call them and ask... Most have a number listed, the ones I've all talked to have been very nice and very helpful.

  3. #3
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    I have never had anyone give me dirty looks when I unwrapped a bolt to measure. I even will open a pattern to see how difficult it is. I went to a seminar once and a national famous teacher told us that if the shop gives you a hard time, find another. Love the quilt shops I visit.

  4. #4
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    Good idea.

  5. #5
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    Sorry, I meant to say that asking the store what the repeat is would help. I am sure most shops get this request now that so many are making items with a repeat in them.

  6. #6
    k3n
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    I'd agree with others that any fabric store that won't let you measure doesn't deserve your custom. :shock:

    Another tip is to take two small mirrors with you. If you hold them at various spots over the fabric like an open book, it'll give you an idea of the kaleidos you'll get.

    Online, some sites tell you the length of repeat or at least give an image with a tape measure alongside so you can judge. In the past, whenever I've emailed a supplier to ask, they've always replied. Here's some links, happy shopping! :D

    http://www.jandofabrics.com

    http://www.virginiaquilter.com

    http://www.canadianquiltshop.com/by-...c-4_6_205.html

    http://www.equilter.com/

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctquilter
    I understand that it depends on the distance between repeats. Do I take my tape measure to the fabric store, unwind the fabric off the bolt and measure? (I can already see the dirty looks from store employees). And if I need to do this then how do I purchase fabric on line??
    I can't even imagine shopping in a quilt shop that wouldn't be happy to measure the repeats for you! For that matter all the shops I shop in probably already know which fabrics make great OBW and already know the repeats.

  8. #8
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    Every shop that I have been I can just take it to their cutting table and measure away,

    I know the books suggest a min size repeat, but depending on the size of block that you are doing, you can use almost anything, it is more of the print that I look at, of course most people don't have my tendencies, (I tend to get carried away and cut them small, which is a habit that I am hoping to break in the near future) My smallest was strips cut at 1 3/4" I did do a bigger one or two as well.

  9. #9
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I have taken fabric to the table to look at it better, no problem. If someone would object, I would consider not shopping there again. I cannot believe a fabric store would encourage you to buy a pig in a poke! I LOVE seeing , feeling and buying fabric! My shops do everything they can to encourage my passion!

  10. #10
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I forgot to say that you have to open it up anyway to see how big the repeat is across the width. Some are bigger or smaller, or offset like the one Gai was using in hers.

  11. #11

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    thanks everyone, I appreciate all the good advice!

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I guess I never thought about that... I just grabbed bolts and unfolded them on the cutting tables that weren't used or anywhere else in the store so that I could see the repeats... So far no one has objected :wink: 8)

  13. #13
    Senior Member judithb's Avatar
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    My favorite quilt shop staff has even suggested that I take the bolt out of the store for natural light to make sure the colors are what I need to match. Quilt shops should be a fun place to visit (Especially as much $$$ as we spend.) If the staff isn't pleasant and helpful, the shop probably won't last.

  14. #14
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Finding the repeat is quite simple. Look along the selvage edge to see an easily identifiable section of the print. then look down the length of the fabric until you see that same section - that's your repeat length. If you're making hexagons - you need 6 repeats or if octagons - then you need 8 repeats. I always buy more so have enough for whole border sections. I don't usually know when I buy the fabric if I'll use the original fabric for the border, but I buy it then, to make sure I have it if I need it. Also buying a hinged mirror (mine is made by Collins), is very helpful to decide if a fabric you're considering would be a good choice or not, to make kaleidoscopes. If ordering online and they don't tell you the repeat length, send an e mail to ask, or include that you need 6 repeats or whatever , when you place the order. I've done that and they sent me an email back that there wasn't enough to send me 6 repeats. In one of the books for OBW, they mention to not use a fabric that has more than 6 colors, because they don't work well. Wrong, I used a fabric that had more than 14 colors and it's wonderful. The print is the main thing to look for and preferably make sure the background is not a solid color, or if it is, there shouldn't be very much in comparison with the printed area. The background should have swirls of color or the fabric shouldn't have a background, in other words it should be all print. None of the fabric stores I shop in, complain when you ask to unroll a bolt to see the repeat length. If they did, I wouldn't go there again.

  15. #15
    Senior Member calicocat's Avatar
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    The best fabric to use is one with lots and lots of motion and several colors. 12 to 24 in repeats are the most bang for the buck... you will get a bigger quilt out of a 24 inch repeat.

    If you are shopping on line and can't tell the repeat size send and email most companies will get back to you on the repeat size.

    Hancock-paducah and equilter.com have done this for me on several occassions.

    You can also go to a home improvement store and get two piecse of glass cut and use duct tape to put them together to make the "special mirror" that is sold to tell if the fabric will work well.

    Good luck they are very beatiful quilts when done.

  16. #16
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    When I go to my LQS the clerks happily help me choose a fabric. Many of them have made this type of block and they know what to look for in pattern, color, etc.

    You won't get help like that at chain stores such as Joann's, Walmart, etc.

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