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Thread: Getting a Bad Rap

  1. #26
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    I agree with you, and have always felt that way. I have found some of the fabrics that I see in Walmart or Joanns in the LQS. In general, what you said about the 'feel' of the fabric is the best indicator of the quality of the fabric.

    In any event, I think the maxim with regard to buying fabric should be: "Buy the best you can afford." If I can only afford sale fabric, Walmart fabric or Joann fabric, so be it.

  2. #27
    Junior Member marsharini's Avatar
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    I'm new to quilting, so I don't know what "good" or "bad fabric is. I just bought some fabric @ Joann's and they had a 30% off sale, then I had a coupon for 25% off and I got to use that on everything I purchased, including what was on sale. I've already made a small quilt top with the fabric and it seemed OK. Can someone tell me the difference between good and bad fabric? Thanks.

    ~Marsha

    Edit: I found the "spinoff" thread - I'll follow that.
    Last edited by marsharini; 01-15-2013 at 11:57 AM.

  3. #28
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    Fabric quality is relative. Considering that some of Gee's Bend Quilts have been made with recycled clothing and donated corduroy fabric, yet appreciated enough to be displayed in museums and national exhibitions should put some perspective on the subject of quality vs appeal. Snobbery has no positive effect on artistry.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    Some of the worst fabric I ever bought came from LQS and was a well-known name brand. I just buy what I like and if it feels good. I don't allow the quilt police, I do not quilt to please them, I quilt to please me!
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  5. #30
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamae View Post
    Fabric quality is relative. Considering that some of Gee's Bend Quilts have been made with recycled clothing and donated corduroy fabric, yet appreciated enough to be displayed in museums and national exhibitions should put some perspective on the subject of quality vs appeal. Snobbery has no positive effect on artistry.
    Well said adamae. Our ancestors quilted to stay warm and when my mom was a kid they used scraps of clothing and feed sacks and whatever they had available and they made beautiful quilts.
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  6. #31
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I've gotten great stuff at JoAnn's and what turned out to be not-so-great stuff at an LQS. The self appointed 'quilt police' are everywhere. Be polite, smile, but then just ignore them!
    What she said!
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  7. #32
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    Miss song Bird your post was so true and to the point

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I have issues with Jo'Anns and the coupon use. They use them to draw in the customers.. but then "game" the use, by putting items on sale , so coupons can not be used. They also seem to inflate prices , so when a sale happens , you are paying normal pricing , but feel like you got a deal... They have wired our brains to look at the "what you saved" in big bold print... rather than what you spent. This is to create the feel good impression.. when in reality the "deal" or savings was not all that wonderful.
    I wish they would price more reasonably and forget all the coupon/discount gimicks.
    Hobby Lobby has done this for years before Joanns jumped on the same bandwagon. Their fabric is always on sale ecxept for their seasonal.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  9. #34
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I love Joanns. I especially enjoy using their coupons as often as possible. A lot of their fabrics are excellent quality. Some are not. But I know the difference so it's not a big stumbling block for me.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  10. #35
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    I shop at Joanns and Hancocks quite frequently and have gotten into the habit of asking the "cutter" before they cut what the price of that fabric will be. Too many times, I thought something was on sale and it looked like it was on sale but then when I checked out it wasn't the price I thought it was going to be. Just a week ago at Hancocks they were getting ready to cut my fabric when I asked about the price. They told me it was $$$ (the regular price)so I asked the clerk to come and look at where I found the fabric and then to look at the price. I was right, it was on sale. Also, if you buy from Walmart be sure to stand there and watch them cut it. Our Walmart has teenagers who have no idea what they are doing and you end up with either more than a yard or less than a yard.

  11. #36
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I buy fabrics from several stores and several online. I buy what I like and that is all I go by. One can usually tell how good the fabric is by the feel of it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #37
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    I cant vouch for the quality of fabrics at any store but as far as the coupon thing goes all stores do this to an extent it's not just Joannes.

  13. #38
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Maybe you are just to young to have any memory of what JoAnn's used to be like. I was a great supporter of the store for years and spent a lot of my pay checks there. It isn't a matter of quality, It's assortment. They have moved to having more fabric bundles and pre packaged fabric and less yardage. The last time I was there I found three shades of yellow and no orange. Whats up with that?

    I'm old enought to know that as time changes, blah, blah, blah...... Sometimes things don't change for the better but for the dollar.
    peace

    EDIT: @ Stillclock: You couldn't have said it better!
    Last edited by ube quilting; 01-15-2013 at 02:55 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  14. #39
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    I buy the best quality for less buck... Me personally, wont spend $14/yard ever... Ill visit the clearance, end of bolt or remnant bins instead.. I know for one my friends and family wont care that the quilt i gave them had last seasons fabric anyway.. They will love the quilt for the love I put in it makin it..

  15. #40
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    To each his own. I think you should be able to purchase fabric anywhere you want, with out having someone look down their nose at you. Whether it be JoAnn's or at your LQS. I shop at JoAnn's for, batting, notions, floss and dress making fabric for my Granddaughters, I do however prefer to buy my quilting fabric at Quilt Shops, usually at sale prices. Im just like everybody else, Im not the police. I just know what I like.

  16. #41
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    I agree with ube that the selection for a store that is supposed to specialize in fabrics is really sad. At my local JoAnns, the aisles are narrow and cluttered and more than half the store is devoted to home decor and crafts rather than fabric. Honestly, I don't know how they pass the fire department's yearly inspection!

    I usually cannot find what I want, but JoAnns and Hobby Lobby are the only game in my hometown. The nearest LQS is not so far away (15 miles), but it would be the only reason for me to travel that direction.
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillclock View Post
    one thing i am consistently surprised by in the quilting community is the extent to which the history of quilting seems to be disregarded.

    this was a utility skill and historical quilts were, by and large made out of fabrics that had served other uses. even the much coveted crazy quilts were made of scraps of luxurious fabrics, not whole bolt cuts.

    and now because we live in such a wealthy culture, quilting - like so many other things - has a cultural commodity fetishism associated with it. my question is always why we feel some kind of shame or insufficiency for not being able to afford the very best, most expensive of everything. and further to that, why is acquiring the best and most expensive of everything the thing that seems to motivate us to do so many of the things we do?

    there is satisfaction in making do with what we have, in taking pride in what we make and knowing that we have lived within our means. and if we have less than magnificent means, we should not feel shame nor poverty of spirit.

    if your identity is tied up in what you have, what space have you left in your being for who you are and what you do?

    aileen
    You said it sister!!! This isn't just a quilting thing, it is a society in general thing. People get so caught up in having all the fancy names and lose sight of what is really important. One of my friends lives in a small house in an older neighborhood. She redid her basement, spending upwards of $40,000. She tried to sell her house a few years ago and was upset that it was valued at the same exact price that she paid for it! She out priced herself for the neighborhood she lives in. This is also the person who can only drive a high end luxury car. Her car payment is twice what her house payment is and lives paycheck to paycheck!!! Life is so much easier if we buy what we can afford and find happiness in what we have, not what we want. A quilt is a labor of love, a craft, an art; it doesn't matter where the fabric comes from. A quilt made from chain store fabric is no less of a quilt than a quilt that is made solely from LQS fabric.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  18. #43
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    Don't know if Cloth World was a national chain - but Joanne bought it. Now you have people working there ---
    I felt like making a Chambray shirt. The clerk had no idea what chambray was. Batiste, either. The last time I asked about washaway thread - no one had ever heard of the stuff, not even any of the customers.

    The big trouble with Joanne, the local Hancock, is the fast turnaround for what designers hope will sell. If something like chartreuse and hot pink are supposed to be new- most of the fabric will match or go with those colors. Hobby Lobby doesn't seem to turn around as fast, and a local quilt shop will keep the older colors that still sell well on the shelves.
    Looking at the local Hancock, the colors are not very good right now. Joann is a tad better.

  19. #44
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    I guess I am one of the few who doesn't shop at Joann's (don't have one anywhere around me) and refuse to walk into Walmart altogether (I believe everything they sell is inferior and doesn't last long - bought a flatscreen TV and it quit working in one year) so when I do shop, which I am doing seldom, I shop at my LQS. She is going down fast because of online shops and people shopping at Walmart and Joann's and she has such outstanding customer service. I take my quilts to her so she can send them to the LAer and I always buy something from her, just anything, to try to help keep her shop open. She blocks my quilts when they come back from the LAer. She has 4 LAers she uses and she and I discuss which one to use for each quilt. She is invaluable to me. I bought a layer cake from her and she cut it into 5" squares while I waited - for free - because she wanted to help me. I call her with a problem and she'll stay on the phone for an hour trying to help me figure it out. I bring in my quilts in progress for help, even though I bought the fabric at another quilt shop, and she'll help me. She sold me a 22"x70" mat when they were on a ridiculous sale for stores only to me for cost. She bound 6 of my quilts for next to nothing and did a fabulous job. I gave her a $25 gift card to her favorite coffee shop and she came from around the counter and gave me a big hug. I missed a class that I paid for so she said to pick any class I wanted and she would set me up in the room next to her and she would teach me all day while she worked. I love my LQS. I will go no place else. I quit going to the other LQS out of loyalty. I try not to buy online anymore. I want her to stay in business. She sells high quality fabric, which I love. She gives away great customer service you can't get at Walmart or Joann's.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  20. #45
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    I buy 98% of my fabs at joanns. I am not a fabric or thread snob. Keep in mind, our ancestors made beautiful quilts out of feedsacks. And people now are dying to get their hands on feedsacks.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    "She is going down fast because of online shops"
    "she cut it into 5" squares for free"
    "she'll stay on the phone for an hour trying to help me"
    "She sold me a 22"x70" mat to me for cost"
    "She bound 6 of my quilts for next to nothing"
    I'm glad she's helpful and sweet, but it sounds to me like there might be reasons other than just the online shops for her business to be going downhill.

  22. #47
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    You know some people only wear designer clothes and carry a purse that cost big $$$. We all have to choose.Personally, I shop on line, at Joanns , even at WalMart. We don't have an LQS in Miami, I have to drive an hour north and really I just don't think its worth the gas! I just ignore the quilt police and sew for pleasure.

    Quote Originally Posted by MissSongbird View Post
    I always hear Joanns and like fabric stanores always getting a bad rap from, primarily, quilters. Why is it so?

    I understand that Joanns, and such, does not always have the best quality fabric, compared to LQS, but I donít think it is as bad as people make it out to be. Iíve heard several quilters say ďreal quiltersĒ donít shop at Joanns (and most of us know that is ridiculous!).

    I donít have much of a choice when buying my fabric. As some of you know, Iím a college student and money is always tight. I love the fabric at my LQS, but unless I really, REALLY want it, I wonít buy it, because I canít afford it. And the thing is when I shop at Joanns I always make sure to get the nicer quality fabric. If a fabric doesnít feel right, I wonít buy it.

    (Plus I donít think the best quilts have to be made out of the best fabric out there. The only time quality of fabric should be judged relatively harsh is when it is entered in a quilt show Ė and even then sometimes it isnít the most important aspect of the quilt.)>>
    Patski
    always learning

  23. #48
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Many of my issues with Joann's has to do with their coupons and pricing. 5 of the last 6 times my receipt is wrong. As much as $16. You have to watch them like a hawk at our local store. I am not the only one. The woman ahead of me the last time was screaming about it in two different languages. It amounts to the computer doesnt jive with ads and the signs. Signs are in the wrong place or the sign is there but it "really" isnt on sale or it is on sale and the sign is over some place else so you can't use the coupon. They have so many "ads" in one flyer I think they have no clue what is on sale from one hour to the next.

    I buy notions, thread, interfacing, fleece, etc there by the gobs, usually at 55% off. As a rule, if I am crafting or making something seasonal, I buy at Joann's. If I am quilting I buy my fabric at the LQS or at Hancock's of Paducah or Connecting Threads, etc. I find many of Joann's fabric selections just do not hold up to wear or the colors are not right, even if the price seems to be.

  24. #49
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    As I've said before, one of the things that really got me into quilting is the wonderful quilt shop one mile from my house in our little country town. The owner is a passionate person, and most of her employees spend every minute they can helping you if you need it. If you want to just wander around, as I often do, petting the fabric, that's ok too. They have good quality stuff and I buy what I need when I need it, or want it. I've taken classes and brought in works in progress for advice on how to quilt it, back it, or improve it. There are three other good shops 10-15 miles away, each one different and each wonderful. They have occasional sales and helpful employees. I want them all to stay in business, but I also need to save my retirement bucks. I shop there carefully and am delighted when daughters give me lqs gift cards for holiday gifts. I do buy batting and notions at the box stores or an independent discount fabric store near here when I can. One big difference now is that we consider quilts not as necessities made out of scraps, but as art, made out of the best materials we can afford. Everyone does the best they can, and what feels right to them. It's too bad people set up ways to compete or scorn one another. I love sharing ideas and reading what works for others. Lighten up, quilt police! We're all in it for the fun!!
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  25. #50
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    We only have Wal Mart. There is a LQS about 25 miles away but their prices start out at about 12. a yard. My dh and I live on SS alone so I cannot afford those prices. I buy lots of fabric at Goodwill. They have bundles of fabric starting at 2.99, also I buy at garage sales. I also have remnants from sewing factories where I once worked. The closest Joanns for me is about 60 miles also Hancocks and Hobby Lobby. They are at Tyler, or Dallas and we don't do either one unless it's a necessary trip like a dr.s appt.

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