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Thread: Getting a Bad Rap

  1. #1
    Senior Member MissSongbird's Avatar
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    Getting a Bad Rap

    I always hear Joanns and like fabric stores 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.)>>

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    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!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
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    My first quilt was made with fabric from JoAnns! The first time I went to the LQS and said something about using a book to learn how to make a quilt (one of Carol Doak's books) the shop owner said I couldn't learn quilting from a book. So I went to JoAnns found a main fabric I loved and then asked a couple of ladies who were also looking at quilt fabric for help. They were so helpful when they found out it was to be my first quilt. It's still my favorite. Hmmmmm...think I'll change my avatar to it.

  4. #4
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Well said, MissSongbird! The best quilt is the one you've poured your heart into... Personally, I like shopping at JoAnn's, especially now while they have the notions at 50% off!! I picked up a 4" square for squaring up at 50% off yesterday! Yay, JoAnn's!!! :-D
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    For me it's not the quality of the fabric. It's Joann's management's attitude. I know this can be different at different stores but at my local store you see a sale sign and think the fabric under the sign is on sale, but, the bolt has been put in the wrong place and you find out at the register it's not on sale. Also my store makes it almost impossible to use the coupons. I will say that a few weeks ago I was close near the store and stopped by and used my iphone app for a coupon but the clerk asked if I was on the mailing list and eve though I didn't have the 40% coupon she gave me the discount. Maybe the management's attitude has changed.
    I'm on a retirement income so I don't buy much at the LQS so I shop at Beverlys and Hancocks. I use my quilts all the time and they get washed over and over, the "other than LQS" does fine. I do the same as you and go by the feel also.

  6. #6
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    Buy the best quality fabric you can afford wherever you find it. I am glad I have a good stash to work from because affordable fabric is getting harder to find. Bonnie Hunter uses second hand cotton shirt fabrics for a lot of her quilts. She is the sought after quilt teacher from www.quiltville.com. She's not paying attention to the quilt police.

  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have bought alot from Joann's really do not have a bad thing to say.

  8. #8
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    You do what you have to do. I buy the best I can afford. It may be Joanne's and it may even be Walmart. I am sad to say, there is one small LQS in my town, and I haven't even been in it! I do have a healthy stash, which is helpful!

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    When I go to JoAnn's, I am armed to the teeth with coupons. I get them in the mail, email, phone app and grab a flyer on the way in the door. I may not be able to use them all, but you just never know what you will find. I have to drive 35 miles to get to a JoAnn's, so I make it a worthwhile trip I do check for quality in any fabric I buy, whether it is at JoAnn's, LQS, or Walmart. And I have found great fabrics at great prices at all three places. And I have certainly found the opposite as well. If I have to find the once certain fabric that matches perfectly, I go to JoAnn's. If not, then I prefer to shop online at Connecting Threads. I have found that I can't beat the pricing/quality/customer service. Free shipping at $50 (very easy to get to that $50 when the batting is on sale....LOL). Sorry, I ramble......I do shop at JoAnn's, as often as I can. You won't find the quilt police knocking my door down, because I won't allow it. I very politely tell them to get lost.

  10. #10
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    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

  11. #11
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    I agree buy the best you can afford to buy. However, Joann's does have some very poor quality fabric so you have to be careful what you buy. Also, the manager of the Joann's where I shop is a very poor people person. Management can really make a difference.
    Lorraine

  12. #12
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I just do not pay the higher prices at the LQS unless I just cannot find what I want anywhere else. I buy at a fabric outlet that I have seen at Hancock's, Joannes, LQS and the fabrics are usually $3.74 per yard. (When I started quilting 7 years ago his quilting fabric was $2.00 and $2.50.) I also use a lot of fabric from the thrift stores.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    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.

  14. #14
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I buy from Wal-Mart, Joanns (to far away) also Hobby Lobby, Hancock and LQS. I have gotten good deals online also. You have to watch the quality of the fabric and determine if it will work for the project you are doing. I use coupons as much as possible as well as watch sales.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  15. #15
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    Well said, stillclock. Buy what you like and can afford. My DGM was a scrap quilter using cut remnants from the local Judy Bond blouse factory. (Anyone remember that brand??) The quilt on my bed has fabric from a remnant leftover from a homemade top when I was in 7th grade. To me, the memories of the quilter and love put into the quilt are far more important than where the fabric was purchased.

  16. #16
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    I shop at all the stores, lqs, Joanns, Hancocks, Walmarts and stores in Lancaster PA. Not all fabric is created equal, so I just look for what I like and can afford. So you just use whatever fabric you want and don't worry about the opinions of others.

  17. #17
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Well, I wish we had a Joann's. There used to be one here, but it closed. That was before I started quilting. We have Wal-Mart, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby and 3 LQS, so I am not complaining, but I would like to have a Joann's nearby also. I like to have lots of choices when I am looking for fabric...and I am afraid I rarely buy from the LQS. I just can't pay that much for fabric.

    Dina

  18. #18
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    I buy fabric and Joann's too because I can not afford the LQS prices. I made my 1st quilt from LQS fabric and it frayed just as much as anything I've seen at Joann's...I've even had to use to pretty thing material from Joann's because I fell in love with it and I just made sure to quilt it really good and get my seams perfect and I have never had an issue! I love their sales and those quilts are holding up well even after many many washes!
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  19. #19
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I made a number of quilts in the 1990's. I have some displayed on beds in 3 bedrooms which face the front of my house. The only ones that had fading issues were the ones where I used JoAnn fabrics. One has 12 hand embroidered blocks & eventually I will take out all the quilting & reuse the blocks with a different sashing & borders. I think the quaity of fabrics was better in the 90's than it is now. Like everything else, I try to buy the best quality - when it is on sale.

  20. #20
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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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.
    Yes, the illusion of saving. If you actually look at the prices you'll see that JoAnn's fabric is almost as much as a lot of LQS fabrics. Why would you pay just as much for lower quality? There are several discount sellers of top quality fabrics where you'll end up paying less than you would at a JoAnn's. For that matter nearly every LQS eventually puts fabrics on sale and I've bought fabric at several LQS from $1 to $3 a yard.

  21. #21
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally J View Post
    For me it's not the quality of the fabric. It's Joann's management's attitude.
    Ditto here! I recently posted a rant on another thread about their coupon and sale shenanigans. I refuse to shop there because I'm sick and tired of their idiotic games.

  22. #22
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I shop and buy where ever i find fabric I like, is good quality, and can afford. My family can't tell where it came from after the quilt is made. Some of my best quilts have thrift store fabric in them.
    Jeanann

    Theres nothing wrong with me a little chocolate won't fix.

  23. #23
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have made beautiful quilts from JoAnn's fabrics, and they have held up well over time. I don't shop there for fabric anymore -- my tastes have changed -- but I don't regret starting there.

  24. #24
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    I love our JoAnns-the only complaint I have is that we get all these coupons and can't use most of them because everything is on sale-and I try to use them on non-sale items but can't see buying something I already have a lot of just to use the coupon.

  25. #25
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    I am a former manager of a LQS and you are right, there is an attitude of snobbiness. Even as a manager I had to reject some fabrics because they were not to "our stardards".
    I believe that fabrics have a trickle down system. New fabrics that are shown at Quilt Market by vendors are first sold to LQS, overstock is then sold to chains, JoAnns, Warmat etc. That does not mean that the fabrics are inferior they are just a little dated.
    You can get the same battings, muslins, basics at JoAnns that you get at the LQS and at a better price..

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