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Thread: Have you heard that JoAnn's fabric is poorer quality?

  1. #26
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    Smile

    I guess it is really true - you get what you pay for.
    janb

  2. #27
    Senior Member smcfadden's Avatar
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    The JoAnn's I shop at has Kona solids and I have found Alexander Henry and other "brand" fabric names. I also use a lot of non=traditional fabrics like denim, upholstery fabrics, and other things as backing and sometimes in the design of the quilt. I'm not a quilt snob and with fabric at my LQS up to $12-14/yd., I can't afford to be. I find it really ironic that when our mothers, grandmothers, etc., made quilts out of their old clothes, not out of top-quality premium all cotton weaves, and we worry so much about if our fabric is good enough. Their quilts are still around, so what does that tell us?

  3. #28
    Super Member Sheila_H's Avatar
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    I have found some very nice fabric's at the new Jo-Ann's close to my place I have no problem spending $8-9 a yard there versus paying my LQS $16 a yard. I agree that like anything else you need to take the time to feel the fabric and check it out, if it feels good then I will buy it. I can't afford to spend $140 and up to buy top of the line boutique fabrics to make quilts. I'm not making these to make a living out of it, I'd just like to have nice things to give to my family members.

  4. #29
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmm, touchy subject. It's everyone to what they can afford and preference. I too am on a fixed income and have health problems, so I buy according to what I can afford. I always look for sales and almost always only buy when a good sale comes along. I have been to some LQS and drool over some of the fabrics, but unfortunatley, not in my price range. We all quilt for the love of seeing something beautiful come alive. We are all sisters in that respect. IMHO, do with what you afford.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  5. #30
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    yes - but I have to increase my reply to the required 10 digits...
    Look at a typical Joanne fat quarter and compare to LQS fabric.
    1. Hold both fabrics up to light.
    2. Close eyes and feel both fabrics.
    3. Cut both compare for fraying.
    4. Machine sew three strips of each as if doing a 1/4" test and see which fabric after ironing gives solid 1/4".

    I don't know what those differences mean in the quality and longevity of a quilt, as I am a beginner, but there are obvious visible differences in fabric, wherever it comes from.
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  6. #31
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Does it really matter where you buy your fabric? If you like LQS fabric, then buy it. If you like the quality of fabrics offered at Walmart, Joann's, Hancock's etc. buy it there. I don't think there is any reason to pass judgement on anyone just because they don't have a LQS near or can't afford LQS fabric. Likewise, there is no reason to judge anyone who only purchases LQS fabric. Every quilter makes the choice of where they buy their fabrics, whatever the reason. There are pros and cons to both locations. This topic has been run into the ground. It is time to give it a rest.
    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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  7. #32
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    I have made many quilts with fabric from walmart, joanns and even fabric that I have purchased at goodwill. Many of my baby quilts have been washed over 50 times, my grandkids drag them everywhere, none of them have ever fallen apart. That said I really beleive in supporting lqs if at all possible. Each of us have to make our own decision on where to purchase fabric and the amount we are willing to spend.

  8. #33
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    I have some "cutter" quilts and other old quilts that were made from various fabrics .... hard to tell where fabric came from except the flour sack quilts. Many have been used and well-loved, others have been folded and left to sit on a shelf but all are frayed in at least one place. Each is precious to me because somebody took the time to make it. Each will live on as something else - a teddy bear, a mug rug, a table runner, or something so it can be loved one more time. Where the fabric was purchased doesn't seem to count now.

  9. #34
    Member bvillequilter's Avatar
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    You do have to be careful with JoAnn fabrics. Their quilters line, which is priced as high or higher than quilt shops, is good quality. The rest stay away from. However, sometimes I was lucky to find Kaufman fabrics in the clearance section. So it is a treasure hunt. Walmart is crap for quilting fabrics. But I have also been lucky finding goodies in the special priced fabrics. I found linen fabric for a $1 a yard. The best place to buy fabric is Hobby Lobby. The 100% cotton fabrics are first quality fabrics. They offer two types - traditional calicos and also contemporary designed fabrics. The prices are fantastic and the quality is just as good, and sometimes better (depending on the quilt shop) as found in local quilt shops. The downside is they only offer new and different fabrics a little at a time so I stop in once a month and have a little spree.
    "I'm singing in the rain!......"

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  10. #35
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    so many thoughts flew thru my head when I read the initial post.........LQS always being better than box store fabric is not true. I have purchased fabric from a LQS that was "not the best" and the price was high........As so many have said - you have to shop around, feel the fabric, look at the weave and make decisions. I have purchased fab from Walmart, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn and Hancock, as well as local LQS, which by the way, just closed its doors this last week-"economy".
    I myself do not make quilts to last 100 yrs. I make them as my therapy and enjoyment, give them to whomever in family wants/needs one and on with another project. I personally think not too many of our "today" bed quilts will last as long as the antique ones we see and love, mainly because we wash things more often nowadays and our soaps, softeners, and water are so chemical infused it destroys the fiber much faster than years ago.. now that is just my personal observation...nothing that I can prove.
    So having said this, I think I will go shopping today and see what I can find............have any of you bought wool clothes at local Goodwill type stores and made penny rugs from it. I saw one at a recent craft show that I would like to try.....something different to try.

  11. #36
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    I also go to the $1.99 Fabric Store and have found lots of beautiful high quality fabric. You need to feel the texture and see how smooth it is. We always buy more that we intend but you can't beat the price and the helpful staff there. Everyone has a different budget so spend accordingly. Joanne

  12. #37
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    Yes, there is a difference.

  13. #38
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    Joann's has different levels of quality in their fabrics and the prices reflect that. I do buy fabric there and only got skunked a couple of times. One on a red that bleeds and bleeds (This is why I always prewash) and another the fabric felt great before I washed it but it had so much sizing in it that after washing it was too thin to use.
    As always.....consider the project and its uses.

  14. #39
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    Sad news, Jo-Ann's will not be carrying the Debbie Mumm brand.
    To quilt or not to quilt...now what was the question?

  15. #40
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gayle8675309 View Post
    I was taught by a few quilting friends to never buy fabric from JoAnn's or WalMart for quilting. They say that JoAnn's and WalMart buy "second and third runs" from the manufacturers, therefore the cotton is of poorer quality...lower thread count and less printing quality.

    So I've never purchased fabric from anywhere but quilt shops. But I see that a lot of you purchase fabric at the discount stores.

    Have you ever noticed a difference between quilt store fabric and discount store fabric? Thanks.
    I don't know about all of this, but I can say that when I first started "quilting" (whole cloth on both sides, batting -- put together by the birthing method, and tied with 4-ply acrylic yarn) I used fabrics mostly from WalMart or the sale rack at Hancock. Some of those quilts are as old as 20 years old. And ALL of them are still going strong --some are faded, but still holding on. I see them when I visit our kids, grandkids, and great grands. Maybe things have changed. One thing I do is pick up the fabric and check out the "quality" -- can I see through it, etc. If it's flimsy or wrinkles too much when I grab a handful and squeeze it, I don't buy it.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  16. #41
    Super Member quiltymom's Avatar
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    I worked at JoAnns for several years never heard that they sold seconds!!!!!!
    You know if your a quilter when you cleanup your sewing room and your family thinks your moving out!! Author U/K Sue

  17. #42
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    From a person (me) who buys what feels good to my fingers.... I go to Joanns seldom... Can't afford a lot of their material, I go to thrift shops, friends, neighbors give me their used cotton clothing. I use what I have! One member said, as long as its quilted with love thats one of the important things. I wouldn't use fabric that was/is too thin, and give all fabrics the "pull test". I pull hard, both ways..horiz and vert. If it shreds or stretches ... i don't use it. Thats just my two cents. I haven't been disappointed in Walmart or Joanns because I am very careful what I buy.

  18. #43
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    Any time I want fabric that it super quality, I buy from Joanns. True they have less expensive fabric that I wouldn't buyh for quilting, thread count too small but nobody is twisting my arm to buy it. As far as WalMart is concerned, when I buy from them, I am very careful, as they mix on their shelves, the good, better and best. I determine what is best with the finger test which removed a portion of the sizing so the # of threads can be counted. Never rely on a piece of fabric at WalMart to be the best. Always test. I love WalMart fabric, all thread counts, after all--all thread quilts have their function.
    [url]http://quiltingtoday.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-i-did-today.html[url]

  19. #44
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I've gotten junk from LQS and great fabrics from both Joann and Walmart. You need to look and feel and decide for yourself. Funny thing ~ I purchased some lovely bird panels from Walmart for $2.98 each. Saw the SAME ones at the LQS for $12.
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  20. #45
    Junior Member QuilterChick's Avatar
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    There are plenty of great discount brand name fabric stores online that give great service. JoAnn;s and Hobby Lobby, Hancocks etc. are disappointing in the past few years; adding lesser quality fabrics. Most of us are not quilt snobs on here, we just want good value for our hard earned money. Just as I won't knit with yarn that is of poor quality I won't spend the time and effort to buy cheesy fabrics. You have to train your hands and eyes to tell the difference, it's not difficult to compare and learn the various fabric brands that are reliable. I try not to pay full price for anything; use coupons, watch the sales, shop online sales, free shipping etc. Don't we do this with most everything we buy in this economy? It has always cracked me up when some gals I know sew on a $9,000 machine, and buy $2.00/yd. fabric, and thread from the dollar bin.

    I also like to support my local quilt shop whenever possible, a sale, classes, notions etc. If we don't, pretty soon they won't be around at all. If you belong to a quilt guild, usually the local fabric shops give you a nice discount. It is very sad that many are closing.
    Last edited by QuilterChick; 12-09-2011 at 05:47 AM.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    A lot of us, who live in places like El Paso, Texas, have no other choice! We have Walmart, Joannes and Hobby Lobby, there ARE NO QUILT SHOPS. We can travel to Las Cruces NM but even there, a major quilt shop just went out of business. I purchase online many times and stay with good brands, such and Moda but then you are stuck with shipping as well. If you have quilt shops you can frequent, count yourself very fortunate indeed.
    Michelle
    Michelle Guadarrama

  22. #47
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    If fabric was a lesser cut of a brand name fabric, as alleged in the beginning post, the bolt end would still say the brand name, ie Moda, Northcott, Quilting Treasures, etc. So I don't believe they are selling even lesser cuts of those brand name fabrics. That being said, I shop at both places (and I WORK at a LQS) depending on what I want. Quilting is ALWAYS personal, we are making personal art, after all, and your personal choice of fabric is what is important. Unless you buy a kit, with fabric already picked out for you, the sky's the limit on your choice of fabric, color and design. Enjoy the art - enjoy creating, it's all good.

  23. #48
    Super Member pamesue's Avatar
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    I buy what I like, what I want and what I can afford...and the people I give my quilts to love them...
    Pam H.

    "Those that mind, don't matter and those that matter don't mind" ~ Dr. Seuss

  24. #49
    Junior Member maryp's Avatar
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    u just half to feel of the fabric and be your own judge
    share a smile everyday. it might make someones day.smile

  25. #50
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    I do not quilt, but I read this board all of the time as I would love to quilt...someday. My grandmother was a quilter, both piecing and hand quilting for other people. She started on quilts for her grandchildren, but mine was the only one she got completely done before she passed. She did get blocks made for quilts for all. She has been gone for 50 years but how I love to look at my quilt and pick out fabrics that I remember wearing or remember family members wearing. I am old enough to have had dresses made out of printed feed sacks (probably most of you have no idea what that is). I purchased at auction the blocks made for two of my cousins' quilts as they didn't want them. The blocks are hand pieced, irregular, and all types of material, but I could not see letting these get out of the family. I hope before I die to get these into quilt tops somehow. I have three daughters and that would be a quilt for each that their great grandmother had pieced. Sorry to ramble. I marvel at the beautiful quilts on this board, made with the beautifully coordinated fabrics and patterns and yearn to have the desire to do this...but, oh how I love the old quilts made with whatever fabric was available, even the good parts of used clothing. It connects me to my past as I touch the fabric and tell my grandchildren about my dresses that were made from it.

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