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Thread: How much fabric do you buy?

  1. #1
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    How much fabric do you buy?

    At age 69 I am a fairly new quilter and have been lurking on this board for a while. Thank all of you for your helpful hints, suggestions, and ideas that I have learned so far. I have been making Quilts for Kids, table runners, and that sort of thing and know how much fabric to buy when I have a pattern. My question when you see fabric that is "telling you to take it home" but you don't have any specific project in mind, how much do you buy? I would like to make some larger quilts for family members, but if I don't have a pattern I have no idea how much to purchase. Being on a limited income, I can't buy "just because" but would like to build up a stash for future projects. I think I caught the "quilting bug" from this board but hopefully it isn't the 24-hour variety and they aren't working on a cure for it.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i buy 3 yards if it's calling my name.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  3. #3
    Senior Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    When I discovered the discount online shops with quilt shop quality---I started buying for stash. I often bought 2-3 yards. Fabric.com has a $3.99 a yard sale a couple of times a year with free shipping on $35 or more. That is when I bought.

    ALSO--Thousands Of Bolts and a few times Connecting Threads on the clearance fabrics. Once and awhile I would buy more if it was patriotic as I make lots of quilts for Quilts Of Valor. I once bought 10 yards of a small flag fabric and still have about half left.

    You might want to consider a budget per month you can spend on fabric. Then you would know exactly what you can or cannot buy.

  4. #4
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    My go-to quilt when I need to make one in a hurry is "I Just Can't Cut It."
    For a large twin it requires 4 1/2" yards - so if it's a fabric appropriate to the pattern (shows 12" squares) I buy 5 or 6 yards.

    Otherwise, if nothing in mind I buy, I'm likely to buy 3 or 4 yards.
    I almost never buy FQs

    On-line, I very rarely buy fabric that's not on sale.
    Check our http://www.hancocks-paducah.com always has fabric on sale starting at $3.98/yard.

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Fabric that calls my name I also by 4 to 5 yards. This would be an ample amount for a bed size quilt, with enough to incorporate some in the border. For stash building, I rarely buy less than 2 yards. A blender or neutral that I know would go with lots of different things, 5 yards, more if it is a good sale.

  6. #6
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    How much I bought was largely dependent on how much it cost.

    Three yards is sort of a 'minimum' if I'm thinking it would be a good border type fabric.

  7. #7
    Super Member Thumbelina's Avatar
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    I buy no less than 1yd, but more often 2 or 3yds. Welcome from NE Ohio.

  8. #8
    Super Member Crafty1's Avatar
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    For me, if the price is right then I would buy 2+ yards. If the fabric is really screaming for me to buy then 5+ yards. Then there are those great finds online (just bought 9 yards black with white spider webs for Halloween for $9.00!!!!) hehehe! Stay in budget and have a fun time shopping!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scraps's Avatar
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    I personally do not buy for stash. I get enough leftovers and scraps for that. It is more fun for me to shop different LQS's for the new lines and I love the coordinated fabrics. This past year I tried to do pattern idea first, but I have bought just because I can't leave it in the store!! However you do it - just have fun with it!!

  10. #10
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    way too much-if I like it.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  11. #11
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    From what I have gathered, 3 yards is always a safe bet.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  12. #12
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    ONE yard if I like it..
    THREE (to five)yards if i love it.....
    and the WHOLE BOLT if i cant live without it..


    Ive got waaaaaaaaay to many bolts around here..

  13. #13
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I read an article that said to buy 1 1/4 yards that way you can more easily use the fabric in either direction because you are buying a square. This has worked well for me.
    If I like it, I buy 1 1/4 yards
    If I love it, I buy 3 yards
    If I want to marry it, I buy whatever's on the bolt.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  14. #14
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Since I'm always watching my pennies, now that I've retired, I sometimes only buy a half yard each of a coordinated group just to have it. Larger amounts I usually only buy if I know what I'm going to do with it. All of what people are saying is good advice, though. I buy at a good shop mostly, since my favorite one is only a mile and a half from my house, so I can go in and browse and check out the sale tables whenever I want. There are three other good shops within ten miles, so I'm really spoiled that way. I don't feel compelled to stock up a lot. One thing I've found is that fabric I bought more than five years ago sometimes does go "out of fashion", so you hesitate to use it for an important project. Also, my taste changes over time. One LQS sells a big bag of "scraps" for maybe $10 or $15 and I've found they often have more than one yard pieces included with a bunch of 2.5" strips, or cut charms, and lots more. Value way more than the cost. The surprise element made me try new things when bought one of them. Since you are mtgirl - are you near Kalispell MT? There is a nice shop there - Quilt Gallery, and another in Missoula, I hear. As for online, I don't do that much, because I like to feel the fabric and know exactly what I'm getting. Have done it if I know a certain line. Rarely get something cheap from WalMart or JoAnn's, usually just to test a new technique, or for a workshop where I don't know what the result will be. And since I really want my LQSs to succeed, and they give me lots of personal support, I use them whenever I can.
    "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.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I make alot of quilts that I like to use about 20 colors so for me 1 yard to 1/2 yards suits this purpose. But for a large scale print that screams border .. its 3 yards. If its just destined to be a great go to fabric for background say a white on white or cream on cream ... and it at a great price ... I go for at least 6- 7 yards , maybe the whole bolt ( if at a can't be beat price). For my style you can never have enough white on white or cream on cream on hand for me that like not having flour or sugar on hand.
    So much depends on the styles of quilts that are your preference.

  16. #16
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    I buy lots of fat quarters for stash, I rarely make traditional quilts. Solids, I buy at least a yard, if not one or two more. I don't have a huge stash right now; I look at everyone else's on here and I assume at first they have their own fabric shop. ; ) I trade with friends on occasion, and I buy from everywhere- Jo Ann's, rarely WM (who has had great stuff lately) and my local and semi local quilt shops. All places mentioned have wonderful, encouraging employees when I've visited.
    I like what you said about having white on hand, Lori, I feel the same way!

    Welcome, this is a great group of ladies. I read frequently.

  17. #17
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    Actually, I live in Georgia, but am a medical transcriptionist in my "real life" and that explains the MT.

  18. #18
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolph33 View Post
    way too much-if I like it.

    LOL Wolph, I have to agree but I usually buy at least 2 yds if it's something I am really taken with! The reason for that is too often one runs out and needs more and it's gone!

  19. #19
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Lately, a yard less than I need!

  20. #20
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    I usually buy at least 2 yds. If it's on sale and I love it, I will sometimes buy 4 yds. I'm ashamed to say I have way toooooooo much in my stash but can't seem to part with any of it. I might just need that one fabric to go with something!!! LOL. I, too, am an "older" person on a fixed income to only buy on sale. I like fabric.com, thousandsofbolts and connecting threads also as they have some good bargains. Happy Quilting !!
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  21. #21
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    I mostly buy fabric from Craigslist or garage sale and have waaay too much!

  22. #22
    Super Member Sienna's GiGi's Avatar
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    I buy at least 2-3 yards. I brought two yards today at $12 a yard. Never again.
    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

  23. #23
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I make alot of quilts that I like to use about 20 colors so for me 1 yard to 1/2 yards suits this purpose. But for a large scale print that screams border .. its 3 yards. If its just destined to be a great go to fabric for background say a white on white or cream on cream ... and it at a great price ... I go for at least 6- 7 yards , maybe the whole bolt ( if at a can't be beat price). For my style you can never have enough white on white or cream on cream on hand for me that like not having flour or sugar on hand.
    So much depends on the styles of quilts that are your preference.
    I also prefer many fabrics in a quilt. I gravitate towards inticate designs (mariner's compass is one of my favorites). I usually piece my backs also. For the backs I often use a Bricks pattern or a Burgoyne Surround that has dozens of different "reds" or "blues", etc.. I am trying to not re-use the same fabric in my Dear Jane quilt. So, like Lori, I find that I rarely want/need more than a yard of a fabric unless it is for a binding or border. Lori is right that so much depends on the styles of quilts that are your preference.

  24. #24
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    If I can afford it, I buy at least 3 yards for my stash (4 yards if I am afraid that the store won't have it later on). If I can't afford that much, I try to buy at least 2 yards for my stash. When I started folding my material like bolts and storing them on shelves, I found that almost all of my stash worked well together with each other. That gave me more confidence in being able to just buy something because it is pretty and knowing that I will use it later on in different quilts.
    Kathyj


  25. #25
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I buy at least 2 yards, and 3 if it might be also used on the border...There has been times that I find something so cheap and good that I buy 5-6 yards for backing...

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