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Thread: How much fabric do you buy?

  1. #1

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    This is probably a really dumb question but here goes anyway. When you go into a fabric store and you see fabric that you like but you don't have a specific pattern in mind or one you are working from, how much fabric do you buy?

    I keep finding things that I like but I'm new to quilting and I don't always have a pattern in mind or one that I'm working from and I don't know how much to buy. Then I just end up leaving without buying it because I'm afraid I won't get enough or I'll end up with way too much.

    What is a good amount to buy?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    Depends on if you like quilts with say five patterns to them or ones with mixed patterns but similiar color schemes. When I dont have a project in mind to appease my fabric urge I buy 1/2 yrd pieces or 1 yrd at the most so that I have something I enjoyed and will one day find a use for it. Be more frugal? buy a fat quarter of something.. usually I do mixed fabrics in my quilts so this works. You dont want to end up with 3 yrds of something you might never touch because there is no project that comes to mind. Maybe shop patterns instead? window shopping those in a quilt store is awfully fun too.

  3. #3
    Super Member SharonC's Avatar
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    If I'm shopping with no pattern in mind and I see a fabric I like I usually get 1yd, especially if I think I can use in a scrappy quilt, if I really, really love the fabric I get 3yds (I attach a note with place, name and date), if it's a fabric that might look good as backing I usually get 5 yds (again, can cut up for futue scrappy quilt). I tend to not buy FQ b/c of the price.
    Just my shopping ideas; but shopping for patterns may be the way to go until you build up your stash for that scrappy in the future :) :)

  4. #4

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    I usually buy 0.5 metres, that's just over half a yard I think. If I really really love the fabric, or it's a really good offer, I might get 1 metre.

    Nicole

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    The first time I bought less than a yard, DH was surprised. He thought 1 yd was a minimum cut. Now, I have a sizeabe stash, I may just pick up a fat quarter. It all depends. Neutrals or blenders, 1/2 to 1 yard. Beautiful prints 3 yds. Something that might be a backing 5-ish yards. Fabric with special panel prints, I count the repeats and get at least 2 repeats.

    I go through spurts when I buy very little and then I'll go hog wild.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonC
    If I really, really love the fabric I get 3yds
    That is my rule of thumb, 3 yards but if all they have left is up to 5 I will buy it all. That way I know I will have enough to do a project and then I will always have a bit left over for something else.

    But I do not think I would buy anything less than a yard to be safe.

    Billy

  7. #7

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    Thank you everyone! You've been such a big help. Now I won't feel like I have to have a pattern in order to buy my fabric. You all are a wealth of knowledge!

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
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    I don't buy FQ I usually get 3 yds or whatever they might have if it is under 3. If I love the fabric it is a crap shot as to how much I buy. When I use to be able to go out and hit the sales if it was a really good quality fabric super cheap I would buy it all. The only time I have purchased small amounts is in remanents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MoMoSews's Avatar
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    Gee, My rule of thumb is "You can never buy too much fabric!" :mrgreen:

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoMoSews
    Gee, My rule of thumb is "You can never buy too much fabric!" :mrgreen:

    I like your rule I think I will make it one of my golden rules.

  11. #11
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    2 to 3 yards if it is good for borders,2 if going to use for sashing, 3 if it is a nuetral and used for background. If you want to build your stash w/ pretty colors then at least a yard. Itf the price is right then 6-9 for the backing of a quilt. Limit yourself on Fat q's till you build a bigger stash and have many other fabrics that coordinate. Just keep in mind 4 fat Q's make a yard and that yard can cost up to $10 instead find sales and buy yardage. If you want fat q's you need 16 coordinationg to make a lap quilt.

  12. #12
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    If I really like it, about 3 metres, just over 3 yards... I think. I won't any less than 1 metre if it's on the bolt.

    for fat quarters, I will buy them if they're either in a bundle or there's a few of them in the collection that I like.

    Granted, I'm been making Quilts of Valour and saw some fabric that was great for backing... bought all the 10 metres because it was in the sale at a rock bottom price. I just couldn't walk away from it. :wink:

  13. #13
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    If it is a fabric I really love, I have been known to buy the whole bolt, or at least five yards (and as much as 10)!! If I really like the fabric, I usually buy three to five.

    LOL, even when I buy FQ's of fabric, I usually buy at least 4 of the same fabric!

  14. #14
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    It depends, but never less than 1 yard.

  15. #15
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The first time I bought less than a yard, DH was surprised. He thought 1 yd was a minimum cut.
    Ha! You should've let him continue to believe that and only bought 1+ yards :D

  16. #16
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    If it's a strong novelty type print, 1/2 yard unless I love it, then 1 yard. If it's a blender/can go with more things (flowers, basic shapes, etc), 1 yard. I try to keep it at 1 yard or under - gets expensive quickly!

  17. #17
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I USED to be a quarter of a yard person, but no more. I have loads of variety but not enough of anything to start a real nice project. Well, actually that was earlier this year. I have started buying 2 yards of anything I like. I figure that if I start something that needs a few different colors, I should have enough to make it fairly large.

  18. #18
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting and Simply quilts was still on TV, I watched a show that asked that same question. She said that a good rule of thumb is at least 3 yrds. So have been buying at least 3 yrds. Sometimes if I really like it or it is a little over at the end of the bolt I will buy a little more. But to just put in stash because I like it but have no project in mind, 3. Hope this helps.

    Rita

  19. #19
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    I shop like SharonC. :D The only difference is I will buy a fq of batik for future scrappy. I am a batik junkie.

  20. #20
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    If I really like it I buy 3-5 yards. The rest 1-2 yards. That usually works for me. I really love big floral prints and the other day at the fabric store my 6 year old grand daughter was with her mom while I look. She yelled from two aisles over "Over here grandma. I found the flowered ones you like. Hurry before someone else buys them. " Even she knows what I like. I bought three yards of it because that was what was left on the bolt.

  21. #21
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I'm just starting out so I don't have a stash to speak of...initially I bought a bunch of FQs just so I'd have a variety for a scrappy lap quilt for my MIL...but now have a couple of pieces that are over a yard...not much else tho...YET!! :wink:


  22. #22
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    It depends, is it on sale? If on sale, then buy several yards...you can use for a project and then for scrappy quilt!
    I do buy FQ's, but when I see quality fabric at a great sale price, then buy at least 2 yds...you can use for projects, or backing for small wall hangings. 1 yd may not be enough, especially if you plan on a few scrappy quilt projects....I usually buy at least 2 yds of 'sale' fabric.
    Kindes Regards,
    MaryAnna

  23. #23
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnna
    It depends, is it on sale? If on sale, then buy several yards...you can use for a project and then for scrappy quilt!
    Good point that the rules go out the window with sales :D

  24. #24
    Honey's Avatar
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    When it is a fabric that I really like I never buy less than 3 yards and usually more. :oops: If it is something that I kinda like, I buy at least a fat quarter to throw into a scrap quilt! I mean, you can never have enough fabric or enough variety. And as far as our DH's are concerned, it is better for their health and mental wellbeing if they DON'T know how much we have in our stashes :!: :!:

  25. #25
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    If it is a focus fabric, I always buy 3.5 yards so I can make one piece borders, and use the remaining in any blocks I decide to use.

    If it is a complimentary fabric with a design I like, I tend to get 2 yards.

    If it is a great backing fabric and on sale, then I buy six yards.

    Because I make many patriotic themed quilts, I usually tend to stick to that type of fabric when I see it on sale. However, I am "accidentally" buidling and very large stash of gorgeous oriental fabric, and I hate the thoughts of cutting it!! No design in mind yet, but lots of thoughts, and plenty of fabric to work with! Most are three yard pieces.

    I tend to keep my quilts to between three to four fabrics, so and I keep small swatches in my car in a plastic bag so that I always have a sample available when shopping.

    Diane

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