Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 67

Thread: If you need a quarter-yard... exactly a quarter-yard...

  1. #26
    quiltluvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lost in a quilt shop :-)
    Posts
    1,353
    I usually buy whatever catches my eye, 1/2 yard to a yard and a half, two yards if I think it'll have multiple usages and the price factors in too.

    The times that I've bought for specific projects (still yet to make) I always buy 1/4 to 1/3 yard more.

  2. #27
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ELVERTA, CA
    Posts
    15,273
    Blog Entries
    1
    I NEVER buy exactly what I need - shoot, half the time I don't know what I need. So a yard is a good start for me. hehe

    DH was with me the one time I just needed a bit for an art project. When we left the store he said: "Honestly, you can buy less than a yard????"

    Regardless, washing may (and usually does) shrink a bit, and not all cuts are perfect. So that exact cut will be a bit short for sure.

  3. #28
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
    Posts
    4,199
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    P.S. - how wonderful to know there's a shopkeeper out there who cares enough to have asked the question. your customers will love you for it. :P :P :P
    Thanks, Patrice, for the kind words!

    I've instructed my staff, from the beginning, to always give that extra inch. We don't really talk about it - or advertise it - we just do it, 'cause it seems the right thing to do and we don't want to come across as "cheap".

    But... it really does add up. We figure that due to "generous measuring" on every 15 yard bolt, between 5/8 and 3/4 yard "vanishes". That's 5% of the bolt gone. I don't even want to do the next calculation, that of multiplying it by all the bolts we buy in a year! In the end, it comes down to trying to please our customers.

    And yet... we still can't please them all the time. I posted this question because I was wrestling with the issue. We have a repeat customer who almost always orders 1/4 yard cuts, and she e-mailed us to complain that after straightening the cut she didn't have her 9". Well... it's probably that "warped grain" issue - or perhaps she washed it first and it shrank a bit. Whatever it was, she wasn't happy this time. So I thought I'd take the question to the "professional customers" on this forum. Clearly you all have a lot of experience BUYING, and I wanted to get a sense of what most people think. So thank you all for posting. Seems what we're doing is pretty much on target.

  4. #29
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    do you really want that customer? give her chocolate!

  5. #30
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
    Posts
    4,199
    Blog Entries
    1
    Awww, shoot... with my luck we'd get a heat wave and it would just melt all over the fabric!

    But I re-ordered some chocolate fabric today, would that work?? :D

  6. #31
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    :lol: :lol:

  7. #32
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,714
    If I were a shop owner/manager, my "formula" would be approximately one "free" inch per yard

    1/4 yard - plus 1/4 inch
    1/2 yard - plus 1/2 inch

    2 yards - plus 1 inch

    Then I would just basically factor in that "extra/free" into the cost.
    So if the "sales" say I've sold 12 yards of fabric, I would know that 12 yards 12 inches were gone.

    That might get complicated for the record keeping, though.

    I'm weird - I get just as irked if I'm shorted on $1.00/yard close-out fabric as I am if I'm shorted on $12.00/yard fabric.

    I'll also go to the store that cuts a 38 inch yard that charges $9.99/per yard before I'll go to the store that cuts a 35-7/8 inch yard that charges $7.99/yard for the same fabric. Which really doesn't make much sense, but that is true for me.

    I have learned to check the grain-lines on the fabrics before I buy them.
    I've found that even some of the LQS fabric appears to be off-grain - sometimes it will "straighten" when it's washed - sometimes not.

    I still don't feel that it's up to the shop to compensate for possible shrinkage. I would hope that the shop would cull out the badly off-grain fabrics before putting them on the shelves.

    I think many of us have come to EXPECT getting extra when we buy fabric.

    We don't usually get extra when we buy anything at the deli counter or at the lumber yard or at the candy store.


  8. #33
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,087
    I don't think the answer is just to cut bigger pieces. The solution, of course, is for the store to sell straight cuts. Unfortunately, as the seller who asked this question explained, the fabric is not wound straight on the bolt.

    She can take the bolt of Moda, Benartex, Hoffman or any other quality fabric off the shelf, line it up perfectly on the mat and cut a precise 9" at a straight 90 degree angle to the selvedges, and it may even appear straight when it's unfolded. But when you examine the cloth, especially if you wash it, you will see that it is NOT straight.

    One solution is for the seller to tear a strip off the beginning of each bolt and then try to refold and rewrap the fabric so it will be straight for subsequent cuttings. It's virtually impossible to do, however.

    This is why I prefer my fabric torn to measure instead of cut. I don't want fabric that LOOKS straight -- I want fabric that IS straight. And if it can't be made to BE straight, I don't want to use it in a good quilt. I might use it for tablerunners, coaster, placemats, or other crafty items.

  9. #34
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,714
    Question for seller:

    How much is on a "bolt" of fabric?

    I bought a couple of "bolts" of fabric - and when I remeasured it, it was less than what the bolt said. (And I measured finger-nail to finger-nail).

    Is the fabric really taut/stretched when it's put on the bolts?




  10. #35
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
    Posts
    4,199
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Question for seller:

    How much is on a "bolt" of fabric?

    I bought a couple of "bolts" of fabric - and when I remeasured it, it was less than what the bolt said. (And I measured finger-nail to finger-nail).

    Is the fabric really taut/stretched when it's put on the bolts?


    We've had bolts as short as 8 yards and as large as 20. It depends on the maker and the collection. I would say that the most common size is 15 yards.

    But... we've found that for certain manufacturers, the bolts come in up to 1/4 yard short fairly consistently. And, on occasion, we find a bolt that's really NOT what it's marked, either up or down by a yard or more. So, what we do, is to weigh each bolt as it comes in. We get a feel for what the "typical" bolt of that brand weighs, and so we can catch those that are glaringly off.

    However, for bolts that are only 1/4 yard off, while annoying, it does not pay to unroll, measure, and re-roll each bolt just to find out how much we're being shorted by. Costs too much in labor costs, plus the time spent trying to resolve the issue with the manufacturer. So we only pursue it when the measurement is off by a yard or more. And yes, we report it to the maker either way, whether the error was in their favor or ours.

    We've found that, in addition to just being the right thing to do, honesty pays handsome dividends. When you've established yourself as a trustworthy enterprise, if you report a problem or concern, you will be both taken seriously and believed.

  11. #36
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
    Posts
    4,199
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I would hope that the shop would cull out the badly off-grain fabrics before putting them on the shelves.
    Well... it's not quite that simple. Supposing there's one fabric that's wrapped crookedly, and it's the "feature fabric" of a collection. If we send it back, that compromises our ability to sell the rest of the fabrics of the collection (plus we have to answer all those questions "why don't you have that OTHER fabric in the line?").

    And there are also the times where for 35" across the width of the fabric the design is perfectly straight with respect to the grain, but at the very edge on one side, it goes off. What do we do about that one?

    I agree that tearing is a good way to find the straight of grain, but it renders 1/4" on each side of the tear unusable (at minimum!) and thereby I lose still more of the fabric. Plus not everyone likes tearing. Personally, if I was buying a fabric in a shop that tore, instead of cut, I would not be comfortable unless they gave me an extra inch on EACH end! (Just my own feelings, not necessarily representative of anyone else...)

  12. #37
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,714
    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I would hope that the shop would cull out the badly off-grain fabrics before putting them on the shelves.
    Well... it's not quite that simple. Supposing there's one fabric that's wrapped crookedly, and it's the "feature fabric" of a collection. If we send it back, that compromises our ability to sell the rest of the fabrics of the collection (plus we have to answer all those questions "why don't you have that OTHER fabric in the line?").

    And there are also the times where for 35" across the width of the fabric the design is perfectly straight with respect to the grain, but at the very edge on one side, it goes off. What do we do about that one?

    I agree that tearing is a good way to find the straight of grain, but it renders 1/4" on each side of the tear unusable (at minimum!) and thereby I lose still more of the fabric. Plus not everyone likes tearing. Personally, if I was buying a fabric in a shop that tore, instead of cut, I would not be comfortable unless they gave me an extra inch on EACH end! (Just my own feelings, not necessarily representative of anyone else...)

    I agree with you about the tearing -

    I think it would be very challenging to be a quilt shop owner/buyer/manager -

    Up to a point, I think it's up to the customer to be aware/beware - although it's taken me YEARS to be that aware -

    Maybe put up a sign - we cut what you ask for - but remember to allow for shrinkage and -(how would one say - the manufacturer might have "warped" the fabric when it was put on the bolt) ???

  13. #38
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
    Posts
    4,199
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    [Maybe put up a sign - we cut what you ask for - but remember to allow for shrinkage and -(how would one say - the manufacturer might have "warped" the fabric when it was put on the bolt) ???
    It's a lot easier to put up a sign if you're a brick-and-mortar store. You can always simply point to your sign.

    While we do get some walk-in customers (we're somewhat of a local secret) our main customer base is online. And I found out a long time ago that you can put all the information out there on your website but you simply cannot force people to read! :?

  14. #39
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maryville, Tn
    Posts
    1,791
    I won't buy fabric that is torn.. PERIOD. I've seen it flaw fabric up to 2" on each side of the tear, which can short you up to 4" on a yard.. that kind of thing really mounts up.
    I figure if I pay for 36", I should get 36".. it's not the shop's fault if the fabric is folded crooked, printed crooked, etc. I have some responsibility for checking it out before I buy it, and if I find this happens on a regular basis from some manufacturers I won't use their product. Plus I'll let them know about it.

  15. #40
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    the absolute worst is panels. a lot of stores won't sell by the panel. they sell by the yard. what's that all about? what can you do with 1/2 panel?
    and if the panel fabric is off-true, you end up with a diamond shaped cut. they never straighten out and stay straight. so when it's washed, it wants to go back where it was, and it pulls everything with it.

  16. #41
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,714
    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    the absolute worst is panels. a lot of stores won't sell by the panel. they sell by the yard. what's that all about? what can you do with 1/2 panel?
    and if the panel fabric is off-true, you end up with a diamond shaped cut. they never straighten out and stay straight. so when it's washed, it wants to go back where it was, and it pulls everything with it.
    I always look to make sure that it is printed "straight enough" to suit be before I'll buy it.

    WalMart cuts on the dotted line for panels - one side at a time. And charges by the panel.


  17. #42
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    i've never seen that. i'll have to look for it. live and learn. thanks, big.

    my joann chops it right off wherever it lands. you can figure out what you need but if the piece in front of yours was part of a panel, you have to take that to get a whole one. i end up walking away. their loss.

  18. #43
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,714
    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    i've never seen that. i'll have to look for it. live and learn. thanks, big.

    my joann chops it right off wherever it lands. you can figure out what you need but if the piece in front of yours was part of a panel, you have to take that to get a whole one. i end up walking away. their loss.
    That happened to me at a JoAnn's too - that was several years go -

    I really don't get why that do that. It seems so - polite language fails me - customer unfriendly.

  19. #44
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    poor training, sales people who don't care, both because of low pay.

  20. #45
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,178
    When I was getting ready to buy the fabric for my "Danbury" quilt, I spent a couple of hours calculating how much it would take to make all the blocks I want and the borders and the binding. Then, when I was absolutely sure that was how much I needed, I ordered a quarter yard MORE of each one, just to be sure.

  21. #46
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    you have to approach all sewing with a cya mentality, don't you? :cry:

  22. #47
    Senior Member dizzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    853
    i always buy extra an that is usually at least three yrds an if i really like it as much as my pocket book can spare that day

  23. #48
    Super Member Sheree from Chicago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    3,039
    I also don't buy anything less than three yards. Gotta love it though.

  24. #49
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    7,160
    Blog Entries
    3
    I never would by exactly what I need. I also never buy in quarters, with the exception of FQs. I always try to buy in at least 1/2 yard increments. That way I know I'll have enough if the fabric is crooked. It's nice to get a little extra, but I don't expect it. If the fabric is cut crooked on one end, I don't mind as long as it's measured from the short side. It's not the shop's fault if it's crooked. As a buyer, I feel that it is my responsibility to look it over before I purchase it. It's especially important for me to buy a bit extra as I do buy a lot of my fabric online. There just isn't much variety locally. Hours are a problem too, as only Joann's is open in the evening and on Sunday.

    The worse piece I ever bought was a children's print which was a strip border print with dogs on it. It was so crooked I had to cut with scissors! The quilt came out fine, but it took forever to cut those pieces! LOL This was not a cheap fabric either, it's was over $8/yd.

  25. #50
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,087
    Please bear in mind that I have worked in quilt shops a long time and totally support that kind of business...

    I would expect a quilt shop to take full responsibility for accurate measurements. It's just like any other business. How would you feel if the butcher or gas station or electric company shorted you "just a little bit"? What if the beef roast you bought had an unusual amount of fat or bone that left you with less usable meat? Would you see it as the buyer's responsibility to buy extra in order to compensate? I would probably take my business elsewhere.

    We are strongly encouraged to support our local quilt store, and I heartily endorse that idea, but I also believe that they need to be professional in their business operations and make it worthwhile for us to spend our money there. If I am paying for 9" of fabric, I expect to get 9" of usable fabric. If I am buying 5 yards of fabric, I expect to get 180" of usable fabric.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.