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Thread: New Quilt Philosophy!!

  1. #1
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    OK it is official that working with cheap fabrics is awful. They stretch and distort and generally they suck. I am making two Quilts for kids. One from the nice fabric Downy sent me and one from the cheap yard sale fabric I had on hand. The nice fabric is going together nicely. The cheap VIP fabrics are fighting me every step of the way, so I developed a new philosophy:

    Starch Twice....... Cut Once (when working with cheap fabric)
    The other one is use the very best fabric you can afford!!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I have to agree. I no longer work with the cheaper (quality) fabrics. I have given most of them away. I have had quite a few of the VIP fabrics fade on me, after only a short time!!!!

  3. #3
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    I've also noticed that the weave can sometimes be wider.

    I thought I was getting a bargain, but it was more hassle than it was worth. I stick to the better quality fabric now.

  4. #4
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    I've been working with a little muslin I'm trying to use for sashing.
    What a mess, it's stretchy and thin. I didn't know about the startch and it's too late for that. Never again! It might be nice for a backing but not in a block or around a block. Luckily the quilt is for me and I now have low expectations for this quilt. I'm disappointed since it's some of my black & white swap blocks but trying to rip the muslin out is impossible so I am carrying on to just get it done! It'll look good from that horse. Live and learn.
    :D

  5. #5
    Super Member Iluv2quilt's Avatar
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    Before I had a clue about fabric, I included a cheaper one on a log cabin quilt I made. It was a pretty quilt, but first wash, the fabric split way from the seams - only that one kind. I was sooo disappointed, never will I do that again!!! Also, a learning experience in washing fabric first.

  6. #6
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    no Comment...this topic always ends somewhat not good...not everyone has the funds...enough said

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Ruth has said a mouthful.

    besides, price doesn't determine quality. the absolutely tackiest, flimsiest piece-o-gahbahge fabric i ever had the "joy" to work with was some my friend had bought from a high-end shop. i've worked with a few from the dollar table that were an absolute dream to handle. they held up well in the wash and use category, too.

    i keep track of which fabric manufacturers produce things i like and which don't. then i search for the lowest prices.

  8. #8
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    The fabric I am speaking of is at least 30 years old and I did wash it. It is almost gauze like in texture. I know I can't always afford the best fabrics, but working with these has been such a problem. I am thinking of making pillowcase quilts and just practicing my machine quilting with them. I won't use these for anything that needs precision unless I just can't help it. I have found walmart fabrics to be of decent quality. They may not be the best but they do not contort like this I am speaking of have. I totally understand not being able to afford the best. I have been unemployed for almost a year now. Trust me I get it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    If I have a fabric that I don't like the texture I wash it in hot water. If I don't like it and it doesn't turn out good I wasted only a little soap and water. Usually I have found this to be a big help as the hot water will change the texture.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    i keep track of which fabric manufacturers produce things i like and which don't. then i search for the lowest prices.
    Now Patrice has said a mouthful :D

    There are great bargains to be had on quality fabric from a variety of places. I've found Red Rooster on E-Bay that comes to under $4 a yard with shipping figured in; one of my fav LQS has their clearance table fabric at $2.99 a yard and there is a whole list of online stores in the Links section that offer specials. Most days, it's actually fun to hunt :-)

    I don't think there is anything wrong with using whatever fabric is affordable. Like Patrice says, price doesn't determine quality no matter where you shop. It's true that some 'less expensively made' fabrics will be far more trouble than the money saved is worth. That can be especially problematic when one is new to quilting and not sure if the problem is the operator, the equipment or the supplies. That is the only reason I choose and recommend the fabrics that I do - it has nothing to do with status, snobbery or any other such foolishness I just don't have time or energy for.

    Let's assume that we're talking about good quality fabric that we've managed to get inexpensively, and not jump to the conclusion that quality = snobbery or that inexpensive = cheap. :wink:

  11. #11
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    For me - soaking in hot water - don't cringe - it usually doesn't do any damage to the fabric - but it WILL shrink it if it's going to - is worth the effort.

    Sometimes the soaking and washing - I do wash on a gentle cycle in warm water with only a tiny bit of detergent - makes the fabric much nicer to handle - in my opinion - and if it turns out to be a piece of (very inferior quality fabric) - it's a good time to find out - and toss it.

    I won't pass on totally icky, bad behaving fabric. If it's a recent purchase and I still have the receipt, I will try to return it. Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't.

    Some quilters seem to be comfortable with cutting the fabric straight from the store. I am so not.

    No sense in trying save a dime and losing five dollars.

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think the key phrase here is "I use the best fabric I can afford." The most important thing I think we all agree on is we love what we do. My family loves all the quilts they have received from me and no one asks about the fabric. They just love the quilts.

  13. #13
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I agree. I should have said "OK it is official that working with poor quality fabrics is awful. (reguardless of price)"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwhite
    I agree. I should have said "OK it is official that working with poor quality fabrics is awful. (reguardless of price)"
    That summarizes it well.

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlehud
    I think the key phrase here is "I use the best fabric I can afford." The most important thing I think we all agree on is we love what we do. My family loves all the quilts they have received from me and no one asks about the fabric. They just love the quilts.
    This is what I tell my students, expecially the new ones. Some of my students are on limited income. They are so eager to learn and in order to pay me and buy fabric and all the other stuff that comes with the making of a quilt they have to make choices and most of the time they are wise choices, when not I try to show them a different way to go.

  16. #16
    Junior Member odysseyquilter's Avatar
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    Our quilt guild of 8 members just sent off 8 quilts to Quilts for Kids this morning. Their kits are just the most adorable fabrics and such a great cause. We plan to do more after the holidsys.

  17. #17
    scrappy_quilter's Avatar
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    for those thinner fabrics don't toss them just yet -- I use them to piece string blocks or crazy quilt blocks.

  18. #18

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    fabric quality varies from store to store. walmart sells cheap chinese stuff and usually the quilt ends up looking chinese. joanns only sells quality fabric and my products turn out looking beautiful and very professional.

  19. #19

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    spray starch does help with the cheep stuff.

  20. #20
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    When I went to nice fabric store this morning...There was some fabrics in the for 6.95 a yard..it was thin and gauzey..and some that she had for quilting was so thick!.. so you have to watch it no matter where you shop!

  21. #21
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    I went thru my old sewing & craft fabric. I use this for cutting strips and
    making cord covered baskets. It is fine for them & they make nice gifts.
    I try to buy a good cotton for quilting.
    SandyGail

  22. #22

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    If you have the time check the fabric for thread count take a good look at the color . I have found goo fabrics both ways at a High end store and a low end store . I even go to to second hands stores andI booght real good quality fabric for way less than at either stores. especilly if you are watching your pennies.

  23. #23
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Not having the funds for quality fabric should not be a factor. I buy quilt shop quality fabric for less at online sales/clearance then the price of WalMart's quilting cotton. There are thousands of quilt shops online. Believe me it's easy to find a bargain on any one color fabric needed at one of them when I need it. I seldom buy discount store fabric now, it's too expensive!

  24. #24
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Interesting commets. It is a shame to have pretty fabric that you know is useless for quilting. When I find some of that in my stash, I donate it to a charity, or to someone who is learning and not going to use it for an heirloom quality quilt, for kids who are wanting to practice just sewing a seam, or for pet beds. There is a home for everything, and I don't have to be so anal about stuff I bought before I knew what I was doing!

  25. #25
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    True I will find a good use for this stuff I am sure. I did buy a Locker Hook so I can try that with the poor quality stuff.

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