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Thread: Newbie Question...about quiting store fabric

  1. #26
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    Every time this comes up -

    What if the only "acceptable" personal transportation available were Rolls Royces and comparable cars? And anyone owning an older low priced car would not be allowed to use the highways?

    Sure - top of the line is nice to have - but it's not the only way to go.

  2. #27
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    Also keep in mind that the quilters before us used old clothing. I have a friend who does most everything scrappy and she buys a lot of cotton shirts at the resale store (during their sales) for her "colors" and then only has to purchase her background and sometimes borders. This isn't for every quilt but can work sometimes.

  3. #28
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    One of the reasons I seldom take classes at quilt stores is that many require you buy their fabric. I, like most, am unable to spend that kind of money on quilts and other projects I make. I do buy from them whenever they have a sale. Their fabric and selections are great so I do stock up then. This is an expensive way for a beginner to start quilting so d good and keep it for yourself. LOL
    I buy fabric from Hobby Lobby as well as Walmart most of the time.
    Last edited by noahscats7; 04-03-2012 at 10:57 AM.

  4. #29
    Senior Member pacquilter's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the project you're doing. If you're making a showpiece that is going to require a lot of time and effort, and you want it to last for generations, you'd probably want to stay strictly with the highest quality fabric. Most of the quilts I make don't fit into this category, but are made to be used often, and if they eventually wear out, so be it. I try to buy the best when I'm able, but have had to make a few compromises along the way. One thing I do is to look for good quality fabric that's been discontinued and is on sale for $3.00 or $4.00 a yard. This is especially good for backing because of all the fabric it requires. We've all had those sticker shock experiences at one time or another. Good luck with your class!
    Last edited by pacquilter; 04-03-2012 at 11:49 AM.
    Bless, O Lord, the works of my hands....

    P. C.

  5. #30
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    Try Fabric.com, Hancock's of Paducah, JoAnn's online, and then just google quilt fabric and it should bring up a bunch of places.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  6. #31
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    good ideas all. I quilt mainly for my own pleasure and am not planning on my quilts lasting forever. I make them and stack them up. Sometimes I make one for someone else. So far even the less expensive fabric hasn't faded or shredded on the give away quilts. And some of them are for the grandchildren so they get washed and dried a lot.

  7. #32
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    connecting threads, fabric.com, joannes, walmart, hancocks...and many more places sell fabrics for less --- i guess i'm lucky my local quilt shop sells their quilt fabrics for $7.95- $8.95 for batiks.
    if you join the
    fabshophop
    you will have access to over 150 different shops across the country- they all offer different fabrics and there is a vast range of prices.
    often shops offering classes do ask you to buy your supplies in their shop- but i have picked up my supply list and shopped where i wanted to many times.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #33
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    My first quilt used light weight upholstery fabric that I found for $2.00 a yard. I wasn't sure that I would like quilting and I did not want to spend a bunch of money and then discover that I was never going to finish the project. but 15 years later here I am. I still buy what I can afford - although a lot of it is quilt store fabric - I also buy from Joann's. There is a quilt I made for my dad from lower grade fabric that has faded a lot but hey the quilt was to be used and it is. If I was going to make an heirloom quilt I would probably stick with quilt store fabric. However, for everything else I am more inserested in color, and design.

  9. #34
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Yes, fabric is one of those things like gasoline that keeps going up and up. There are a lot of on line sources for good fabric at slightly lower prices. Your profile doesn't say where you live but if you are in the U.S. most will have a reduced shipping rate for a larger order. Favorite Fabrics, Connecting Threads, EQuilter, etc. have sites and if you Google on line quilt/fabric shops, there are many others. Fabric from your local quilt shop is usually higher quality than Joann's or Walmart but not always. If a local shop is where you are taking the class then they sometimes require you to purchase their fabric. I'm sure some of the others on QB will tell you some of their favourite spots to get good quality, reasonable fabrics.
    Thank you for mentioning our shop, Tartan!

    Most stores - whether online or local - have "sale bins" where you can find top-quality fabrics that have been marked down. Another way to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your fabric budget.

  10. #35
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    You will fine LOTS of debate on this very issue on this board. There are those who use only LQS fabric and those who use the nicest fabric they can find at any shop or website. The best advice may be to go with your wallet and your best judgment. Welcome newbie!

  11. #36
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Nice, kind people often give me fabric or batting for Christmas and birthdays. They know they are giving me something that I love and it also helps them appreciate the worth of a finished quilt.
    I find that it is best to buy little affordable bits often and then very soon, you have a big enough stash to make another quilt.

  12. #37
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    I just received fabric from Connecting Threads that was on sale for 2.84 yd It is beautiful.

  13. #38
    Senior Member suzanprincess's Avatar
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    A few months ago I bought 20+ yards at my LQS from the half-off room, $5 yard. Today I received a box of even more yards from Connecting Threads at $2.48 yard, with free shipping on $50 purchase. I do not see a difference in quality among any of them; they all have a smooth hand and lovely colors. I won't mind at all cutting them up for Project Linus quilts at these prices, even on my limited budget. My most difficult decision making now is how to organize my stash, since many pieces were bought to go together, and many more just because I liked them! I even (blush) was overcome with fabric greed and sent in another order to CT because they put another group on 50% discount, and besides my son found a batik on sale there that I will make into some lovely non-sheer curtains for his French doors, and if I'm spending $25 (ordered extra to keep, of course) I might as well give in to the "need" for some of those great new designs and get the free shipping, right?

  14. #39
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    Quality does matter, it doesn't matter where you buy it. Some brands tend to be of better quality. And don't go by price either. Judge each fabric you consider purchasing on it's own.

  15. #40
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    I think that the quality of fabric used at the beginning is something that doesn't need to be addressed. You buy what you can afford... and you use it up. You might not get a stash immediately, but over the course of time, you will. You will also learn what feels nice to the touch, and will discover that some fabric manufacturers are more suitable to your style of quilting than others. That said, you can find good quality material just about anywhere. However, if you can actually count the number of warp and weft lines, you might want to steer clear of it. You will not be happy over the long term with it. You have to remember that this is going to be washed over and over again. And it will probably be dried in the dryer too. Inexpensive fabric doesn't wash and dry as well as the branded stuff, say Moda or Bernartex.

    I should also note that you must be sure to use 100% cotton for your quilt tops. Regardless of quality, you want shrinkage to be about the same when you do wash it. I learned that lesson the hard way about 35 years ago when there wasn't the same shrinkage in the blocks. If all you can get is 65% cotton, 35% polyester, go with that the entire quilt. Don't mix it.

    I hope this helps.

    Anita in Northfield, MN

  16. #41
    Senior Member sunnymom's Avatar
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    I bought the reminent special at fabric.com and was very pleased with the fabric. It was about 7 1/2 yards for under 19.99 and it is a great way to build up my growing stash. I put the word out that I am a quilter and I love scraps. As I am a pilates instructor I have quite a few clients that sew or their mom's sew and have received about 150 lbs of fabric so far I am really excited as I plan to make charity quilts and only work part-time. I use Bonnie Hunter's (thanks Bonnie) scrap users system and everything is nice and organized. My daughter loves to thrift shop so I go with her and buy yardage for backings and only buy fabric on sale. When I bought my sewing machine and frame the lady was getting out of quilting and she gave me thread and many yards of fabric. There are many ways to be frugal, just get the word out and have fun!

  17. #42
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    My first quilts were and are still beautiful. I used what I had... cut up clothing, and the backing was from a nice quilted bedspread! I still have those quilts, they are still beautiful and in use! Use what you have if you can. I buy fabric from Walmart, Hobby Lobby, have almost quit buying from Joanns....Little girls used clothing is nice, most people donate those as the girls outgrow them.

  18. #43
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    Some thrift shops has good quailty fabric and especially if you like scrappy quilts

  19. #44
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    You will find as you continue your quilting journey, you'll soon learn what you do and don't like, and what you do and don't need. Certainly learning to quilt doesn't require $10 a yard fabric, but you might want to buy better fabric if you're making a wedding quilt for a gift. You'll also learn to spot good quality vs poor quality and price is NOT always the key. A clue, perhaps, but there are good quality fabrics that are less expensive and some expensive fabrics that aren't the best. Only by your experimentation with sewing, quilting and washing fabrics will you learn what YOU like. Have fun!

  20. #45
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. The largest fabric store on the east coast. www.maryjos.com If you've never been there before prepare to be ovewhelmed by the massive number of choices. You need a couple hours just to look at all she has, take a break for lunch to let it sink in and then go back to make decisions. The place has thousands and thousands of bolts of every fabric you can possibly think of.

    The first time I went there I overheard the cutting lady telling someone the following story. She had helped a woman the day before who had come from Italy. She was on vacation in Italy, lying on the beach talking to a local. When she learned the woman was from America she said "OH! Do you know Mary Jo's cloth store? I order from her all the time!" She explained many of the Italian design houses would mail order from Mary Jo's and her store was famous in Italy.

    The woman had never heard of it before, but before she flew home to California, she changed her flight to include a 2 day stop in Charlotte, just to go to Mary Jo's.

    In business 60 years, "Mary Jo’s Cloth Store" started in the back of her Daddy’s Barber Shop on her 19th birthday in Dallas, N.C. You've never seen a fabric store like Mary Jo's.
    Last edited by Christine-; 04-04-2012 at 06:41 AM.

  21. #46
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    I just learned that my Grandmother ordered bundles of scraps left from the manufacture of clothing. This was long before computers, and she ordered from ads she saw in magazines. She made some beautiful quilts.
    Shirley in Arizona

  22. #47
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    Buy what you like. Even if the LQS wants you to buy their fabric, sometimes it is a percentage of the overall amount that you have to buy. Such as, if you need 5 different fabrics, I have found that the LQS is happy that I bought 2 of them from them, and used my stash for the rest. LQS wants your business. There maybe a required fabric that has to do with the class, so they will expect you to buy it from them if you want the class. But anything else can be from you source. The LQS has learned that if you don't like what you are sewing on, you won't return. So, many times the fabric is suggestion, not requirement.
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

  23. #48
    Senior Member CircleSquare's Avatar
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    The best advice on here is to look at the fabric you are buying. Don't be distracted by the color and print. Look at the weave and the thickness, feel the texture and notice how it drapes. Is it slightly stretchy or is it stiff and rigid? Compare different bolts by different makers if possible. After awhile you will start to get a feel for what is good and what isn't. You can find good and bad fabrics anywhere. Even my Walmart has some really nice bolts, and some I wouldn't use for anything!

  24. #49
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    It's possible to get good fabric at Joann's but the price is about the same as at LQS. With rare exceptions, I buy only on line from sale fabric selections, so average about $5/yd. for excellent fabric. It's not the very latest designs and colorways, but I'm happy. e-Quilter & Hancock's are my usual haunts.

  25. #50
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    when you are ready for a road trip, Pacific Fabrics in Puyallup has some nice quilting flat folds at 5.99 or so a yard.

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