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Thread: Quilt Store Quality Fabric

  1. #1
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    Question Quilt Store Quality Fabric

    so, I have started following a lot of quilting blogs - I'm a bit addicted.

    But they keep mentioning only buying and using "quilt shop quality" fabrics and say to never buy from big places like joanns, etc. I'm a tad confused. I'm pretty sure that joanns and other places carry not only lower grade fabric but also the nice stuff. So isn't it just more important to make sure it's a quality fabric vs. being snotty about where it's purchased? I'll admit that I'm doing all of this on a budget and sometimes I just can't afford the local quilt stores prices. And heck - my local Hancock Fabrics now sells Kona cotton solids in LOTS of colors!

    This is the link that got me started - a layer cake swap where they said specifically not to purchase fabric from Joanns or other stores like it:

    http://distantpickles.blogspot.com/2...some-cake.html

    Am I wrong in my thinking? I guess I've just never been one of those "brand name needed" kind of girls.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wannaquilt1's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I have found many nice fabrics at Hancocks, Joanns and even Walmart! I feel it to see how thick it is and if it feels and looks nice I buy it. I love buying from my local quilt store but I just can't afford to do it every time. I say if you like it buy it. You are the one working with it anyway. I wouldn't be able to sew anything if I had to get the fabric from the quilt store everytime. Once it's in a quilt it will look beautiful! Back in the day people used to recycle clothes and flour and seed sack bags so I would say using a "discount" fabric is just fine.

  3. #3
    Junior Member shadoh's Avatar
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    i take it to mean good quality fabric regardless of where purchased. tight weave, pure cotton, good solid colours.
    i have purchased good fabric from Hancocks, there is no joanns in canada. we have 'fabricland' some of it is terribly thin and worthless. i have purchased good quality fabric at walmart, in the past, they no longer have fabric here.

  4. #4
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    Don't we all wish that the price of fabric was no object? Yes we do BUT price is a consideration for me. I look for good quality fabric from any and all available sources. If I was participating in a swap then I would go to my LQS for the required fabric.
    On a side note, the last LQS fabric I bought had a printing flaw in it that I didn't notice until I was machine quilting my quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I agree with Tartan -- I wish price of fabric was no object. I buy from Joanns -- our Walmart just got fabric in and I haven't liked the feel. I like to feel the fabric since some of what the LQS has been getting is very thin. The owner sent a whole batch back because it was very thin and poorly printed. I buy what I can where I get the best value for my budget -- and sometimes that is Joanns and sometimes my LQS (don't have a Hancocks or Hobby Lobby close by).
    QuiltnLady1

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  6. #6
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    Get your fabric from where ever You want and don't let Some 'UpPPity' Place Tell you How or Where to Shop!!
    PS: And They would BE the Last Place I would Buy from!
    May Your Life Be Full of Charity and Love.

  7. #7
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    I agree that you need to watch the quality no matter where you buy. But if we don't support the LQS they may close. I just watch for sales and end of bolts and buy then.
    DonnaR
    Grammy to Isaiah and Ruth

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all of your responses and making me feel better about how I've been shopping! I absolutely agree in supporting the LQS, but it can't always be by buying fabric. I'm going to have my quilts quilted there (unless I learn and want to quilt my own one day!) and they have classes, etc. But I just can't see limiting my fabric buying to only them.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhapsdy View Post
    so, I have started following a lot of quilting blogs - I'm a bit addicted.

    But they keep mentioning only buying and using "quilt shop quality" fabrics and say to never buy from big places like joanns, etc. I'm a tad confused. I'm pretty sure that joanns and other places carry not only lower grade fabric but also the nice stuff. So isn't it just more important to make sure it's a quality fabric vs. being snotty about where it's purchased? I'll admit that I'm doing all of this on a budget and sometimes I just can't afford the local quilt stores prices. And heck - my local Hancock Fabrics now sells Kona cotton solids in LOTS of colors!

    This is the link that got me started - a layer cake swap where they said specifically not to purchase fabric from Joanns or other stores like it:

    http://distantpickles.blogspot.com/2...some-cake.html



    Am I wrong in my thinking? I guess I've just never been one of those "brand name needed" kind of girls.
    You're free to buy and use fabric from any source you want when it's for yourself. If you're going to be in a swap where they specify "quilt shop quality" then it had better be quality or the swap hostess will feel free to send you back your fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    The way I look at it, quilting was started by thrifty women who had only scraps from clothes they made, and swapped with others for variety. I 'honor' that tradition by being thrifty -- yes, I'd love to be able to buy the really nice fabrics from designers, but I have other things to spend money on, too. So I buy in the clearance areas at the LQS, some from Joann's, Hancock and very occasionally, Walmart (the fabric at our store is usually cheap). But I also buy at Goodwill, as quilters pass away and their family members donate not knowing just how much those fabrics are worth, in money and in their loved ones eyes. I also buy at yard sales, and even clothing that I see at yard sales where the fabric is nice and in good shape, which I then cut up. Our economy isn't going to improve for a very long time, so we all have to save where we can. But we can still enjoy our art and produce beautifully, well made quilts for others as reasonable prices, too.

  11. #11
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    entirely sensible.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  12. #12
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    When I started quilting almost 50 years ago, the fabric was 36 inches wide and some of it has faded through the years. There were also more chemicals in the fabric years ago. As long as the thread count seems to be very good and the fabric doesn't feel too thin, where fabric is purchased isn't that important. Just once in a while do try to purchase something from the LQS. With the wholesale prices going up and up, the LQS are having a difficult time. And NO I am not affliated with any LQS.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I agree with others. I made a quilt years ago with mostly fabric from JoAnn's, and it's one of the best quilts I ever made! Loved to death, too.

    However, I just wanted to point out that the term "Kona solids" is not specific. There are Kona solids, Kona Bay solids, and Kaufman Kona solids. The manufacturer of the Kona solid makes a difference in the fabric quality. Here is an older thread on that topic:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t183557.html

  14. #14
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that since the link referenced in the initial posting is for a swap it may be that the person wanted to be sure that the fabric was comparable for each contributor. Perhaps in previous swaps there was too much difference in the quality of fabrics sent. However, there have been a few times that I have come across a fabric in a quilt shop that was a bit thin. Perhaps it was ordered for the print, or some special thing. But usually quilt shops do carry high quality fabric. And the person writing it may have a personal philosophy that if we don't support the quilt shops they will close. I have found a great variety at JoAnn's so you do have to look at it.
    But for personal preference I agree, buy where you can, or prefer.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    While I prefer fabric at my local quilt shop, I do buy at the the larger 'box' stores....Joanns, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, etc. With the rising cost of fabric, I just hope I don't have to give up my fabric addiction!!!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    All I can say, is here we go again.....

  17. #17
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I wonder if it isn't the material quality ... but rather that if we don't support our LQS's they will go out of business. Though I do know of a few material snobs.

    ali
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  18. #18
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I wonder if the request was made because when doing a swap w/ people you don't know, that if everyone bought material from a LQS, there would be a better chance of the quality being similar.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  19. #19
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebbE View Post
    The way I look at it, quilting was started by thrifty women who had only scraps from clothes they made, and swapped with others for variety. I 'honor' that tradition by being thrifty -- yes, I'd love to be able to buy the really nice fabrics from designers, but I have other things to spend money on, too. So I buy in the clearance areas at the LQS, some from Joann's, Hancock and very occasionally, Walmart (the fabric at our store is usually cheap). But I also buy at Goodwill, as quilters pass away and their family members donate not knowing just how much those fabrics are worth, in money and in their loved ones eyes. I also buy at yard sales, and even clothing that I see at yard sales where the fabric is nice and in good shape, which I then cut up. Our economy isn't going to improve for a very long time, so we all have to save where we can. But we can still enjoy our art and produce beautifully, well made quilts for others as reasonable prices, too.
    i totally agree with this response. i don't make quilts for show, only to be loved.
    Nancy in western NY
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  20. #20
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    While price is certainly an object for me, as for so many others, I have never felt that a direction to buy "quilt shop quality" fabric is uppity or snotty. I think that most of the folks who take the time and energy to develop patterns and them put them out on their blogs for the rest of us to use, usually for free, use the best quality fabric they can to help insure the best final product. And, they give the instruction to use the best quality fabric possible so that we - their customers so to speak - will also have the probability of the best outcome for OUR product. I have personally experienced the difference in the same project when made with a high quality fabric and a lower quality fabric, and that difference is surely noticable. So, while I have certainly done projects with fabrics from wal-mart, Hobby Lobby and the other chain fabric stores - and will continue to do so - I will go with the highest quality fabric available that I can afford. And, if I am using someone else's pattern and they recommend quilt shop quality fabric, I will take that recommendation under very careful consideration, and do what I can to get the high quality in fabric usually found in quilt shops.
    Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

  21. #21
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis2se View Post
    While price is certainly an object for me, as for so many others, I have never felt that a direction to buy "quilt shop quality" fabric is uppity or snotty. I think that most of the folks who take the time and energy to develop patterns and them put them out on their blogs for the rest of us to use, usually for free, use the best quality fabric they can to help insure the best final product. And, they give the instruction to use the best quality fabric possible so that we - their customers so to speak - will also have the probability of the best outcome for OUR product. I have personally experienced the difference in the same project when made with a high quality fabric and a lower quality fabric, and that difference is surely noticable. So, while I have certainly done projects with fabrics from wal-mart, Hobby Lobby and the other chain fabric stores - and will continue to do so - I will go with the highest quality fabric available that I can afford. And, if I am using someone else's pattern and they recommend quilt shop quality fabric, I will take that recommendation under very careful consideration, and do what I can to get the high quality in fabric usually found in quilt shops.
    Well said...

  22. #22
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    If you are doing a swap then you must follow the rules. I think they may specify LQS fabric so everyone is getting the same quality of fabric, so the swap is fair to everyone involved. If you are buying for yourself then it is up to you what you buy. I seldom buy "new" fabric, I prefer to use what is already made (being green), so I never enter a swap. It is your choice to enter or not, but you must be willing to abide by the rules.

  23. #23
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    My guess would be that they were looking for all fabrics in the swap to be of comparable quality so that a quilt made of them would look and feel right. Participation in the swap is voluntary, so if a person doesn't want to shop at a LQS, they wouldn't have to be in that particular swap. I like to shop at the LQS. They always offer a corner of sale fabrics, and I like to find great bargains there as well as regular priced items. I always try to support them because I would hate to see them leave. I also shop at Hancock's and Hobby Lobby which are in my hometown too. I want to keep the all. I loooooooove fabric!

  24. #24
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    When you sign up for a swap there are rules and regulations. If I do not agree with the swap, I pass it by. I have been involved in swaps where I sent in blocks, well executed and done to the best of my ability, and have received blocks that were out of square and the fabric was thin and bare. It is the way it is with a swap. I have seen some of the same patterns of fabric at the LQS and Hancocks or Joann's - so how can the "cake" moderator tell? If you want to participate, look for quality and go for it.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  25. #25
    Senior Member lynndianne's Avatar
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    I buy fabric from many places. I get some for the local quilt shops (but gee, that gets expensive). My husband loves to drag me into a fabric shop and where I would buy one yard, he keeps after me until I have 5 or 6 yards of fabric. The stores love to see him in the shop. I have bought fabric from Walmart, Joanns and Hancock. Just check the look and feel of the fabric. I also get fabric from clothing I purchase at thrift stores. I work at one thrift store and when I see fabric come in, I'm on it. I've also gotten many good quilt books there. Oh, I also buy fabric that folks on this site.

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