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So many questions...where do I start??

So many questions...where do I start??

Old 04-03-2012, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Default So many questions...where do I start??

I guess I'll just jump in and ask - I've never been accused of being shy

I'm working on my first quilt - it started out as a tie quilt and then I got brave and decided to give quilting a try. OH boy - I took to it like a duck to water - once I started I haven't been able to stop!! I got ansy though - so I'm trying to start quilt #2.

The plan was to make a scrap quilt - I found an ad on Craigslist for fabric - unfortunately - it's not useable for a quilt top (I don't think) as it appears to be old hotel curtain fabric - in navy blue, maroon, tan, and brown. 4 HUGE trash bags of this - all cut into about 4 inch strips. The only thing I could think to do with it was sew some together to add to the batting when I start my next quilt. So - I'm wondering (other than buying fabric - WOW it's expensive!!) are there other places/resources to find fabric? I've bought a few remnants here and there and scavaged some old clothes and sheets from around the house - just wondered if I was missing a good spot for fabric?

I'm in the process of finding a fabric cutting machine - any suggestions? I had the Simplicity Rotary Cutter and took it back as it wouldn't cut worth a flip - I'm researching that now. I'm not so good with a rotary cutter - it's not as easy as those ladies on youtube make it look!!

Ok - there is much more running around in my head to be asked - but I better take it slow I guess - information overload is not your friend!!!

Thanks in advance y'all for your help!
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:38 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 260

Clearly Nokie you are going to fit in here nicely. So many questions never enough time and ideas running amuck.

Rotary cutters do take a little practice but you will find them a huge time saver and keep your peices more precise. Take it slow and use every safety precaution you can (they have a nasty bite). There are many sites on the internet that have great sales for stash building. Sew some of the hotel fabric together and give it a wash see what happens. Remember what our pioneers used for quilts and how adored they are now.

Keep asking questions and please show us some of your results, there is lots of praise waiting for you here.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:45 AM
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Location: New Jersey
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Connecting Threads and Thousands of Bolts are two web sites where fabric is less costly and beautiful. They both run sales and you can be alerted via email. Some Walmart stores sell fabric at very reasonable prices. It is worth the investment in my opinion to use quilter's fabric because other materials are more challenging to work with. I am making a quilt using my husband's old shirts and the cutting and sewing is much more challenging than regular quilter's cotton.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:09 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18

Thank you both so much for your response. I didn't know there was such a thing as quilter's fabric....I will have to look at that for my next project. I keep telling myself I need to finish this one I'm on, along with the other tie quilt I started before I do anything else - then I tell myself...stop that! LOL....I figure if I can read 3 books at once and have several crochet projects going - my quilts will be happy to do the same!
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:18 AM
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Location: Northern Indiana
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Yeah, you're hooked. Welcome to the quilting world
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:35 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carlisle, PA
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Welcome to this special corner of the world - you're going to love it here! As for finding affordable fabrics.....well, you have to just keep your eyes and ears open all the time! I recently found on Craigslist a nice lady out on eastern Long Island (in the Hamptons) who was de-stashing her fabric collection. She used to have a business making doggie bandanas and had every conceivable print for every different holiday of the year. Everything was only $1.00 a yard!!! My best friend and I came home with more than 80 yards between us - now THAT was a FIND!!
Great buys are out there.....Craigslist is a great source. Looking forward to seeing your work!
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:40 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 951

Welcome to the wonderful world of quilting. Make sure you get signed up at Jo Ann's Fabrics and Hobby Lobby so that you can get 40% off coupons plus other specials that they have. Also, check out Walmart's (watch the quality of all the material - some is good, some not so much). Check out the Salvation Army stores, garage sales, and Good Will. Ebay also has some good buys on material that you can bid on - always ask if it is quilting material. Also, check the board here, many of our great quilters sell their stash when they find that they have overloaded their quilting areas or don't need some of their material. Take your time with the rotary cutter, it is your best friend. Also, use the coupons to get quilting supplies like rulers, books, notions, etc. It will take time to get a good supply of quilting supplies but all of sudden, you will notice you have gotten lots of stuff and not had to spend too much money.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:07 AM
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Location: Delmarva Peninsula
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As for getting fabric reasonably, go to all the thrift stores in your area, browse everything and also ask members of the staff if you can leave your name for when they get fabric in stock. Best way to learn about fabric, is to spend time at your lqs (great sales - get on their mail list), or Joann's etc. Fondle the fabric, get to know what quality looks like. You need a large cutting mat - self healing - get on Joann's or Hancock's mailing list - use the 40-50% coupon to build up your notions, buy batting. Buy Aurifil thread #50 - in shades of grey for piecing. Or gutterman - you don't need all the colors unless you are a purist.

Also buy the Olfa 60mm cutting wheel, and lots of spare blades. I like the Alto's cutting system - I have the accuquilt but do not use it unless I am making lots of the same cuts. And it is hard on my arthritic rotor cuff (surgery maybe this winter). Best of all, practice - practice, good luck, my first project is still an UFO - really kinda messy, but I did it hand piecing on the plane when I commuted from NJ to CA every week for a year. Also did alot in the hotel room - then I took beginning lessons at my lqs - oh yeah, find out if your lqs has classes for beginners - I also find a live instructor is better for beginners. Good luck, keep us informed - we love converts to quilting.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:14 PM
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Location: Outside St. Louis
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Look at Connecting Threads, google it. They have really nice fabrics, Kits, threads, etc. Good prices too. Kits are a good deal to just built up your stash. Don't have to make the quilt designed for the fabrics. Quilt shops have the highest prices, as a general rule. I personally would not use anything but new fabrics. 100% cotton is what most people use.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:33 PM
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 751

When I first started I was an ebay nut I ran across a lady doing ironing board covers and I took a chance and messaged her and asked what she did with her scraps...she replied nothing. I paid the shipping and she sent them all to me, Was wonderful!!! You'll find you can shop clearances and there is nothing like Joanns coupons!!! As for rotary cutters look at the reviews on OLFA and use a coupon at joanns you'll be happy. Use a coupon again for an OLFA mat. You will not struggle with those! Look at the reviews. Fabric is one of those things that if you look you can find sales just feel it and you'll know if it worth even the clearance price. I only buy from trusted manufacturers online. Moda, Robert Kaufman, Henry Glass. When you see something you like buy it because like fashion some fabric is seasonal and when it's gone you can't find it anymore. Happy quilting!!
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