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Thread: Thrift Store Shopping--are you picky in what you buy?

  1. #26
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    Don't know whether I'm classified as "picky" or not, but here's my method. 100% cotton; Dresses, blouse and men's shirts; large sizes (more fabric); fewest battern pieces (less fabric waste; and prints and stripes; Children clothing (only with licensed characters that can be used to set a theme.
    Some thrift shops have plastic bags of sewing/quilting scraps. I look for bags with 100% cotton; large scraps, and interesting prints. I stay away from bags with poly, satin, or other fabics rarely used in quilts.
    Am I "picky".
    One more thing, I always visit these places before I hit Walmart, JoAnn, Hancock, etc. I could quilt the rest of my life and never use the stash I have, but I keep buying. Being 70 years old and the mother of 4 sons, I've made it clear that #3 inherits contents of quilt room. Since I've been disabled, he drives me all over and he'l learned so much about fabric that I even trust him to go get "fat Quarters", colored batiks, 30s repos, Civil War repos, etc. He helps me spray baste my quilt sandwiches, etc. but he draws the line at siting down at the machine LOL. I haven't given up hope though. Each of my sons have their own special place in my life and heart, but every mother should have one of these.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Suzi's Avatar
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    Picky? No! I shop the thrift stores for sheets and tablecloths, books, teapots and VCR's and never walk out empty handed. I get more fabric in one sheet than in 5 men's shirts and it all matches ----- use them for backings ----- and each sheet costs me a grand total of $1.50. Some of the fabric is cotton/poly and it wears like iron and is no problem handquilting. I'm always amazed at the brand new items that people simply throw away ......... unbelievable! The one thing that I do is to donate a large trash bag stuffed full of goodies on each day that I go "treasure hunting" ...... makes DH happy that way.

  3. #28
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    I've really toned down my bargain fabric shopping. I don't have any thrift stores around me that have fabric.
    I keep an eye out at garage sales, rummage sales and such, .

    Since I make quilts for children and soldiers, if I find something that is good for either I'll pick it up only if I know it will match something I have at home or there is enough to do a complete quilt top. Or if it's enough for a back. If it's patiotic fabric I pick it all up. If it's good quality. If it's only one fabric that I'm not sure what I'd do with it I most likely won't pick it up.

    I have such a stash that I haven't decided to use clothes in my quilts yet. Maybe once I run out and fabric prices stay high I may go down that road.

  4. #29
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    It is getting harder to find fabric at the thrift stores in my area. The early bird gets the fabric and I am not a early bird!

  5. #30
    Senior Member Monie's Avatar
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    I am not picky! And proud of it I will buy any cheap bargain. Cause I have little stash. Works for me. I love finishing blocks already done. Great find!!

  6. #31
    Senior Member 19angel52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanie2
    How about you? Are you buying just to buy?
    I used to buy just to buy - after all, it's a bargain. No longer! When we recently moved, I was astounded over the STUFF I accumulated! No more...! Not matter how cheap something is, it has to pass the WILL I REALLY USE IT?????

  7. #32
    Super Member babyboomerquilter's Avatar
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    I usually will find something to use it for. Its when I'm trying to find something particular and no way can I find it I get really frustrated.

  8. #33
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    Guess I'm picky. They don't have much in my stores but when they do it's mostly poly or something I can't use. I recently donated yds and yds myself so I hope someone used that. I also have people give me their stash. I have inherited fabric stashes from 2 different women and partials from others. I certainly don't need any but, and there is always a but, if I really like it I buy it and when I'm planning something I never have what I need. I love it when JoAnn's has 50% off the marked down fabrics.

  9. #34
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I'm getting more picky about EVERYTHING I buy...not just fabric. I no longer buy an "extra" whatever, just to make sure....I don't buy the "spare"....just because I might loose the 1st one...These crazy price increases on everything have certainly changed the way I shop at all!

  10. #35
    Super Member champagnebubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric_fancy
    i look but very rarely do i buy anything even when its for pennies.

    i find most of the fabric just isn't my taste and i wouldn't even enjoy using it in charity quilts.

    i'd rather leave it behind for the next quilter who thinks its a real score then it buy it just cause its a good deal and have it never seen the light of day.
    This how I am also
    ;) ;) :thumbup:

  11. #36
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    Do you all have a Habitat for Humanity store in your home town or surrounding areas? A friend of mine works at an interior design store and they donate all their un-used fabric to Habitat for Humanity. I just found this out so I am going to look around and see what I can find there.

  12. #37
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I used to buy whatever I found in the thrift shops because I didn't know better but now I'm picky. I do the touch, look and will I really use this process before buying now.

  13. #38

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    I'm with you I do the same. Of course I have asister who also quilts,she or I will always have what ever we need.LOL

  14. #39

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    It depends on how it's packaged and what it is. If it's just yardage and it's polyester, I won't even consider it. If it's a bag of fabric and mostly 100% cotton then I'm interested. I once got a beautiful Christmas tree skirt hidden in several bags of fabric from a thrift shop. It wasn't quilted, only pieced. I quilted it last Christmas and happily put it under my tree. I really got some good fabric from those bags as well.

  15. #40
    Senior Member newbee's Avatar
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    I buy what appeals to me if its the right price. Four thrift shops near me have fabric so I can be picky. I am trying to "destash" so I will only buy the fabric if I know I have a use for it. Saying that, I just bought a panel at a thrift shop for $1.50 and then bought fabric to go with it at a LQS--at $10 a yard! Not my most thrifty moment! LOL.

  16. #41
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    I have always been picky and never just bought because it was a good price.

    I figured I would soon have a stash of nothing but ugly fabrics I would not know what to do with.

    If I like it and I would buy it at a fabric store then it goes home with me.

  17. #42
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    I used to but lots of "cool stuff" from the thrift store until I realized that it was ending up going back to the thrift store without ever being used. One person's junk is another person's future junk!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzi
    Picky? No! I shop the thrift stores for sheets and tablecloths, books, teapots and VCR's and never walk out empty handed. I get more fabric in one sheet than in 5 men's shirts and it all matches ----- use them for backings ----- and each sheet costs me a grand total of $1.50. Some of the fabric is cotton/poly and it wears like iron and is no problem handquilting. I'm always amazed at the brand new items that people simply throw away ......... unbelievable! The one thing that I do is to donate a large trash bag stuffed full of goodies on each day that I go "treasure hunting" ...... makes DH happy that way.
    I'm also a sheet buyer. Lots of fabric for little money. Although, sheets around here are not $1.50. They usually run $2.99-$4.99, but even at that it's a good bargain for the amount of fabric. Some of the prints in these sheets are just as amazing as some of the prints in current fabric, just MHO. For these sheets, I just like to add a couple of borders and quilt it. I'm loving the results!
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  19. #44
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    I make a lot of quilts for project Linus. If it is of a good quality, I know that I will use it for that. I can usually find as good or better quality at Jo Anns during a sale, or with a coupon...so it has to be a really good deal.
    Johanna in WI

  20. #45
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    Do you buy garments and use them for quilts. Our thrift shops don't have yard goods and I made one quilt from men's shirts but hadn't thought about buying them to use for fabric. I think more people are shopping our thrift stores now than ever and it is a good place for bargains.

  21. #46
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    I only buy what I like. I don't have that much luck with fabric buys at thrift shops either. Also since we moved I don't have much space.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    I ended up with 200lbs (after felting and cutting away waste and linings) of wool coats from Goodwill before they figured out what I was doing. The coats were part of their tag sale - one color tag is 50% off on Sun and Mon-and I was getting the coats for $2-$5 each. One coat was a mens 5XL. I washed it in hot water to felt it and it was so heavy I had to have my DH put it in the dryer on hot to finish the felting. I use it all for wool applique. I was not about to pay for the mega-expensive wool my LQS sells. I also felted some blazers for more patterns, but you don't get as much fabric from them. I have also purchased beaded shirts etc for use in art quilts. You can't imagine the fun!

  23. #48
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanie2
    So, I am a thrift store junkie and proud of it. I have often found some really neat things. I've been reading a lot about some of the fabric finds you all are picking up and so I have a question for you --- are you particular about what fabrics you find and purchase at thrift stores or do you simply say to yourself "it's fabric! I have to have it! I don't need it for any project I'm working on but I simply can't pass it up. Surely I will find a use for it." ? I am starting to view my shopping in a different way in that I no longer purchase all the fabrics I come across just because the price is great. I look it over more carefully and ask myself if I will actually use it and I no longer buy it just because it's there. I'm getting more particular and thrifty with my thrift store shopping. How about you? Are you buying just to buy?
    I used to buy everything to build my stash but now I am very picky-----if it is in a bag and there is a piece or 2 that I want, I will buy and donate the rest .....My stash is overflowing....

  24. #49
    Member moroni's Avatar
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    I go to the thrift shops and buy old velvety dresses for a few dollars to use for Holiday crafts and table runners, fancy pin cushions, etc. I sometimes find baggies or jars of buttons, too.
    Judy

  25. #50
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    If it is cotton and I like it, I usually buy it if it is reasonable. Some of the thrift stores we used to like are jumping their prices way up - buying from them has certainly slowed down.

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