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Thread: Your opinion, please!

  1. #26
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    ShirilinAZ said most of what I was going to say.

    My two cents: Don't worry so much if it's expensive fabric or not, just make sure you love it. Many of my first quilts were made exclusively with JoAnn's fabrics, and I've actually just started a top with the same. I've also made many quilts with LQS "expensive" fabric. And, you can find both at both places!

  2. #27
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I started with wal mart $1 fabric for my first few quilts. They are now floor quilts for Grandkids. No tear when they are missed used or they are found on the floor of the car or the playrooms. I also have a few blocks that I tried with inexpensive fabric and did not like. The became doll quilts or pillow covers etc., and have a home too. I still pratice a new block with my cheep stash before I make the new blocks for my bigger quilts.

  3. #28
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Just like with good quality materials in everything else - like cooking, for example - better quality fabrics will be easier to work with and may make your hard work look better overall. That's not to say that less expensive materials don't have their place. For practicing, trying out a new technique, or when you don't really need it to last a lifetime. Just realize that the "hand" of a well-worn recycled shirt will not be the same as a piece of new, high quality fabric, so if it doesn't produce the same results, you'll know why.

  4. #29
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I would look for good quality fabric that is affordable. Poor quality fabric is no fun to sew with. That said I do not think you need to buy expensive stuff. Just learn to decifer between what is good and what is not. If you hold it up and it feels hard and stiff yet it is like cheese cloth and you can look through it leave it. If you are making a family heirloom or keepsake besure to buy the best you can afford. I am using way more Walmart and other not high end name brand fabrics. Because of the economy and the cost of fabric going up it was either less or no quilting or go to more affordable fabric options. I do make sure to double check the quality of the fabric no matter where I buy it as it seems many of the quilt shop fabrics are of lesser quality too then they were 10 years ago.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 02-27-2012 at 07:52 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  5. #30
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    when I started quilting a few years ago, I just bought fat quarters and calicos from Joanns because I wasn't ready yet for "good" quality fabric. And, since I'm self-taught, I used poly batting and learned real fast i don't like working with that only because of the fibers that come off while cutting. BUT, I still have that log cabin quilt after 8 years and it's still going strong.

    What I've learned about over these years is that when quilting the cheaper fabric, it stretches A LOT, so you think you're doing something wrong when, in fact, it's the fabric's poor quality.

    Then I discovered quality cotton. Oh, the wonderful feel of it. I only use good fabric now for quilts. Joanns does have some nice quality fabric and is affordable with coupons - Debbie Mum is nice but the Legacy Studio and there's a couple others that I consider quality.

    A good online source is Fabric.com. I buy from them all the time. It's good quality quilt fabric and decent prices.

    Good Luck on your journey. Quilting is a lot of fun.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  6. #31
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    If you are new, use cheap but realize it is not going to be an heirloom both because of the fabric and your abilities. Also make something SMALL.

    Any time I am learning something new, I use cheap. I use top of the line fabrics when I am making something special.

  7. #32
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    I totally understand. If I'm making a quilt for my grandkids to drag around I"m not spending a fortune for it no matter what because I know that it probably won't last. When you buy fabric no matter what the price feel the fabric and sometimes you can feel how cheaply it's made. I still buy some of my fabric at Walmarts if I find what I want and it seems to be of decent quality. I bought a bolt of muslin once and when I went to use it I was amazed how thin it was. I will use it one day for a practice piece or the next time I make a jacket or clothing and need to make a temp jacket to get the size right but not for anything that will be of use because it wouldn't last too long. The main thing now is to quilt. If the cheaper fabric is what you can afford and feel good about then do that and when you get better you'll want to spend more on your quilts so that they last longer. Just quilt
    Judy

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    If you want good quality material for less money check out connecting threads, they are reasonably priced but the quality is good
    So true and nice stuff too! I'm ordering from them today in fact! Thanks for adding this! Have a lovely day!
    Maggi Taffi

  9. #34
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I buy fabric wherever I can find the color I want in a quality I want, but I think starting with too inexpensive a line of fabric can making learning more difficult. A loosely woven fabric will stetch more and not hold its shape as well as better fabric. If you feel the need the use lesser quality fabrics, then spray starch is your friend. I've used some FQs from JoAnn's that were not good to get the colors I wanted. I starched them after washing them and once they were quilted, they seem to be doing fine. I could not be quilting at stictly quiilt store prices. Thank goodness for sales and some good fabrics at big box stores.

  10. #35
    Senior Member gypsylady5's Avatar
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    IT is very hard for me to buy the expensive fabrics, so I head for sales when I want to buy fabrics. I am disappointed by Walmart and by Joann's. IT just isn't what I was expecting. Good advice for using good recycled clothing. Many times these are really nice fabrics and you can get them for a lot less money. Buy when you find a good fabric at a good price for you and save it for your inspirational quilts. Have fun and play with the cheaper fabrics. I often use the junk fabric to back my quilting blocks before finishing into a quilt or pillow. I just don't buy the real cheap stuff anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    You might want to check out Bonnie Hunter's site www.quiltville.com She uses many recycled good shirt fabrics in her scrap quilts. This might be something you could try if the cost of quilt shop fabric scares you. Hey, quilt shop fabric scares me sometimes. I try to buy on the sale rack myself. Some people have had luck at Walmart with some of the better fabrics on the bolts. Buy a fat quarter from your quilt shop and take that with you to the Walmart and compare the feel and thread count and see what you are comfortable using.
    Sharon (Gypsylady)

  11. #36
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I do not buy expesnsive fabrics, I have away most of my quilts and don't know how well they will be treated. I also don't make heirloom quilts and don't plan to. I buy fabrics I cn afford and clolrs I like. Just how I do it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #37
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    A good tip, Tartan, to take a good quality fat quarter with you to compare the feel of less expensive fabric at Walmart or JoAnne's.

  13. #38
    Junior Member mrsk's Avatar
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    I also feel recomending to a "newcommer" to buy expensive fabrics must have come from the fabric manufacturers. Or someone in the fabric buying field. They get all their fabrics for free, so they don't have budgets like us real folks. After reading this thread, I would some up by saying buy what you like, that you can afford & start with smaller projects & work your way up. I also started with patterns that are more forgiving, like "wonky stars" and D9's. I also found investing in good rotary cutting tools & templates (like Fons & Porters) helped & keep changing the blades & the needles helped my projects go smoother & give me more confidence.

  14. #39
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    I like going to thrift stores on our Island.. I have been lucky finding fabric, and shirts in the mens department, and sheets for backing.. .. Everything gets washed, and dried straight from the bag.. The thought of hitch hikers scares me... I also wash fabric to make sure the dye won't run.. Right now I have burgandy sheets that I've washed five times, and they are still running.. I just got Retayne, and I'm going to try using it.. then run a wash cycle with dye catchers..
    Barri
    This is exactly how I get fabric, other then some walmart are what someone gives me, and it works fine for me..

  15. #40
    Senior Member Jan Rutherford's Avatar
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    Well I managhed to mess up free motion quilting today on a childs size quilt, and that one was with inexpensive fabric. I am not very good at free motion, meandering or stippling. I think i will stick to straight stitch and save the fandier stuff for small pieces i can fit in may machine and have control. I have to agree with everyone's comments on board. My choice is to PRACTICE on less expensive stuff that probably won't be given away.
    catsnquiltsgotogether

  16. #41
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Im so glad I used cheap fabric when a beginner. Some of my early quilts are not very good.
    Now that Im more knowledgable I can tell when a fabric is good. Also shop online for sales of quality fabrics from last years lines. Some cheap fabrics are good quality and some expensive fabrics are crap so you need to learn how to tell the difference. You learn alot from your clothes dryer also. Ive had expensive fabric that that came out with lots of thread tangles and cheap fabric that did not shed at all.

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