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Thread: Your opinion, please!

  1. #1
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    Your opinion, please!

    I am a fairly new quilter, so I read a lot on quilting tips. Today, I read an article advising beginners to avoid cheap material. I don't know about others (they may have more money than me), but if I were to spend a lot of money on good material and mess it up on my first attempt, I would become discouraged and frustrated at ruining the material and just forget about quilting! What do you think! PS......I'm almost at the point of buying good fabric and hopefully my quilt will come out just fine!

  2. #2
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    There are 2 ways to look at it. The more cheaply made stuff is good to practice on, especially if you are nervous about cutting up expensive fabric. But the good stuff will give you a better feel for what a quality fabric would be to work with and leave you with a better made, longer lasting product in the long run. I would say it's up to you.

  3. #3
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    You should get to know what wonderful fabric feels like, so you know the choice you're making when you decide to buy less expensive stuff. I always head straight for the 'sale' table or remnant room in a good quilt store, to see if I can find what I need there. I don't buy online, because I hate paying shipping charges, but I know that many on QB find great fabric for lower prices on some of the online sites.

    If you go with less expensive fabric, I would advise pre-washing. I have had some cheap fabric shrink on me on the ironing board! Very painful.....
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  4. #4
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If you want good quality material for less money check out connecting threads, they are reasonably priced but the quality is good

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Do you intend to "practice" or make something to keep?

    If you are not sure yet, perhaps buy a few cheap Fat Quarters and practice by making 9" blocks that you can then turn into pot holders.

    Once you are comfortable with the hobby then treat yourself and make a larger project.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    If you are just starting out and need to decide if this is a hobby (addiction) for you, then definitely buy cheap stuff to get the feel of 1/4" seams, matching points, etc. I would really hate to see you spend $$ for great fabric and then not finish because you really don't like quilting. And FYI...you can find good fabrics at Walmart or LQS....you can also find bad fabrics at Walmart or LQS. Take your time at both, comparing how the fabrics feel and look....learn what is good/bad fabrics....don't feel like your very first project needs to have $12/yd fabrics to be beautiful. In my opinion, all quilts are beautiful when made by with love by someones hands.

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    I'm in 100% agreement with you. I learned a lot on my first couple of quilts, and did not spend a fortune to do it. I still use 'cheap' fabric if I like it. Having said that, I've learned to be choosy about which 'cheap' fabrics I purchase. That will all come with time. In the meantime, enjoy the trip!

  9. #9
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    I prewash all the fabric I purchase before it goes in my stash. yes, the stores all look clean, but I'm aware that the stores they share walls with may not be so clean, and that bugs like to travel in the walls, and many bugs think fabric is quite a treat. I wait to iron it until I'm ready to use it, though.

  10. #10
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    Buckeye Rose, you said it all!

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    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    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

  12. #12
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    I believe good fabric brings good results, less dye bleed issues. That said, use cheaper material for sampler blocks as you learn techniques and master 1/4" seams, then move onto quality fabrics. IMO sewing on colors and fabrics I like is much more enjoyable. Join a guild or classes at LQS to learn, make friends, gather tips, and receive advice. Welcome to quilting, have fun with learning and I'm sure you'll do wonderful.

  13. #13
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieFrost View Post
    You should get to know what wonderful fabric feels like, so you know the choice you're making when you decide to buy less expensive stuff. I always head straight for the 'sale' table or remnant room in a good quilt store, to see if I can find what I need there. I don't buy online, because I hate paying shipping charges, but I know that many on QB find great fabric for lower prices on some of the online sites.

    If you go with less expensive fabric, I would advise pre-washing. I have had some cheap fabric shrink on me on the ironing board! Very painful.....
    I would pre-wash whether is good quality or not, just my opinion!
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  14. #14
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I don't actually know your definition of "good fabric," but I wouldn't start with real expensive fabric. It is too easy to cut a piece wrong or not make good 1/4 inch seams when you first start, or at least it was that way with me. I have been quilting a little over 2 years, and I buy most of my fabric at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, or Hancock's. There are two quilt stores in town, but I just can't pay that much for their fabric. My quilts turn out good, and yours will too. The decision is really yours though. I would never advise a beginner to use expensive fabric.

    Dina

  15. #15
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble951 View Post
    I am a fairly new quilter, so I read a lot on quilting tips. Today, I read an article advising beginners to avoid cheap material. I don't know about others (they may have more money than me), but if I were to spend a lot of money on good material and mess it up on my first attempt, I would become discouraged and frustrated at ruining the material and just forget about quilting! What do you think! PS......I'm almost at the point of buying good fabric and hopefully my quilt will come out just fine!

    Perhaps beginning with a small project like a table runner would let you afford nice material without breaking the bank if you mess up.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    Do what fits in your budget. My first quilts were done with fabrics from walmart and joanns I've never lived in a place where a LQS was i always had to make a special trip. Now because if where I live I have to buy online. I just got word that theres a shop an hour away and I plan to visit. I love charm packs because I spend very little to get a sample of whats out. Moda is my favorite. Only , thing I will tell you is whatever you choose to buy 2yards min. I used to buy 1/2 yard of the prints I loved and I'm struggling using them for quilts. I think the article was probably addressing getting what you pay for. If you buy high quality it will last longer, lower quality (thin fabric) may not last as long thru washings. You got to figure in agitation and heat that pioneers of quilting didn't have. Quilts have to stand up to a lot more now going thru the washing cycle.
    *Rachel*

  17. #17
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Better fabric will be easier to work with; after it is washed, it will have more body. Won't ravel; will hold its shape when pressing. So the construction process will be less frustrating. But it will cost more. Your choice. If you choose to use cheaper fabric, prewash using hot water and starch.
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  18. #18
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    You should buy the best fabric that you can afford. Having said that, I think you should make smaller projects until you are confident that you will not waste your fabric. Better quality fabric wears better and the colors stay vibrant. Cheaper fabrics fade and wear differently. When you spend hours making a quilt, you want the fabric to hold up. JMHO
    Sue

  19. #19
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Use coupons at JoAnn's, shop the sales and buy what you like. I don't prewash unless it is flannel. I haven't had any problem. This fabric will probably outlive us. Paying $12.00 a yard for fabric would keep many from quilting. Slipping in an expensive piece now and then that you love is a good thing. Work with fabric you love.
    Kathleen

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  20. #20
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    my dad always said to buy the best you can afford

  21. #21
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathyvv View Post
    Buckeye Rose, you said it all!
    Ditto that!!!

  22. #22
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I saw buy one fq min of each then a few extra cheeper ones to practice on. Make a small quilt with the cheap fabric and then decide if oj really like quilting then dive in. I say as long as the fabric feels good then who cares if it is 50 cents a yard.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  23. #23
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    I would definitly say to check out ConnectingThreads on line. There fabric is very reasonable and is nice quality. I'm afraid if you use "cheap" fabric on your first quilting it won't look good because of the material but you will feel like it was your sewing. ConnecthingThreads also has a "clearance" area so you can get your material at an even lower price. Their shipping is reasonable.

  24. #24
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbeuchert View Post
    I would definitly say to check out ConnectingThreads on line. There fabric is very reasonable and is nice quality. I'm afraid if you use "cheap" fabric on your first quilting it won't look good because of the material but you will feel like it was your sewing. ConnecthingThreads also has a "clearance" area so you can get your material at an even lower price. Their shipping is reasonable.
    Ditto. I use Connecting Threads and the service is quick. No waiting in line, either! For a first quilt, this would be a good place to start. I have no financial interest in this company.

  25. #25
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    Sometimes we get too hung up on what others are saying is "right". The first quilt I pieced was a king size Double Irish Chain - and a whole bedroom of accessories to match. I already knew how to sew, so I bought a pattern, went to JoAnn's, and bought fabric that looked and felt good for the project. I now would class that fabric as middle quality. That was almost 20 years ago, and that quilt is holding up beautifully, even being shared with 6 cats.

    Do what feels right to you. Just remember that quilting should be enjoyed, not sweated over. If using expensive fabric makes you sweat, then buy what you can enjoy. I try to stay away from cheap quality fabric, but I rarely use expensive fabric. And I buy as much as I can on sale.
    Shirley in Arizona

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