Monday, August 16, 2010

Fabric snobery

I think I have become a fabric snob. You see, I used to shop at JoAnn's pretty heavily for my quilting fabrics. I mean, there was not a week that went by, if JoAnn's had a good sale or coupon, I was checking out the fabric wall.

But in the past year or so, I have not found very much fabric at JoAnn's that has jumped into my shopping cart. Is it me, or does their fabric seem to be of lesser quality? And when they started pricing their fabric at $8 and $9 a yard, I figured that if I was going to pay those prices for fabric, I might as well swing over to the local quilt shop and try to keep them in business ;-)

So this weekend, one of my favorite quilt shops was having a 30% off sale. In the quest to accommodate my guests, I thought I would work up a couple of lap quilts for the guest room. The colors are a range of greens and creams with some blue.

I have also been looking for a light creamy yellow for a blue and yellow quilt that is in the works. No light creamy yellow at the quilt store. But I did find a very good Kona Cloth match at JoAnn's that will work great with this quilt.

So maybe checking in at JoAnn's is not such a bad thing after all :-D

Happy Quilting!

26 comments:

Bunny said...

Pretty quilt, and I am off to Buffalo this morning with a friend to check out Joanne's. Will see if anything will jump in my cart LOL.
Have fun.

Why Not Sew? said...

I think it just happens. I really never thought I'd be a fabric snob but when I look at quilts I made from 7 or 8 years ago and the fabric is fading and wearing a lot faster than the quilt shop quality fabric I see why I don't care for the other stuff. Especially at the same price.

Your quilt is very pretty! I like the colors you chose for the throws too.

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

There is a difference in the quality of fabric between quilt shops and the big chain stores. It has to do with the "greige" goods the fabric is printed on. I talk about this in my quilt lectures all the time at guild meetings. Also, just because you see a fabric manufacturers name on the end of the bolt and the same mfr. at a quilt shop...does not mean it is the same fabric quality.

You made a good discovery I wish more people knew.

Pat

ps and quilt shops need us to keep them alive!!!

Carol said...

I've been a fabric snob for several years now every since I discovered the Quilters Bee quilt shop. They explained the difference in the quality of fabric and I can tell the difference. Besides I am head over heals in love with Moda fabrics and precuts. Don't miss Joann fabrics one little bit.

Nanci said...

The prices for quilt shops here in Canada are very expensive...$15.00 just to start. I shop online a lot as even with American dollars ($1.05 Canadian) it's cheaper even with postage.
We have fabricland here that is very good. Their 50% sales are where I get my stash.
I love the new house! I hated the move to our new house, all the unpacking...and where was that little thing I was looking for? In what box?
The sewing area will look amazing when done.

Darlene said...

I am definitely a fabric snob - buying quilt shop quality fabric is a priority for me. I can feel the difference. I learned about the 'greige goods', Pat mentioned, when I first started quilting. BTW, greige is pronounced 'grey'. :-)

kansaswx said...

You are not a fabric snob, you've just learned the difference in quality. The greig goods used to print Joann's fabric is inferior to that used for quilt store fabric. All you have to do is to feel it to see the difference!

Piecefulafternoon said...

I guess I'm a JoAnn Fabrics snob - I LIKE it - and have used it for years, with no problems in my quilts - and they are winning awards at the fair. I've bought fabric at quilt shops that was 13.00 a yard and it faded worse than any I've ever bought at JoAnn's. I agree that their pricing is getting out of sight on some fabrics (but so are the quilt shops, 15.00 a yard in some places now) - but I still find good quality if I check it out - and have also found just as bad at quilt shops, who were trying to pass stuff off as first class and it raveled horribly. Guess the bottom line is - check your fabrics carefully before you buy - anywhere.

Our grandmothers and great grandmothers put used fabrics (old clothes they had cut up) and poor quality (feed sacks) into their quilts and some have lasted for decades - I think the work put into a quilt helps to make it a better quilt, sometimes despite the fabric. They used to hand quilt closely and that helps to maintain the fabrics some of the time.

Thanks for letting me spout off about this - I love quilts of all sorts and admire the work we all do to make them keepsakes.

Bree said...

Beautiful!
I've become a fabric snob myself. I get Kona solids at Joann's, but that's pretty much it. I've found many of their nursery cottons to fade very fast, and the calico wall is hit or miss. It could be in part because I'm there SO often that I just get sick of seeing the same designs.
And the quilts I've done with material from a small shop have stood up far better in general. Zero fading, excellent to work with. I wish my shop would have a 30% off sale!

SewCalGal said...

The fabric at JoAnns is definitely a lower quality. I remember many years ago someone explaining to be how fabric manufacturers may actually run the same print/design off on different qualities of fabric. So,, there are chances that you may find a name brand at JoAnns, or other discount fabric stores, but they are not the "lst run" high quality cotton fabrics that most respectible quilt stores have.

From my perspective JoAnns fabric is fine for a quickie quilt that you don't care if it lasts long. But if you want a quilt to endure, always be comfy and snuggly, then use good quality cottons that are typically only found in quality quilt shops and online stores.

Don't worry about being a fabric snob. you make great quilts and deserve to work with the best fabrics.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

PS - JoAnns coupons are still great for novelties, magazines, etc. Plus, you may find other stores will accept JoAnns. Inspirations Quilt Shop in Valley Center, CA now accepts JoAnns coupons the last Saturday of every month.

Jennwith4 said...

My sewing/quilting mentor is a fabric snob and I believe she's made me one too. lol

Stephanie said...

Jocelyn, I find I am a snob too. There are some things I will buy at JoAnns but most of really nice quilts I buy all my fabric at the quilting shops. I still buy all my batting, thread and decorator fabric there so they get plenty of my business. Stephanie

Carrie P. said...

Oooo!! can't wait to see what quilt you make for the guest room. The one on the wall is stunning.

Becky said...

I want the very best fabric that I can afford. I guess I'm a snob, too. The quilt shop owners like me:)

Ivory Spring said...

I guess I am a snob too, Jocelyn. But since you are also one, I am in good company with you! :)

kwiltmakr said...

I bought fabric in Joann's for one of my first quilts and had to remake the thing when the fabric frayed and pulled apart. I don't do that any more. I just stay with the local quilt shops. Guess I am a total fabric snob.LOL

Loris said...

I definitely prefer the quilt shop fabric as well. The quality is usually much better and then there is all that inspiration that I usually find at my LQS. Hard to put a price on that.

Denise :) said...

I'm a fabric snob for my quilting fabrics! I love the blues in your quilt -- very, very pretty!! :)

gaylebong said...

Join the club. I've been a fabric snob almost from the start almost 30 years ago. I figured it is okay as long as I'm nice about it.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Oh that quilt on the wall is gorgeous! Anxious to see what you will make to go with it!

SheilaC said...

I love the soft colors in that quilt!! So pretty!

SheilaC

Crispy said...

Ooo such pretty fabrics. I too am a fabric snob but will buy from most anywhere if I need a specific color and the fabric has a nice feel to it.

Crispy

Barb said...

I love that quilt hanging on the wall...so fresh and peaceful...

Ms. Bake-it said...

I do not quilt or sew thus, I cannot give any input on fabric snobbery.;) I absolutely love the yellow and blue quilt! It is gorgeous! Do you have an etsy shop or sell your quilts through another medium?

~ Tracy

Red Geranium Cottage said...

It does pay to buy the better fabric. Your quilts will last much longer. I have one that my mom made me years ago and the fabric was from Joann's or one of those local stores at that time. It has fallen apart and she hand quilted it. It's a shame because I have old quilts from the 1800's I've bought and they aren't even falling apart.
Love the new fabrics you did pick out. Great colors. It's ok to be a fabric snob. lol

Nichole said...

For awhile I had shunned JoAnn's fabric. However, not too long ago I gave was just looking around while I was in there and was pleasantly surprised. Recently, it seems like, while their prices have increased, their fabric quality has as well. At least on those more expensive bolts. The feel of it is definitely on par with a quilt shop print. Also, I have found several Alexander Henry prints on the shelves at JoAnn's. Often, I can't pass up a designer print with a coupon! And lastly, JoAnn's has these fat quarter bundles that are mostly older designer. Those are such a jackpot! For $6 you can get 5 fat quarters from Moda, P&B Textiles, and other designers. It's a fantastic deal! So, I guess what I am trying to say, recently I have found JoAnn's isn't to be written off completely. There is actually some decent, quilt shop comparable quality fabric there.