I'm new to quilting ( about a month) and going tomorrow to buy fabric and goodies. The quilt shop I am going to is over an hour away and they have over 2400 bolts of fabric. Since it is a pretty good drive I plan on buying A LOT!
I know not to go for thin stuff that stretches and pulls apart easily, but what are some good brands that you use and are satisfied with?
I have about 30 FQ and a couple Jelly Rolls but want to have more fabric
choices when I am bored and want to start a new project. Is it a good idea to buy 1/2 yards or should I go with at least 1 yard of each fabric I choose? I do have a couple quilt patterns picked out and know what yardage I need for them, but to build up a stash are 1/2 yards sufficient?
Thanks in advance...Erin
Piece, Love, Quilt
If you are buying from a LQS you probably don't have to worry about brands. Most all of them are good. I always buy in 3 yd cuts unless I already know what I am using it for. With 3 yds you can do about any pattern that you find. Have fun with your shopping trip. There is nothing better than wondering around a quilt shop.
Personally, I tend to make larger quilts so I usually buy three to four yards of a fabric I really like. Building a stash for applique, table runners, or scrappy quilts you'd be ok to buy the 1/2 yards, but you'd still need yardage for backgrounds. Keep in mind that by the time you get ready to make your quilt the fabric may no longer be available. They are usually gone in less than a year.
I haven't run into any poor quality fabrics at an LQS, so I don't think you'll have to worry too much about that. Run it through your fingers and if you buy light colors fold it under and see if you can see the fabric below showing through.
Of course, you want to get 100% cotton fabric. I make all size quilts from baby to king. When I first started quilting my rule of thumb was never to buy less than 3 yds of one fabric. Then, again, I started out making kind size quilts. I have since graduated from that rule of thumb to no less than 4 yds of something I really like! You never know if you will end up using it in the body of the quilt or on the borders and binding. Any leftover can always be used in another quilt. You said you have a few patterns in mind. I would start with a pattern you like and buy accordingly and add a little for good measure. I'm saying this since your fabric store is so far away and getting there again for a little bit more fabric to finish your project because it got cut wrong isn't convenient. 2400 bolts of fabric!!! Boy, I wish I was going. Enjoy!
P.S. As for name brands it depends on the style you like, Kaufman, RJR, Moda, Debbie Mumm, Thimbleberry, Windham, Keepsake, Michael Miller and Benartex are all good fabrics. There are more but can't think of them right now.
What I do now is find a pattern I like and then buy the fabric for that project and put it in a project tote. That way I know I have what I need when I am ready to start something new and I don't have just random fabric...at least more than I already do. That is unless it is on sale for half off or more. Then I will buy 2-3 yards. I also collect black and whit FQ's and make a lot of quilts with them. I try to have a little focus about what I am doing. It doesn't always work.
I usually buy about a yard or so EXCEPT for background-type or tonal fabrics; those I buy 3-4 yards so I will have enough for background/borders if I so choose.
Thank you for the replies and advice. I'm heading out...so excited!!!