Quilt Fabric Sale! 

Let's start with the topic that everyone wants to know, where to buy quilting fabric online? Who are the major sellers of quilt fabric? And how much should I expect to spend on an average shopping trip? 

Quick Answers:

  • You can buy from us here at QuiltedTwins or from Online Fabric Store or Joann Fabrics.  A bunch of different places.
  • Major sellers include Walmart, Fabric.com, Amazon, Etsy, Joann, and Online Fabric Store (just to name a few).
  • About $100 if you are not buying very much from those places mentioned above, and about $35 if you buy from us. 

Where to Buy Cheap Quilting Fabric by the Yard?

Check Out Your Local Quilting Stores

Well, there are a number of different places that sell fabric by the yard at a reduced price. And now it is easier than it has every been before to find little quilting shops nearby. Simply enter "quilt fabric store" into Google, and Google should spit out a map with shops nearby your location (if you have location tracking turned on).

Online Quilting Fabric Sources (Who Are Not Us)

Who sells quilting fabric by the yard? Well, a lot of people do: 

  • fabric.com
  • Joann
  • Online Fabric Store
  • Etsy
  • connectingthreads.com
  • shabbyfabrics.com
  • Missouri Quilt Co
  • Walmart
  • Craftsy
  • Amazon
  • Ebay

The list goes on and on. 

How to Find Out More Information About Needed Quilting Materials

Ask The Quilting Community

Next thing I would suggest is to connect with a quilting group, either through social media or community events. Google, however, will probably not help a lot in this search. I bring up getting connected with the quilting community, because they are very nice and sharing, and they will tell you what you need and some of the best places to shop for what you need.

For an example of quilters gathering together to help someone, one person asked for suggestions for her quilting class:

I'm a fairly novice quilter. I've pieced 5 or 6 simple quilts, but had all quilting done by a longarmer. 

I'm volunteering to teach quilting to 5th graders. It's a small class, just 6 or 7 kids. I did this last year, but the teacher (my sister) was persuaded to do something "that shows" by either her principal or her TAG supervisor. 

So, this year, each is making a wheelchair lap quilt to donate, in addition to what we did last year. I simplified it, as we are not piecing the lap quilt. We're just cutting a top, bottom and batting, spray basting and quilting it with a walking foot. (Wonder who will end up binding all those lap quilts?)

We just had our first class last week and I was going to make a prototype. My plan was flannel backing and polyester batting. I'm not sure which is not working easily. I taped the flannel to the table, not stretching it but smoothing it carefully. I spray basted it and then put on the low loft polyester batting. I smoothed it out. Then I sprayed it and put the top on. I removed the blue tape and folded up the sandwich. It was all goofy this morning with the backing no longer smooth and the top was only a hair better. So, I ironed it from the center out and re-positioned both the top and the backing. It might make it through the sewing machine without puckers, but somehow, I doubt it. I left it laying flat. 

What am I doing wrong? Would Warm and Natural solve some of this problem? If we don't use flannel for the backing, we have to put some kind of ties on it to keep it from sliding. 

Any help would be appreciated. I really need to get most of the kinks worked out this weekend. 

bkay

The response was overwhelmingly kind-hearted (the line indicates a separate response):

i'm sure we'll hear from others who don't have the problem, but i have always ended up with tucks, puckers, and all manner of hideousness when i try to quilt on polyester with a walking foot.
polyester is well suited to free motion and long-arming, but it does not work with a walking foot.
i don't think spray basting does much good on it, either.

 
The sales lady at my LQS told me that basting spray wasn't meant for polyester when I mistakenly used a cotton poly blend backing. Maybe it won't stick to the polyester batting?

Watson

 
Polyester moves too much for me when quilting. I do better with 80/20 batt. If your machine has a way to reduce pressure on the foot, that sometimes helps.

 
My Mom made hundreds (really!) lap quilts for nursing homes.

She layered them with the top, backing, and an old sheet or flannel in the middle. Then she did the "birthing" method - then top stitched about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge, and then tied them.

The turning is important - and is probably the slowest part of the whole process.

It depends on the brand of basting spray and the batting. You are safer using warm and natural as all brands of basting spray work with it. For polyester batting, 505 basting spray usually works fine but other brands can be problematic.

edit - I meant to say that basting spray works best with cotton batting. Warm and natural is one of those cotton battings.

How good of you to work with these children and help them learn to sew!

I agree with the others that poly batting is more "shifty" for quilting.

I don't use polyester batting very often, but when I do, and am using spray baste, 
I spray the fabric, not the batting.

For the kids, spray basting may not be a good idea because of the smell, 
and potential breathing issues it may cause them.
Besides, some parents may be less-than-happy that you would expose them to the chemicals!

To avoid the binding issue, the birthing method, would be realistic for the kids.
Then turn and have them put a few ties in, to stabilize things.

One word of caution ... with your intention of giving these to a nursing home (or wherever?), 
you might want to check with them first, as to any guidelines.
Some have very specific requirements as to the fabrics, battings, etc. that can be used.

 

How To Find The Local Quilting Community

Get connected with local quilters! Getting connected requires paying a little extra attention to community activities. Find your local quilting fabric stores and ask the cashiers about the local quilting community. Surprisingly, a good place to go to learn about community quilting events, is the public library, where quilting groups can leave fliers about themselves and about quilting shows. Furthermore, skim your local newspaper; eventually something relevant will show itself. 

How To Find The Online Quilting Community

Get connected with online quilters! This is the moment when Google completely fails. If you enter "quilt groups" into Google, you will get a list of exclusive "quilting clubs" which are a bit overwhelming, and I do not suggest joining a guild. You can learn all that you need to learn with a free group of friendly quilters. In fact, we happen to have one associated with this website, "Becky Quilts in the Old Country." At this moment there are approximately 5,000 quilters on that Facebook group, and they are very supportive and caring. The Administrators (I am included in that category) remove comments and posts that target other members of the group, and thankfully, I have never had to remove a post or comment. If it has something to do with this website, I personally evaluate the complaint and see about fixing the mentioned problem(s). I say this to make the point that our group (including our administrators) is not perfect, but it is safe. You can join by going to your Facebook account (if you own one), you can join here. It should pop up and you can click "join." From there, you can write a post to the group about what other good groups there are, and they will let you know. 

Our Quilting Friends

I want to give you a list of our friends. A few high-quality quilters who you can learn from because they are simply awesome:

This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a start.

Closeout Quilt Fabric

A lot of people seek to make great deals on quilt fabric by looking for closeout sales. There are two categories of closeout sales, discontinued product sale or a "going-out-of-business sale." The latter is very valuable. Imagine if your local quilt shop was going out of business and sold everything in the store for 70-90% off. You would probably blow your entire quilt budget for that month in one day (and you should). You will not be able to find that kind of deal anywhere, except for going out of business sales and yard sales. We borrow a lot from the "going-out-of-business" sale when we are building up our supplies. Keeping our ears to the ground to see if anyone does not want the fabric in their stash, upcycling as much as we can. 

Discontinued Quilt Fabric (examples)

When a fabric pattern is not selling, and the manufacturer deems that fabric is not selling as quickly as it should, they cancel the manufacturing and lower the price of that pattern. This could occur for a number of reasons ranging from sales margins to personal preference. Then the pattern is marked as "Discontinued" and is sold in "closeout sales" to remove as much of the discontinued fabric from the stores as can be. They are correct to do market discontinued fabric in closeout sales, but it can be confusing to people who thought that closeout sales were referring to a store coming to a close, not just a pattern coming to a close (or as some cases may be), or a group of different patterns coming to a close. 

Hoffman

Below is an example of a Hoffman pattern which has been discontinued, for one reason or another.

Hoffman-Discontinued-pattern.jpg

 

Moda

As you can see such patterns could be very beautiful, but sometimes they may seem "dated" to designers.  When cut into small pieces, however, they can be perfect for YOUR quilts.

Wholesale Quilting Fabric Distributors

Factories produce goods, a lot of goods. However, factories have severe limitations, in that they are in a singular location. They would make billions of dollars if customers recognized and trusted their names. But there are con artists in this world who constantly rip people off, by selling inferior goods claiming those goods to be the superior goods. That is where the retailer comes in. The retailer protects the customer from fraud be running background checks on factories, and the retailer offers the customers a familiar face to make purchases, allowing the factories to move their products to those markets. That is how and why Walmart is a recognizable name. We are undercutting the costs of other fabric retailers because we can accomplish that and make a profit. I cannot say who our wholesaler is (partially, because we collect fabric from a wide variety of individuals in the process termed "upcycling"). However, I do not believe that you truly want a fabric wholesaler. They sell in bulk, requiring minimum orders ranging from tens of hundreds of dollars (without considering shipping costs and headaches) for enough fabric to fill entire rooms. All the while, you just wanted to make a quilt. 

Cotton Quilting Fabric By The Yard

Our quilting fabric is 100% cotton. Why? Well, because it is there. Ever since the before the Middle Ages, cotton has been around--rewriting history--especially for the United States. Christopher Columbus went to "India" looking for a way to trade with India for cotton, spices, and indigo. The British East India company was heavily interested in cotton, making France heavily interested in cotton. So America started replacing tobacco with cotton in the South. The point is that cotton is everywhere in America, and America is the third largest producer of cotton (following India and China, which trade with America). The fact that cotton is ubiquitous is why we offer most of our quilting fabric by the yard in cotton. Why is cotton so great, instead of wool or polyester? Well, it is the easiest to clean. According to Eric, you should be careful cleaning wool, by using a wool-safe detergent in cool water (because the wool will shrink in hot water). Polyester is petroleum based, which means it attracts oils (and carbon-based stenches) like a magnet. All of the Rachael's Picks: Fabric Families are 100% cotton. Cotton is also more forgiving when it comes to pressing and ironing than your poly/cotton combinations.

 

 

--Steven Woodard

Quilted Twins Fabric

 

 

Further Reading:

  1.  History of Quilting
  2. Underground Railroad Quilts - Another Vew
  3. Quilt Patterns Through Time
  4. Stab Stitch Quilting
  5. Quilting 101