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Quilting, According to Leisel- Buying Fabric

A couple of my loyal followers have asked that I do a few tutorials on how to quilt. I feel completely unqualified to attempt this, but since they are my FAVORITE followers, I thought I would oblige. So here it is. Quilting According to Leisel (or QAL ;).

The first edition will be about buying fabric. If you are like me, you don't need any help in THIS area and you can just skip ahead to the next step. ;0) But for anyone who cares to know, this is how I go about purchasing fabric.

First of all, I happen to be addicted to designer cottons, which are fairly pricey, so I have to purchase carefully. I also seem to have a problem only buying a few fabrics from a line of fabric without buying ALL of them, thus making it even more difficult (expensive!).

Shopping in a fabric store- If I see a fabric that I just can't live without, I first try to establish in my mind what I might use it for. Will it be for a dress for the girlies? For a quilt back? Or a small piece to add into a quilt top?

If it is for clothing items for kids, I would buy AT LEAST a yard- maybe a yard and a half. It is totally frustrating to have the perfect pattern for your fabric only to discover you are 1/4 of a yard short. I haven't attempted (yet) making clothing for myself, but I am guessing you would probably have to at least double the amount of fabric for an adult.

If it is for a piece in a quilt top, you could probably get away with about a quarter of a yard. I use as many as 40 fabrics in one quilt top, so 1/4 yard works. But if I really love it, I will get 1/2 yard-- cause I just can't have too much fabric! ;0)

If it is one of those fabrics that would be PERFECT for a binding (stripey, for instance), you will need a little more- somewhere between 1/2 yard to a yard, depending on how large your quilt will be.

And if it is for the back of a quilt-- well, start counting your pennies cause you are going to need LOTS of it! Okay, if it is a baby quilt you can probably get about a yard and a half or so. For a large quilt-- up to 6 yards! Yes, 6. Recently I have discovered that one way to save a little on quilt backs for large quilts is to buy sheets from Target. It also works great if your quilt is larger than 44" wide, so you don't have a seam down the middle of your back.

Another great way to save a little on fabric is to buy muslin. This is what I use for all my white and off white fabric. My favorite is Robert Kaufmann Kona Premium Muslin. I buy it at Joann's. And it also comes is 90 and 108 inches wide. It is so soft and absolutely fabulous! Can't get enough of it or FIND enough of it! There must be others who have discovered how wonderful it is, too.

Buying designer fabric becomes a little bit trickier because you can't always find it around town. It has to be purchased online (my favorite way to shop anyway). And sometimes it is cheaper that way, too. You can go here for all my favorite online fabric shops. I enjoy buying from Etsy sellers because often they will do sets of fabric in 1/4 or 1/2 yard with all the fabrics from a designer collection. This is usually how I buy my quilt fabric.

So, that's about it. I have to admit, I feel kind of guilting teaching anyone how to spend money on fabric. It is EXTREMELY addictive-- so proceed with caution! ;0)


Anonymous said...

I love your choices of fabrics in your post! I too, have to be very careful, and try hard :) not to purchase all of it!

Lacey said...

Hooray, my first lesson! I'm so excited, I can't wait for more of these posts! Keep 'em coming! I too love all the fabrics, you have great taste!!!!

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