Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is why you must use good quality fabric...

...for quilts and other projects that require a lot of washing or will be going through a lot of wear. Mind you, this is my first ever quilt and I made this when I was in grade 12, when I didn't know any better. There are a ton of mistakes in this quilt and I wonder to this day how I even got an "A" on this project. Even though I made this over 10 years ago and have washed it only a handful of times (I use it for decoration on the sofa), fabric shouldn't wear down like this!

My posts have been lacking this week. I've been feeling a little under the weather, overly exhausted from having a teething baby, and I've been working on the pirate sweater like no tomorrow and have taken a few breaks by knitting a row or two here and there on the Tilted Duster, but don't worry - I've got a ton of project ideas floating around in this noggin of mine. So I've been going through my fabric stash to see what I have, and in turn have been evaluating all of my fabric.

I've always been a hoarder of fabric and can never turn down a good fabric sale or the purchase of a print that I absolutely love. I have never really given much thought about the quality of my "crafting fabric", until I moved to Victoria, where my fabric store options are very limited. When I was living in Vancouver, I had frequented and favored stores that carried nothing but high quality cotton and quilting fabrics, and so I never had to think about what I was buying and whether it would hold up to the test of time. But since moving to the island, I've had to resort to buying fabric either online, waiting for a trip to the mainland for a big shop, making small purchases at the (only) pricey quilting shop, or (gulp) making a trip to the one and only "big box" fabric store here. It's the latter that has been making me think a lot about my fabric purchases and uses.

The fabric I had used in the quilt (it's a Log Cabin style, by the way) pictured above was all purchased from Walmart. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that, but at the same time when you lived/grew up in a very small town and only had 2 places to shop for fabric...well, it's a no-brainer as to where I was going to be buying my fabric. Now, I'm not knocking cheap fabric (as in cheaply made), as they all have their uses, but I am knocking the idea of buying said fabric solely because it is priced at a cheaper cost. Does that make sense? It's one thing to buy high quality fabric on sale, but it's a whole other story to buy poor quality stuff for a few bucks less. Lately there's been a lot of talk around the blogosphere and even amongst my friends about buying and using cheapo fabric, all in the name of being thrifty and/or saving a few dollars. But is it really saving you money?

This is on the very side of the quilt, where it rarely gets touched...and it's already tearing! So sad...

Brett must have thought I was nuts when he walked past my sewing closet and caught me molesting some fabric (ok, I was rubbing it against my cheek and swirling some around my head...but who doesn't do that? Who, I ask you??). You can definitely tell by the hand of the fabric which ones were of high quality and which were ugh-this'll-only-last-for-a-few-months-before-crapping-out-from-minimal-wear. The nice fabric has a thick hand with graphics that are crisp with clean lines. The crapola stuff is very thin and even doubled up it doesn't match the hand of the good stuff. The graphics are a little messy and the idea of a straight line is nil in this shoddy fabric. Even a simple dot isn't executed in a nice manner.

Anyways, thanks for letting me rant.
I can go on and on and on...well, you get the picture. But does anyone else feel this way too? Or am I the only nutter in the room? I think I'm just being a sore loser and am mad at myself for making excuses as to why I shop at that stupid big box fabric store. Those of you who live in Victoria probably know what store I'm talking about too. I'm making a vow with myself to minimize my spending at that crap store, even more so since the last visit there, when I discovered that they were selling some knock off Amy Butler-esque fabric made at their own mills and "made exclusively" for them - but the quality definitely did not compare to the real deal. Ugh, I left the store feeling dirty and like I had bought a knock-off Louis Vuitton handbag from the trunk of a rundown Cadillac in the middle of the ghetto...or east Van. I hope many of you steer clear from shoddy quality fabric. Even if it is on the cheap.

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