Again?  Still?  Ugh.

I should probably file this under ‘things that stick in my craw, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?’ and move on, but the atmosphere in some of the Facebook groups I belong to is clouded with sanctimonious horse hockey from the quilt police.  I’m peeved and I have an opinion and here it comes.

Let’s talk about dun, dun, dun…discount store fabric!

Assuming you haven’t swooned from the horror brought on by the mere thought of even entering such an establishment, let me start off the convo by saying I happily buy from those fabric outhouses called Joann’s and Walmart.  I’ll spend my money where I please and be none the worse for it, thank you very much.  Besides which, it’s convenient to purchase my fabric and my chocolate pop tarts in the same venue.

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to fiber purchases.  If it feels good in my hand, is pretty, and I can’t see a discernible land mass through the weave, it goes into my stash.  

No has died as a result.  No puppies were kicked.

People are losing their shit because someone had the nerve, the unmitigated gall, the stones to say ‘hey, girl, hey, Joann’s is having a big ‘ol Fourth of July sale with a rinkdum-dinkdum coupon‘.  If this is all it takes to make you puff up like a toad and loudly proclaim you’re leaving a group, here, hon, let me help you pack.

People, not everyone can afford quilt shop prices.  And a quilt shop purchase doesn’t guarantee a quality product as I know from personal experience.  I myself have scored Alexander Henry from Hobby Lobby, the kind with those tawdry, half-clad hotties on them.  I love that fabric.

Maybe there’s nothing close to where they live so they shop online.  Huzzah, for that squishy package of fabric goodness waiting patiently in their mailbox!  It’s almost as good as a brown paper-wrapped package.  Wait a minute, did I write that out loud?  Scratch that last part.

But, but, but…what about supporting small business?’ you may be thinking.  I’m all for it.  Provided they have what I want, actually acknowledge my existence when I walk through the door, and don’t act like they’re doing me a favor by simply being open.  In fact, I’m pretty close to a shop that I love (Simply Fabrics on Gholson Rd in Waco, TX if you’re interested).  And you should, IF YOU CAN, support your LQS.  But if you can’t afford the product they’re hawking, having quilting as a hobby can be tough.  What are these people supposed to do…not quilt?!  

More power to you if you can score great deals from estate sales, Goodwill, and Wallyworld.  Sew on, my stitching sisters and brothers!  Be proud of what you make with your cheaper finds!  My Nana would be cheering you on for your thrift and good sense.  I don’t see why it matters where the fabric came from.  We don’t need provenance with our fabric.  It’s not a Renoir or a poodle.  If someone isn’t happy because you made your quilt with something other than quilt shop purchased fabrics, they either need to pony up the funds for you from their own pocket or shut up.

Texans have an expression that can have many meanings depending on the circumstances.  The phrase may mean, but is not limited to, the following:

‘That’s nice’.

‘Screw you… and your opinion’.

‘Drop dead’.

(By now, if she’s reading this, my mother is probably uttering my first and middle names in a fit of exasperation, but smile and repeat after me:)

BLESS YOUR HEART.

Carry on, my peeps!  It’s almost Friday.

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55 comments

  1. Very well said. I buy Waverly solids at Walmart for $3 a yard and I love it. I wish I could afford to buy the expensive stuff but I cannot. If I did pay the LQS prices of $10-$12 per yard I would only be able to make 2-3 quilts a year. I have been sewing for over 55 years and I can usually tell by feel if a fabric is OK or not and if I have any questions, I will wash it before sewing.

    • Amen! I love Waverly fabrics and they do feel so nice. I’m trying to sell off part of my stash and it’s like people want the stinking pedigree of the fabric. If it’s in my stash, it’s good enough. It’s not a kidney for heavens sake! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Amen, and bless your heart ;D I’ve come to love a place called Ragfinery in Bellingham WA. It’s all donated fabric, and it’s the most random collection of everything you can imagine. Sometimes I come out empty handed (because GROSS) and sometimes I need the minions to help me carry it all. They sell it by the POUND. (And they’ll do a burn test if you’re not sure if it’s cotton or not.) WHO CARES WHERE IT CAME FROM? I’ll save for the fancy stuff if I really, really love it, but as you said… I’d only be able to make a quilt or two a year. Love your rant today 😀

      • I’ve never heard of selling fabric by the pound…interesting. Lots of people talk about getting their stash from thrift shops, but I don’t have that kind of luck. Thanks for commenting. Quilt on!

  2. Amen sister! I won’t post my Judy Neimeyer quilt on any of the Neimeyer groups because I’m using **gasp** stash fabric and what I had around. Not expensive batiks. I’m primarily a scrap quilter, so I use what I have.

  3. Surprised to hear you’ve gotten this kind of response. I’ve never run into that kind of quilting snobbery but maybe it’s because I don’t belong to any online quilting groups? Most of my quilts are scrappers with fabric found at garage sales and I love them for their cozy uniqueness. Ignore the ladies with the rods up their bums and keep on quilting any way you want.

    • It wasn’t me personally. Those groups are a double edged sword. I love to see what everyone is working on, but the stuff people lose their minds over is unreal. Also, newbies will post what they’ve accomplished and folks will just pick them apart and make rude comments. Ridiculous! Be encouraging or be gone is my motto. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Quilt on!

  4. oh dear Goddess!!!! I have barely enough energy to live my own life so I don’t care what others do or think or don’t do….and announcing you are leaving a group is petty. Leave but don’t play that lame card.

  5. Here Here!!! I have fabric from many places and use whatever to make my quilts! So much of my stash has been donated. If I don’t like the feel or print I pass it on and get on with my life! I love to make scrappy USABLE quilts…definitely not show pieces and everyone that has received one so far has NOT noticed all the fabrics aren’t from QS’s. For my DS’s quilt I did go buy some of the fabric from the LQS (and paid a pretty penny for that king size quilt because of it) because he wanted it done in hunting colors. I don’t see that the fabric from the QS has worn any better than the other fabrics I used. I will continue using what I want and be happy that I have a hobby I love.

    • I’ve never had anyone turn down a quilt because they thought the fabric was sub-par. I can usually scroll past all the whining and carrying on, but this really bothered me. Not to mention the newbies who get raked over the coals after posting their first block or quilt and the police have to critique it to death. I just want to sew and be happy. Maybe it’s a sign to leave social media. 🤔. Happy quilting, Diannia!

  6. I left FB a couple of years ago because I thought it was a big waste of time. I’m glad I didn’t get involved with any of the quilting groups there! I’ve bought wonderful fabrics in numerous places that are not quilt shops, including a quilter’s stash from an estate sale. No, the estate sale fabrics were not the latest “designer” fabrics, but they were brands anyone who has been quilting for a long time would recognize. I’m not a fabric snob! I quilt for fun and have been at it for 30 years!

    • You may be on to something there, Sandy. The more I think about it, the more I’m (almost) convinced to leave most of the FB groups. I’d hang on to a couple, but the rest…meh. Happy quilting to you!

  7. I am so glad I am a ROGUE quilter – I don’t belong to a group or a guild and no one in my family other than me quilts. I began using thrifted fabric and will continue to do so. I buy fabric from shopgoodwill.com, Joann’s and Wally World, all discounters.
    When it comes to local quilt shops, frankly, I could care less. (STRIKE ME DEAD NOW) Business is business and they are outright expensive. Not only that, the one time I went into a little country shop, they ignored me. Guess the clique was more important and the coffee klatch too engrossing to actually sell me something. Postscript – that little country store has since gone out of business.
    While I have not experienced any online nastiness, I could see how it could come about. Thankfully, in my newbieness, no one criticized my attempts. Looking back, I could see how it would have been easy to post, “Tami, that is all well and good, but it really is awful.” hahahaha
    I think I will avoid those quilting FB groups, I doubt they want a rogue quilter in their midst …

    • I don’t do the guild thing either, mainly because once I get home from work, there’s no cranking me out of the house unless it’s on fire. The local shop I love is staffed with wonderful ladies who never fail to greet me and make me feel welcome. The other one…I may as well be the wallpaper. Right now, I’m removing myself from most of the FB groups. I feel better already. Kind of like letting go of a toot you’ve been holding all day. Happy quilting to you, my rebel quilting friend! Sew on!!

  8. Preach on! I can afford that nixequilt shop fabric, but why would I? Get over yourself people. I’m pretty sure that I will be dead before any of the hundreds of quilts I have made with Walmart and Joann fabrics falls apart. Except the one that was used in the dog’s bed and left outside-still together, actually, but a little milder. Does expensive fabric have mildew guard??

    • I’m up on my soapbox, sister! All I can say is I am done. I left a bunch of groups and already my FB feed is more pleasant. I’ve heard lots of arguments about even if it’s the same pattern fabric, it differs from quilt shop to discounter. Beats me! If it has a nice hand, it goes in the stash. Quilt on, Teri!

  9. Hi,
    I only have one small comment to make regarding the gist of your rant. I was raised where if you didn’t have something nice to say, you just didn’t say it. You don’t pick on people for their choices, etc. That’s it – that’s all I have to say (and I just picked up some fat quarters today at Walmart AND Joann’s . . . so there). ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Agreed, Roseanne. Enjoy making something gorgeous with your purchases! My issue stems from new quilters getting shredded over where they buy, what they buy and how their finished product looks. We all started somewhere and we all buy according to our budget and preferences. That’s all I was getting at. 😊

      • Exactly! Totally agree. ~smile~ And why bring others down? Like you said, there isn’t a quilting police about to arrest anyone. R

  10. Tell it, sister! My grandmother made quilts with old clothes, including cotton undies and pajamas. Pretty sure many of those quilts in museums are made from the same things. Do what makes you happy!

    • And that’s what makes grandma’s quilts so charming…using what she had and not wasting a thing…being thrifty. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Mari. Have a great weekend 😊

  11. I think I love you!!! Coming from a quilting and knitting background, I see this on both fronts. But I must say I am a Yarn Snob to a degree. I only want to knit with the best and finest yarns. Cheap yarns do not interest me, but I will never put anyone down for buying the cheap stuff. But fabric, I will buy from the high end shops to the low ones. As long as there are no flaws I could care less where it comes from. Just give me beautiful colors and I am happy!

    • Lol, well thank you! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I thought I’d take up crochet. And I thought fabric was expensive! Yowza!! And naturally, I gravitated to the really expensive yarns. That hobby went nowhere very quickly. I’d just like to see people be encouraging and keep the negativity to themselves. Everyone’s coming from a different place. We shouldn’t belittle those who can’t or don’t want to purchase from the shops. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Bravo! I’ve never had a recipient worry about where the fabric came from….if they care that much, maybe they don’t need my gift of love.

  13. This is interesting though frustrating. I belong to a facebook group for hand quilting and a new to quilting person asked about using those pre designed panels…cheater cloths. That unleased some very undignified and actually mean comments. The identical thing happened to a knitting group I belong to about the yarns you are using. I’m mystified by this; if you can afford the very best of supplies, good for you, but why on earth would you put down someone else who more than likely can’t afford the exorbitant prices of the so called better stuff. It prompted me to write a post about it too and get this off my chest, though you can see I’m still disappointed that people will behave like that. Our hand stitching groups should not be places for people to unleash snobbishness of any kind.

    • It seems like the hot topics go in cycles. One month it’s hand versus machine quilting; then its traditional versus modern; the next it’s where you buy your stuff. I just want to scream ‘it’s a hobby!’ and make everyone find a corner to sit in for five minutes. Thanks for commenting, Jocelyn. Have a great weekend!

  14. I so agree! with what you and everyone has had to say! I have not joined any guilds for exactly this reason. I will travel almost anywhere within my province if I want to check something out or know I can only get something at a specific place, but if I am given the “second-class citizen” treatment- they are crossed off the list and I never deal with them again!
    My fabric comes from anywhere- I currently have 3 100% linen shirts from goodwill to be dissected for the stash.
    Keep telling it like it is.
    I love your blog:)

  15. I really needed to hear this “rant”! A few months ago I was at an amazing fabric estate sale and the family said the beloved quilter purchased only good fabric, not from Joannes or other cheap locations. I was feeling a bit guilty about buying from those locations but I won’t anymore. I love our local quilt store with it’s huge inventory (just up the road from you in Lewisville) and I love their yearly employee “garage sale” of samples, fabric they no longer love, partial finishes, etc but I also get just as much joy from finding the right piece at Hobby Lobby, Joanne’s or even an estate sale. By the way, the Quilt Country garage sale is July 14-16.

    • I’ve heard of Quilt Country, but have never been. And no, one shouldn’t feel guilty about buying from a discounter. I scored Northcott and Alexander Henry from Hobby Lobby. You can’t tell me it wasn’t the same as quilt shop fabrics. Quilt on, Natalie, and enjoy your fabrics no matter where you purchase them!

  16. I keep a box handy for fabric that finds its way to me that I can’t use for multiple reasons. When the box is full I make a dog bed and donate it to the dog shelter. No waste. Can’t stand wasting any fabric. I have been fortunate to be able to buy high quality fabric that will exceed my lifetime, but all fabric can be used for good, sometimes we have to look for it. I also am making Christmas quilts for children at shelters to be gifted later this year. I believe we all should give something of ourselves to those in need.

  17. I’m opposed to the quilt police in all their pretentious forms. That said, I’m too much of a liberal to buy at Hobby Lobby (hey, I attended UT-Austin BACK IN THE DAY, so what do you expect!). Otherwise, I buy where I find the best deals.

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