Sew, What's New?

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Beginner quilters are often mystified by the selection of quilting fabric. Rest assured that once you have a quilt or two under your belt, selecting quilting fabric gets easier. If you are still uncomfortable selecting quilting fabrics, here are a few tips to keep in mind. 1. Who will the quilt be for? If you are making a baby quilt, don't choose open weave fabrics in which tiny fingers might get entangled. If you are quilting for a family member who absolutely hates floral designs, make sure not to pick any floral prints for that quilt. It really is that simple. 2. What kind of quilt are you making? If making a rag quilt, lightweight flannels fray and puff just right for the open seams. Cotton fabrics also fray well. 3. Store displays can help. If you are not comfortable in mixing and matching fabrics, make note of the displays in your fabric store. Coordinating fabrics are usually displayed together. While you are certainly not limited to fabrics as they are displayed, the store's coordination can help give you some good options. The price you will pay for quilting fabric will vary depending on the fabrics you choose, where you shop, etc. If you are lucky, you may buy a gingham for a lining for only one dollar a yard. Those fabrics can go up from there. Keep an eye on the price tag if you have a quilting fabric budget! Many quilters have been accustomed to buying quilting fabric at retail chain stores like Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart chain, however, has begun to phase out some of those departments in stores throughout the United States. More quilters are shopping online for quilting fabric and other accessories. If you have never bought fabric online but would like to try, do your homework to ensure you are working with a reputable seller. If buying from an online auction site, you can review comments other buyers have made about the seller, quality of the quilting fabric or supplies they bought, etc. You will probably see descriptions such as "from pet free, smoke free home" included in the fabric listings you read. For buyers with pet or smoke allergies, that information is vital. Also pay attention to whether you are buying quilting fabric by the yard or by the "fat quarter." In most instances, a yard of fabric would be a better deal price-wise than a fat quarter. To learn more about quilting fabric selection, join a local or Internet quilting club. More experienced quilters can help you gain your confidence. With each quilting project you complete, you will discover you soon have a lot of leftover quilting fabric. That's the mark of a serious quilter! To keep your quilting fabric stash interesting, arrange a fabric swap with a few quilting buddies. Everyone can bring their quilting fabric scraps to swap. In addition to meeting people with the same interests, you are certain to pick up a tip or two! Once you have a stash of quilting fabric, you'll need to decide where to keep the fabric. Some quilters use cedar chests for fabric storage. Others use rubber or plastic large container totes. A simple cardboard box will also work. Leftover quilting fabric scraps are handy to have around the house. Use them for quick projects, like a making coordinated pillow or a quilted postcard. If you think you have too much fabric, trade with your quilting friends, sell at an online auction or use free classified. About the Author: Penny Halgren Penny has been a quilter for more than 27 years. She enjoys exploring all aspects of quilting and sharing her knowledge with all quilters. If you are looking for an Internet quilting club with a wide variety of resources for all level quilters, check out .

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Comment by Jan on October 24, 2008 at 10:20am
Walmart is getting bad for fabric esp us folks in areas that we have to go out of town to get fabric an there's no Joann's nor hancocks I live 65 mile away from the nearest Joann's
Comment by Carolyn de Leeuw on October 15, 2008 at 8:24pm
Walmart is phasing out fabric departments in Canada too! Too bad because the prices are less but I have always found the service to be terrible!

Good tips, I have just started getting interested in quilting so I will take it all into consideration. Thanks for the great post!

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