Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's a New Day ..........

Thanks to all for supporting my right to whine! What a great group you are. So here's my Tuesday post, with a little improvement in the tone.

When I decided to go with my red and blue scraps for the stars in "Cindy Lou Who", the Schnibbles pattern for October, I needed to pick up some gold for the stars and some background fabric for the snowballs. We went through the gold process on Monday. As you may recall, I don't have easy access to quilt shops, so many of my purchases are made on-line. This has always worked out pretty well for me. So I went on-line and found this fabric.

I thought it was perfect, it's like a little party is going on all over that fabric. The colors and whimsical tone suited this project perfectly.

Now before I go any further, I would like you to know that I am not obsessed with designer labels. I like nice things and quality, I feel paying extra for nice things and quality pays off in the long run. I do know that you don't always have to pay a premium to buy nice things.

That being said, I have always bought my quilting fabric from quilt shops. When I started sewing I heard horror stories of quilters spending a great deal of time on a project only to have it turn out poorly or shrink and fade due to substandard fabric. I also noticed on-line that some swaps specifically stated, "No Walmart Fabric" allowed. Now I'm sure fabric at Walmart is like most things at Walmart, some good and some bad. But just to be on the safe side I stick with quilt shop quality fabric. Also, I've been sewing long enough now that I can sometimes pick out a designer's fabric, like Kaffe Fassett, Jenny Beyer, and Sandy Gervais. But so far I've not been driven to buy something just because of the designer. I buy what appeals to me, like the fabric above.

I'm not going to say who made or designed the fabric above, but the company and designer were familiar to me.

So the fabric shows up and I'm ready to get going on my project. When I first saw this fabric I thought it looked a little thin, and it didn't really have a nice feel to it like most of the fabrics I get now. But I didn't pay much attention to that, I bought it from a quilt shop, it was designer fabric and I paid a designer price for it.

After cutting my squares for my snowball block I noticed the following going on,

several threads pulling away from the fabric.
After adding only two squares to this block, which required very little handling, look how much that fabric has frayed!!!

But worse yet, look what happened when I pressed the block...

this 6 1/2 inch block shrunk by as much as an 1/8 of an inch!!! I know fabric can shrink, but I usually work with fabric in widths of 18 to 20 inches. I press and steam the fabric before I cut it, thinking if it's going to shrink, it should be done shrinking before I cut it into pieces. I've made over 50 quilts and have never experienced anything like this. So now I have all these snowball blocks in all shapes and sizes except 6 1/2 inch square. And while I never intended this quilt to be a show quilt, I was giving it a good effort and expected to be able to at least piece and assemble the quilt without this much work. Plus, in the back of my mind, I'm wondering what the effects of this fabric will be over the long haul, through the quilting process and future washings. I really should have switched fabrics, but that is one of the disadvantages of having a looming deadline.

So I'm disappointed but moving on. I know that if the worst thing I can say about my life this week is that I got some shoddy fabric at a high price, then I'm a lucky person. But still I think I deserved better, or at a minimum, I deserved what I paid for. I know for sure I won't buy fabric from this manufacturer or designer on-line in the future. And I think the quilt shop should maybe have noticed something was not quite right, so I'll move them to the bottom of my list. But I am taking the high road and not naming the designer or manufacturer, but I will give you one more look at this lovely fabric.


I said I improved the tone....I'm sticking with the pictures ; ))

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7 comments:

  1. Sorry you had a bad fabric experience. I love (and collect) Jo Morton fabrics, and have found them to be of good quality. Working in a quilt store, sometimes a bolt is bad - maybe you just got a bad one.

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  2. I hate when things that should be good are not. It can happen, and when it's a bigger brand/designer the problem is normally that the store has bought "seconds", lower quality that the manufacture sells at a discount.
    I had it happen to me with an entire order of fabric once, I have not returned to that store.

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  3. What a lousy thing to happen!!! So frustrating when you put so much time, effort (and money) into a project!!! I have to say I love the picture at the bottom ;-))

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  4. Hah! A picture speaks a thousand words, right? I was working on my October Schnibbles last night and you wouldn't believe the things I found in two of my charm packs. I've posted before about them not being a true 5 inch square, but I got two "charms" that were about 2x5 inches. Weird, huh? I figure, if Moda, the leader of the pack, can have off days, we all can.

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  5. I would give Jo Morton's fabric for Andover another chance. I think you just got a lemon this time. Unfortunate for sure!

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  6. I had a bad experience with a designer fabric recently. I did not take the high road. I emailed the designer and the manufacturer and heard from neither of them. When I am paying $4.25 for a fat quarter in Ontario, I want to be able to use the entire fat quarter.
    By the way, like your blog.

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  7. Phooey! I didn't know there was such a thing as a "bad bolt" of fabric. I'm working on a quilt now that is almost entirely of Andover fabric and I love it for the fact that it's got a great weight and DOESN'T fray! Looking forward to seeing all the snowball quilts.

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