Friday, September 6, 2013

Economics of Quilting - Off the Wall Friday

Well I was very productive this week - I spent it quilting a few hours each day on the fall piece.  Its amazing how much  the quilting line to it adds to the overall look.  Mr.  Sayre even said, "Ohhh yeahh - that does look better with the quilting in it."  So there ya go - I guess now we know why we work in fabric rather than paint!

I am enjoying using the poly thread through out.  This is the first time I'm using my stash of Metro embroidery thread and its working out well.  They have a wide range of colors and I got it on sale dirt cheap (I mean 68 cents for a 1000 m spool  cheapie!!!)  I'm also using some polyneon from madeira which is gorgeous to work with  but pricey.  I'm really happy to be switching over from the rayon to the poly's - it just seems to be quilting up nicer!

Speaking of the price of making a quilt - I started a thread this week on the quiltart mail list about the price of pfd (prepared for dyeing) cotton. It all started with me browsing in Joann's and then doing some experiment dyeing on sale fabrics I found there on clearance.  Plus  I've been wondering what is the cheapest route to go about getting pfd cotton since normally I can't find it locally.  Here are some things that I learned from the discussion:

  • Kona cotton is a registered trademark from Kaufman's and the Kona sold in Joann's is the same as the Kona sold in your quilt shop (as per Robert Kaufman's) so you could use a 60% off coupon for a bolt of it
  • Some (if not all) Joann's sell Pfd Kona but most times you have to look carefully at the bolt end to read that its pfd and not just white 
  • A good scour with a bunch of soda ash in your washer will create a nice pfd fabric (I tested this and its true - thanks Sheila!)
  • Pimatex has a very tight weave (like a batik) and dyes up wonderfully - but is hard to hand quilt 
  • Most brands of pfd are going for $5.50 - $7.50/yd plus shipping in some cases
Also - I got the following quote from Test Fabrics here in Pennsylvania where many art quilters get their pfd - including me.

As always shipping factors into the quote - since  I'm here in PA, my shipping is  $25 for 50 yds.  I like Test Fabrics too because they offer the two thread weights - 419M is has a bit meatier hand while 400 is a bit lighter.  Also they'll roll your fabric which makes it easy to store (rolls fit nicely into a corner of your studio. grin!)

Ohhhh and btw - ProChem Dyes is offering half off shipping for the month for you east coasters.  Wasn't that nice of them?

So that's a bit of the economics behind our art -

What have you been up to Creatively?


Lisa Chin said...

Love the quilting! I thought the conversation on quiltart about your post was very interesting!

Sylvia said...

Hi Nina-Marie,
I enjoyed the conversation about PDF. As I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, PDF is not anywhere to be found. I am hoping that the little quilt shop will order me a bolt.

I love the quilting! I have that fabric that is in the circle! For some reason, seeing a fabric that I love in someone else's quilt validates that it was a good choice! Looking forward to seeing this as a finished piece!

Norma Schlager said...

I love the quilting, too and your thoughts on PFD fabric.

Deborah OHare said...

Things are so much cheaper where you are. Sigh!!!

The Inside Stori said...

Thank you for the great info about pdf......very helpful!

quiltedfabricart said...

Good information about the PDF, I always wondered about the joannes kona. Thank you for sharing:-)

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, NIna Marie. I so agree that the quilting adds depth and finish to a piece. It's not a quilt until it's quilted, in my book. Love how your piece is turning out--very elegant. As for fabric to dye...I'm sticking to my flea market clothing fabrics that have been washed a million times...and the price is right.
best, nadia

Shannon said...

I love your comments about PFD fabric. I just used up the last of what I had from dharma, which is a bit pricier than what you found. I've also had pretty ok luck over dyeing no PFD fabric too- and the idea to get a whole bolt of kona at JoAnn's with the coupon is just outstanding. I'm sad I didn't think of it last week when I had a 60% coupon!

Regina B Dunn said...

Yes, quilting does change the whole look. I post photos of my art quilts in-process and I know that they don't look so nice until after they are quilted. I always hope that the people who view the blog know that.

Linda A. Miller said...

Thanks for all the hints with dyeing...great ideas for economy. I am challenging myself to use what I have in my stash and not buy anything else!

Sheila Frampton-Cooper said...

I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion this week! :)

Lori said...

had to read on PFD fabric. And how to make your own. interesting.