Thursday, April 11, 2019

✂️Fabric Shopping For Quilters at IKEA ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช

The last three quilts I've made have IKEA fabrics for the backing: 

Many people have asked me where I find fabrics at IKEA. These are my strategies for fabric shopping at IKEA.  

First of all, there are 50 IKEA stores in the USA, plus IKEA is located in 52 different countries, so each store will have different results. We live near the Minneapolis IKEA, next to the Mall of America, so this is where I do all my IKEA shopping.


One thing to remember when fabric shopping at IKEA is that it is hit and miss. The stock is constantly changing. Some days you'll have better luck than others. We visit IKEA 2 or 3 times a year.
   
Another point is that these fabrics are mainly large graphic Scandinavian prints, so they don't work well being cut up into small pieces for making a quilt. They mainly make interesting, unusual and inexpensive backings for quilts. They are at least 60" wide, which makes them especially great for quilt backs--no piecing necessary!
  
 The Mpls IKEA does have a fabric department. It has been moved to a different location across the aisle and over a bit, and has been downsized to less than 1/4th of it's original size! This is the entire fabric section as of April, 2019:

The cutting table is across the aisle. All fabric is cut by the customer on the honor system and the customer writes the yardage on a tag. Now, before you get too excited about these fabrics, they're all too heavy for quilts, being thick decorator fabrics and canvas. I did notice some linen, which would sew up into a nice Wiksten Haori:

IKEA usually has one print in the fabric department at all times that is quilt fabric weight, 60" wide and is priced at $5.99/yard. They have changed the design over the years. A lot of quilters loved and bought the "cursive writing numbers" print when that was in stock. That was before I moved here, so I didn't get any, but I've seen it on other quilter's quilts and it's become a bit of a legend:
I have bought several of the "cursive writing numbers" fabric successors, pictured below. When they come out with a new print, I can sometimes find the old print on clearance for $2.99/yard, which is a great time to stock up, especially since it's 60" wide:

The Mpls IKEA doesn't have the quilt weight $5.99/yard fabric right now. I'll be interested in checking out some other IKEA stores on our trip west this summer and see if any other stores have it.

IKEA also has occasional special purchase fabric bundles for sale. I have only seen this once and I bought every color option they had. They came prepackage at 60" wide by 3+ yards long:

After looking through the fabric options, it's time to start thinking outside the bolt. I found this tablecloth in the kitchen department last week. It is quilting cotton weight and is a colorful, fun print. The size is 57" X 94" and the price is $12.99. That comes to about $5/yard, a great price for fabric that is wider than the usual 42".

The bedding department is where one will find the real gems. IKEA sells a hundred different prints in duvet covers. These come in Twin, Full/Queen or King size. The important point is to check that it is made of 100% cotton. Many of them are not, so check the labels carefully. BTW, these are not tightly woven sheets and work great for quilt backings.

Here are some I saw last week that really caught my eye. This was the display at the store entrance. I love this red/yellow/navy print on these duvet covers: 
Here's a pattern of gingko leaves that my DH and I both loved, as gingko trees remind us of Japan:
Here's another print that would look great on the back of a Japanese quilt:
My strategy is to look for the duvet covers on sale, make sure it's 100% cotton, then decide if I like the print. Here's the one I purchased last week. I don't know why, but only the full/queen size duvet cover was on sale, not the twin or king size:
 
Back at home, I turn it inside out, send it all through the washer and dryer and give it a good pressing. The nice thing about duvet covers is there is a back and front piece of fabric of the same print. I skim off the serged edges with my ruler and rotary cutter. On one end there are plastic snaps. Rather than cut that part off, I use a pocket knife and cut the snaps off. They leave small holes in the fabric, but they're within the outside 2" of extra fabric when the backing is loaded on a longarm. 
After removing the plastic snaps I used a seam ripper to take out the accompanying hems, and press. This way you gain 3" extra to your piece of fabric. 
For a full/queen set, I end up with two pieces of fabric approximately 84" X 87". In this case they cost about $7 each. There are also two pillowcases that come with it. These can be taken apart and used for the back of table runners. The pillowcases make two pieces of fabric approximately 26" X 76", costing about $2 each.

Now, here's one option I recommend passing on--in the clearance area near the check out registers they had an entire shopping cart of fabric for $100! There were two of them. Unfortunately it is all the thick decorator fabrics or canvas. How crazy is that?!
Well, those are my best tricks for quilt fabric shopping at IKEA. You'll be surprised at the unusual prints available, great prices and the extra large sizes of fabric.
My DH recommends arriving at IKEA in time for the $1.99 breakfast! I'd love to hear your comments or questions about shopping at IKEA. 
Grace and peace!!! ~Nancy
  

39 comments:

  1. This sounds like fun. I've been to the Ikea in the cities but it's been years. It was before I started quilting so I wasn't checking out the fabric. Next time I'm in the cities I'll have to do that. Thanks for all the tips.

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  2. I can’t wait to take another look. These were very helpful tips! I always buy the 20” feather pillow inserts at IKEA because they’re cheap and comfortable. And I always eat a meal at the restaurant, breakfast or Swedish meatballs for lunch. Yum!

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  3. I really should go there more often since I live very close. A few years ago I picked up some beautiful Music themed fabric for a quilt back and I love it. All gone when I went back again, which was sad. I tried their white cotton bed sheets for backing once, but the fabric is too thin.

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  4. I have bought several of the prints you showed, as well as sheets and duvet covers. Your tips are good ones. My favorite quilt back I have ever used was from an IKEA duvet cover. You can see it here if you like: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quilts_by_lisa/26354750292

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  5. I have been there just at the right time only about twice. Last time I went I found nothing..but I love the duvet cover idea. Thanks for the tips.

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  6. Great tips....thank you!!! I have an IKEA close by and I will keep my eyes open on my next visit!

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  7. I have only been to IKEA once - we have none in my area and would have to drive about 4 hours to get to one - maybe one day there will be one close by to visit

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  8. I love those bright, modern graphic prints! They always look great as quilt backings. I'm glad you've been able to find so many that work for you. Your tips, especially about double checking for cotton content, are super useful :)

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  9. Very interesting read. I do remember looking and it was the decorator weight and I thought why are people so excited about IKEA fabric! I'll go with a different eye next time!!

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  10. No IKEA near me! The closest one is Denver...6 hours away. Then I think the next closest one is Minneapolis! I was overwhelmed the one and only time I visited an IKEA. I’m such a “hick”!

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  11. Thanks for the interesting fabric tour of IKEA. I love your "think outside the bolt" philosophy.

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  12. What fun! You make me want to shop there now!!

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  13. Great article! We'll be moving out to Las Vegas in about a month and there's an IKEA in town, so I'm super excited to check out their fabric! Thanks for the tips!!

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  14. Hi Nancy! I was looking forward to this article since you teased us about the topic earlier in the week. We have a new IKEA store not too far from us. It just opened for the holiday shopping season at the end of 2018, and I haven't visited yet because of the crowds. Maybe now that the novelty has worn off, it is worth a fabric scouting trip. Thanks for all the tips. Happy Friday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  15. Great tips, Nancy! I have never been inside an IKEA but I'm sure somebody will make great use of this advice. Good deals to be had if you're alert!

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  16. Fascinating! I had no idea that Ikea carried fabric. Thanks for sharing this on Wednesday Wait Loss.

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  17. Okay, last time I was in Edmonton I checked out their IKEA because being a large, major city, I thought they might be better than the one in Canton, Michigan, near me. (yep it's closer than the one outside Toronto). Their fabric section looked like yours, and I was disappointed. However I did get some muslin at a great price (wish I'd got more as it's all gone now, and is great for the bottom layer of quilted cushions that will not be seen since they're inside the cover, and I always put a pretty backing for the envelope back side). Anyhow, yeah, all decorator weight, so I bought nothing. In Canton it's in a out-of-the-way place too, and I've yet to find anything quilt weight. But duvet covers!! Tablecloths!! You are SMART! Thanks for sharing this info! Where I live it's economical to just order stuff online (we ordered our entire kitchen, and bathroom sink/pedestal, medicine cabinet and tap, and for $20 they ship it down to our pickup centre in Windsor, which is a ...oh, 10% size version of the big IKEA. I love IKEA and it's been perfect for this little house we are now in and renovating.

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  18. Great ideas for Ikea. Love going there, just a shame it is far away.

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  19. Thank you for that tour of IKEA. Now I know what I can look forward to when they open in New Zealand. I sure hope they do have a fabric department. I can tell you something - there's no way they will have $1.99 breakfasts here. A cup of coffee costs about $4 in New Zealand. We can hardly buy anything for $1.99 anymore! Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

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    1. The $1.99 breakfast is ridiculously cheap here, also. BTW, coffee is free with the breakfast meal at IKEA. One of IKEAs mission points is "Our idea is to serve everybody, including people with little money." But really, I think it is a "loss leader".

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  20. Thanks for the info. Now if I can just find an Ikea close by!

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  21. Great tips! The closest IKEA to me is about a 4.5 hour drive. Wish it was closer.

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    1. I read their criteria for placing a store is "a growing population and approximately 2 million people within a reasonable driving distance". They didn't say what a reasonable driving distance is though! All I can say is, check out locations before you go on a road trip.

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  22. Great tips for shopping for quilt fabric at Ikea. I know they have fabric,just never able to find it. I will have to look harder my next visit.

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  23. I have been in Ikea only a couple of times and didn't know they sold fabric. I may have to visit the next time I'm near one. Thanks for the helpful hints!

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  24. All great tips! I rarely get to ikea, but when I do I check out the fabric section. Next time I'm be on the look out in bedding and table linens. The cursive writing fabric is amazing! I have a couple yards waiting to be used.

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  25. I love Ikea Duvet covers - both as quilt backs and as duvet covers. They are lower thread count than other duvet covers and even quilt fabric but so soft and breathable.

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  26. Hum, a new reason to go up to Ikea. I've bought shelving and paper napkins and a art easel... but haven't thought to look at the fabric. Next time I go I'll check it out.

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  27. We don't have an IKEA in Maine so I have never been. My daughter goes to one in Massachusetts. I will have her check for fabrics next time she goes. Thanks for the tips!

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  28. What a great post! I live in a city with an IKEA and we go there 3-4 times a year. I use their pillow forms for the quilted pillow covers I make. I hadn't thought of looking at duvet covers for quilt backs, though! Great idea! We've also used their kids section as an indoor park when we had many rainy weekends in a row. It's so funny to me how much my son will play with the toys at IKEA even though we have many of the same toys at home!

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  29. I think the key here is the hit-or-miss quality of fabric shopping at IKEA. I live a good hour from a store, so I need to already be in that neck of the woods -- or have other things to buy -- in order to justify the trip. You've got some really great stuff there, though, and I love the tip about checking out the duvet covers!

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  30. I had heard about quilters using IKEA fabrics for their projects. Thanks for the info. My problem is that the closest IKEA is an hour away and I don't go that way at all anymore. I'm sure this info will be greatly appreciated by those who live closer. Blessings,

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  31. This was a great post. Thanks for sharing all this info with Moving it Forward.

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  32. I have bought fabric from IKEA just once. Love the 60" width. Online option is not available and the nearest IKEA is an hours drive away in good traffic conditions. May be I should make a special trip with another quilty buddy :-) Duvet covers sounds like a great idea and so is the table cloth. I have bought 100% cotton sheets from Target to use as backing.

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  33. I've never successfully found the quilting-weight fabric! I suspect that another local quilter must beat me to the punch every time. Time to change strategies and check out those duvet covers! Thanks for the tips, and thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday.

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  34. so cool! I've never went there to shop for fabric! How fun!

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  35. I have used duvet covers as quilting fabric before, same techniques as you in prep. I hadn't thought of trying IKEA though, we have one here near the airport and not far from my brother's house. Thanks for the pointers.

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  36. The home decor fabric is great for bags and pouches. There is often matching plain cotton lining fabric which you can use to line the bags, or for contrast.
    I recently saw the fabric of the table cloth you show in heavier curtain material quality. I'm going back for some to make bags for my twin grandchildren to store their toys in the play-pen.

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