When I took my first quilting class the teacher said something that has stuck with me all this time. If you're going to take time to make a quilt, it needs to be worth your time and you need to buy the very best supplies you can afford. I have stuck to that. I don't buy fabric at Walmart (nor do I buy much of anything at Walmart, but that's another post for another blog) nor do I often buy fabric at Joann's etc. I buy designer fabrics (mostly moda, but also timeless treasures, free spirit, rjr, hoffman, westminister, etc) and 100% cotton (scrim) batting and 100% cotton threads.
But I noticed that this mantra needs to apply to all aspects of life. You should really take the time to make sure it's what you want and then buy the very best you can afford. It makes a HUGE difference.
For example: my old roommate and I were talking about silverware. A few years ago I bought the "open stock" at crate and barrel (I couldn't afford all my silverware at once, so I bought it piece by piece). I have had it for at least five years. She mentioned that she has one of my spoons and it is her favorite. It's sturdy, it still looks nice and it never bends. Neither do the tines of the forks. Nor the knives (even when I use them as a screwdriver in a pinch!)
Who would have thought that buying $2 a piece silverware would make that much of a difference? Prior to the C&B set I had three other cheapo sets that I ended up selling at garage sales or giving away....so if you add up the costs, buying cheap was more expensive that sucking it up and spending the money.
Same goes for towels and sheets....and most household goods. Don't get me wrong, some things are "fads" or more disposable....like outdoor plastic ware and party ware...but some things, like china or silverware are timeless and if you spend the money today it will last you well into tomorrow....