I've made a blouse with quilting cotton and was/am very pleased with it, I like the feel of the fabric having a bit more 'body' than some of the limp and flimsy dress making cottons available. It all boils down to working 'with' the fabric rather than fighting it into doing something it won't. And talking about boiling, my friends over at The Quilt Show would have something to say to the manufacturers if their fabrics once made up into quilts didn't wash and wear well, as any number of quilts are made to be loved and used! not all of them end up as wall hangings.
Besides if it wears out quickly I guess we will just have to go and buy some more fabric to make up :) But I bet it lasts better than any old thing from the cheapo high street.
I'm a total beginner but my first project was an Amy Butler skirt pattern using her fabric. ('cause that's what was in the picture.) Anyway, the skirt has held up beautifully--the fabric is just as bright as it was out of the package. (I bought it from an online retailer.)
And from a beginner's viewpoint, the experienced sewers in my life recommended starting with quilting cottons. Have you ever checked out Sew Mama Sew? http://sewmamasew.com/index.php The site sells high quality fabrics made especially for clothing. I have to admit that it never occurred to me that there might be different grades. Thank goodness I belong to Sew Weekly and ya'll can set me straight! lol
And on one last note, the quilting cottons have held up magnificently under the tough wear-and-tear of my toddler's daily activities.