OK, welcome back. Let’s do a quick recap of how far we’ve come on our journey…what you need to know before you start here √, Quiltspiration and how choosing your pattern or block is the starting point of the process here √ Alright then…you are up to date 😉 !
Earlier last week, I was feeling so crappy and cranky about things that had nothing to do with my quilting or so I thought, but somehow it was creeping into my quilting sessions and I was making mistakes all over the place. I became literally bored to my bones with the customs I was working on…No, No, No, we can’t have that!!! 🙁 I needed to do something and I needed to do it fast. Anyway, there’s one thing to do when I start feeling all mucked up in my quilty life and in desperate need of an outlet for all the “crappy”, wait for it…A visit to the fabric store, yup I just said that!
By midweek, I was really desperate, counting the hours until close of business for my trip to the fabric store, unfortunately I had to stay longer at work but I really couldn’t go another day without making the trip.
I called the retailer, he said I have barely 30 minutes until closing…well that would have to do, mostly because I didn’t really need to buy anything; I just needed to bask in the glory of the fabric store and give my brain a much needed jump-start (that’s what I told myself 🙂 ) and you bet I got the jump-start I needed.
In a nutshell, choosing or shopping for fabric is one of the best part of the Quilting Process for me, another would be standing back to admire my finished work! If you haven’t guessed it by now, I will be talking about FABRICS…everything from shopping for your Quilting fabrics, choosing fabric for you quilting project, hoarding sorry I mean stashing 😉 plus everything in between even addiction. On that note, I’ll tell you this will be in parts as everything else in our Quilting process revolves around it, so no rush right? Good, let me continue my story about my desperate trip to the fabric store.
There are several reasons why going to the fabric store gives my brain a jump-start but let’s just say it goes super active while I’m there. I mean I have to think of my “star” colors/fabric (We’ll talk more on this later) coordinating colors – complementary or contrasting, value, scale of pattern, texture and quality of fabric, link that to a pattern if I have one or just the idea running through my mind…
By now, my favorite retailer understands I am not there for a particular fabric, he goes out of his way to look for complementary colors, theme of the fabric, scale of the pattern so we have a fun interaction and he knows I’m going to be there for a while…hahahaha. I have to visualize, dissect and compare the fabric in my head, he knows better than to tell me this fabric is “nice” and he’s patient enough to pull out a fabric from the bottom of the pile just because it catches my eye even if I end up rejecting it. He is even beginning to sound interested in Quilting 😉 , he is usually amazed when he sees what his fabrics have been transformed into and it’s all about that isn’t it, transforming ordinary fabrics into beautiful items?
Another reason why I genuinely love going to the fabric store is that my design decisions 90% of the time are informed by my fabric choices so I need to put everything into this choice. I’ve had some fabrics laying in my stash forever because I made a quick impulse buy and ended up hating them, but there’s nothing like an ugly fabric is there? So many different things to make with fabric that you will always find a use for them anyway (see an example of what I did with these fabrics below)
Back to what I was saying, I got to the fabric store spent more than the 30 mins I thought I had, 8 or 10 yards of fabric and a weeping pocket later…Mission Accomplished!!! Actually, the fabrics ended up in my stash for “later” 🙂 fast forward exactly a week later and I was back there, to pick up 2 yards of fabric I needed to replace for a work in progress I said but this time I “only” went home with 10 yards of fabric…I know what you are thinking but no I am not addicted 🙂 and in my defense they are really gorgeous fabrics aren’t they? It also turns out the crappy feeling was due to the fact that I haven’t been to the fabric store in a while, nah I’m just kidding!
As much as I enjoy going to the fabric store now, it was a bit daunting when I started mainly because there are no quilt shops around me (which is usually the best place to start) and buying online is not the cheapest of options for me (international shipping doesn’t come cheap). Finding alternative options that are worthy of going into the Quilt I intend to spend hours and hours making was a challenge but I have learnt to improvise and still discovering new things as I go. You may want to check out the links below about the challenges of others and advice on fabric shopping (the comment sections are quite informative too). There will be more included in the next post on that topic.
- Amy Smart of diary of a Quilter gave excellent fabric shopping advice, see that post here
- Annie’s Craft Store shared this post on how much fabric to buy see post
- Keepsake Quilting has a post on fabric Quality here
- Accuquilt has useful fabric shopping tips for beginners here
- Quiltropolis has a handy checklist of things to look for when going fabric shopping get it here
As always, please share your experience, thoughts and advice in the comment section.
We’ll continue from here next week – until then, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend…XX