Monday, March 8, 2010

Shopping for quilt fabric …

I've only taken one quilting class, long ago in Boise, Idaho in the late 80s, at Quilt Crossing, a local quilt shop run by a fellow Boise Basin Quilters member. The quilt was based on strip piecing and was called Garden Trellis. I knew nothing about choosing fabric for a quilt, I just chose 3 lights and 3 darks and a large print. The sewing of this quilt is beginner level but the concepts of color and shading do not lend themselves well to a first quilt. When I saw what the other women in class did with their color choices and placement of the combinations possible, I was really demoralized and never finished mine. In fact, I've only completed one quilt since, although I have now returned to quilting, but I've chosen a quilt with instructions in a book--hopefully with answers to all of the questions I'll likely come across.

Now, as to choosing fabric--I've been lucky enough to find almost all of the actual fabrics Denise used in her Jacobean appliqué quilt. But, like Bradie, I've just about died when I added up the cost of all those fat quarters needed. I've solved that problem by buying charm packs, layer cakes, turnovers, jelly rolls and honey buns of the three collections in the colorations used in the book, many of them on eBay and several from on-line merchants. I've only had to purchase yardage for three of the backgrounds and the backing--all of the rest is useable from the Moda precuts. I tried going to quilt shops, but they either didn't have any of the fabric left or had never had those particular collections in their store. So it's on-line for me--it saves me time and gas money searching here and there and usually coming up empty.

I also try to save money by choosing fabric collections to make items for my home or as gifts that will actually match or coordinate with items or rooms that I already have or need to make for someone else's home as a hostess gift. I'm willing to spend a little more to gather the precuts I need to make a lap quilt and shoulder wrap to wear when I sit in a drafty room at my computer for hours. It will save me money in the long run on energy costs. I need some placemats and small appliance covers and a quilt to use in favorite chair when I read and another to nap with on the bed. So I will acquire a stash, but I intend to use it all--dying with the most unused fabric is not how I want my epitaph to read.

Quilter's Blog-Along

1 comment:

  1. Oh Carolyn! I so agree! I want to touch and sew every single piece of fabric I own. This is precisely why I MUST STOP SHOPPING!!


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