F is for Favorite Fabrics

I am making Granddaughter Emily a 13th birthday quilt and need more fabric. Picking fabrics is a creative activity that excites my soul – allowing me to be an artists. I am guessing that artists feel the same type of excitement as they are mixing colors on a pallet – working to find that perfect shade. It creates a grittiness deep in my being.

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I need to find a quilting store at my southern dot on the map. This is where I find the fabric designed by people who understand color and texture and quilting. I love pulling a bolt from the shelf and looking at the dots of color along the selvage indicating the colors used in printing. These rainbows of color intrigue me and help me as I mix my fabric colors.

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And the search begins. I start filling the cart with fabrics, stepping back to make sure they fit, that none stands out as too gray or bright or dull. I arrange them so one color family flows into another, moving bolts, exchanging with a different one, drawing from the techniques of working with color developed by Jenny Beyer. I look for different patterns to create varied and lush textures.

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I find fabrics that are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes, they take my breath away. Sometimes I buy a length just because I can’t leave it behind, because I’m sure I will use it sometime in the future. I have many of these; the ones I take out of the bin at a later time to hold and caress, to hug close to my chest. I have the urge not to use them because they are so beautiful and I don’t want them to be gone – but how much better to use them to make something that is a more complex form of beautiful. When I use them, it is with faith that there will be new beauties to behold and bring home.

I look for a bright one, usually a yellow or orange because I know they will add a touch of sunshine warmth.

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I move around the store – to a different section looking for whimsy. These fabrics make me giggle inside when I find them in the finished quilt.

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I have a hard time stopping, because there is always one more that is perfect. My brake is adding up, in my head, how much they will cost. My pockets aren’t deep enough to take home all the joy.

I feel a glow as they are being measured and cut and stacked. I rearrange the stack as new ones are added. Before I leave for home, I arrange them on the seat next to me so I can take brief glimpses as I drive, and congratulate myself on another successful hunt.

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22 thoughts on “F is for Favorite Fabrics

  1. “Before I leave for home, I arrange them on the seat next to me so I can take brief glimpses as I drive, and congratulate myself on another successful hunt…” It’s a gift, to have something, what we really enjoy to o!

    • Yes it is, Frizz. It is such a joy to get lost in our activity to the extent that we loose track of time. Thank you for hosting the A to Z’s. I have a lot of fun with them.

    • I will, Nora. Emily did a wonderful job of picking out the design of the quilt and the fabric I started with. I think it will be a beautiful one.

  2. This takes me back…my mom was a wonderful quilter and I used to love going to the store with her to choose fabrics! So hard to choose from all these beautiful patterns and colors!

  3. This post is so beautiful, the colours so vibrant and the artist (that is you) has inspired me to slowly tackle my unfinished sewing projects. Your grand-daughter will have a stunning birthday present, enjoy;-)

  4. fun post – and worded so nicely… “picking fabrics is a creative activity that excites my soul…”

    also, this post really highlighted the beauty of the those fabric bolts – the ones I walk by and maybe only notice if I am shopping – but what beauty!!! I really like the blue and purple shots in this post – but all pics are nice – and hope your project comes out nice!

    • Thank you so much. Not all fabric stores are created equally. If you find a good one that is specifically for quilters, you will let out an “Ohhh” when you walk in the door. :D

    • Yes, and I hope that my children and grandchildren will treasure theirs. I have one made by my grandmother that it very special to me. Thanks for your nice comment.

    • It sounds silly but it is a sensual art for me. Thank you for finding the perfect words to describe it. I, too, am looking forward to seeing the finished product. :D Sewing all the pieces together is not a sensual art for me so it can sometimes drag.

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