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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.