I’ve spent some time recently thinking about the fabric selection process and the different approaches to it. First, there is the TV dinner method. You see one of those cute little kits that has the pattern and preselected fabrics. All you have to do is put it together. It is pretty much a mindless process. I think it is great for baby quilts and small objects. Of course, the next step is the TV dinner a month thing… you know them as Block of the Month quilts. This can be a little more of an obligation as it goes on for the best part of a year or more. Of course, if you are me, you get addicted to the things and end up doing 20 at a time. The benefit of spreading the cost across many months is now silly because you might as well have bought the whole kit in one month and just keep doing that over and over again and piling the projects up in the corner because you just overloaded your system and ended up spending too much money buying too many projects for any sane person to do in a lifetime. Good thing I am not all that sane.
Another approach is the organized offender (too much CSI.. I always wanted to use that phrase). Find a fabric collection you like. Start with the print with the largest scale and pick a few or even all of the pieces in the rest of the collection to go with it. Now you just need0p0p0p0p0p0p0p0p-(sorry, that is the cat’s input). Now you just need a pattern and the quilt is guaranteed to look beautiful. I do have to say, it is fun to throw in just one completely off the wall fabric. It tends to liven up the quilt.
How about a two color quilt? You can either pick just two fabrics in contrasting colors or pick a myriad of fabrics in two colorways. Timeless, classic and oh so striking. We still celebrate the red and white quilts of past, present and future. The advantage of this is enormous if you are well organized and store all of your fabrics by color. Of course, I don’t do that; I am the throw it all in a big stack kind of gal. It’s also easier to shop at most quilt stores for your fabric because they tend to be organized by color.
Tried and true is the technique of going to a quilt store or your stash or both and building the fabrics around a focus fabric or a theme. I suspect this is what I use most often. It is very typical of me to see a special fabric. It catches my attention and doesn’t let go. I find myself staring and even drooling (just a little), I can’t get it out of my head and I just have to have it. If I’m in a quilt store, I will likely buy 10 or 20 yards to make sure I have enough of it. At home, I might be afraid of using it because then it will be gone. Eventually, I will face my fears and make a quilt with it.
Probably, the least used method in my arsenal is the one I end up liking the best. That’s when I grab a random armful of fabric and scraps. This is easy in my stash because that is how they are stored. Then I find one or more background fabrics and go for it! Usually, I only have a glimmer of what I am doing and I’m good with that. Last years challenge was done this way and I was super happy with the result. An added bonus is being able to tell my husband that I do sometimes use my stash.
I know there are so many other ways to pick fabric. However you do it is the right method. That part’s cool, right? All that is really left to say is, “Get ready, set, pick and sew..”
See you at the meeting.