When I first started quilting, I liked to go out, purchase fabric for my quilt and then make it. Purchase my backing & binding fabric to coordinate. I hated scrappy quilts.
Here we are, 10 years later, and I love scrappy quilts - ok, controlled scrappy, but still. In fact, for the last three years, that's pretty much all I've made. I have made a concerted effort to use up my stash and have made great strides in that direction. Generally, my only quilting purchases, fabric-wise, are white, black and ecru. I even piece my backs to match my scrappy fronts.
As for fabrics - wow, I couldn't have changed more. From traditional to batiks. I find a lot of the fabrics I bought long ago no longer suit me, but I find a way to make them work. When cut small enough, they just show as color, right?
So how about you? Has your quilting outlook changed? Has your taste in fabric changed?
Mine has also changed a lot.
I started with the basic block, cornerstones, sashing, borders, binding kinda of quilts.
I now love paperpiecing, rustic look applique, batiks, and as scrappy as I can get...
Taste in fabrics have changed a ton also.
But still crazy about fabric.....that will never change
I want to be the kind of woman that when my feet hit the floor each morning the devil says: "Oh NO! She's UP!"
Waaaaay back when (30 - 40 years?), all I could find were calico cottons with little traditional floral prints. Everything in the fabric stores was cotton/poly blend, for clothing or household sewing. Calico cotton prints were displayed in craft stores, with the meager quilting supplies. Fortunately, that changed.
When I started seriously building stash, I guess about 20 years ago, I bought a lot of JoAnn cottons. Even they went thru a revolution. First, they weren't too bad, especially if you were craft sewing or just playing around with quilting. You could even find LQS brand-name fabrics hidden in the FQ bundles @ JA's. Whether or not they were first-quality fabrics by those makers I never did determine, but they were surprising to find at JA's, and I snapped them up. Glad I did, as I'm still pulling out my older fabrics like that & am pleased with the weight.
Then came some years when the quality of cottons at JA's seemed to go downhill. The threads were thin & the printing looked cheap. That's when I started buying more from LQS's. I hit a lot of going-out-of-business sales, so my stash really exploded. I tipped the scale from owning more JA fabric to owning more LQS fabric.
I stayed away from JoAnn's fabrics for quite awhile. Then I noticed that they were starting to get a few better quality cottons again -- had they changed their suppliers & their marketing strategy? In any case, back to the JoAnn's cutting counter. And now I buy from all over the place, as long as I like the fabric & it feels good.
I never did buy fabrics for a specific project, not even from the start. I've always built stash and then had ideas pop out at me. I need to have tons of fabrics arrayed in my sewing room like a rainbow in order to get inspired. That's the way I think. I was the same way with crayons & colored pencils & paints as a kid. Give me hundreds of different colors, and then I can create. A box of 8 crayons didn't cut it. I'd just stare at them, wondering where the rest of the colors were.
As far as fabric preferences, I've always liked color, no matter how it came -- from calico to batik. The only bandwagons I couldn't jump on were the Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler ones, when those prints first came out. They are a bit wild for my tastes, with too much energy. People in my sewing clubs loved them from the start, though, and made some beautiful and eye-popping projects!
I'm also not into Civil W*r repros or primitive designs. The colors are too greyed for me, although I do use some of the lighter CW backgrounds here & there, and I've been known to sneak poison green into projects.
Love the pastel colors of the 30's repros, and anything else that sparkles next to white. It's all about color! Still trying to express myself thru color.
Another random thought (as if I didn't write a book already)... Remember when there weren't fabric collections? When you were lucky to find something that "went perfectly" with something else you had in your stash? Now you can go to a LQS and buy a quilt's-worth of pieces from a single line of fabrics if you want. Or you can still enjoy the thrill of the hunt for coordinating things. What choices we have now!
I went from loving patchwork to wanting to do only applique, to a mixture. I've always loved lots of color and that hasn't changed. I definately changed from wanting to machine piece and machine quilt or tie, in order to get it done quickly, to wanting more handwork. Now, I love hand piecing and hand quilting. I think along with this came a change in attitude that rather than focusing on completing a project for a specific time or purpose, my quilting became more selfish. If I finish a project, that's great and I'll probably give it to someone. But it is the process that I am interested in now. The hand work is relaxing and it becomes therapy/relaxation time for me. The project itself becomes secondary. Learning not to feel guilty about it (6 gazillion unfinished projects seem to look at me accusingly every time I think about starting a new one!) is one of the biggest changes for me. I used to feel as though I couldn't start anything new till the last one was finished. Now I think life is short! I work 2 jobs and have 3 kids and almost no free time! If I want to start a new project or quit one that no longer captures my interest, then I'm going to by gosh do it! Dam n the torpedos and full speed ahead!!! I'm going to the fabric store and I don't care what those "finish what you start" quilt police voices in my head say!!
I have changed quite a bit in more than 30 years. I used to buy enough for a project and finish it, even to hand quilting everything. I might have wanted to buy a stash, but we couldn't afford it, trying to raise 3 on Navy pay! I also used all the calico prints and polycottons. I still make mostly traditional quilts, but now use a range of fabric patterns and solids. I buy fabric just because I like it. I buy mostly LQS fabric. I have things machine quilted, not by choice, because my hands have given out. Making quilts is something I do for fun, not for necessity. Life is good and I love to quilt.
i like the bright colors offered today but decorate with neutrals. i like the modern look of quilts. i think twice about purchasing fabric that is over 10 bucks a yard. i was a moda fan but it is just too pricey for me now and i tend to get a lot of my fabric at discount online shops.
I began sewing at young age at my Mom's knee; mostly clothing, some home dec. Never a mention of quilts. No warm fuzzy memories of snuggling under a quilt at Gramma's house. Got married and found myself doing lots of home dec and still clothing, only not just for me now. Married again and picked up a couple of girls to sew for, me, too. Still home dec. Going forward found myself designing, making costumes for my Sweet Adelines chapter. Colors, patterns had to be big, bright and bold to been seen from distances. Still in the clothing business. Didn't go anywhere near the 'calico' section of the fabric stores; grimace.
Then I became sick and needed something to do since I could no longer work outside the home. Quilting was something I'd never done and TV was loaded with quilt shows. And I needed a challenge.
Now the calicos weren't the same calicos, they were colors. With the help of Burns, Anderson, Fons and Porter, and numerous others I saw more selections in the fabrics used in quilts. I found myself migrating towards the colors, not the patterns. Novelty or conversation prints for special quilts but still I was looking at colors and their variances. Mottled or marbled was what I liked.
I still search out colors with variances but I also look at more expansive color variances. I finally purchased some large print black and whites to make a quilt and I liked it. I look at my stash and wonder, "what was I thinking?"
I opened my stash to a complete stranger and let her take whatever she wanted. It was a good way to clean out the old.
I guess my change has been to become more open in my fabric selections.
When I get hung up looking for a fabric or pattern, I stroll through the fashion fabrics to refresh my mind. I do very little clothing sewing but seeing the patterns, colors, feeling the fabric does wonders to my mind.
I think along the lines you do. Definitely agree on the organized scrappy, but one that I am working on now is a string quilt and it's all colors but I love it and want to finish it. I hope to do that pretty soon.
I used to buy a yard or two and then have cabinets full of material that's just not quiet enough for projects so I have stopped doing that and use it up with other fabrics I do buy when I find something i want to make.
I am also more into applique and CQing than I ever thought I would be. It just seemed to hard to imagine I could do that.
My new adventure I want to practice more is actually quilting larger quilts instead of making tops or smaller projects. I need to practice machine quilting.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Cr8tve1,
I seem to have turned full circle. I'm looking at solids now, just like I did when I first starting looking at quilting magazines and pictures of old quilts, back in the seventies.
I've learned to buy 5 - 6 yds of anything I fall in love with I tried the "finish what you start" but it didn't stick - finally gave myself permission to be ok with that. The only quilt I made in the 80's were fur quilts - designed by me and used whatever color of fur was available in the outlet store near my home Made about 6 of those before I quit. Didn't return to the sewing machine at all until the 21st century
what is a fur quilt royalboomer?
In some ways, not at all. My very first quilt "experience" was a yellow work quilt at my grandmother's house. I still love color work quilts, whether they are redwork or different colors of outline embroidery.
I have never liked scrappy, I don't do well with scrappy, and that's okay.
I have always loved color, color, and more color. My house looks as though the Eas*ter egg dye factory exploded in it. So, no surprise that lots of color saturate my quilts.
What has changed tremendously is my willingness to design my own quilts. I used to be a "slave" to patterns, buying them and ripping them out of magazines (yeah, they're still here). Now I find myself look at them and saying, "What was it about that pattern that intrigued me enough to spend money on it?" I really want to do more designing of my own, using images I've collected with clip art, applique elements, geometric designs, etc.
I am still not out of the "gotta finish it" mindset. My Type A personality (betcha that's a surprise, LOL) just won't let me leave something unfinished. It's amazing how much freer I feel having completed my D*** Jane. It's as though I can breathe and get back to some of those projects that fell by the wayside.
Great question. I think it's good for all of us to look at ourselves and where we started and where we think we are headed.
"Never be afraid to try anything new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic." Unknown.
When I started quilting I wasn't into bright colors or scrappy. Now i do a lot of both. I still love the traditional but step out of the box a lot. I still won't do crazy quilts.
Guess I haven't been a quilter long enough to notice a huge difference in outlook/style (almost 8 yrs). The big exception is probably in my free motion quilting designs, which have grown more detailed as skills have allowed.
My outlook has changed over the years and is still changing as the quilts I'm seeing with the style called "modern" are now calling my name. I'm liking the solid colors and the use of negative space, no borders, etc. It's a clean and interesting movement in quilting even when using traditional blocks.
I'm also purchasing less patterns and more likely to design my own plan. Since I am doing many quilts for charity and using a stash that has been donated, it has been a challenge to make something attractive out of the yardage available. That approach has been fun and challenging. Interesting question and fun responses .....
I've enjoyed this thread. I am really drawn to the modern quilts, but my home decor doesn't lend itself to them.
I'm happy to find that while I've been mostly finishing UFOs that are 3-10 years old that I still love them. And even my "new" projects that have been sitting around for years waiting to be made still appeal to me. What a relief!
I get my bright fix from doing Project Linus quilts.
As far as quilt patterns, I prefer more simple designs that let the fabric do the work. Curved piecing and very intricate blocks aren't my thing. I'm also not into a lot of repetitive blocks and prefer table top or lap quilts to king or queen size projects. I'd like to do more applique and get back into CQ once I plow through more UFOs.
Mostly I just like to play with different color combinations. I adore fabric!
Mandy - there was an outlet place that would sell the roll ends of yardage of fur used in whatever it was they made there - I don't remember anymore. Same stuff some used to make stuffed annimals only in 70" wide and the length was whatever was left on the roll. Because it was a pain to work with I only cut it into around 12 - 15 squares and laid them out the same way we do now with the cotton. I'm thinking that factory made car seat covers, etc. - remember this was the 80's and everyone had a waterbed, these were great for that - it's good we've moved on from there.
I dabbled making matching patchwork skirts in the 70's for my DD and myself, but never felt "I" could quilt and while mildly drawn to it, I never jumped in. Sewed lots of clothes and curtains, though.
When Simply Quilts finally convinced me to try, I got on and off different band wagons--applique was going to be MY thing, then landscape quilts, most often whatever a SQ guest was doing was going to be it.
And...I'm still a grasshopper, hopping from one quilty thing to another. The difference is, now, I know that no one style, color choice or choices, hand or machine work, is ever going to be my final and only endeavor. And...that's really what I thought in the beginning.
I TRY to obsess less. For a long time, I wanted perfect.
I mean, I would still want perfect if I was to enter into a fair ....cuz then I would want to win....but.....most quilt projects can have a little flaw or two and will still be loved by someone.
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