Quilt Design and Buying Fabric

Quilt Design and Buying Fabric
Purple/teal quilt

Purple/teal quilt

I ADORE fabric.  100% cotton quilting fabric especially but I enjoy all types of fabric.  It is eye candy to me.  Luscious colors, sophisticated neutrals, stark solids, and many different patterns – like fabric that looks like granite or tree trunks or feathers.

I also love going on the hunt for a quilt design to suit a particular fabric. And I”m crazy about the magic of zillions of fabric choices: colors, textures, depth, the style of the fabric such as batik or floral, satin smooth or burlap-like.

Fabric is quite addictive to the person who loves sewing and design.  The on-line hunt for a fabric that speaks to me is a guilty pleasure.  Yes, I buy my fabrics online. When I lived in the US, I supported several quilt shops in the Portland, Oregon area.  But now I live in Ecuador where there is virtually no true cotton quilting fabric.  So I have developed a few favorite online fabric shops.  I have fabric delivered to my daughter in Oregon and pick the fabric up when I visit her, about once or twice a year.  This year, that visit is only 10 weeks away. Hooray!

As a quilter, I love the terrific variety of fabrics offered in the US.  There is beginning to be just a little 100% cotton in Cuenca. It seems to be shirting weight, pretty thin for great quilting material. But it’s a start.  More could follow, although the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, is very interested in importing less and less , to force the purchase of Ecuadorian products.

So I have a pile of fabric and other items accumulating  right now in Oregon. Thank you to my wonderful daughter for receiving all my orders at her house!  A big thank you to my son-in-law too! And sometimes things go to my darling daughter-in-law, who also graciously holds things for me until I visit them in California. In the past, things were also delivered to my friend Cindy or to Tania’s house. And people like David H. who brought some fabric back to Cuenca for me when he visited the US around the holidays. What he brought allows me to complete my daughter’s 35th birthday present!   All of these wonderful people help me keep quilting in Cuenca. My heart warms whenever I think of each of you.

owls for tenley

How do you shop for fabric?  Do you go to a particular store or do you like a resource online? Do you scout a lot of stores, like Cindy and I used to do on week ends?  How long can you go without looking at fabric or buying fabric?

When planning a new quilt, do you pick a design first or spy a fabric that speaks to you first and then figure out the design? Do you ever take classes online or in person at a local quilt shop?  Do you teach classes?  I love community quilt shops and support them in every way I can when I am in the US.

In my last post, I imagined the pioneer women in the 1840’s US, bumping along for weeks in a covered wagon on a frightening journey to live in some rugged part of the West.  No “Big Box” stores, no Starbucks and definitely no fabric stores in the West back then.  So for me, unlike the pioneer women who could not shop for fabric at all on the trail West, I can sit in the comfort of my living room and explore color and design on my computer screen.

Happy quilting. Do what you love. If the money does not follow, you are still doing what you love.  Those are the riches!


My favorite “shop for fabric online” sites:

http://www.fabric.com    free shipping over $35. Great selections, good sales.

http://www.equilter.com       The image of the fabric on my monitor exactly matches the fabric when I buy something from them. Drawback: rarely is shipping free. Service is excellent and orders ship quickly.

http://www.fabricdepot.com  A great variety of fabrics.  Check out their batiks.

http://www.redrockthreads.com   Aurifil, Floriani, Gutermann, Sulky Robison Anton, Sulky, YLI   Great selection of brands and colors!




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