Back pedaling furiously
Here's the thing. I personally adore quilts made with fabrics from years worth of collecting. I have great admiration for quilters who can incorporate very broad ranges of prints and styles into a single harmonious piece of work. It still amazes and inspires me when I see quilts that have a combination of prints that I would never, ever have thought could peaceably coexist together! Makes me want to immediately dump all my fabric out on the floor to play with in mysterious new ways.
Do I drool over certain fabric lines and naturally gravitate toward particular designers efforts? You betcha. I think we all do consciously or unconsciously. I just get a bit weary of the adulation towards the new, latest, greatest fabric line. When I see a quilt made up from fabrics in only one fabric line, I am briefly intrigued. No question. But my own love is not that kind of quilt. You won't find me making a 'one designer' quilt unless it's representing about five, seven, or even ten years worth of their fabric. (Now that sounds kinda interesting!)
So, no, I am not a reverse snob about fabric and no, I will never sneer at your efforts to make the best ever (insert famous fabric designer name) quilt possible.
My scrappy, utilitarian, frugal, make-do theory has always been this:
- Make it hard on the historians to date your quilt in the years to come. Why not? One fabric line quilts are instantly dated to the year the fabric line was released. Mixed fabric quilts require finding the absolute newest fabric used in the quilt.
- Use as much old fabric as you can with the new. Surprise and charm whenever possible, even if only for your own personal benefit.
- Take advantage of the changes in fabric color through the years. Chocolate brown from 2005 is not the same chocolate brown of 2013. Some of these unexpected combo's of color are fabulous and give a quilt wonderful depth and interest.
- Challenge the status quo. There isn't anyone who could possibly be in lockstep with a fabric designer forever. You should feel perfectly free to substitute better (in your eyes), more individual fabric choices.
- And last but not least--I think it's important to find your own voice through personal fabric selection. A one fabric line quilt is kind of like free advertisement for the designer and at least half of the quilt then becomes their voice. Hard to deny when things like THIS happen.
So there you have it! Not so quick after all, but totally from the heart. Am I forgiven?