Yesterday we considered the creative aspect of building our own personal stash (Fabric Love) and today I’m going launch off into the subject of buying fabric as a practical matter. For the record, I think I'm much too frugal minded to be a purist! Also, as a dedicated scrap quilter, well, sometimes I can work my way around to at least being delighted with a piece of fabric under the right circumstances. I'm good with that. If a fabric purge feels right to you and necessary in order to clean up your stash, then I say go for it! For me, the goal is to get rid of the awful fabrics, consider if (and where) I can use and/or hide the ‘maybe’ fabrics and then make a better effort to bring home fabric I love in the future.
Here’s a tip that I learned years ago that might work well for you too. It helped when I was a newbie quilter and it still works today if I remember to make the effort! The key is learning to pay attention to what fabrics are unequivocally speaking to you--finding the beauty and leaving behind the dross.
HOW TO FOCUS AND SHOP WELL (An exercise in looking beyond the obvious):
After you've circled through the entire store (sometimes I even do that twice, hopefully not in a creepy way), then it’s time to go pick up a bolt here or there for cutting and gather the fat quarters that are speaking directly to you. I usually leave behind anything I’m waffling about. There will always be other fabric available. Go ahead and repeat that if you have to.*wink
- Buy fabric that whispers, ‘Take me home, I’m special’
- Learn to buy selectively and judiciously--one amazing piece of fabric is infinitely more inspiring than three ‘so-so’ ones
- Buy from specific fabric shopping lists kept on hand (more about that in a later post)
- Be adventurous in noticing (and buying) random pieces of fabric--These particular choices are the sweetest of acquisitions later on
- Don’t buy ugly fabric just because it’s been languishing in the discount bin long enough to be a fraction of the regular price. Make it a really good reason.
- Do try and leave the store after only buying 1 fat quarter if that’s ALL that is worth collecting. Really. Have some self control. lol
Okay, that was a lot to contemplate in two days, covering the importance of having a good stash, accumulating fabric that speaks directly to us and focused shopping. There are many other practical details like how much fabric to buy, making detailed buying lists, plus alternate ways to acquire fabric, etc., but we should probably move to something else for next Wednesday. Depending on the interest, this conversation could continue for quite awhile. I will definitely be taking my cues from you!