A Broken Resolution Already

That’s right, I resolved to buy less fabric and use up what I have in 2014.  So, before the confetti was swept up and the party hats put away I was online buying fabric.  My only excuse is that the price was right.

Due to my upbringing I have a Pavlovian response to the word “sale.” And when that word is combined with “fabric” my willpower vanishes like dew in the desert.

Equilter was offering lots of fabric at 60% off and more.  Even accounting for shipping costs, the twelve yards (!) of fabric I bought cost $5/yard.  Much of my purchase is designated for backings.  I had used up most of my backing fabrics and was down to two colors of brown and some blue swirly stuff.

My self-imposed rule is that backing fabric can cost no more than $5/yard.  Why? Because you need so much of it. That means I shop sales. My last big score was at a local quilt shop’s closing sale. I do piece my backings (see below), and many of my current quilts are small, so my backing fabrics go a long way.


What do I look for in backings?  First I go for a pattern, preferably one that’s not strongly directional.  Stripes and squares look awful if they get off kilter.  And solids highlight any less than perfect quilting. Then, I try to avoid reds as they can bleed, usually on a quilt with a lot of white. I look for a range of values so I can better coordinate my top and bobbin quilting threads.  One experience with a black and hot pink top taught me that lesson.  I spent a lot of time touching up pink thread with a black marker.

Finally, my backing choice depends on whether the quilt will hang on a wall or be used on a bed, baby, or lap.  For functional quilts I try to choose an interesting backing as it will be seen a lot.  For a few bed quilts (yes, I’ve made some) I even chose backings that allowed the quilt to be reversed.

I certainly have strayed off topic here.  What was I talking about?  Oh, right. My profligate ways.

Here are my purchases, which finally arrived.

fabric_buys_2014I guess eclectic would be the best word for this group.  The jade on the left, the pale pink on the right, and the yellow and black on the lower right are destined for backing.  I’ve taken a separate photo of the pink (from Valori Wells) as it was overwhelmed by the strong colors in the group shot.

Valori_Wells_fabricTwo of the one yard pieces are almost solids that I hope will add a bit of texture to some backgrounds.  The bold stripe actually goes with a leaf fabric that keeps showing up on my can’t find a use for list.  Maybe having a buddy will get both fabrics into a quilt this year.


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6 responses to “A Broken Resolution Already

  1. Ann

    Too Funny! I also have that Pavlovian response! After donating much of my stash to charity over the last few years I have been able to resist (mainly). I have many PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) — or in my case plastic bins or zipper bags so I won’t run out of projects anytime soon!

    • In my case it’s plastic boxes filled with scraps. I’ve begun stitching those bits together to make new “fabric” but I’m reluctant to throw away leftover fabric. My upbringing, again.

  2. I could have written this post. But, alas….the after Christmas sales got me too!
    Years ago, I was working hard as a mechanical engineer. Long work days, and five children at home drastically curtailed my sewing time. However, I would stop at the fabric store every Friday afternoon (payday). My husband thought I had lost my mind, as I stashed my bag of fabric in a cabinet in the garage.
    My thought process was this..I had money then, but zero time. But I knew that someday I’d retire. My fear was I’d have time, but zero money. So I hoarded fabric for several years.
    I’ve been retired for ten years now, and I’m just about to use up my stash. So I look for good sales and coupons. I keep telling my husband that it keeps me out of the bars!! I could have worse vices.

    • Just remember, you’re an artist who needs raw materials. And that fabric you squirreled away in the garage may be highly desirable now to new quilters who seem to go bonkers over fabric “lines.” I didn’t know such things existed (did they?) when I began quilting.

  3. Are the sapphire and raspberry fabrics shot cottons? Very pretty.

    A style comment: I really appreciate that you *explain* what you do and why. I love eye candy as much as anyone, and you provide your share. But you always go a little (or a lot!) deeper than that. Thanks. It makes your blog one of the handful I enjoy most.

    • Some folks believe all that ‘splaining I do is diarrhrea of the mouth, but you put it much nicer. The fabric you asked about is a printed tone on tone woven effect. The selvedge says it’s by Timeless Treasures. No designer or line given.

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