Phew. I spent most of this afternoon folding fabric. Piles of it. I was determined to organize my fat quarters. When I first started quilting, I bought more fat quarters than I tend to buy now, and I had loads that were still tied up in bundles as they came from the store. When I sew, I don't tend to select fabrics all from the same collection (unless, maybe, I'm making a bag or a child's dress). I wanted to free the fat quarters from their shackles and put them all together where I could see them and use them. Fat quarters are great for sewing bee blocks, or for the block of the month lottery at my guild. But...what else are they good for? I don't make many (any) mini-quilts and I'm not one for all of those Instagram swaps (as much fun as I am sure they are). I am happiest making big quilts. Quilts for beds and laps.
I've been thinking and talking with quilty friends recently about how we buy fabric. At the moment, it would be easy to believe that the quilting fabric market is at its saturation point. There certainly appears to be dozens of new collections released every week. Unless you are wealthy, it's impossible to buy everything that one would like to have. And if you did buy it, you wouldn't have time to sew something with it all, surely?
I am trying to switch my brain over to a new way of thinking. I really need to be more selective about my fabric buying.
First of all, no more fat quarters, unless I have a specific project in mind which really requires small pieces of fabric that can't be harvested from my scraps or yardage. I can easily sew bee blocks and BOMs from scraps.
Secondly, no buying less than a full yard. If I don't like it enough to buy a yard, I don't like it enough, period. This means carefully selecting just a couple of fabrics from a collection, rather than buying a half yard of everything, which I have been known to do in the past.
Thirdly, just buying less. Buy less, sew more.
Finally, use more scraps. I have organized my scraps and I have been gifted some scraps and I have a lovely collection now sorted by color, and by goodness I'm going to use them. All. This part should not be hard as my heart is full of improvisational intent these days.
The bottom line is that fabric is for sewing, not for petting or coveting or collecting like comic books. I need to keep reminding myself of this.
What are your fabric buying habits? I would love to hear how some of you approach this.