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Arts & crafts

Quilters and Patchworkers

(40 Posts)
mollie Mon 18-Jan-16 13:11:34

How do you 'acquire' your fabric? Do you buy anything you like as and when you see it and add it to your stash? If so, how much do you buy at a time - a metre/yard, more or less? Or do you buy specifically for a project?

I've just been to a lovely shop but was overwhelmed by the amazing selection and very nearly left without buying anything! I did come out clutching some fat quarters but it was a close run thing! I wondered how everyone else!

MamaCaz Mon 18-Jan-16 14:29:35

I usually buy with a specific project in mind, though I might buy more fabric than I need if it's one I particularly like and can imagine myself using it in other projects in the future.

Occasionally, when I'm just browsing, I will see something that inspires me, and will buy it on the spur of the moment. That happened last week - I saw a pack of fat quarters in Hobbycraft in on-trend colours that I really liked, and I instantly wanted to use them in some cathedral windows cushions that I've fancied making for some time. Unfortunately, the colours wouldn't suit the present colour scheme in our lounge, so I've also been out and bought some new paint and will have to redecorate the lounge to match. Talk about making work for myself! grin.

I now try to avoid buying fabric unless I have a project in mind, having already accumulated several yards of fabric bought at the local market and that I haven't yet found a use for.

suzied Mon 18-Jan-16 14:33:37

Well, there's different sorts of projects... If you have a pattern / design / colours in mind then new fabrics bought specifically are lovely. It's useful to have a look at some books / websites for ideas and quantities needed. If you want to use up some bits and bobs you already have there's some good ideas for scrap quilts on The most amazing quilts are those that have been planned.

HildaW Mon 18-Jan-16 14:37:35

I try to stay true to the idea that Patchwork is all about recycling and reusing rather than just creative (which also requires a large budget nowadays if you stick to 'quilting' supplies.

I scavenge charity shops - there are a couple in Herefordshire that specialise in fabrics and crafts rather than just the usual fayre - I also use fabrics left over from other projects ( I do costumes and other dressmaking projects from time to time) as well as cutting up old garments if suitable. Every now and again I will buy from a specialist shop, especially if in the U.S. - I will then choose something really unusual and make it a key element of a piece.
If I need a large piece of fabric as a lining for a quilt I will often buy a decent quality bed sheet in a the fabric is often of excellent quality.

mollie Mon 18-Jan-16 14:56:46

Ah, HildaW, a lady after my own heart. I like using old fabrics too but sometimes it's hard to find just what you want without resorting to brand new which can be expensive. I threw away lots of material a few years ago in a mad fit of de-cluttering and regret it now.

Mamacaz you've hit the nail on the head! My home decor doesn't exactly welcome the bright, jazzy projects but I love some of the new designs and have to resist or I'd be forced to redecorate too!!!

M0nica Mon 18-Jan-16 16:26:37

I am more into recycling vintage and leftover fabrics than doing patchwork, although patching fabrics together plays an important part in my work.

Fabrics come from all over. I visit a lot of vllage hall auctions and quite often a there will be sometimes be Lot of fabric remnants, usually curtain fabrics, the remains from other people's lifetime of making their curtains and having bits leftover. I go to chaity shops and I buy online. Ebay is full of people selling odd lengths of fabrics and leftovers.

The fabrics I and DD collect get used for a huge range of products from curtains, to cushions and bedspreads, dressing up clothes and upholstery

mollie Mon 18-Jan-16 16:47:34

Interesting, Monica - for your own use or for resale? Hadn't thought about eBay but will take a look now...

Luckygirl Mon 18-Jan-16 16:54:14

I always have a project in mind when I start out buying material. I am quite excited by the mixing/blending of colours and choose my fabrics with care - so this makes it difficult to just go for scraps, as the colours might no do it for me, or accord with the wishes of the person who will be the recipient of the quilt.

There are lots of good YouTube videos that show different techniques, and I am signed up to an email that sends me new patterns and ideas.

I too use bed sheets as backing.

M0nica Mon 18-Jan-16 17:16:45

mollie Entirely for my own use. I am currently making new bedroom curtains from embroidered tableclothes.

DD is the real sewer and recycler in the family. She makes Kirsty's Homemade Home look half-hearted.

M0nica Mon 18-Jan-16 17:17:33

She is currently making her own staircarpet.

HildaW Mon 18-Jan-16 17:50:17

I've done large scale Rag rugs - and that's all with recycled stuff, I've heard of some folks buying fabric especially to make the which seems most odd to me. Must admit my DD is also very gifted and making things on a budget - she has a very smart set of sitting room curtains using cheap plain fabric that has a deep panel of expensive designer fabric at the bottom. The effect is very classy.

mollie Mon 18-Jan-16 17:55:45

Stair carpet? My goodness! How?

I've used bed sheets too, good to know it's not just me... I love hand sewing and patchwork, or my variations, allows me to sew and use some lovely fabrics. I think I need to go hunting old fabrics as that would be even better...

Stansgran Mon 18-Jan-16 18:14:53

I often buy fabric as a souvenir on my hols if I can find a shop. I do have an awful lot of material but once DH retired I realised my life would not be my own and have been very glad I bought so much as I rarely have to buy extra. I've been backing quilts with fleece which is large and cheap for lap quilts. I send the finished ones to a hospital friends shop to fill up their shelves and raise funds. We have a very good fabric shop in our local market .

tiggypiro Mon 18-Jan-16 18:25:48

The only time I might buy unplanned fabric is if it is what I might use but more important is if it is well reduced.
My family and I have all the quilts we can manage to house so now in order to get my P&Q 'fix' I make quilts for Project Linus. They are all scrappy quilts so that I can TRY and reduce some of my stash. I too buy from charity shops especially for backing fabrics (duvet covers are good buys).
However when I am holiday abroad I am always lured into fabric shops and rarely come out empty handed. I then have to wait until the inspiration for another quilt comes to me. I am still waiting to use the fabrics from India (3 years ago) and Australia (3 months ago). Any ideas ?

mollie Mon 18-Jan-16 19:18:33

That's the problem isn't it ... Only so many quilts and then what?

Stansgran Mon 18-Jan-16 19:41:31

Oh I have hundreds of ideas. So many quilts so little time. I have a wish list of patterns downloaded on my iPad.

rubysong Mon 18-Jan-16 23:13:20

I have quantities of fabric bought usually for projects I haven't had time to start yet. I found a great shop in Scarborough last summer during the lunch break when we were at a cricket match.

M0nica Mon 18-Jan-16 23:43:54

Mollie A lot of carpet canvas, precut carpet wool and an old fashioned carpet hook. Whenever she is sitting down, she is sewing so the carpet lives beside her chair in the living room so if she sits down she starts carpet making. She is single, with no attachments, so her time is all hers to do things as she wishes.

tiggypiro Tue 19-Jan-16 08:29:02

I expect she's taking it one step at a time M0nica grin

M0nica Tue 19-Jan-16 08:39:43


mollie Tue 19-Jan-16 09:52:20

Ah, like the redicut rugs? Of course. I never thought about stair carpet though... My parents used to make a lot of those when I was a kid. Mum made all sorts of much needed stuff from something entirely different, it was necessary in those days and I think most people were innovative. All very different now...

Indinana Tue 19-Jan-16 11:34:16

I tend to scour the internet for clearance sales and then buy some with a particular project in mind. It might be for crafts or, more likely these days, for dresses, dungarees, rompers etc for my baby GD. I have several lengths put by for summer dresses and matching knicks. I also pop into fabric shops when visiting different towns to see what's on offer. Hobbycraft is a good source of cheap fat quarters for simple craft projects - bunting, soft toys and so on.
I have to confess, though, that I do buy fabric randomly, just because I see something and fall in love with it, and convince myself I will think of something I want to make with it. An example is a metre of lovely cream fabric printed with black musical notes, which I found in Tavistock market. It's 100% cotton and beautifully soft. That's where the internet falls down - not being able to feel the fabric before buying.

mollie Tue 19-Jan-16 11:56:27

Yep, definately agree Indinana - the fabric has to feel right. Every time I've been to Tavistock I missed the market! Must do better next time...!

Stansgran, I collect quilt pictures on Pinterest (and other craft/sewing ideas) but get overwhelmed like a kid in a sweet shop! Too many lovely designs, I want to make them all!

quiltingnana Sun 17-Jul-16 13:31:34

hello - Fabric Guild is a good cheap place to buy, as is Doughty's. I buy a fair aount of material from the Quilt shows, and was told that if you really like a fabric - buy a metre!

Usualyy buy for a project, but sometimes just can't leave a gorgeous fabric behind..

Mrskipling Sat 10-Sep-16 13:17:35

I'm lucky in that my quilting group leader sells fabric from her spare bedroom. She taught a group of us to quilt and now we meet there regularly. Whenever I'm there and need a bit of extra fabric she always has a vast choice. Plus I can get everyone's opinion on what to choose. It'a amazing what other people will pull out to go with my fabric - patterns or colours I never would have thought of, but which go really well.