Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springtime, and Buying Fabric Online

Spring is the most beautiful time of year here--the azaleas are blooming, the weather is mild, and trees are starting to put out new leaves. I like to walk outdoors this time of year, so not much has been going on in my quilt room. I did get some fabric online a couple of weeks ago. Getting fabric online is always a bit of an adventure. You can't touch it, so I typically stick with brands I've seen in quilt shops before and know are decent quality. It's hard to know exactly what you are getting from a small swatch on the screen; the color could be a little different and the scale of the print may also not be quite what you expected. If you are looking for the exact fabric to finish up a quilt and it must match everything else perfectly, you probably shouldn't be looking online. However, for the most part, that isn't how I buy fabric. I buy for my stash, and then make quilts out of what I have. So for me, buying fabric online works fine. Sure, sometimes I am a bit surprised by the brightness or scale of the fabrics when they arrive, but sooner or later I'll find a use for it so I'm not too fussed when it looks a bit different from what I expected based on the digital swatch.

So here is an example of a fabric not being quite what I expected. I found a fun Amy Butler print on sale in an online shop and ordered it. And when it arrived, I discovered that it is home dec fabric. It probably said that in the description, and I just didn't read it closely enough. Home dec fabric is wider (60" rather than 40" wide), and a heavier weight cotton than traditional quilting fabric. I didn't want to mix it with regular quilting cottons, so here is my solution (sewn on my freshly cleaned and tuned up machine that runs rather quieter than it did before. Imagine that):

Four lined, reusable grocery bags from one yard of a fun print. Not what I'd expected, but something I can use anyway.