Unusual Fabrics QOTD

karpetMarch 4, 2012

I have not bought fabric at fabric stores for the last several years so the fabric I buy is from sales, thrift stores, etc - pre-loved fabric! I've found that I get quite excited now when I find unusual fabrics, (they are still cotton) especially vintage ones. What about you - do you prefer the new fabric lines, or do you have any unusual fabric favorites?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My favorite to use was cotton waffle muslin. I made DD a quilt for her highschool graduation with machine embroidered music themed pictures on the waffle cotton. I had to stabilize the back and top but it turned out beautiful. The alternate blocks were made with music themed fabrics and were friendship stars....representing all of the new friends she would make at university in music.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have any thing that particularly lights my fire, but I sure have NOT liked any new fabric lines for the last several years! I don't care for the color schemes or the designs. I'll be really glad when they get over aqua and brown.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like vintage fabrics. I get excited when I find them. I also like finding vintage quilt squares already pieced together just waiting for someone to put them in a new quilt.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What an interesting question!

Most vintage fabrics don't have enough color for me. Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Jacobs, batiks in any shade - these are the fabrics that make me want to pull out my credit card. And Michael Miller's relatively new line of yellow and gray fabrics really appeal to me. I buy most of my fabric from the on-line discount places but I really like a lot of what I see in the stores. I just wait for it to show up on line.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I saw your other post about finding some great fabrics and meant to ask what you found. Can you post pictures? I'm very curious!!!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love most fabrics which can be good and bad. Unlike Kate I am not real fond of some of the newer designs but there is a place for most of them but not always in the places that they are used.
I do have a thing for metallics but difficult to find the right place for many of them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll work on getting a picture - but I must put out a warning that these will probably be considered undesirable by most quilters! They were for me too when I first started buying them because, for the most part, they are not what you would find in a store. Some of the fabrics that I've been the most excited by are:
- a purple Hawaiian fabric that runs in shade from white to dark royal purple. It is a heavier weight.
- a bright hot pink with muted purple and orange in the pattern, but mostly what you see is a HOT pink. It does not have a lot of body.
- a vintage aqua swirl fabric with lots of body.
-a bright red background with giant blue tulips, and white and yellow flowers w/ green leaves - all in primary colors and large print. (I'm not a large print fabric person, but this one excites me!)
- a yellow floral that is just beautiful. It is very thin, but I love this print.
- a vintage flannel that does not feel at all like the modern flannel material - it took me awhile to realize that it is the same texture as a vintage flannel nightgown my grandma gave me when I was a kid.

This weekend, the yellow floral and vintage flannel were in the fabrics I found. Most of the others were the 90's floral calicoes, or current flannel prints. I was glad for florals because it seems I've been getting a lot of plaids lately! I'm not a great lover of plaids, but for men's quilts they work well.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My most unusual fabric purchases are kind of making me concerned that I' turning into a hoarder. Last summer I came across 2 boxes of fabric samples that came from a shirting company in NY and were then put in display books for a tailor with his company name on the books. I bought them, washed all those little fabric samples and ironed them and am planning to make a couple quilt tops with them. I also researched the shirting factory (the building is still there and they now have a restaurant in it with pictures from when it was a factory) and researched the tailor shop in Rochester (it is a private home!) These shirting samples should have been enough for me, but then a couple weeks ago, someone dropped off 2 bags of shirting scraps - the fabric left after the pattern pieces were cut out. I waited a week, but I bought those too. I just saw an ad on craigslist for free left over fabric samples, (all cotton, linen or silk.) which reminded me of these other unusual fabric purchases I've made!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Karlene~Bonnie Hunter would love you!!! Please look at her books and of course you are familiar with her website.

I encourage you to try her method of taming all those fabrics and scraps. She started in 15 mins increments, pressing her fabrics 15 mins at a time - than separating and cutting.

Have fun! The shirtings sound like they are the best!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have plunked my magic twanger! I am a fabric junkie and I have also considered myself at risk for being a hoarder. I adore the vintage and older fabrics. Not just the designs but the different fabric finishes (like the sateens) and the quality of the all dometically produced cottons and their weights and quality. If you pick up a cotton garment produced today and one produced in the 1950s you will feel a most definite difference in weight and substance of the item. I do love some of the designs of that era as well and the neat thing is most all everyday clothing was made of 100% cotton, so almost all of the discarded clothing and sewing scraps would be suitable for quilting.

I'm doing a jewel box now and having a ball getting into my fabric stashes with 50s-70s material. I did take apart some clothing purchased in Greece and Hawaii and it's in the quilt now. I did have sample books from a home decorating shop with lovely cottons in dramatic prints. Even the sheets of that period were all 100% cotton. I grab any of those up I can find to use in my quilts, especially for backings.

I also do not limit my quilts to cotton. I have a large stash of Irish linen I brought with me from a mill in Enland and also a similar stash of Japanese raw silk my mother brought back from Japan. I'll have a quilt out of each. Ditto what was said about the old flannels, they have a different drape and heft than the new stuff. I'll have a quilt from old wool and I'm also considering a Victorian-styled crazy quilt from a big assortment of silks and velveteens and jacquard samples I've picked up at bag sales over the years.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With my scraps I do cut them down by the quiltville method. And the one box of sample fabrics are all the same size. With the shirting scraps, I'm using them in some foundation quilts so it's okay of the shapes/sizes are not uniform as they get trimmed as I go. I was good and did not respond to the ad for free designer fabric samples! : )

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:01PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Fun idea, but need help.
I am an occasional, novice, quilter and am making a...
March 2015 Quilting/Sewing Goals
Our March came in like a lamb. How about where you...
Spider Web
And I still have lots of scraps!!! The first border...
Wahoo and Thank You
Thank you so much to all that submitted blocks from...
My Mom's cross-stitch bookmark
I took a brief break from quilting the last 2 weeks...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™