Thursday, December 04, 2008

Can we talk?

When I started quilting almost 10 years ago the major fabric companies had already started making fabrics in coordinating prints and everyone I knew was purchasing the coordinating prints like wildfire! I would walk into a local quilt store and purchase a fat quarter bundle (aka tower), yardage for borders, binding and backing, take it all home and make a stunning quilt. Everything matched perfectly. Made me a happy girl, after all, I didn't have to do much thinking or planning. I've never been comfortable walking into a quilt store and selecting a variety of fabric from the color walls to make a quilt. Yes, I've done it but it's very difficult for me - however I do find it easy to do it for others. Go figure! LOL

It started with the fat quarter bundles and then charm packs, followed by Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes - whew! They are very difficult to resist however I have found them easier to resist in recent months because in my mind's eye they are all starting to look alike. Please, this is just my humble opinion and I don't want to press it on you - we're just talking! :-)

So many of you have such a talent for selecting a variety of prints and making stunning quilts. You buy fabric because you like the color and/or print and then take it home and coordinate it with others in your stash! I can't do that! No, really I can't. Oh, I've purchased fabrics in the quilt store because I liked them but seldom do they get used - the drawers and shelves are stuffed with these fabrics - Sigh!

Take a look at the fabrics in the next picture - they are going to go in the same quilt and my quilt will look beautiful. Kathie shared these from her stash with me so I can add them to my Itty Bitty Basket quilt - see I'm going to needs hundreds of Itty Bitty Baskets - LOL I could never, in a million years, go out and purchase these different prints and use them in a quilt. I'll use them because Kathie makes beautiful quilts and I trust her judgement. And, how do I repay her for her generosity? I'll think of something. :-)
So, what's my point in all of this? Oh, I don't know - guess I'm just thinking out loud and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
If you leave me your thought and/or opinion I'll toss your name in a bowl/hat/basket, etc and have a drawing for a charm pack or two. :-) I'd love to share with you.
Thanks for visiting!
In Friendship!

86 comments:

Kim West said...

I have the same problem. When I go into a store, I either want the same line (bundled,etc) or I tend to pick a print and then coordinating tone-on-tone fabrics. I like the bundles, because I can get variety that matches easily. However, I did do the "clubs" and when I would get a jelly roll and a layer cake of the same fabric that I was indifferent about, it didn't make me happy. I now pick what I want for a specific pattern before I buy.

However, my latest "craze" is all the FQS's bom projects. They are evil... evil I say!! LOL!

jeorg said...

I like matching fabricas and love going through my small stash... if it isn't getting used it isn't living up to it's potential and I donate it... but I must say, packs and rolls and bundles are a lively and easy way to make a GORGEOUS quilt.

Carole said...

First of all BFF, stop being so hard on yourself. Second, I don't believe you! ;o) Sure you can do it. Some fabrics just never go well with others no matter how hard to try to make it fit. I found that my years working in a quilt shop helped me tremendously to mix match fabrics. You'd be amazed at what people get you to match with! LOL

I read Alex Anderson's book on Fabric Shopping and she mentions that you should rotate your stash. What I mean is incorporate an older fabric with some new ones. This way you're not stuck with fabrics that's 10 years old and hard to match. I solved that problem by giving it away. ;o)

I will agree with you that the fabrics are all starting to look alike, except for Fig Tree. Well I haven't seen her latest. I mean, I was a Robyn Pandolph fan when she was with Moda and I kidd you not, I saw a recent fabric that looked just like hers but from a different Moda designer. Are they reclycling past lines?

You work beautifully with charm squares, towers and jelly rolls & I've got proof. Me no way Josee! First of all, I need a half yard to even think creatively! lol As for charm squares, I pieced a small quilt and the pinking edge drove me nuts. The perfectionist in me didn't know where the edge began for the 1/4 inch. lol It still turned out okay but.... something or someone needs to change. lol Oh... and we won't even talk about the fact that I was working with unwashed fabrics. Gawd I hope that quilt turns out okay when it gets washed.

Well, you did say you wanted to talk. I really should be quilting but I'm tired. Actually, more a vegetative state.

Enough written! Cheers! Where's spell check on this? lol

Paula said...

Here is one way to try to use some stash fabrics. Pick a block that you love. Pick one that uses 2-3 fabrics and a background. Make one block from stash and place it on your design wall. Wait a day or so, and do another block... never repeating the same fabrics. By the time you've made 20 blocks, you'll have enough for a quilt and will have used 60-80 different fabrics.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

What you wrote is exactly what I have thought many time....I just can't pick out fabric prints that will go together if they are not from the same line. And I envy those people who put those big prints together in an awesome quilt. The charm packs, jelly rolls etc. get me going.

marilyn said...

I have never bought a jelly roll, charm pack or bundle in my life. I just recently learned what those terms mean. Most of my fabric was donated to me so I do the best with what was given to me and try to make things look nice. I DO NOT have an eye for color. You know you are in trouble when your children want to nominate you for 'What Not To Wear!' I admire anyone who can pick out the colors that blend perfectly and am getting a little better at putting colors together that don't scream 'I'm ugly'. My 13 year old daughter has taught me a lot. I usually pick my colors for a quilt and then call her in and she switches several of my choices and explains why they do not go with the rest of the fabrics I have picked out--too bright, dark, wrong shade of green, etc. The more quilts I make, the better I will get. So, I guess I will just have to make 1,000 more quilts and then I will be good. No problem. I will just live to be 900 years old and then I can get them all done!

miniaturequilter said...

I agree the fabrics are starting to look alike (except for fabulous fall)! I like to use charm packs too, I find it hard to match up fabrics also. I like quiltsville site-Bonnie puts anything together in her scrappy quilts and they turn out great. maybe try one of her quilt patterns (they're free) and see how one comes out. You maybe pleasantly surprise or end up with a giveaway quilt that used up all those fabrics you feel guilty for buying and not using! Good Luck!

Quilt Nut said...

i used to be able too but now with working, i find it just takes too long for me to decide on what fabrics to use on a quilt. so now i either buy the jellies, charms or layers or a quilt kit if i like the colors

beautiful fabrics by the way, i have the same layer cake lol

and i agree with Carole about rotating your stash. plus it's a great way to discover long forgotten about pieces!

Threeundertwo said...

I think I buy fat quarter packs and charm packs because I want ALL the fabrics I can get in a line. I just get greedy for the whole smorgasbord. But I've created quilts this way so many times that you can tell I don't mix things in from my stash much. I'm really trying to get better, so I understand exactly what you're talking about.

Juliann in WA said...

I think that some quilters spend time getting to know fabrics, studying antique quilts and looking at the color choices - those quilters (like Kathie) are then able to pull fabrics together based on that learning. I haven't had those opportunities and admit that I feel less than adequate at making fabric choices but I am trying to learn - to really look at pictures and see what makes them sing. I am trying to make my most recent quilt just from stash - I think it can be done. But I am also drawn to the layer cakes and charm packs. I think the important thing is making quilts with fabrics you really love - doesn't really matter how you come about having those fabrics so much. But I hear you.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh I think there is a need for both those pretty towers/jelly rolls/charm packs and a time to just buy something you like and throw it in your stash, or to buy fabric from different lines to go in a quilt. That is the beauty of quilting - you can do it all! And I do! I sometimes like to make a fun quilt from a charm pack or jelly roll and just enjoy the sewing. Sometimes I love digging through my stash and making a one of a kind quilt. And then are the times where I hunt quilt shops to find just the right color or pattern to go in a particular quilt.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh and I forgot - guess what I just used a charm pack for? I made some of those awesome fabric baskets finally! Charm packs were perfect for that! Course then I had to find something in my stash for the lining! And I cut up my kids old jeans for the bottoms! I"m hoping to have some pics tomorrow!

Catherine said...

I like buying the charm packs as I love to make little blocks -- and a 5" charm will almost always be enough for one block. Most of my stash isn't coordinated as far as being all the fabrics from one line -- and I have a lot of fun playing with it. I often will just pick up a stack of FQ's from the stash, spread them out on the ironing board and just try out different combinations.
The jelly rolls and layer cakes and FQ bundles are always enticing but I never seem to buy them!

Linda said...

Ok, my turn. I've only ever bought one jelly roll and I think 2 or 3 charm packs. Both projects are unfinished, sigh. I just can't bring myself to spend that sort of money in one hit, but I'm sure that will change once I get a job (two incomes). I love to buy single pieces and match it with what I have in my stash or buy other pieces to go with it. I think I feel limited when using a jelly roll or charm pack.....

Lurline's Place said...

I'm a bit behind with fabrics - have loved repros for so long and am now just starting to use modern fabrics - maybe I have a problem - I just can't resist fabric and am having fun while I can!
Hugs - Lurline!

Kathie said...

Ok Miss Darlene we need to have a little confidence boosting chat here :)
you can do this and mix the fabric in your stash and make a beautiful quilt...
pick a block you like...
and just start making them...
lets say pinwheel or churn dash..start with using the same color background fabric NOT the same exact fabric the same color lets go with beige/tan.
Now the churn dash part make 5 that are blue (NOT the same fabric or color blue...tones of blue) then make 5 red , 5 green, 5 gold/yellow, 5 purple...get the idea???
and before you know it you will have a scrappy quilt that you will love.
Of course you need to make 5 more of each block and then 5 more and then 5 more till you have a couple hundred for a quilt but you can do it!
Do NOT make all the blues in one day as you will tend to pick the same blues over and over, you need to have the variety!
In other words you will use your stash but cutting strips off those many, many, many different fat quarter packs you have and use them all!
another way to do this is to cut the strips and lay them out next to each other with only about 3/4" showing and you will be amazed looking at a couple of hundred of them that they do go together.
I think I need to send you a box of fabrics and challenge you to make a quilt from this box!
YOU can do this!
Kathie
Kathie

Stephanie said...

When I first started quilting in 1993 I had a very difficult time choosing fabric. I felt everything should match perfectly and I couldn't get over putting florals with stripes, or dots with plaids. After I didn't dress like that. I've learned a lot over the years. I rarely buy FQ bundles but I do love those little charm packs. My daughter (the artist in the family with a great eye for color) has helped me "step outside of the box" and look at different colors and prints. AND reading blogs I've learned so much from others. You need to go shopping with a good friend. :o)

Caroline in NH said...

I just recently (last week) bought a charm pack for the first time. I've never purchased a jelly roll or other co-ordinated set of fabrics. I mostly work from stash, with a few additions, usually from wandering the vendor section at quilt shows. Most of my choices are either 30s prints or 1800s repros, although I did just finish a black-and-white quilt for my oldest DS that was in progress for several years.

My biggest problem with fabric lines is that they have the same print repeated in different colorways. I might like one print in one colorway, but not in another. I have precious little money to use for fabric, and I don't want to spend it on what I consider repeats. Then again, most of my quilts tend to be traditional patterns, done in scraps (except for the black and white quilt, and once a stack-and-whack).

Joyce said...

I never buy packs of fabric. I agree with Freddy Moran when she says 10 fabrics can look wrong but 100 always look great. Scrap quilts using 100s of fabrics also give you a lot of practise in seeing what colors look good together. And if they don't, they are hidden among the other 98 in the quilt.

julia said...

Hi Darlene,
don't be so harsh to yourself - I don't think that every quilter who selects her/his own fabric choices was perfect in the beginning & it's O.K. if you use pre-cuts/bundles instead...!
When I started quilting 2 years ago with no knowledge of all those online shops with their wide range of fabric of all kind, I was bound to my LQS - they just didn't carry fabrics that I liked so it was so hard to choose the fabrics for my first quilt. When going to a trade show I was overwhelmed by the variety & it was even harder to choose...
Then I discovered fq bundles et al. and it was quite a relief...I could concentrate on improve my piecing skills and (sometimes) skip the difficult task of finding the right combination {it took me hours/days to find all fabric for my 'Leanne's House BOM' quilt...}
I'm still too 'cautious' in choosing fabric...and so my quilts would end up quite boring (too less contrast etc.)...
I still have much to learn - I think taking small steps is the best way to tackle this task...
I also think there's time for every sort of quilt - the ones that use pre-cuts & those in which every single piece of fabric is meticulously selected from your stash or the quilt shop ;o)
BTW, I can't resist Layer Cakes, Charm Packs and FQ bundles - I love having such a variety of fabrics all at once...but I also think that the new lines of many designers - despite being beautiful - aren't that 'inventive'...this has one advantage: you can combine the different lines more easily ;o)
Sorry for writing so much 'blah'...you hit a nerve with your question
Hugs, Julia
P.S.: Just another thought - I've got some problems to use up the bundles...first: they're too pretty to disassemble & second: the zig-zag edges cause me problems finding the right edge for my seam allowance ;o)

erica e said...

I agree that some of the fabrics look alike. There are some very pretty ones out there but they are similar. That's a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because it makes it easy to pick and choose your own fabric- several of the lines match so you can feel like you are creating your own quilt. And then its bad because it gets just plain boring.

Carolyn said...

I've been feeling the same way about fabrics. I'm not one to buy a bundle of one line, but I'm also not all that good at putting fabrics together. I feel that if I buy a line of fabric, I'll want to use it all together, on a pattern that I've seen made up in those fabrics and my creativity will be gone. So, although I will buy some pieces of the same line, I don't buy packets. Of course, I did just buy a whole pile of Jo Morton fabrics so I could make some of her little quilts. They're just too cute! I guess this comment was no help at all! :o)

Nancy said...

Oh, boy, can I sympathize! My stash is full of fabrics that I fell in love with but don't necessarily go with anything else, so they don't get used. And when I get ready to start a new project I usually head for the nearest LQS and agonize over what fabrics to use. It can be quite painful! In the end, I'm usually (but not always) happy with the results. However, that stash just continues to grow and grow...;o)

Carol said...

My friend Jeanne and I have had this very same discussion...we love fat quarter towers because the force us to have pieces of fabric that we probably wouldn't pick off the shelf...I don't buy blues...so without bundles I would rarely buy blue. But they are starting to look the same and when you buy the bundle the designers are doing 1 print in 5 different colors, so if we work solely from a bundle we're running into ourselves all the time. We're now going to pull lots of other things from our stashes to add to the bundle...Jeanne said she's not keeping the bundles together anymore...opening them up and putting them on the shelf with their colors. That's a long way to say I love bundles, but need to add other fabrics to them.

Rosaline said...

I don't buy packages of any kind or make quilts from a designer's line. I use a great book (as my color Bible) in making matches. The book is Colorplay by Joen Wolfrom. I do not want to offend anyone, but I think when quilters think of fabric, they think only of Moda, and this is why all the packages and lines are looking the same. Moda has somehow taken over the quilting fabric world and this is so sad, as there are other great lines out there.

Libby said...

I think there's a place in a quilter's stash for both. The ability to go into a shop, purchase all the components from a coordinating line, come home and put together a beautiful quilt is a great thing. Still, I just love working from my scrap basket. The quilts are unique to me - even if 100's or 1000's of other quilters have made the exact same pattern. The only way to get a basket full of scraps is to buy fabric and make quilts over and over and over again. It's a sickness, I tell ya - one I'm glad I caught *s*

Nancy said...

I love to peruse the shelves and pick my own fabrics. I do tend to take my time, but enventually will decide and I always love the quilts I make. I do have two charm packs (the only ones I have purchased) and don't have a clue what to do with them....too many of the same pattern, although different colors.... I guess it's too matchy, matchy for me..

Connie, Town Bees Beekeeper said...

I worked in a quilt shop part time for several years - everybody was different - decisions, decisions - but ultimately I've seen very few quilts I thought were "hard ugly". I love scrap quilts and that's what I make using what I have. I have a very large stash from the quilt shop "work and go home with no pay era" (just fabric).
I want my quilts to be a reflection of me and my style - whatever that happens to be at the time as we all change.
I agree lots of the fabric lines now look very similar but there are always fabrics I just love and some I wouldn't think of buying.

rachel griffith said...

you know i sit on the fence when it comes to bundles {charms, rolls, layer cakes.} and now there are sweet sixteen rolls!!!

on one hand i LOVE that they just go together. makes for a GREAT quilt!!!

on the other i DON'T wanna have the exact same quilt as jane in philly either.

make sense???
lol.

i really have no room to talk though. i mean i'm on my way now to by some cotton blossom fabbies.
geez.
:D

Quiltersal said...

I have so many fabrics in my stash that I find it hard to justify spending more money on more fabric that will just sit in the shelves. When I decided to make a quilt, I try really hard to go to the stash first and then only supplement with fabrics from the LQS if I can't come up with the right components.

I agree, the current fabrics are looking like all the designers got together and copied each other. I really don't like a lot of the stuff out there right now.

Wendy said...

Darlene, Firstly this is a awesome question. I love reading the comments. I have difficulty with putting together fabrics from every direction but having said that I'm not happy with a quilt when I buy the bundle and it's all the same fabric line. The quilts I love the best are the scrappy ones that either came from a kit or I've done myself, the more assortment of fabrics the better. Another thing I've learned is that when a ugly fabric is ugly "it really is ugly and will never work for me". If all the fabrics in the scrappy quilt are ones that I love then I'll love the quilt.

Something else I've been finding is the trendy fabrics are harder to mix with other fabrics or maybe it's just me. I love scrappy quilts, I think they are classic and timeless and that is what I want to make.

One more thing, if you see a scrappy quilt that you like, study it closely and if there is a newer fabric in the quilt, start with that one and keep going. Ok, I've said enough.

zizzybob said...

Personally, I like using lots of different fabrics and not fabrics that someone else has coordinated for me. The quilts may not always come out so great but at least I know that there aren't a few hundred identical quilts out there.

Lissa Jane said...

I have never bought one of those 'stacked tower' of fabrics, in Australia, well you dont see them in the shops and if you did, they'd be super expensive (45 FQs would cost you around $200-$240??AUD FQs are usually $6/each here)...
I buy charm squares and I have never used a jelly roll (again they are just too darn expensive) I do own a couple but they are too 'nice' to chop into!
I dont really like matchy matchy quilts, the scrappier the better in my book!
I hear you on fabric starting to look the same, and I am convinced I have seen some Robyn Pandolphy style stuffs out again that was Moda.. looked a lot like her folk art christmas...

take care

Lissa

Teresa said...

I think you do whatever gives you joy in our craft. I love scrappy quilts and use all different fabric lines in my scrappy ones. And then sometimes I want to make one with just a specific line or fabrics, or style of farics - like repro fabrics. Its just whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

Nadine said...

THANKS for this wonderful talk, dear ! What an interesting topic ! Actually, I always looked with envy all those beautiful, so well coordinated quilts, made of complete fabric collections... Unfortunately, veeeeery seldom are our local quiltshops with such bundles. For instance : my little local QS never heard about fabric bundles, charm packs, jelly rolls, etc.... (simply because she doesn't understand English , I guess). Nevertheless, she's got some beautiful bolts (sometimes 2 coordinated) and we had to learn "making do" with what's available. Of course we can order through the web, but we pay twice the price with shipping costs... besides, is there a real pleaasure to choose fabrics through a screen ??? I must admit that TOUCHING the fabrics is part of my pleasure, when choosing some.
Maybe this helped us to develop some creativity, using what we have on hand, trying to make them match together.... and, as you said, this is only talking together - NOT pointing anyone in particular!- because I must admit I'd be very happy having an assorted bundle in front of me to start a new quilt : how thrilling it would be to be sure you won't make any color or print mistake, just sew, follow a pattern and admire the result! On the other hand, I like thinking my quilts make people think about "Nadine", instead of "Moda" LOL LOL (no offense, of course).
I have noticed lately, that many fellow quilters are making two-colors quilts... maybe for the reason I mentionned before (lack of coordinates). Anyway, they're making wonderful quilts, too. My conclusion would be : "You can't miss what you don't know", as my grandmother said, and she was right ;>)

BIG (((hugs))) to you, dear Darlene !

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO
NADINE

sewprimitive karen said...

Darlene, you can put fabrics together yourself. Do you have your stash all set up in stacks or some way that you can check through it fairly easily? Start with a focus fabric or a "constant" fabric and hold it up to the stacks of stash. Fabrics will leap out at you because they go divinely with the main fabric. If you only use fabrics from one line in a quilt, no matter how beautiful the line, it will lack that certain distinctive quality. Mix and match!

Nadine said...

addendum (see what happens when you start me talking ? HeeHee)

My way of "making do" is to make scrappy quilts - preferably "one template" scrappy quilts, like GMFG, or spools, or tumblers.... with anything I can buy, and even steel, beg, or borrow. Anything goes! ;>)
I recently met a very talented lady at our locl QS (she really makes awesome quilts and orders a lot abroad). The trouble is she KNOWS she's talented, loves to show off, and she walks through shop like a rooster - see what I mean ? LOL ... So that respectable lady asked me "so you're a quilter, huh ? And what's your styyyle, dear ?" (why, oh why, did I have that strange feeling she was a bit condescendent, even "disgusted" ?), so I answered : "well, my style is the "my wallet" style" HeeHee...
Talking about costs, we're now paying our fabrics around 22 US$ the yard, and approx. 8 US$ for a fat quarter...
Back to my local QS owner : she often buys her bolts at a special retail shop in Brussels (or in the Netherlands, twice a year), and she keeps bringing back ONE single bolt of each new collection/ designer on the market (one Thimbleberries, one Moda, one RJR, one K.Fasset, etc.....). So you can imagine our dilemna ! LOL LOL I once asked if she could find "reproduction fabrics" (civil war, and 1930's.... "NO, NO - she said - my fabrics are genuine ones, not reproductions!" Soooooo funny ! But well, she's so kind and heartful...

HUGS again, dear !
NADINE

Judy H. said...

I'm not usually a fan of making a quilt out of a single line of fabric, but I've done it a time or two with the right line. Usually I'd rather put my own fabrics together. I've never worked at a quilt shop, but I have worked at yarn and needlework shops, so I've done a lot of color matching and substituting there. I admit, switching to fabric where there's more than one color in a choice (unlike a skein of yarn) threw me a bit at first.

One suggestion I heard soon after I started quilting is to look at those little dots in the selvedge. Often you'll notice a color there that doesn't jump out at you from the print, but if you match it with another fabric, both fabrics will start to sing. You can even save the selvedges and use those color combinations whether the original print is there or not.

Lizzie said...

Great discussion. My personal feeling is that if you buy the colors you love that they will ultimately go together. Do what you love and don't worry about what the books, or other people say. In nature all colors go together. I don't remember ever seeing a quilt that was horrible due to the colors choosen. Let yourself be free and enjoy the experience.

Judy said...

Well I think everyone has already said about all the good points here. Kathie is right, just start. Think about your swap with Wendy for 9 parches...looks wonderful right? I DO buy the bundles of CW fabrics because they go together, but once they get home they get washed and distributed into their color and never see each other again. It's just a way to get more for less $$, and a little bit of each one. I now only buy 1/2 yd bundles so I can cut strips from one FQ like Kathie taught me.

My LQS makes up bundles but they pick a few colors from the line and then go around the store picking fabrics until they have a good bundle and mix.

Bust open those bundles and mix them up! You're right that they have started to look very similar so they will match up!

Carrie P. said...

I like the fat quarter stacks but for some reason I just don't buy them. I guess because I have plenty of fabric to pick from even though it is hard for me sometimes to coordinate. I am getting better because some of the fear is gone. It is just fabric and it can be switched if I don't like it. I have read somewhere to make a sample block first before you cut all the fabric pieces to see if you like the way they go together.

Ginger Patches said...

Great question and one I have thought about often. When I took my first quilting class 20 years ago I'm pretty sure they didn't have bundles or coordinating fabric lines yet, if they did I didn't know it! Well I made a quilt for each of my children and didn't quilt again for many years. About 3 years ago when Daniel informed me it was time for a new and bigger quilt, off I went to Joanne's and put together a quilt, next was Jonathan and when it came time to do one for Sarah she was a bit pickier and I thought "hmmm...I think I remember that they have stores with special fabric for quilting (it makes me really laugh to remember this!). And off I went in search of "Sarah" fabric. I did still put together the fabric myself but I kept looking at these rolls and they were so pretty and I was told I could make beautiful quilts easily with these strips...well the rest is history lol. I made my first jelly roll quilt and was so amazed at how it turned out--I was hooked! I cleaned out the guest room and turned it into a sewing room, went on the local quilt run and discovered all the wonderful shops in my area and filled up that sewing room with fabric faster than I would have thought possible. After making a few...o.k. quite a few quilts with pre-coordinated fabric I got the urge to make one that I coordinated myself again...there is a special satisfaction for me in putting together my own combo, that is just me though. I still really love jelly rolls, charm packs and fq bundles (although I don't normally do the fq bundles because of the high price tag) and I'm sure I always will. (I mean it's awesome to get a little piece of fabric from a whole line at such a low price.)And after all I owe my love of quilting to the humble jelly roll :) I think we all have to do what makes us happy when we quilt after all that's why we do it, right? One way to easily coordinate your own fabric is to stick with 30's or civil war it all pretty much goes together regardless of line. I don't usually buy lines of either of those 2 era's. I love your quilts big sis and I say continue with what makes you smile :)

Great fabrics from Kathie by the way!!

Judith said...

Well sometimes I like matching my own fabrics better and sometimes I choose a line of fabric. I have to say I love the Jellyrolls very much

julieQ said...

I love the coordinated fabric, and have to confess that I have several Jelly rolls...but now guilt ensues! What in the world am I going to do with this lovely fabric! I have started picking patterns friendly to the jelly roll and placing them with the fabric, and putting them in plain sight in the sewing room, ready to pick up and go. I am really loving scrappy better than planned lately...

Patti said...

Darlene - of course you can do it. You just have to get past the fear. The only way to learn is to try and try again, and evaluate what happens each time you try. Will you have some duds? Of course! Will you hit a home run with a combination? Of course! The more you try the more you learn and the better at it you get. Eventually you will learn that everything really does go together - there are no hard and fast rules. Just keep trying and keep evaluating what you've done. There is only one thing that an prevent you from succeeding - and that's if you never try. Remember when you thought you couldn't do applique? You certainly know now that wasn't true. Same thing when it comes to combining fabrics.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Everyone has their own talents. You are very talented at what you do! One line sewing or not- it is all fun. Love the fabric.

Anonymous said...

I dont match fabric by color or colors but instead by a mood. Country, romantic, brights, batiks, monochromatic, muddy.........I dont have to worry about choices..........if the fabric fits into the mood then I chose it.
Your quilts are gorgeous so DO what works for you!!
Pat

Sue said...

I like both. Mostly I start with my stash & then always have to buy something to finish since I usually don't buy less than a yard, so I don't usually have enough for a border. I do like some of the charm packs & have used them for smaller projects.

Tamara said...

I too love the charms, jelly rolls, and layer cakes, simply because they are the latest rage. I can go and spend hours though looking for the right fabric when I am in the mood. There just truly is something irresitable about having a cake or roll with the perfect pattern to use it on and less cutting too.

Tina D said...

Hi Darlene,
If I see a fabric that I like, I usually buy fat quarters in the whole range to co-ordinate and usually end up making a quilt or wallhanging with it. But, if I buy just one or two pieces of fabric that I fall in love with, then that ends up in small items like pincushions or needle keepers gift bags etc. Needless to say quite a lot of fabric ends up in my stash cupboard waiting to be used ....... some day ....or never !
Happy stashing,
Tina D.

Qubie said...

I am right there with as to picking out fabrics. Good thing is when I go to the quilt shop the owner will help me get all the fabrics I need for my project. She just asks me a few questions then off we go to pick out fabric. My BH is better at picking out fabric than I am. I always have him pick from my stash if I want to use only it.

Vicky said...

I agree with you 100% on choosing a coordinated line over the fabric wall. I've made quite a few quilts where I've had to choose the fabrics, and they were gorgeous, but it was HARD!! I was thinking just the other day that maybe I'm lazy but I don't think that's it. I just don't see the possibilities that others do when choosing fabric. Kits - I love them. Moda towers/rolls/cakes - I love them. I don't see why I have to stress at all when there are folks out there much smarter and more talented than I am who do all the work! I'm happy doing what I do best - poking order buttons!

Nan said...

I love to go to the fabric store, and pick out fabrics, but I usually have a "focus" fabric, and build my quilt around that one piece. I don't know how good I am at it, but I enjoy it. I also love to purchase the charm squares or jelly rolls or layer cakes, because it is "sew" much easier to create a quilt when all the work is already done for you. Even then, I add fabrics from my stash on occasion!
The fabrics Kathie sent are gorgeous - your baskets are going to sparkle!
Oh by the way, you make the most beautiful quilts anywhere, and I think you can choose fabric with the best of them!
H'moosies!!!!! Guess who?

shauna said...

I have the same problem and the stash of "love it" fabrics just sitting shelves to prove it. A quilting friend mine uses collections but adds in several other fabrics for beautifully coordinated, but with her own "twist" quilts. I always love the way her quilts turn out!

Terry said...

When I was first quilting years ago there were no jelly rolls or charm packs or any of that. You had to pick out fabric and make it work together. I'm OK with doing that, but I think it's nice if you don't have that ability to be able to just grab a jelly roll and start sewing. I'm proud to say though I've only bought one jelly roll and it's cut and ready to sew into a quilt. Everything else I'm doing now is coming out of my stash. :0)

Elaine Adair said...

I REFUSE to purchase packets of matchy=matchy fabrics. Partly because I'm stubborn, but it just seems wasteful to now at least TRY to use what I have accumulated. AND, we should know by now, there will probably always be MORE that we just HAVE to have.

I DO have some matching bundles, and have not used them. other than occasionally pulling one or two out for 'other' purposes.

Amy said...

I also can not resist the charm packs,jellies rolls. but they know we can't that's why they do it.. ugh.. but I try to just by the ones I would like to see on my bed.I have been making strip quilts from www.quiltville.com , so I dig in my stash and strip it all up.. and trying use up the oddballs.. thanks for sharing. have a great day, Amy

Anonymous said...

Look a like ??? I dont think Anna Maria Horner's fabric or tulla pink or Heather bailey or Denyse Schmidt or Kaffe Fasset's fabrics all look alike or even close to those boring prairie ones that are faded .Why not try Jennifer Paganelli or Melissa Averino's line for a fresh new look...

Deb Sews Quilts said...

I love the charms but find that I buy them but don't use them. I have purchased a jelly roll and actually have the top (minus the borders) done. I have out grown my sewing space and plan to cut back on all fabric shopping

swooze said...

I am totally opposite I think. Or I was. I own a charm pack and a jelly roll but haven't been inspired to make anything from them yet. I think I find it too hard to find a pattern to match. I struggle to shop my stash (is there a lesson there) for the same reason of trying to find the right yardage. That latter is my major 2009 mission though. Match stash to patterns and sew away!

Yaya and Papa said...

I agree with you that many of these "Charm paks, Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes" do look the same, especially the ones from the same manufacturer each season. While once in a while I have found a few I liked and used them in the making of a quilt, my biggest problem with them is that I prefer to prewash all my fabrics before sewing with them, and you really can't prewash "charm paks or Jelly Rolls!"

I like getting the chemicals out of them(they put so many in fabrics these days to hold the colors, etc.).

The few times I've made a quilt out of fabrics not prewashed, I sneeze a lot, cough and get a rash on my arms-sensitive skin and nose I guess!!

There are a lot of cute patterns for these novel ways of selling fabrics--sometimes I just cut my own "charm paks!"

Anonymous said...

I often buy a charm pack to see if l like a line of fabric then l look for the fabric l like and buy yardage, l did once buy a large!!! bundle of 1 line and made 2 quilts from it and still have a bag of scraps. Now l'm fed up of seeing it;)
Sue...

Betweens said...

I love to go into a store and just pic at random something I love. I will open my cupboards and see what I am low on (yes cupboards)in the 20yrs I have been quilting. I have only bought 3 "bundles"stacks of coordinates.. but normally I love what happens to a quilt when you mix and match different fabrics. I was told once you could not mix batiks with any other fabric...well you would guess what happened then!!mix and match my favorite

Karen said...

Interesting discussion. I have purchased charm packs which end up in my scrap basket. I bought one jelly roll just because the colors were pretty. I have purchased a couple layer cakes. I just used one of them but added a little of my stash fabric to it. The other one is just sitting there. I have purchased fat quarter bundles but not many. Generally they get separated out into the bin with a like color and used when I need something that color. I enjoy using many, many fabrics in a quilt. Playing with fabrics is my favorite part of quilting. I love the search for fabrics for a quilt whether it is from my stash or new from the quilt shop.
To each his own. Whatever works for you. Maybe saving scrap quilt pictures that you really like and then study the fabric choices to see what makes it work. Good luck!

kjquilts said...

Darlene, I am the same way! Once someone asked the question...what is your least favorite part about the quilting process? I had to honestly say picking out the fabric! I really do love those bundles, charm squares and jelly rolls.

I guess that is why I love BOMs. The hard part is all done for me!

The one thing kind of out of place here is that I love making scrap quilts. I mean really scrappy; where any and all fabric can be used. I think I found out I can do this when I had all those little squares from the Y2K swap. I just pick out a focal fabric that I love and add it to the mix and those quilts turn out as perfect as the ones that the fabric is chosen for me.

What a fun question!

Sweet P said...

I agree with you - the charm packs, the jelly rolls and cakes look alike to me. I'm have more fun walking into a store and buying fabric that makes me smile. Most of the time I'm able to pick out 3 or 4 designs that go well together. If not, then I'll make something that only requires one or two fabrics.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I'm just wondering how many different ways they can chop up a piece of fabric and get us to buy it. It's getting crazy I think. It's time to go back to buying yardage. LOL Like I need more of that too.

Holt Gallery said...

Its my first visit to your blog and its good and enjoyable one. You do make a good point - really a good thought on shopping fabrics. I liked the coordinated packs, especially jelly roll because I dont have to think or/and cut up too much. Often times when I go in fabric shopp, before entering the shoppe I said to myself in my mind "dont buy fabrics until you have a project idea set up". But I ended up with 100 projects laying around in my sewing room. Need to stay away from shoppe and sew! Thanks for sharing. I have my blog - still very new. http://holtgallery.wordpress.com/

requilt said...

I always labored over picking fabric that went together so I was so excited about the bundles that came out. Then I realized that I only thought I was laboring over fabric choices - but I really did enjoy looking at all of the fabric to see if it went with what I had picked out - I just didn't trust myself to pick the perfect fabrics that would play together nicely. Now I seem to care less what others may think of my choices and just go with what feels right to me. I do like to prewash my fabric but I am afraid to prewash my charm packs thinking I may end up with a pile of thread - I am also afraid to use the couple of charm packs I have because I may put in a lot of work/time and not be happy with the finished product after it is washed. I didn't even think about trying to sew a seams by lining up a pinked edge - oh dear, maybe I should just sew them all together and see what happens - after Christmas.
Rita E in AZ
requilt (at) yahoo (dot) com

janet said...

You have expressed my thoughts on these co-ordinating fabrics exactly. They definitely have their place and I own some but I notice they get overexposed when you see them everywhere. I think its been a very clever marketing strategy. The new young designers are even using the same colourway as each other at the moment.

Shasta said...

Wow I'm commenter 71! I love charm packs and all of those bundles. But I do think that it leads to quilts that look like somebody else's, and I hardly ever like that. Whenever I do make something with a kit - I usually add something else to it to make it look like my own.

Patricia said...

I'm still learning so much about quilting and which fabrics go with each other. Charm packs have helped me get over a "hump", and gain more confidence. Quilting is definitely a journey. We learn and grow as we go along. Sometimes I look at my first projects and laugh out loud!

Anne said...

I have so many fat packs it's almost shameful. Sometimes I love the fabrics so much I won't even cut into ANY in the whole fat pack. It's such a sickness!!! LOL

Lynn said...

I have the same problem which is why I love scrap quilts. They ALL tend to match when none of them do!! Great bundles btw. And I do think the fabrics you've chosen will match nicely.

Sandy said...

Whew.....I'm not the only one who feels this way. But I do love my stash I have built up over the years and never hesitate to help out the economy by buying more :)
And yes most of my quilts are the scrappy type, which I love and believe those who are gifted with one, love them also. Thanks for sharing and have a Merry Christmas.

Rose Marie said...

Very rarely do I buy a collection. I mostly prefer to buy a FQ because I love the pattern or colour. When I make a scrap quilt, there is quite a wide selection to choose from in my stash resulting in more movement/contrast with the quilt design. I absolutely love charm packs and have been collecting those of late and they make wonderful quilts.

Janet said...

Choosing the fabric is my favorite part but I have to admit that in most scrappy quilts I've made there is at least one fabric I wish I hadn't put in. :0)

Beth said...

I love looking at the jelly rolls - which by the way my husband thought only existed in a bakery, but I enjoy picking out my own fabric. Funny thing is I don't know how I can do it, I just do it. I am a visual person and can tell if they go together or not. My mother-in-law can't buy fabric that way and relies on jelly rolls or as of late just buying pieced quilts. I still could stand and look at all the packs for a really long time, I just love the way they look and I dream about what I could use them for! Enjoy!

Beth

Kathy Wagner said...

I have bought a couple of charm packs. Once I bought a roll and used it to make a mini quilt... and I still have the fabrics left that I didn't like from the roll!
These days I mostly enjoy to collect fabrics and use them in scrappy type quilts. A large part of the fun for me is picking colours and fabrics that I think might look nice together. Sometimes I am wrong, but I still have fun :)

Marla said...

I agree that fabric lines are starting to look alike. For example, I was crazy for the Chocolate line from Moda and was sad when I could no longer find some of the fabrics that I was looking for. However, when I found the Portabella Market line from Moda, they are very similar. So similar that I was able to incorporate some of it in a quilt I was making and it works!

Passionate Quilter said...

yeah--I've noticed that most of the charm packs and jelly rolls are looking pretty similar. I've bought a few and love making the Charm Totes out of them. It's a great way to get a variety of fabric. I tend to go for brighter colors and more contemporary fabrics and you don't see the charm packs in those...so oh well. I'm doing pretty well at my stashbusting this year, so don't have to worry about it! LOL

Darlene S said...

Darlene,
I just found your blog by tuning in to sisters choice site and decided to read about your dilema -- of buying charms, jelly rolls and other desserts that seem to want to come home with you. I work parttime at a shop and will tell you, it's very hard to resist buying everything that comes in. I do limit myself to 1 or 2 a month and try to use them with some fabric from my stash. That way I am using up my stash fabric, if only for a border or backing. My stash is fairly substantial, but no matter how much we have, there is always a much needed piece or pieces that just HAVE to come home and join the fun.

For your friend, send her some choice pieces of your stash and see what she does with it. If you like it, you could make it later with the left over pieces!!

Happy sewing -- Darlene too

Darlene B said...

I know that I can agonize over picking fabrics and tend to be probably a little too cautious in my choices. But I've found that buying all fabrics from one line matches TOO well - there's nothing that makes the quilt POP! So I try to mix and match a little - somehow it always works! Just found your blog through Thimbleanna - just had to investigate what another Darlene had to say!

Idaho Quilter said...

I believe quilts are more interesting with a variety, I have never been afaid to use color. When I orked in the LQS I had a hard time helping those that wanted every piece to cordinate.

TaraB said...

I feel your pain as it is my pain also. But I hate buying the towers, charm packs and so on...

What's a quilter to do???

Goneaussiequilter said...

I really have to agree with you that the fabrics (especially Moda) are starting to repeat themselves a bit too much of late. It seems they discover a recipe that "works" and sells well and don't want to venture out with something new and different. Even the newer non-Moda designers are now starting to go in the same direction over and over. I still like them though...

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