Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rare Diamonds.

I have a terrible habit of laying out all the fabric I might use for little dresses or quilts, putting all those beautiful colours together, and then reaching for the ones I like least first to cut into. I can't help it. I always balk at taking my scissors to my very favourites. Some are rare and out of print, and others I just can't bare to let go. And some I have used and just have a little bit left and have not yet come across a project deserving enough for its use.

A few weeks ago I was watching an episode of "Collectors" as I stitched happily away. Each week it features strange and interesting people and the many varied things they hoard. This one episode showed the most beautiful collection of old umbrellas. And maybe I'm strange, but beautiful fabric makes me feel something, much like good food or music. Those colours and textures. Different patterns placed next to each other to contrast or complement. And sitting there that night, looking at those umbrellas, I felt that warm, beautiful feeling. I want a collection just like that.
And, you know it's strange, but the moment I thought it, I knew it wasn't actually true. It was one of those moments of clarity where you see a bit further than you have before.

You see, my favourite thing about sewing is stitching two pieces of fabric together, making a new seam and hiding away those frayed edges. This is my art. And suddenly it seemed absurd to hide away my favourite designs, to be forever relegated to the shelf. They should be shown off, displayed for people to enjoy, not just brought out to admire when the kids slept or for show and tell with my fellow fabric collectors.
I decided I would no longer be a collector. And instead I made a promise to myself to be a creator.
And to mark the occasion, I made a quilt of all my favourite fabrics, some of which I'd been hoarding since I started collecting about 5 years ago.  

I used a mix of rare, out of print fabrics which were bright and bold, with some more recent and monochromatic prints, which I thought set them off nicely. 

I wanted to use triangles because I love the way they create movement and play on light and colour. I was so excited as I saw it come together, tucking those frayed edges away, ironing it all flat and neat, watching those pretty colours be what they were made for!

On the back, I used mostly white to show off the prints in a different way and to display the quilting, lovingly hand-stitched over many evenings (watching Collectors and the like!).

 Here it is, finally finished and hanging over a chair in my sewing room. And after all that thought and work and heart, I feel compelled to give it to a special friend of mine. I have to let someone else enjoy its vibrancy and joy.

 "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house." - Jesus of Nazareth.


  1. Hi I found your blog through a link on one of your Flickr Pics in the Kaffe fassett pool and had to comment on this post as I've been going through something similar myself. I only buy fabrics I love which meant for a while I was really dithering with it came to starting a new project and I did exactly the same as you, pulled my least faves from the bunch. It's silly because it left me feeling less than satisfied with my creations! Then the penny dropped (Last week in fact!) to use the fabrics I love to make things others will love and spread the joy around a little. Suddenly I felt incredibly selfish for not sharing my toys lol So I've just cut into my Pat Bravo that I was "saving" and I'm having a blast sewing again :)
    Sorry for the war and peace length comment!

  2. Thanks Issabella the Cat! Lengthy comments welcome! I love hearing other people's stories! I'd love to see what you're making with Pat Bravo. Here's to making beautiful things and not hiding them away in the shelf!

  3. I love your quilt. I do the same thing with fabric. I am trying to force myself to use all of my stash.


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx