Sunday, April 03, 2005

Fabric shopping and a very nice day

Yesterday I got to spend time with my great friend and SIL Diane. She and her husband are retired now, and they have spent the last few years living aboard their 35 foot Island Packet (sailboat) and "cruising" to exotic locations. They keep a condo here and come home once in a while. Last year Jerry and I went to meet them in New Zealand, which for us was the trip of a lifetime (but hopefully not the last one). Two years before that my husband sailed in that same little boat across the Pacific with his brothers John and Jeff, departing from Puerta Vallarta and gratefully sighting land at Hiva Oua (I probably spelled that wrong, it is some nearly invisible speck in the South Pacific). Diane and I stayed home, eventually flying to Tahiti to meet them. That is another story for another day, but it goes to show we have some history.

Diane and I had a great time fabric shopping at Rosie's (it is THE fabric store in San Diego, HUGE does not begin to describe it.) She was looking for something to go with her Australian
fabrics. (Not aboriginal, think koala bears and kangaroos since the quilts will be for the grandchildren.) I told her to make sure she brings back some interesting aboriginal fabrics next time she comes home. After shopping, we came home to relax, drink wine, and eat grilled food prepared by our husbands (ok, I did marinate the steaks, prepare the vegetables for grillling, make the salad and clean up.) Jer and John had enjoyed their brotherly day doing whatever manly things they do...I think it mainly involved fiddling around in the yard and garage, telling stories, smoking cigars and drinking scotch.

Now that I have discovered the joys of designing my own fabric through the magic of dye and paint, embellishment etc, I don't buy as much fabric as I used to, but let's face it, I still enjoy finding and using commercial fabric. Fabric shopping is one of my all time favorite things to do and its ALWAYS great therapy (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.) So do all of you wonderful artists still enjoy fabric shopping or do you only use your own fabric?


Jen said...

Hi Jen,

I enjoyed your post about fabric shopping. I live in a small town and we have only one fabric shop that also sells almost everything else that is under the sun (it is quite unique and probably worthy of a blog post on its own). Anyway I do shop there but only occasionally. I have quite a significant stash, having collected over the last 12 or so years and can mostly find what I need in said stash. As you know I have just started dyeing after a long break and it was such fun. I cannot wait to do more and especially want to try some dye painting. I love your quilt and the colours in it. They are so very vivid and stunning! Jen

Mrs. Mel said...

I use only my own fabric in my quilts, but have a chest of drawers with garment fabric in it that is aging and awaiting the day when I have the inclination to sew some new outfits. That day approaches since the weather is warming up. I find that commercial fabric in my quilts ends up looking like someone else's design, which it is.

Deborah said...

I use almost all commercial fabric and I love it. That's not to say I won't change or explore new materials. I do try to make the quilt stand on it's own. I don't want someone to say, I love that fabric. I want them to see the whole design, and I want the design to be my own.

PaMdora said...

I've dyed some of my own fabric and loved it, but for several years I've been going through these pregnancy cycles (none successful so far) so I haven't used the dyes.

I still have a stash of hand-dyed, but I use a LOT of commercial fabrics, mostly plaids, stripes, and polka dots, I stay away from the "designer fabrics". I like using these because they remind of scrappy quilts which are really my favorites, but i don't think they make the quilt look not like mine, because the way and the design that I combine them together is my own style.

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