Shopping for fabric and thread is serious business.
So serious in fact that I think long and hard about what I'm buying, and most especially about why I'm buying it in the first place.
Most hand embroiderers and quilters are becoming increasingly mindful of their stash purchases these days and I am one of them, which is why I thought you may like to know the guidelines I follow when visiting a quilt shop.
In the photo above you can see five fabrics and five skeins of embroidery thread which were purchased last week.
The fabrics are a cream cotton/linen blend (perfect for embroidery), two Tilda prints, and two Tilda basics in spot and check. The threads were purchased to blend with all five fabrics...
As simple as it sounds, this is my criteria for a shopping trip to the quilt store...
* Can the fabrics be used together in multiple settings?
* Can I mix and match the threads with the fabrics?
* Exactly what projects will I make from these items?
* How much do I need of each fabric?
* Are any of the fabrics likely to be out of stock soon - if it's possible I may need more later should I buy an extra 1/4 metre now?
* Am I sure there's not a similar print sitting in my stash at home? If there could be, how needful am I of the fabric in my hand?
* Are any of these purchases an impulse buy? If so, what will I make with it? Only buy if I have a clear purpose in mind.
* Can I afford the items?
Note: If buying fabrics for a quilt or a large project you may ask yourself different questions, and hopefully you would have a detailed list of what you need to avoid being tempted with things you don't need.
Now I'm not perfect, and the odd 'impulse' fat quarter will occasionally travel home with me, but not very often. There were too many impulse fabrics left holidaying on my shelves in the past and I no longer desire their company nor enjoy adding to their numbers, so I've become rather 'Scrooge-y' and fussy about fabric acquisition.
The five fabrics and five threads I purchased last week all mix and match to my requirements...
I can use the linen, pink spot, or blue check as backgrounds for my stitchery designs....
...or I can blend the check and spot with the two florals for a patchwork design.
Each of the threads will sit beautifully on, or surrounded by, the fabrics I chose, plus in my home thread drawer are more colours which will marry with these new skeins (such as a deeper pink, mid-range green, and a cream)...
Back home unpacking the bag after my little shopping trip, I was excited about these carefully considered purchases; not guilty nor regretful, just very content knowing I would use them all.
If you're wondering how much I bought of each fabric -
1 metre cream cotton/linen blend
1/2 metre blue/pink/green floral
1/2 metre blue/cream floral
1/4 metre pink spot
1/4 metre blue check
Do you have a list of questions you ask yourself before you buy fabric?