I’ve been attempting to plan a large quilt over the last few weeks now. So when starting the first stages of a quilt I will forgo maths and all other technical stuff (I have a pattern already) and start at the most obvious place, fabric choices of course. After going through my stash nothing was really suitable for my master plan. My local shop has a very limited range of products (who can blame them they’re only small). So I had to go where I always go on ‘tinternet.
I have a small collection of fabric in my stash which I have bought which turned out unsuitable for what I was doing. Pictures on the internet can vary wildly and give a very untrue idea about what the fabric is like, different colour in real life, to the size a of a print . A fat quarter is around £3.00, I have around 8 of these little disaster so I’m not talking about small change. I’m sure I will use them one day but I don’t like to have that mind-set because that is £3.00 less I have to spend on Tula Pink fabric or some Cotton & Steel or something else I’ve been lusting over. So I try to keep my spending and purchases tight (unlike the heady days of stash building when I first started, I learnt a lot about what not to buy).
So what dawned on me is that I’ve never entertained the idea of swatches or at least finding some stores that will sell me a very small amount. I also thought this would be an easy thing as I knew what I was after and it would make sense for stores to offer a swatch service.
But I was wrong, dreadfully wrong. After searching and emailing most of my normal retailers most of them didn’t seem to offer that service at all, whether it is not commercially viable to them or for other reasons it seemed strange not to, especially in dress making where you would then have to buy blind without knowing what the fabric felt or drapped like.
I did find two places who would let you have 5 for free (I’m still waiting for samples after a week) or will only let you buy samples on some of the fabric (not any of the quilting stuff) . Then I found the Eternal Maker doing swatches for 25p each. This I am more than happy to pay and I can do it with very little embarrassment, the embarrassment of having to ring for extra and give the impression I’m a freeloader. I also felt guilty asking for 12 but I paid quite a bit for postage so I don’t feel too bad and I was paying for them. To be honest I was just grateful to get my hands on some and avoid purchasing mistakes.
If I ever opened a shop it would be nice to have a whole swatch thing, like a club or something like that. But in the meantime my master plan can begin sort of (well if I ever see the other samples)