Fabric auditions

While the rain continues to fall (and we’re considering swimming to our coffee Very Important Meetings at  Headquarters) we continue to try and get ahead with planning and production for the rest of the year.  It’s fair to say that a considerable amount of procrastination is involved as well, but distinct progress is being made.  Chris is putting the finishing touches to our Summer Project (details posted here soon) and Barbara has nearly completed a full set of blocks for our evening classes in September.  We do seem to be spending a lot of time at our respective sewing machines, pedal to the metal, or slicing our way through layers of fabric with speed and (hopefully) precision.

Wearing her Staffs Patchworkers  hat rather than the C&B Enterprises one, Barbara has also been working on a set of Blocks of the Month and making those samples, so a lot of cutting and stitching has been  going on over in her room.   One of the blocks was cut out and ready to put together, just the fabric for the centre square needed to be chosen when procrastination  indecision struck.  Actually, we think this whole fabric selection lark is often one of the very best bits – enjoyable but often time-consuming if you linger too long over it.  And we have  both learned that a camera can be a real help – here are some of Barbara’s fabric auditions for that all-important centre square –

By this time, it was getting to the stage of too many choices, but there were still other fabrics to try

After a certain amount of chocolate and deliberation, Audition 2 above won the day, so the block is now complete.  Then of course, having finished the blocks and stitched them together, there is the all important matter of the border.  Or should there be sashings?  How many? What size? Is there enough fabric in the stash to piece a border? Or is a trip to a shop (horrors!) to acquire more fabric called for?  Whereupon it is discovered that the stash fabric used for the blocks is so ancient that no modern dye-lot quite ‘goes’.  This is the dilemma Chris was facing over  two little cot quilts she had whipped together – which need to be finished as the twins are due soon(ish).  Taking the tops on holiday proved a smart move – Green Hill in Romsey were exceedingly helpful and border fabrics have been found.

Holidays are a wonderful excuse for visiting other quilt shops and exploring their stock. We love how every shop seems to have very different fabrics – which is exactly why we all need to visit as many as possible.  Here in Staffordshire we are very lucky to have several sources of retail comfort and inspiration within driveable distance –

Angie’s Quilt Shop in Cheadle

Castle Court Quilter over the border in Oswestry

Pollyanna Patchwork in Eccleshall

Quilters Trading Post in Buerton

White Cottage Crafts in Seisdon

ZigZags in Newport

– a far cry from the early 80s when it was a 50 mile drive to anywhere with fabric.  So much better now, and so much more choice – time to go and get started on some more choosing and piecing.


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