Sometimes I wonder if I’m a quilter or a fabric collector. I now own more fabric than I’ll be able to stitch together in my lifetime, yet I still find myself buying more. In chatting with other quilters and fabric artists, I find I am not alone. We all seem to collect way more fabric than we are using, but is this necessarily a bad thing? Should we be apologetic about our fabric accumulation? Are we too distracted or too lazy to sew it all up or have we inadvertently stumbled upon another hobby in its own right?
Quilting is a textile craft that involves stitching together layers of fabric to produce a finished product such as bedding or decorative items. Quilters use various techniques including patchwork, appliqué, and paper piecing to create visually appealing designs. Quilting requires sewing skills and knowledge of different quilting techniques, as well as the use of specialized tools like rotary cutters, rulers, and sewing machines.
Fabric collecting, on the other hand, involves the accumulation of fabric pieces or yardage for personal enjoyment, aesthetic appreciation, or future use. Fabric collectors often have a passion for textiles, colors, patterns, and designs. They seek out fabrics that catch their interest, including vintage fabrics, rare prints, designer fabrics, or fabrics from different cultures. Fabric collectors may source their fabrics from various places, such as fabric stores, online shops, flea markets, estate sales, or even by repurposing old garments or linens. The collected fabrics are typically stored and displayed, often organized by type, color, or theme. Fabric collecting does not necessarily involve the act of sewing or creating quilts, but collected fabrics may eventually be used for quilting or other sewing projects, presuming of course that the collector could bare to part with them!
In summary, quilting is a specific textile craft, whereas fabric collecting is more focused on the acquisition and appreciation of textiles. It is just as valid as any other hobby such as collecting stamps, baseball cards, dolls, or any of the myriad of oddball things people have been known to collect. So don’t be shy the next time you buy that fabric for the sole purpose of just putting it in your stash!
Please join us here every other Wednesday for another fun, fiber-filled installment of By the Yard. You can read more By the Yard® at www.bytheyardcomics.com and check out the By the Yard® 2023 Calendar and Greeting Cards for Quilters!