I heard on more than one occasion another guild member caution that what happens on retreat stays on retreat. What I can tell you is that I had an awesome time. It’s always fun to hang out with a bunch of quilty friends. I, however, got to hang out with a bunch of especially cool quilty friends. We sewed. We ate. We drank. We laughed. At one point, we laughed so much and so loud we were chastised by a monk to quiet down, for fear that we would awaken others. (I don’t really know whether he was a monk, but we did stay at a Franciscan retreat center and I like thinking it was a monk who scolded us. It makes us seem like bad asses—quilting bad asses!)
We also shopped. I was pretty psyched when I scored 3 yards of Lizzy House’s Hello Pilgrim at a first fabric stop en route to Maine.
|These are from Lizzy House’s Hello Pilgrim line. I went for the brown colorway (and finished off the bolt) but bought the greens just in case.|
But then, my traveling companion, Chelsea, and I made our first-ever visit to Marden’s. It was a game changer. Marden’s is a big discount store, and the one in Sanford, Maine, has a huge fabric department. Nothing was more than $4.99 a yard. Check out my loot. I made some smart fabric choices, right?
|From top to bottom: Makower UK, Blend, and Bonnie and Camille for Moda (Happy Go Lucky)|
|From top to bottom: Henry Glass Co., Anna Maria Horner for Freespirit (Field Study), and two cuts of Denyse Schmidt for Freespirit (Chicopee)|
Then, while we were at the retreat, Marden’s got a brand-new shipment of top-quality fabric. We went back, and I bought 18 more yards of fabric—because Marden’s is awesome.
|I am such a Moda girl. Everything here is Moda—Cosmo Cricket, Zen Chic, Bonnie and Camille—except for the bottom fabric, which is an old Midwest Modern design from Amy Butler.|
|I couldn't resist these Heather Ross designs. The bees make me so darn happy.|
|I mainly bought a yard or two of each fabric, but these were the more generous cuts for backings. The birds are Sweetwater for Moda, and the moons are old Lizzy House (4 yards of it—woo hoo!).|
Sure, inexpensive fabric from top designers is fun to buy, but the lower prices fundamentally changed how I picked fabric. I wouldn’t pay $12 a yard for that AMH print (third picture from the top) unless I had a specific project in mind for it. It’s an out-there large-scale design best suited for a bag or a quilt backing. When that same fabric is less than $5 a yard, however, I’ll take a chance and find a use for it eventually.
The only fabric I chose with a specific project in mind is the birds. They are going to be the back for the scrappy quilt I partially pieced at the retreat. I like the idea of a single, simple design on the back of something super scrappy.
I am one happy quilter. My only dilemma? Where am I going to store all this new fabric?!
Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Sunday Stash ...