First a word about quilters- sewers- and fabric. You can never have too much- and I have yards and yards. But when you need just the right shade of grey or blue or yellow- it seems that this is the one shade you are out of.
Two parts to my fabric madness:
Part one: Nancy Crow. Nancy has a requirement for all of her classes- and it is a good one. You have to come with at least one hundred yards of colored fabric- that means least one hundred yards of solid colors- no patterns, no stripes, no florals- just solid color.
The first class I attended- well the whole idea of collecting 100 yards was intense. I started months before the class, and it became very clear to me that collecting this fabric was part of the exercise. Never knew the range of colors that were there- and never really understood how limiting commercial cottons are.
So the first year I gradually shopped bargain bin and mostly I bought my fabrics at Joanns or G Sreet. But there was something so flat about the colors- they were bright but had no character. Right about then I started looking on ebay. Back 3 1/2 years ago there were not too many hand dyers on ebay- but I found two people in New Zealand and started buying cottons from them. Which was great until they stopped dying.
And then there is Part two: Annette.
Right about the time that my New Zealand team stopped dyeing, I tried a few other sources, but the fabrics were blah. They had more character than commerical cottons- but it was hit or miss. And then I found my fabric angel- Annette in Kennewick, Washington. I started out buying almost everything that she was putting on ebay.
And her fabrics were wonderful. My ebay bill was running higher and higher- and then- it hit me- why not ask Annette if she would dye specific colors for me. I took PMS chips, and sent her a detailed "want list" and miraculously she agreed.
That was just the beginning of an amazing collaboration. But more about that tomorrow.