it will not last 100 years,
it might bleed,
it might fade.... "
Lately, I have been using some of my favorite vintage pieces and these things have been on my mind. You may have seen projects recently with some of these beauties:
Over the years there have been many times I've pulled lighter weight fabrics from my stash, yet there are many I just wont part with. Bottom line, I love them. I also love building my stash, as well as the thrill of the score! When I go fabric hunting at garage sales, estate sales and thrift shops, I seek them out. The rebel in me does not diminish and I continue to find vintage fabrics for my stash, and I find creative ways to use them.
Le Challenge for November is METHOD and I chose to finish up an orphan block that I found at a garage sale. There were six in the bundle, all signed and dated by different quilter's. They were made in the 80's for some sort of swap. Interestingly, most of them were appliqued on a poly/cotton blend background.
Unfortunately, purple is the hardest for me to photograph, especially on a stormy afternoon such as today. This is the best photo I came up with, taken indoors:
One for myself:
Can you imagine opening this more than 30 years after you made a block and mailed it away for a swap? She was delighted:)
One thing I have learned about using vintage fabrics is that you really never know what you may end up using in the future. It is so nice to shop your own stash successfully when working on a project!
1. Keep what you like if you have the space!
2. Avoid storing fabric in plastic bins if you can avoid it; they will acquire a peculiar odor.
3. If you can do this without offending anyone, smell the fabric before purchasing.
4. Wash pre-owned fabric before adding it to your own stash. Sometimes I air it outside for a few hours first. Then pre-soak in water with 1c. vinegar sprinkled with quite a bit of baking soda. Finally, wash with extra-gentle cycle and mild detergent. Dry and lightly press. Any odor remaining will be detected during the pressing, and I donate these to the thrift store.
5. I stick with 100% cotton for quilting. I can usually tell by the feel, however, if it generates static when removing from the dryer it is likely a poly blend. If you are really uncertain, a burn test can also be done. Take a lighter to a small snippet: Cotton will leave an ashy edge and synthetic leaves more of a melted edge, a bit like plastic.
6. I store lighter weight fabrics separate from premiums since I tend to use them together. I have been known to mix various weight fabrics with some quilts, but generally I use them together in scrappier quilts, smaller projects, linings, etc..
How bout these calico's, look familiar?