My mother was a magnificent seamstress and taught tailoring, so she was excited when I took a strong interest in sewing at such a young age. She also had a fabric store in my small Wisconsin town and fostered my creativity by giving me small scraps or samples of fabrics. From there, I imagined, designed and created the most magnificent wardrobe for Tammy. Barbie may have been cuter and sexier and of course, she had Ken on her arm, but she’d never have nicer clothes than Tammy. Evening gowns, Bermuda shorts with matching jackets, dresses, you name it, every Wisconsin snow day, I was sewing. At a young age, I learned to love all textiles, but especially fabric, and all the creations one can make from it.
While living in Japan a few years ago, I began my interest in quilting, primarily as a way to utilize some of the beautiful used kimonos I could find at flea markets. I advanced my interest so I could justify purchasing the beautiful fabric I found there, and on my visits to neighboring Korea. With tons of help and encouragement from my sister, Barb, who has been quilting for more than 25 years, my interest in the craft has grown well beyond using worn kimonos.
So as I’ve traveled, I’ve stopped at too many of these shops – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Kansas…and I’ve discovered special fabrics, or great deals in every one of them. This winter, I took some time to get it all organized, and that’s when the truth hit me – I am a quilt fabric hoarder. You never know when you might need it, right? And no, I can’t throw that scrap away – it may have use in another project. The result – my quilting stash has grown to… well, the next time I want fabric, I’ll shop my cupboards first. From snowmen, to scarecrows to sunflowers, from polka dots, to stripes to triangles, I’m all set. And it’s all Barbie’s fault. Really.
By the way, there are 173 shops in Michigan that sell quilt fabric. By my estimates, I have 163 more to visit!
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