20 May 2007


I find it interesting how some people are influenced by the availability of new ranges of fabrics. We all enjoy seeing new designs and like to inject different colours into our designs, but sometimes it seems to me that we are persuaded to buy some fabrics because of peer pressure.

Last year, there was a discussion on an internet list about brown fabrics. Now brown is one colour I simply can't abide in my quilts. My first quilt (made in that wonderful era of the mid 1980s) features brown. I know that I used that colour then because I didn't want to use the green/apricot combination that was popular at the time. There was a lot of brown clothing around in the late 1970s and 1980s and I wore many clothes in a combination of brown shades. There really was little choice as fashion decreed that it was a popular colour.

Now that we have a huge range of commercial patchwork fabrics from which to choose; and now that many of us opt to dye our own colour combinations, I fail to see why I am expected to swoon over every new line that is released just because it is fashionable. I simply do not want brown fabrics in my quilts and just because there is a plethora of fashionable fabrics in this colourway, it doesn't mean I should be expected to use them.

I'm interested in whether others have made 'fashion mistakes' with fabric purchases. Have you ever bought fabrics you don't really like just because everyone else says they are gorgeous?


  1. The only fabric that I have purchased (for quilting) that I hated was one that faded horribly when it was washed. I recently extracted that one by using it in a charity quilt and it actually turned out pretty good. I make mostly scrap quilts so I love every fabric! On the topic of "brown" though, I have been motivated to use brown in my next quilt. I think there are some pretty browns out there right now. But color is personal and thank goodness we have loads to choose from around the color wheel!

  2. Anonymous10:52 am

    It has to be exactly the RIGHT brown for me! Fashionable fabrics? Only once: I bought HEAPS of a paisley fabric in greeny yellow and yellow backing to match - and never got around to the quilt they were for. Now they're buried at the bottom of a box and labeled "Guilt Quilt"...

    Personally, I'm getting to be sooooo over quilts that have nothing but boring hand dyes. Too much of any one thing kills the spark, you know?

  3. Brown, definitely made a mistake with that color. One of the first quilts I made was for my mom & she picked all brown fabrics. I hate that quilt now, it wouldn't be so bad with some other colors mixed in. I don't mind a little brown here & there, but it's not on my list of favorite colors.

  4. I guess some people will a lways want tobe right up there in fashion, and some of us are just dags and always will be! I almost never buy "the latest thing" - it's a hiding to nothing, as every quilt will look the same (or more likely, it will sit in my stash until I can't bear to use it because it's "so noughties"!)

    My Can't Bear are these Sixties retro-look fabrics. Didn't like them much back then and definitely don't like them better now. I'm not that keen on those very large scale flower prints either. I'm sure I must have made some horrible purchases over the years, but I think most of them have gone into scrap quilts, where pretty much anything goes. Nothing especially memorable...

  5. I made a quilt for my inlaws 60th anniversary - pick out a olovely deisgn and soft ble colourway only to check their bedroom and find it has horrid brown floral wallpaper, dark brown wood and brown curtains. Tried to talk her into the blue to lift it but no she wanted brown. I hate brown in quilts. Didn't turn out too bad because I used some lemons to soften the brown and found a fabric with lot of white between the brown. Yuk.

  6. I don't normally use browns but did do a blue/brown/beigh quilt for my nephews wedding quilt a couple of years ago, I needed 25 different browns and the scary thing was I had that many, well some did lean towards the burgundys and purples.
    The reason I had so many when I don't normally use them it was because they were left overs from when I made a colour wash land scape quilt for my sister - but not my usual colours........


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