Fabric Miracle in Indianapolis? Part 2 of 2

August 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

(This continues my series of posts written on my recent vacation; I have not corrected references to dates.)

The second and third instances of fabric miracles I’ve experienced were less dramatic, but no less miraculous.  I unexpectedly found a Halloween print I wanted more of for the inner border of my still-UFO Halloween quilt at one of the shops I’ll be visiting again soon on my mini vacation shop hop, Quilt Quarters in Carmel, IN.  I had long since given up on finding it, and had settled on an unsatisfactory work-around.  At the shop, I was alone, so had no one to share my amazement and joy with, and had to stifle my whoops so as not to be thought crazy.

Halloween Buzzsaw

Halloween Buzzsaw: I had enough of the cream & orange print to sash, but not to border

I also had given up on being able to buy the “Nature’s Whimsey” panel in blue and brown, and had gone so far as to order the less-attractive yellow and gray colorway from a website (see, I’ve learned that trick now) when I came across a bolt of it at The Quilt Place in Rockledge, FL while visiting my sister.   That, obviously, became the inspiration and focal point of my “Window on Whimsey” quilt.

"Nature's Whimsey" by Laurie Godin for Northcott

But this is the first time I’ve experienced a fabric miracle on someone else’s behalf.  Diane has been working on an absolutely stunning Ohio Star quilt, for which she purchased three yards of the gorgeous batik she’s using for the stars; the backgrounds are a fabulous collection of purple and blue batiks.

Batik Ohio StarsThe star fabric has an almost luminous quality to it, kind of a firefly-light yellow with a subtle pattern of lavender dots and an even subtler lavender stripe every few inches.  It’s very distinctive.  Now, normally I tend to underestimate how far fabric will go in a project; I was appalled to see how much fabric I had left over from making the aforementioned “Window on Whimsey.”  It’s a huge quilt, and was supposed to be a stashbuster.  Instead, it was more of a stash-dinger, or perhaps a stash-scratcher. I’ve also seen a great “quilter’s helper” tip on how many of different common sizes and shapes can be cut from a single fat quarter, and it’s daunting.  So to my mind, three yards would be more than enough.  Turns out, it isn’t.  She only had enough to cut pieces for 125 of her 6″ blocks, which doesn’t add up to a bed-sized quilt.

Diane's batik

Diane's batik

So the search was on.  Unfortunately, for all the advantages inherent in using batiks (great colors, usually no wrong or right side, limited fraying, crisp texture) one of the disadvantages is that there is no helpful printed selvage information.  Once a fabric has been cut from the bolt, there’s nothing to tell you who made it or when.  If you’re lucky, you remember where you bought it, but if they’re out of it, there are no clues to go on.  Diane sent pictures and swatches to multiple retailers, as well as to multiple quilter friends, in hopes that someone would recognize this fabric.  Until Wednesday, no one had found anything even close.

When I saw the bolt sitting on the shelf at Back Door Quilts, I nearly started to hyperventilate.  Could it be… THE FABRIC?  When I pulled it out, I realized it wasn’t an exact match.  Still, it was so close…  I took it over to the cutting table and unrolled a few lengths to get a better look.  The colors were right, and it had a similar small dot pattern, but the lavender stripes were wider and closer together, and were far less regular in their contours, bleeding into the yellow more than in the original.  But even still…

Fabric miracle batik!
Fabric miracle batik!  See the swatch blending in?

At this point, one of the ladies from the shop came over to offer help.  I told the story, showed her the swatch, and when I laid the swatch down on the unfolded fabric, it practically vanished.  I could barely distinguish the cut edges of the swatch from the yardage, and the saleslady and I just gaped at it.  At that point, I realized I was in the presence of an honest-to-goodness fabric miracle.  I called Diane, who immediately authorized me to buy another three yards of the not-quite-exactly-right-but-miraculously-close-enough fabric.  She’ll be able to pick it up in a few weeks.

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Entry filed under: Fabric Shopping, Travel. Tags: , , .

Fabric Miracle in Indianapolis? Part 1 of 2 My Indiana Mini Shop Hop

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