Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tastes Change...

Do you find that over the years your tastes have changed?

Me, yes.

I find my tastes have changed in clothes, in men (for the better), in food, etc.

And I most definitely find that my tastes have changed in fabric.

Mom and I do the buying at the shop and I am ashamed to admit that when our Free Spirit rep started coming around I told him I did not want to see ANY Free Spirit fabric because I thought their fabrics were too cartoon-y.

(In my defense, a lot of them were cartoon-y at the time)

But can you imagine Alewives without Free Spirit?

Me, no.

Luckily for me, our rep insisted on showing us the Free Spirit lines.

He said "You have to look at these, because whether you know it or not: they are your store."

(I miss that guy. He has since retired. And I like it when people point out that I don't know everything about everything, which I sometimes - okay all the time - think I do.)

So he showed us the lines, and one of those lines was Freshcut by Heather Bailey.

I KNOW you know the line I am talking about.

Freshcut was so insanely, stupendously, tremendously popular.

I think we went through four bolts of every single fabric in that line.

Some designs even more.

And if it were still available today (which it is not... such is the nature of the fabric industry) I would buy it again.

Now the store is by and large filled with Free Spirit and Westminster fabrics.

Some of the things I turned down I look at today and I say to myself "What was I thinking? How could I let you go?!?"

Every once in a while we will buy a fabric that, by the time it arrives at the store, I scratch my head and say "what was I thinking?" (in a bad way), but more often than not I find myself wishing I had bought from a certain collection or at the very least bought more from that collection. And we usually do!

For example, I did not at first like Heather Ross fabrics.

This was when her Gnomes and Mushrooms were first out.

I thought they were cute and all, but I just could not see myself making a quilt (or anything) out of them.

But man, I thought they were soft.

I still think they are soft, but nowadays I love Heather's designs.

You can tell right away if a fabric was designed by Heather Ross.

And I would kill for those 'shrooms.

I used to hate reproduction fabrics, too.

Now I have a gorgeous stack of twenty pink and brown reproduction fabrics sitting in my sewing room calling to me like a Siren.

They will be a quilt someday and it will go in my house and I will love it. Always. Unless my tastes change.

Pink and browns are still the only repros that I like, but there was a time when even that was not true.

Tastes change.

Where I am going with this is that I have a dirty little fabric secret to share with you.

It's bad.

Reeeaaalllyy bad.

Fabric sacrilege.

Okay, here goes...

"My name is Rhea and I don't like Amy Butler's new collection."


I know, I know, this is not like me at ALL.

And I was SOOO excited to see them, too.

We just got the images of her new "Love" collection in the e-mail a few days ago and I was shocked.

They just don't look very Amy-y to me.

They look a little cartoon-y, or like Philip Jacobs (whom I love!) but in very 80's colors.

HOWEVER, I am reserving COMPLETE judgment for when I see the line on fabric, as opposed to seeing it on a digital file.

That can make a huge difference.

But be warned, I am skeptical.

I may someday have to eat my own words, but to me, this line is such a departure from her signature style that I think Amy's tastes must have changed.

A line that I AM very jazzed about is the new Denyse Schmidt collection called "Hope Valley."

And I know that a few years ago this would not have been my scene.

In fact, we never bought any Denyse fabrics until her Home-Dec collection called "County Fair" came out.

Now I am KICKING myself that we didn't get any Katie Jump Rope or Flea Market Fancy because I would love to have those fabrics in my store and in my stash.

Apparently, I'm not the only one, either.

You may have noticed in my sidebar the link to Flea Market Fancy Freaks, which is a blog started by a Denyse-lover who has begun a petition to Free Spirit to re-print the line.

It is one of the most sought-after out of print fabrics I have ever seen, and one yard cuts are selling for forty dollars on e-bay.

That's forty dollars for one yard of quilting fabric that you could have bought two years ago for nine dollars!

A good return on your investment?

I think yes.

Apparently, lots of people's tastes have changed.

Do you have any quilts that you look at today and thing "uggh?"

The fabrics and blocks just don't reflect your style any more?

Conversely, do you have any quilts that you love MORE today than you did when you first made them?

They just get better and better?

That's how I think Denyse's fabrics are.

For me, when I first saw them, they were a little ahead of my time, but now I love them and I think they are so usable and pretty and timeless, really.

A lot of the older Amy Butler collections I feel that way about, too. (Belle, Lotus, Sunbloom... Coriander print, I will always love you!)

And don't even get me STARTED on all the Kaffes I missed out on.

I see some in his books now and I know they are no longer available (again, such is the fabric industry) and I want them sooo badly but I KNOW I will never be able to have them.

The moral of the story?

I don't know what the moral is.

Buy what you like when you see it, I guess.

When it's gone, it's gone.

Of course, tastes change and you may not like something today that you will LOVE in a few months.

I don't quite know what to do about that.

But for a start, I would love it if you visited the Flea Market Fancy Freaks blog and signed their petition.

I promise to carry the whole line if it comes out again.

In the meantime, I will keep you updated on the Amy Butler thing.

For more images from the new line, just do a google search on the words "Amy Butler Love."

I'm sure I will now pop up, but ignore those links.

I would love to know what everyone else thinks of this new line, too.

And if your tastes have changed over the years.

And if you have a dirty little fabric secret, then by all means, share that, too.

Until next time,




Ann said...

I agree tastes can change and as we grow older or see new techniques we want to try them out, so no shame in that - change and enjoy and don't forget to share your changes with us.

K said...

This post is very timely for me. I have been wondering just how long certain fabrics will stick around. Is there a season length for fabric? If you want to know just what fabrics are making me ask, it's the apple dot and petal party (Michael Miller Farmers Market). Should I be stocking up?!?