Now, if truth be told, when Threads magazine came to visit my studio back in 1999, they said I had one of the most "restrained" collections of fabric they'd seen. We figured it's just because I use it.
But I do love to buy fabric. Indeed while stuck in traffic on the NJ Turnpike recently, all I could think about was my trip to The Textile Company on Tuesday. You must admit--I'm lucky. This store is just 10 miles from my studio in Shelburne Falls. Set in an old mill factory in Greenfield, MA--they used to make baby carriages there--it has been in the same family for three generations. Indeed they still keep mill workers hours--open until 5:20 (8:20 on Friday) so the workers could shop on their way home. Always closed on Sundays. Closed all holidays and Mondays during the summer.
The building itself is about as unpretentious as it comes:
It's tucked away on Power Square--do call them at 413 773 7516--for directions. Inside, the wooden floors are worn into patterns from endless walking-- the wood is even slightly raised around the nails.
And the fabric. Bolts and bolts of fabric tucked into every nook and cranny. A couple years ago they tried to count it all--last I heard they were up to 4000 and still counting.
Sweeps of color. This is where I stand while getting my fabric cut. I start a pile and then add to it as they cut the fabric. There's another row or two beneath this also. It's so hard to decide.
Do I have a project in mind? Will the fabric inspire a quilt? Am I short on this particular color? What about the design? Just look at those colors. Don't you want them all?
For instance this mauve and electric blue fabric--such an unusual combination. What will I do with it? Have I seen it before. Hmm. A challenge.
Of course I got it. Though I can't capture the blue in the camera. Oh well. I'm still not sure what I'll do with it but I knew I would dream about it if I didn't get it. I do love a challenge.
And a few fun fabrics--great for the evening skies I love to make. In wonderful new designs and colors. Irresistible.
I want everything but restrain myself. I really can have too much fabric. More importantly I wouldn't need to go shopping again next week when they will have another great fabric.
Besides, there is another fabric store near my studio--different fabrics, different colors, a different feel. But I'll save that for another day.
And you--how do you buy fabric? Do you have a favorite store? Or is there something else that you just have to buy?