The Fabric Whisperer

The Fabric Whisperer, bolts of fabricsDo not try to tell me that fabric is not a living entity. Of course it isn’t. But fabric speaks to quilters, and we all know it. And sometimes we speak to it as well. Maybe you don’t, but I know that I do. There are moments that fabric seems to have real life, and I can imagine what it is thinking. Indeed, it may even feel like a relationship is formed between me and my fabric.

I am a fresh new bolt of fabric, waiting to be sold and stitched into something glorious. I hope the quilter who picks me buys all ten yards, so we can keep the family together. Just think of all the possibilities.

Look here! See my pretty colors? Notice how my mid-size pattern repeats? Just imagine how I would blend with that lovely stripe across the aisle.

That was the fourth person today who unwrapped a few yards, then smashed me back on the shelf. If I had a voice, I would say OUCH loudly every time that happens!

Finally. This is what the cutting table looks like! I am just so excited. I really like the other prints and that lovely brown solid that are stacked here with me waiting to be cut. I am going to be made into something wonderful, I can just tell.

Oh dear. Now I know why they call it a cutting table! Someone sliced a yard off of me, and now I am back here on the shelf once again. How will I know what becomes of that yard?

The Fabric WhispererSee? It spoke to me, and I simply had to bring a piece of it home. No, I did not have a particular project in mind, but, well, it spoke to me. What more can I say?

Hey, where are you taking me? What about the rest of the bolt? Why am I in a plastic bag here?

Out of the bag, and into the water. Wow, that soap burns. All this pushing and shoving, eww, now I think I am having a thread attack, spinning in circles.

Well, the warmth in here sure beats that wet place, but I am getting dizzy.

Ah, now I feel more like myself, that hot metal plate passing over me really got all the kinks out. What is next? I hope to be able to shine in a nice new quilt.

Hello? Is there anyone out there? It is really dark in this drawer. I feel like I have been in here forever. Sometimes the lights come in and I get turned over, or even unfolded and looked at, but back in this drawer I always go. This is no life for a fabulous fabric like me!

I need some birds for this I-Spy quilt. I know I have some in my drawers, now where did I put it?

Oh welcome daylight, that brings hope to my finely woven threads. Someone is pawing through the drawer!

What’s this? I am being unfolded, stretched out, hearing voices. Someone likes me and wants to use me. At last, my destiny will be fulfilled.

The Fabric Whisperer, So lovelyI always wondered what I would do with these birds, but they are perfect! Now, which two shall I pick? There we go, two lovely pieces ready for a quilt!

That’s it? You hack out two little squares and leave the rest? I feel violated!

Lovely. Back in the drawer, with two big holes in me. What am I good for now? I may be in here forever.

Oh lovely bird fabric, where are you? Your little offerings were so well received, that I need more for another quilt!

Really? Lots more? Oh dear, two more holes, now back in the dark drawer with the other outcasts.

Wow, this drawer is getting messy. Perhaps it is time to move some things on to the scrap quilt bin. No birds left to cut on this, but the background is pretty.

No birds left. I am nothing but holes. My usefulness is over, and I am scrap!

The Fabric Whisperer, So Many PiecesMy, you are a sad-looking mess! I bet you are feeling abused. My former bird source, your feathered friends now grace about a dozen quilts, and will be enjoyed by many people for years to come. Your remnants will be added to postage stamp quilts and small projects, until there is nothing left that is big enough to sew with.

Me? A highlight in a dozen quilts? I am ashamed that I doubted your use of me. It is wonderful to know that I am not just a quilt fabric, but I am part of a legacy! My happy birds are scattered and thriving, and I am now content.

©2011, The Curious Quilter,,


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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11 Responses to The Fabric Whisperer

  1. Sarah Schutte says:

    LOL, and I worry when I talk out loud to MY fabric! Never occurred to me to was a good thing to do.

  2. coloradolady says:

    Have you finished your BBQ? Have I missed your post somehow??? Just wondering. Suzanne

  3. Dana says:

    I’ve never given that much voice to my fabric, but I’ve always said the fabric will tell me what to do with it, just listen.

  4. Alice Hamilton says:

    It is so nice to know that I’m not the only one hearing voices! Here’s a question, O Wise One: The fabric speaking to me now was gifted to me by a friend from her late mother’s stash. It had been stored in mothballs! Currently it is airing on the patio (thanks to a bright, sunshiney day!). Any other suggestions for getting the stink out of the stash?
    Thanks, my friend, for finding your voice through this blog.

    • Hey, stranger, long time no see! Glad to know that you are still quilting (and hearing voices!)

      Have you tried rinsing it out with a bit of white vinegar in water. I would try a half cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water, soak a few minutes, then rinse with clear water.

      • Alice Hamilton says:

        I’ll try it!

      • Alice Hamilton says:

        Update: It worked! I actually put it in the machine with vinegar and mild detergent. It was not only smelling of moth balls, but quite dusty. I’m going to learn to make an asterisk quilt and this free fabric was just what I needed to practice.
        Wait till you hear about my next project: restoring or somehow reviving a WWII baby quilt!

  5. Annmarie says:

    AWESOME post!!!! Thanks. That is worthy of publication in some cool quilting magazine……….

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