This past weekend I attended the International Quilt Market. I was there with a friend who just opened an online fabric store. The sights were impressive, of course. My eyes hurt by Sunday afternoon after looking at so many colors and prints. And the art quilts… don’t even get me started. Suffice it to say, some of the quilts I saw I had a hard time believing were made of fabric. True artistry.
Anyway, it all got me thinking about the quality of materials I use in my crafts. On the one hand, crafting and sewing is nice because you save money over buying the item retail. And that has a certain appeal.
This morning I pulled out a sweater coat I knit last winter. It’s a big project, I both designed it, and spent a fair amount of time knitting it. And because it’s so big, I used inexpensive acrylic yarn from Michaels.
I hate it.
The yarn doesn’t drape, it doesn’t breathe, and it squeaks.
I really wanted to use Blue Sky Cotton yarn, which is a gorgeous organic cotton yarn that is soft, lofty, and drape-y. Everything my acrylic yarn isn’t. It was twice as expensive, so I opted for the acrylic. Oh, how I wish I could change that. Last night I found myself rifling through my pattern books, and checking yarn colors online. Guess who’s going to be knitting another sweater coat?
And of course, it’s not just yarn, but also fabric. I made my quilt with an organic cotton line. It is more pricey than something you would find at a chain store, but I have washed it several times now (the beauty of having 3 small kids who love to wrestle on the bed) and it still looks new. I made a top with fabric from Hobby Lobby and it faded after 2 washings.
Now I’m sure there are people out there who are able to use fabrics and yarns from any old place and get lovely results. They probably treat their handmades a little nicer than I do. Stuff around here just has to be durable and washable. I certainly can’t spend my days in fine hand-wash only silk and wool sweaters (plus I’d die from heat stroke living in Texas!). As I type this, I notice I have yogurt, milk, and egg salad dribbled on my shirt – Letty is messy and half the time I’m still lugging her around on my hip. So cotton is my go-to fiber of choice. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson about making it the best cotton I can find.
I really don’t want to re-make anything else.