I'm cutting fabrics right now for a stash-busting fence rail quilt. I'm amazed at the difference in fabric qualities in my stash. Many of the newer fabrics have a silky quality. My fabrics from 15 years ago are much rougher and more coarsely woven. Most have been purchased from local quilt shops. I don't really care for this quilt, as it's going to be more of a utility quilt. Still, it's been interesting.
One more thing--I do NOT like the quality of Kona cotton from the local chain fabric store. Is the quality different when ordering from a quilt shop online? My local quilt shop doesn't carry solids. I actually prefer the "hand" of a 1.99 a yard muslin at the chain store, but I'm afraid it might not wear well. It's so much softer, though, that I've been using it to back baby quilts. Thoughts?????
The upshot of this? I'm going to pay a lot more attention to fabric "hand" instead of just pattern and color. It's so enjoyable to work with a silky cotton. Maybe I notice it so much because I'm a dressmaker at heart--and have been moving into quilting because the kids are grown and I have no one to sew clothes for.