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Old fabric or new?

Old fabric or new?

Old 01-13-2023, 05:26 PM
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Location: Virginia
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Default Old fabric or new?

I'm curious to know how many of you enjoy using up your very old (vintage?) fabric, and how many will only sew with the newest to come out. I've been quilting for over 37 years and yes, I think I still have some scraps from those very early days! I know they're way out of style, but I still like using some of the old fabrics, including calicoes. One of my favorites is the fabric that I used for bathroom curtains back in the 70s! Some 10 or 15 years later I found the same calico in a fabric store and bought it. Sadly, I have only a few small pieces left, so I'm trying to figure out where to use it to best advantage. I'm tempted by the beautiful new fabrics and do buy them from time to time, but have no problem mixing new with old. And you?
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:32 PM
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Location: British Columbia
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My stash of new/current fabric is very limited but I'm okay with this. :-) One of my favourite things to do is to see what treasures I can find at my local thrift stores. I've found some vintage 1970s VIP panels next to a piece of Tula Pink. You never know what you will discover! Because of how I acquire my fabric, most of my quilts have a mix of old and new, and if I'm totally honest, I have enjoyed making those quilts far more than the one or two made with all-new coordinating fabrics. :-D
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Old 01-13-2023, 06:22 PM
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I have been sewing long before I started quilting. And yea, I hoard all those bits and pieces. They do make some interesting quilts. I rarely buy fabric collections. I prefer to mix and match to make my quilts personally unique. That is not always a good thing 😳
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Old 01-13-2023, 07:01 PM
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Location: Mableton, GA
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I've only been quilting about 20 years. Some
Of my friends have given me fabric that old or older and I find it runs way more than newer fabric. Son I don't use it anymore.
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Old 01-13-2023, 07:37 PM
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Location: northern minnesota
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I don't pay much attention to fabric lines, just picking out fabrics I like together. I use mostly older fabric as I have a lot of it but I do pay attention to the quality of fabric. I learned that with one of the first quilts I made. I bought good fabric but could not find a purple I like so went to one of the chain stores and picked up a pretty purple. Well 20 or so years later, the quilt was still pretty and holding up well except for the purple fabric which had faded to almost white and was very thin. So I do pay attention to the fabrics I use whether they be old or new. I have lately found new fabrics in quilt shops that are thin, shrink easily, and ravel like crazy. I seldom buy fabric at the chain stores now as I have found them to be more likely thin and ravel more after washing. sometimes they will feel a bit stiff because of the sizing they have in them.
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Old 01-13-2023, 09:39 PM
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Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,760

I feel it's more creative to put together my own fabric grouping rather than use fabric lines. I prefer in the individuality it gives my quilts. I use whatever works for the project I'm working on. I'm doing a lot of scrappies now. Partly because I love scrappies and partly because I want to use up fabrics I have on hand. Whatever works.
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Old 01-13-2023, 10:03 PM
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Fabric wise I am a creature of habit, and have always gravitated to the same style. Civil war, reproduction, Kim Diehl, Pam Puda. It's amazing how may times I have purchased the same fabric because I see it and have to have it. I have to push myself to buy fabric that is outside of these parameters. I have a lot of yardage that I've had for 10-20 years. I guess I just buy what I like, and go from there, so I guess it's a blend of old and new.
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Old 01-14-2023, 02:59 AM
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Have to admit that I am nostalgic and usually include snippets of older fabrics in new quilts. I just like the way they crop up here and there, little reminders of previous quilts.
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Old 01-14-2023, 03:39 AM
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Location: Davenport, Iowa
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I went through a phase of buying what other women no longer wanted on Facebook. Some were great pieces, others were not and I wouldn't have used them for a dog bed. I also bought a lot of All or None's from Craft Town Fabrics which were smaller pieces usually 1/2 yard or less. All of those were great. I've donated the less than thrilling pieces from Facebook and am cutting up my "great" stuff for scrap quilts. I think the oldest fabric I have is maybe 5 years old and I'll work those pieces into a scrappy.
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Old 01-14-2023, 04:17 AM
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For the last several years, I have been making quilts that consist of a fabric line. When I first started quilting, I painstakingly picked out all the fabric one by one by colors going from light to dark, hoping that designs matched etc.

If I like the fabric, or fabric line, I usually buy more than needed for the quilt, or if it came up on sale later, I would buy more of that same fabric. I like civil war era, 1930 - 1950's era, and also muted earth tones, but will reach for brighter colors from time to time.

So, I would say, that since I keep my stash more geared toward newer fabric, and tend to do clean outs from time to time to remove fabric I'm no longer in love with, I would say I mostly use new or newer fabric. Most of my stash is less than 5 years old. If I find a piece of fabric older that that, I usually know I'm just taking up space with it and send it off (donate) for someone else to love.

I do have a lot of stash, with quilts already in mind for it, but since I buy ahead - I tend to buy more than I need for the intended quilt in case I change my mind on the quilt I planned for it. If it is fabric I really like and plan to use again, I will buy it in a bolt. Now that I'm planning on only working from stash for the most part, I have a lot to choose from!

Last edited by quiltsfor; 01-14-2023 at 04:23 AM.
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