The Drawer of Meh


This fabric diet is proving to be more interesting than I had originally thought it would be. I started it mainly out of feeling I have too much and partly out of economy. The rise in VAT is making fabric purchases much less a regular treat for many. I can’t say I felt all that positive about my fabric stash. Too much had been bought in sales because it was cheap, or for some long forgotten/abandoned project. I wanted to bash through it all so I could fill up with lots of lovely new lines.

However in the last few weeks some strange things have been happening. I have opened the Drawer of Meh. The Drawer of Meh is Room 101 for fabric in this house. It’s where fabric I don’t like any more goes to fade/compost/whichever comes first. And yet when I rummaged through it a couple of weeks ago, in a slightly desultory manner, I was amazed by how many possibilities were presenting themselves. It appears that in having written off a chunk of fabric I had stopped ‘seeing’ it. Certainly seeing combinations that might work together nicely began to make me look at the Drawer of Meh again a bit more objectively. Y’know there may be hope for some of this stuff yet. The cushion cover below is a prime example: the green is a khaki Moda Bella Solid that I bought for a quilt last year – it was the wrong shade by about a shade-and-a-bit. Close but no cigar. The print, well I can’t explain myself, I imagine a sale, a lot of caffeine and quite possibly Lucy in the Sky playing on the shop radio produced the impulse to buy this. This is the first use I’ve found for it yet.

The funny thing is, as a teenage patchworker I never worried about putting fabrics together. I mish-mashed happily. I’m not sure where the confidence to do this went but I have noticed that designer based fabric lines are more and more prevalent, and that the talk on quilting blogs is often about new lines and quilts being created out of one collection. Dare I say that I’m starting to find this a bit frustrating? Putting together a quilt from the same design line is starting to seem a bit of a cop-out, all the judgement and colour choices have been done for you. Some of it is starting to seem a bit matchy-matchy in a handbag-and-shoes way.

The fabric diet started out as a means to an end – to use up old stuff and buy new, new, new!! In fact to buy fabric in lines as I’ve just castigated above. Instead it’s turning into a more thoughtful process, forcing me to identify my own tastes and what seems pleasing on the eye to me, the designer. It’s not always going to be pretty, but what started off as getting my head down and through the backlog ASAP is turning into a much more interesting meander through the country roads of my collection. And it’s a lot more fun too.

Thanks for reading,

3 thoughts on “The Drawer of Meh

  1. The cushion’s lovely – really pretty print fabric! I, too, find it so refreshing and inspiring to gather all my fabrics together every now and again to see them in a different light ……. they all fit somewhere even if it means cutting them small! I’m not a “label” girl and much prefer to put an eclectic assortment of fabrics together than having decisions made for me.

  2. Oh, I like it! The cushion’s gorgeous! Lovely combinations. That fabric works beautifully in tiny portions too – I especially like the way it morphs as a binding on the edge there.

    Drawer of Meh is a really fabulous concept. I am so reluctant to part with unpromising materials that I pretty much live in a House of Meh. But you’re so right about how we get locked in one way of seeing a fabric. I applaud your determination to approach your pet hates with a fresh eye. Keep up the good work.

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