In the course of the article, the quilter (who is a lot more experienced and accomplished than I am) talked about people hoarding fabrics because it was made by this or that designer (none of which I had heard of) and they couldn’t part with it. She mentioned one fat quarter (18″ x 22″ – one quarter of a yard of fabric) costing $40. Heavenly days. I guess if I had paid that much for a fat quarter I’d have trouble cutting it up too.
I have always looked at quilting in the original sense: using up scraps that would have otherwise been thrown out. I have no problem with quilts made from specially bought fabric (I’ve made several myself) but I can’t imagine paying that much money for cloth. The triumph for me is making a quilt from (a) material I already had, (b) material from the thrift store, (c) material from the remnants section at Walmart, (d) material from old sheets, tablecloths or curtains, or (e) material cut from non-usable clothing. I find it very satisfying to work into a scrap quilt leftover scraps of material that might have otherwise never been used or material that I am not hugely fond of. Once you put these into a quilt, the whole thing is beautiful. I keep my scraps to use for future projects, use the knit remnants in the rug I’m crocheting (one garment at a time), cut off and sort the buttons, and wind up throwing away surprisingly little.
I admire the magnificent quilts people turn out, but my favorites are the ones that obviously kept the tradition alive. You can see shirting material, dress material, flour sacks, old curtains, etc. The colors don’t match perfectly and the materials are not all of the same weight.