So, this is largely a re-post about the Amy Butler Soul Blossoms fabric I've been concerned about.
We went to a fabric store in Rockford the other day and I had a chance to get my hands on some glorious bolts of this line. I must admit that my emotions are even more mixed about the line now than they were before. Because, while I was elated that the same prints I had issues with from my online purchase were also on sketchy substrates in the local quilt shop, I was more than a little bit disappointed that there was still such a big quality issue. It really was the exact same prints with the exact same issues in the shop as I had had in my online order.
Thus, even though I'd decided only a day earlier to send back the pieces of my initial order that I was having qualms with, I think I'm just going to keep it now. Having seen that this is likely an issue across all bolts of this fabric, I'm pretty sure that if I want the prints, I'm going to have to sacrifice a little in the quality of the fabric. So, at $6-something per yard, I might as well keep what I have and just limit myself to only this stash.
Or at least I'll try.
Do you ever feel upsidedownrightinsideoutright? That topsy-turvy, totally-in-love-but-also-a-little-sad all at the same time kind of feeling?
Today I said "hello, again" to that very feeling. It's a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking feeling that I would really rather not experience.
No, no one is hurt. I haven't crashed my car. Everything's generally OK.
OK. So, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. You'll probably think so, too, when I tell you that this dreaded feeling is all about . . . FABRIC.
Gorgeous. Amy. Butler. Soul. Blossoms.
So, my long-awaited pre-ordered purchase arrived on my doorstep the other day and when I opened it, my heart sunk. No, it wasn't Amy's color or her prints which I was upset with—in fact, I couldn't even see them when I eagerly ripped open my box because inside was a gigantic jumbled mess of inside-out fabric. I had a sneaky suspicion—a sense of deja vu, if you will—that I was going to be disappointed.
And, disappointed I am. Disappointed and confused. I started this post on Tuesday and it's only today that I'm finally taking the time to really assess my stash of Soul Blossoms. That upsidedownrightinsideoutright feeling has overwhelmed me most of this week. Am I too picky? Am I really the only one who will complain about this? Should I just not worry about the quality of what was in my box and simply move on and use it in a quilt or other patchwork projects without any qualms?
I am, however, highly frustrated with two aspects of my purchase: 1) Why (for the 2nd time with a new Amy Butler line) is my entire order being shipped to me folded inside out? 2) Why is the weave of the cotton substrate across this line so utterly different from piece to piece?
My first beef, I suppose, is with the company I'm purchasing from. I've been down this road before—back in 2008 when Midwest Modern was released and I ordered an embarrassingly copious amount of fabric. At that time, my order also arrive all inside out in a jumbled mess in a bag inside of a box. Many of my cuts were jagged and crooked. Some were short of my ordered yardage. Some had generous amounts of extra fabric. It was a mess. And I dealt with the vendor at that time. I continue to order from this vendor because 90% of the time the purchase comes and it is fine and because they usually fix errors without much of a delay. Also at that time, I spoke with a rep from Westminster who said that they would never ship bolts out inside out and that I really should return the fabric. I opted, instead, for a discount from my vendor.
Well, since 2008, I haven't really had any problems and decided to go ahead and pre-order Soul Blossoms with this vendor. Having heard from a couple of business owners on trips this fall that Amy Butler had been delaying the fabric release because of quality control issues, I felt confident that by the time the line was released and passed her inspection, there really wouldn't be any problems. And, from what I've heard others say, the line appears to be one some of the best quality cotton they've seen in a while.
However, my batch does not live up to that. I'm feeling stumped. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to do. The in-love-with-this-line part of me wants to just keep it all and dig into a project with it. The practical side of me really wonders if the variances in substrate are going to play well together—especially if I don't end up prewashing everything before using it. Some of the pieces have such a loose, textured weave that it feels almost like a canvas would feel when I run my hands over it. Then, there are pieces which are completely smooth—silky, almost. Some is thick, some is thin. There's such a range of textures and fineness that I have to wonder what the deal is. Is the inconsistency that it is coming from a variety of mills? And, even if that's the case, shouldn't there be a higher standard for consistency?
What do I do? Send some back? Keep it all? Worry about it? Not worry about it? Raise the question—again—with Westminster?
I wish that I had a better macro lens so I could show you better images, but here's what I've captured without being on a macro setting. Take a look. I'd love your input. Check out the directionality of the grain and the textures. Lots of slubs and little tiny pin holes . . .