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.

Yes. The line is gorgeous. It's harmonious and cacophonous all at the same time. The colors and prints are lively and vibrant and beautiful. I love the line. The whole line. Even if it did take a little while to grow on me . . .

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 . . .


Rachel Hauser said...

Ugh, that's a hard one. I wonder if the quality control issues just mean that future runs of the fabric will be better. Could be, and they wouldn't be like to admit it. OK, I have to know what store this is. Can you let me know privately?

Bottom line, you should always LOVE fabric that you use. So, if you can't love this after giving it some thought, don't keep it.

SplendorFalls said...

The inside out has got me scratching my head!

My local shops all have this in stock now; I'll have to go back and give them a closer look. I only bought one half yard (so far) and it is a nice tight smooth weave.

What a let down; I'm so sorry!

I have had the same question about different weaves with Kona Cottons. I told myself different colors required different base cloths, but I really have no basis for that assumption.

Let us know what you find out!

BuggletQuilts said...

This is dissappointing, but I have to say, not a surprise. I've been less than impressed with the quality of fabric from Westminster, and they charge a premium for Amy and Kaffe. I was uber concerned when they bought FreeSpirit, who historically has gorgeous fabrics. I was afraid they would switch to their mills and ruin it. WM should really print all their fabrics w/the people who print Free Spirit's. I'll be curious to see what other bolts of the same prints look like.