Can fabric be an enemy? Can it be a friend? Margaret Thatcher said, “It pays to know the enemy – not least because at sometime you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend”.
Now I’m pretty sure Margaret Thatcher was talking about people, and she’s probably right, but the same idea holds true for fabric, or patterns. Do we have fabric and/or pattern enemies? Can we turn them into friends?
My main fabric enemies are silks and satins, the smooth shiny, slippery fabrics. Sewing with them is a nightmare. Luckily for me they aren’t generally considered quilt fabrics. Although they can be used for a quilt. The crazy quilt shown above was backed with a silk type fabric.
Edna, the woman who made the quilt told me it had been a nightmare sewing it on, it kept slipping. But, knowing her enemy, she found a way to hold it in place and managed to back her quilt. Later, she had to add more quilting to keep the slippery fabric from shifting and preventing the quilt from looking it’s best. She’s happy with the result, and generally uses the quilt as a wall hanging. Because, she knows her enemy, and the satin backing would allow the quilt to continually slid off a bed. Although she did admit, she probably wouldn’t select that fabric for a backing again. Still, she did make a friend of the fabric and as a result has a beautiful quilt.
Knowing your enemy fabric, or pattern will help you work with it to create a beautiful quilt, or in my case, stay far away so it can’t get the better of me. What’s your choice, to work with your enemy or give it lots of space?