Don’t get me wrong, I do like quilts. OK, I like the single color ones with the loopy quilting stitches, modern Japanese inspired fabric ones and even some Amy Butler ones.  Quilts with style, color coordination and forethought are my preference over the homey, random fabric, variety.

It seems like everyone is quilting these days, or that every big company selling “sewing goods” thinks the American woman wants to quilt when she wants to sew. Joann’s carries almost exclusively quilting fabrics, ditto Beverly’s. I couldn’t even buy navy double fold bias tape locally recently. Navy!

It’s like most clothing companies thinking that if a woman wants a pair of pants with lots of pockets we want khaki cargo capris. *shudders* I thought that image finally failed along with the GAP’s Sarah Jessica Parker “Pretty Khaki” campaign. And for that matter, why do companies like LandsEnd, who makes excellent quality goods, make the same jacket for women that they do for men, and the women’s version will have princess shaping (hooray!), but where the men’s version comes in a great crimson, forest green and black, women get stuck with dark pink, Kelley green and bright blue? I guess the female profile can’t skew serious or, god forbid, business-like. No, we get a “grown up” girly.

Don’t get me wrong – quilting fabrics are plentiful and often of nice quality. They get more and more diverse every day, between the old favorites, the small modern upstarts and services like Spoonflower. But quilting fabrics aren’t just for quilting and neither is sewing! There are a million projects to be dreamed and created. Some companies recognize that and are showing the traditionally “quilt” fabrics as other items. So let’s all hoist our shears and look at that fabric in a new way. Can you see something in it that looks like a top, teddy bear, bag or bias binding? Think what the great piece of Kaufman fabric would do for a simple sleeveless top pattern or halter.

I’ll skip the khaki and make my cargo pocket pants from something a tad more interesting,  thank you very much, and they will be a full 32″ inches long! And let’s get the bias binding back is the fabric stores already.

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