Looks like Karen has made some really great fabric selections! Some 30’s reproduction prints . . .
The 30’s Reproduction or Depression-Era prints are pastel/bright and very fun. The designs on the fabric remind me of Tootsie Roll pop wrappers! When paired with white they are always so cheerful in a quilt.
But did you know these types of prints have an interesting history?
In the 1930’s, money was tight due to the Great Depression. Quilters didn’t generally have spare cash to buy new fabrics for dresses or quilts. Farmers saved their money for seed for the crops and feed to raise the animals.
So, feed and grain merchants saw a marketing opportunity. Cotton was inexpensive, so they packaged feed in inexpensive cotton sacks and printed the sacks with cheerful colors and fun prints. Empty the feed out of the sack, and the frugal farmer had some nice yardage of pretty fabric to turn into curtains or dresses. . . or quilts. What if you have chickens to feed but no sewist in the family? Save the feedsacks and trade the printed cotton for other necessities! Here is an interesting article for some more detail.
Karen, looks like you have more than enough fabric to complete the First Timer Table Topper. I just love your fabric choices! In fact, you may decide to add a few more blocks to make a baby-sized quilt! For your first project, I’d recommend that you stay with no more than 9 blocks, maybe 12, to keep the finishing steps manageable. But we can cross that bridge when we get to it! For the next step we’ll start with some cutting.
Oh, and I’d like to weigh in on your question about purchasing fabric online. . . . My first preference is to shop where I can see and touch the fabric live and in person. This is especially true when you are just starting out.
Scale (the size of the print) can be difficult to judge online. And hand (the way the fabric feels) is impossible to assess with an online purchase. Once you get a little more experienced with this fabric shopping thing (it doesn’t take long, believe me!), you’ll be comfortable with online purchases.
Anyone else like to weigh in? Feel free to leave a comment . . .
One thing, whether it’s your first quilt project or your 50th, buy the best quality fabric you can afford. I’m a firm believer that your quilting hobby should be pleasant in every way.
For your first few projects, expect to make a few mistakes, so having extra fabric on hand is a good idea.