August 22, 2020
The boxes with 31 new colors Hoffman 1895 that had come in a few minutes before I wrote the last newsletter, are now unpacked. Even better, fat quarter and half yard bundles, sample swatches have been cut too! The Hoffman 1895 Batiks hardly need any introduction. They are a staple fabric in our quilting world and widely available. Not so common is to find the entire collection with not a single color missing. See that is what such a big range of colors (over 300!) does to us: we want to know if we have the best possible color and most of us aren't willing to settle unless we know that we have seen it all! I love wide ranges of colors, period. I love detail and to have so many colors and so many shades to choose from, makes me feel so blessed. Yes, it makes it harder to pick, but that is also part of the fun. And then... when you find the perfect color.... maybe only quilters can understand that feeling of happiness!
The 1895 Batiks are the hand-printed solids in 100% cotton. They have no other design than the natural process of batik making, but they are not 'solid solids', if that makes sense. You can still see texture in them. They have been around for many years. Actually they are older than Webfabrics (17 years). They are super versatile and perfect for machine piecing and quilting. For foundation piecing they are the fabric of choice because they iron so nicely and crisp. They support other fabrics, but I think they are just as often used on their own. The wide range of colors makes them perfect for piecing and applique. Especially machine applique works great with batiks as you can leave the edges raw with hardly any fraying. Thus, the batiks work like a painter's palette and many stunning appliqué quilts have been created with the Hoffman 1895s.
The new 1895 colors are terrific. There are such good very, very darks. Almost blacks, but not blacks. Deep, very deep green, fuchsia, blue...it is such a good range. Hoffman didn't forget the other end of the spectrum: Iceberg is now the lightest white. Oyster and Papyrus are new beiges, but less "yellow" looking. As I was playing with these new colors, I realized they evoke some creativity in me. Just looking at them makes you want to make something. So, I thought I would make bundles of color ranges and give them names that are not just color names like blue, red, but more what kind of sensation they bring. Looking at all the blue greens... what does it remind me of, how does it smell? Looking at all those shades I was thinking about a rain-forest with many branches crawling around. "Lush" is the name of this bundle. And this is how I play with all the colors and create beautiful sets of 10 colors each. More to come! You can collect a few, they will work when you need gradation as they all have a nice flow.
Hoffman has created a color card of the current collection, that will come out in September. There are 295 colors, but we have even more in stock as I try to hold on (and stocked up) as long as possible to the discontinued colors. The color card is $40.00 and if interested, you need to order it as soon as possible. The card will not be available for a long time.
At Webfabrics, we will make again sample swatches in 5" squares of each color. It will take a while before we will have made it through the entire collection and I will announce when that is the case. Sample swatches are $.40 each and really the only way to see if a color will work for your project. We have them also done in Moda Grunge.
This working with colors is my full-time job these days. Yes, I do cut a lot of orders, but every day I can now make color-combinations as well. I try to think with fabric companies, I try to think with customers. Sometimes I share the result on Facebook, sometimes they go straight to the receiver. For instance, I found myself playing with 'blues' this week and I counted my blessings to cut 34 strips for a customer. In the past I would never have had time for such a thing as cutting 34 strips, but now I can, and I believe that many of Webfabrics' customers can see the benefit of this. It is an online shop, yes, but so much more. We can also help you, really help you, better than we could in the shop before, because we have flexibility in our days. Such a nice thing when we are still not comfortable going out shopping. As an example, I have been making the Low Tide Quilt (pattern is back in stock) in many variations and every time when I am done, I wish I could sew it up! What a great passion we find in color.
It seems that customers like to get some introduction kits, either for themselves or for a gift. Atkinson has some fun and well-tested patterns that I added to the assortment and you can order those just as a pattern or as a kit in your choice of colors. If you have a pattern laying around and no idea what you can do with it, shoot me an email and I will see if I can come up with something.
This "consulting" of customers is now officially mentioned on the website. I changed the home page a little, to bring this out a little bit more, because it isn't what you can find at most websites. Consulting sounds 'monetary' but it doesn't cost you anything. Actually, when you have a color dilemma, I can just suggest using a color at a different spot, without you having a need to buy anything at all. It's all about color and our shared love for it.
On the home page you can now also see six oval buttons. They are direct links to our core collections, the Top 6. You don't even to look it up, it is indeed one click away. Hoffman 1895, Michael Miller Fairy Frost and Cotton Couture, Moda Grunge, P&B Suede and Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen are the core collections and they are all labeled fabrics! Otherwise I didn't change too much. I like to keep things clean and simple, streamlined and not too much 'frou-frou'.
Moda is also making bundles in Grunge and of course they are presented on our website. Available again are the Dessert Rolls in Grunge. Dessert Rolls are packages of 10 strips in size 5" x 43". Long strips that you can use 'as is', but they are also the perfect size to cut your own 5" squares or 2.5" jelly roll strips. Dessert Rolls come in four difference color ways: Wake Up (lights), Finger Paint (brights), Recess (medium) and Bedtime (darks). Each dessert roll is different, and the colors are random.
To give you even more variety in cuts, we also have now available Bricks in Grunge. Bricks are 3.5" x 6" , 20 pieces in a package and we have those in every color. New are the Bricks in just Grunge and instead of one color, each package with give you 20 lights or darks in a mix of colors.. Bricks make great backgrounds, are wonderful for applique and paper piecing. On our website you can order individual fat quarters, but when that size is too much, dessert rolls and bricks are wonderful to have on hand. By the way, the Patchwork pattern that is great to make with orange bricks is back in stock! I can attest this is a fun Fall project because my place-mats are done!
Fancy Free by Free Spirit sold out within two days and I am happy to inform you that I was able to get the fabric again. Take a look at these gorgeous colors and prints that have an uncommon larger scale. Sometimes, fabric is not just fabric. It smells, it talks, it communicates with us. This line does all of that!
As always, it's fun to work with fabrics and "fabric" people!