On the day I said, "What if I don't buy any new fabric for quilt tops?" I had to come up with alternatives, which led me to the incredible bounty of inexpensive used clothing in this town. But very few clothes provide traditional quilting cottons. My fabric love drew me to glowing silk ties, wonderful wool suits, linen that I couldn't resist, mountains of cotton twill pants in umpteen shades of khaki and beyond, and more men's cotton shirts than I ever imagined.
There's a good reason most quilters use the fabrics they do. Most of the other fabrics are a pain in one way or another (and often several at the same time). But I'm completely hooked on the what-ifs and on the quiet thrill of ignoring the usual rules. I'm happily pairing silk ties with wool suits, and figuring out ways to use heavy cotton twills without too many piled up seam allowances. Some things I try don't work out, but most do, at least in my view, and they lead to even more what-ifs.