Along with too many books, I would be the first to admit that I have too much fabric. My pretty French cabinet is bursting at the seams and there are two wicker picnic baskets beneath it full of backing materials and dress fabric. Traditionally patchworks were a cheap way to keep warm; usually made from worn-out clothes or other scraps. Some of my fabrics do belong in that category: worn-out garments that are beyond patching and also an embarrassingly large number in the dressmaking-gone-wrong category (I don’t use patterns, rarely pin and never tack so my dressmaking is, to say the least, haphazard). However the majority of my fabrics are impulse buys from various shops that I mostly try to avoid. My current favourites are Belle Fabrics in Leigh-on-Sea, Tikki in Kew, The Wimbledon Sewing Machine Company, rather bizarrely in Balham, and Peter Jones, the Sloane Square incarnation of John Lewis. I am incapable of going into any of these and not coming out with a selection of fabrics that are ‘bound to be useful one day’. Today was tidying the cupboard and more tacking of little squares.