Sunday, June 27, 2010

Too much fabric

I have come to the conclusion that I have too much fabric. Or rather, not precisely that, as it's not the total amount of fabric I have that bothers me, but that I have too many bits and pieces of fabric which are unlikely ever to be used.

Where did these come from? I have considered the possibility that they simply breed in my stash boxes, but actually, most of them I remember acquiring - a few have been gifts, a few are leftovers from things purchased for a specific project, a few are FQs acquired as part of a set of FQs where most of them fit in nicely to my stash but a few, not so much (I have in the past belonged to several FQ clubs - and there have been months where you get 7 FQs you like and one where you wonder what the designer was thinking...)

Some came from my early days of purchasing quilting fabric, when I bought a lot of the kind of thing I'm not likely to use now - not so much because my taste has changed (though it has a bit) but because even in the 10 years since I've been a serious quilter, fabrics have changed a lot and a lot more non-traditional fabrics are available. But also, when you are a new quilter, you don't always know what kind of fabric will work best in your stash... And, I confess, a few are just cases of "why on earth did I buy THAT?"

I'm not proposing to de-stash - not at all - a lot of things I have which I might not use as the feature fabric for a project are actually very useful for block lotto, small projects, swaps, round robins, challenges, etc. But there are some I just know I'm not going to make good use of, so I've decided I'm going to make half a dozen (or so) easy-pieced quilt tops over the next year (or so) and try to get rid of a few of these fabrics which annoy me when I am going through my colour boxes, looking for stuff for projects. I will then donate these tops to charity, so I'll get to feel good on two counts. :) I'll probably offer them up through my blog, so if you make quilts for your favourite charity - watch this space.

Anyway, today's work (well, the part I can show - I did some block lotto blocks as well, but they are for the July sneak peek, so I can't show them until Thursday (ack - it's July on Thursday - does this freak other people out as well, or just me?)) was to make up a set of these blocks. I started with two fabrics I knew I'd be unlikely to use for things - the pink (which is almost red and very strong, and hard to use) and the purple (like it in principle, just been hard to find a use for) and found a few other things to go with them - a strip of yellow flamingos and palm trees (but not enough, so added another yellow as well) and a green tonal, which I'm sure I could have used elsewhere as well, but which went. Made some 4 patches, then framed them with the offcuts of two neutrals, both of which are leftover from quilt backings and hey presto - 12 x 11" blocks, which I will sew together soon's a quilt top.

It's a bit dark in the photo, but actually, the blocks look quite nice and the framing keeps them from being too overpowering, despite several strong fabrics. And even if it doesn't make much of a dent in the stash, at least it will make me feel better not to see the questionable fabrics in my colour boxes every time I look through them!


Gene Black said...

Ah...great idea to use up those "what was I thinking" fabrics.

Yes, I am freaked that Thursday is July.

Sarah Craig said...

Oh, Kate, I wish you were here in the States, then I would make a valiant argument for you to send some of your undesired stash to me! My church's quilt ministry could make good use of it. As it is, though, I will watch for your charity quilts to see what you come up with! Good luck and good plan!

Quilt or Dye said...

Good call, Kate!

sewkalico said...

My local Linus was very grateful last time you sent me quilt tops so I'm sure you won't have a problem being charitable ;-)
Those 4 patch blocks are so effective (and how the hell did July sneak up so quick!)

Anonymous said...

Great idea for stash management and good feelings - there are days when cutting and piecing without too much brain being involved is a really good thing. By the way, I think someone stole May and June without us noticing......

Doreen said...

I can certainly idenify with the 'when will I ever use these fabrics?' My group make Linus quilts with the child friedly colours and quilts for care homes with the rest. Strangely enough, every time we do this there is always plenty more donated. It must breed in the boxes!