Monday, February 18, 2019

Putting your "Stash" on a Diet

Happy Monday everyone!!!

This week I'd like to chat about my stash.  I know many of us stash fabric (it generally doesn't take long to have a collection of fabric), and I always think it's interesting to see how other people use theirs, so I thought I'd share my "stash" philosophy with you!

I have been lucky enough to work in not one, not two, but THREE different fabric stores as I've moved around the state.  As I'm sure no one would be surprised to hear, all three of them had beautiful fabric tempting me to take some home with me nearly every time I worked.  Also, I have an amazing grandmother who not only generously taught me to quilt, but in the past has shared some of her "stash" with me when she decided she needed to downsize how much fabric she had.

Also, as many quilters know, most projects have scraps or small yardage amounts left over once the project is finished.  I do like to cut my scraps down into usable pre-cut sizes like Bonnie Hunter (check out quiltville.com for details, this lady is a genius), but after a while that leaves me with a TON of pre-cut scraps.



All of these things led me to having a MASSIVE stash of fabric.  Something needed to be done.  WE SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR THIS TO CONTINUE!!! haha.

So, in the last 5 years, I have been on a "Fabric Diet".  What does that mean, you might ask?  It means I shop my stash first for a project, and only purchase new fabric to finish a project.  For the most part, this has worked out really well.  Most of the time I stick to this, and I am able to make a small dent in the fabric I am storing each time I start a new project.  HOWEVER, just like any diet, sometimes you might have a "cheat" day. ;)  Overall, my occasional cheat days have balanced out the diet days, but at least I haven't been "gaining weight".

One way I have been especially good at dieting is shopping my stash for backing fabrics.  Generally I don't worry as much about being "matchy-matchy" with my backing as long as it's close to matching.  Also, sometimes I will piece different pieces of yardage to make a "scrappy" backing.  In the end these pieced backs end up being some of my favorites because they make use of older fabric that has been collecting dust in the cabinet.  Here is an example of one of my pieced backs.

Whenever I do a back like this I feel like I have really accomplished something, and most people don't look at the backing anyway.  However, I tend not to follow this approach if I plan to put a quilt up for sale.

In a recent finish (coming to the blog soon!), I was able to use up two pieces of yardage that were the same color, but different patterns.  Both prints were from 1999!!!  It felt so great to use these and see these fabrics finally find a purpose.  I used a strip of purple in the middle to help distract from the fact that they were different prints, and also because I needed a little bit extra width in the backing. Who cares that they are different prints?  The color matches well with the front and it turned out great. :)

Guys, I have to be honest with you though.  Accountability is part of any successful diet, you know?  

I totally BINGED on fabric this weekend.  Check out the stack below...


The worst part of this picture is.....this is only HALF of what I bought!!!  What have I done!?

It isn't all bad.  There is a great fabric store chain in West Michigan, Fields Fabrics.  They have the best clearance section in the entire world.  I'm not kidding.  There were tons of Freespirit prints from designers like Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Joel Dewberry, etc. for $2.97 to $4.97 a yard!  How could I say no!?

Although I went nuts buying fabric, I will say that most of what I bought followed my "fabric diet" rules.  I was able to pick up a number of quilt backings for existing projects at an unbeatable price.  Also I was able to rebuild my stash with fabrics from my favorite designers for a lot less money than buying yardage full price.

So tell me!  What are some of your favorite ways to bust your stash?  Are you on a "Stash Diet" like me?  I'd love to hear what you guys are doing to keep your hoard...I mean STASH...under control?

Have a good one!

Cristina
The Quilted Mitten






Monday, February 11, 2019

All in the Family - Part 2 of 2.

Happy Monday everyone!

Thank you for the kind response I got on last weeks post!  I know the Tula Troops are out in full force, and it's always so fun to see what people do with her beautiful fabrics.  I have more Elizabeth fabric, and I am trying to decide if I can part with it or not, or if I want to keep it for myself (I know I'm being selfish haha).

This week I'd like to share another quilt that went to live with my Aunt K.  This is a quilt top I had already pieced for myself out of long hoarded Joel Dewberry fabric (I feel like fabric hoarding has become a theme of my life).  This top had been awaiting quilting for quite some time, but it had never been on the top of my priority list.

 I loved this quilt, but I knew it would find a good home with my aunt, and quite frankly I have plenty of quilts already.  I had only recently brought home my long-arm machine, so this was a great smaller project to practice on.

This pattern is one of my all time favorites for large prints.  It's a great lap size for the back of a couch, office, or wheelchair quilt.  It is also great as an over-sized baby quilt.  The pattern is "Girls Best Friend" by Mary's Cottage Quilts (found here).

I have made this quilt AT LEAST 6 times, and it always turns out great.  It especially works well if your local shop only gets a few bolts out of a collection.  You can highlight some great large prints, and this quilt goes together SO SO QUICKLY.

I've always loved the Deer Damask from Joel Dewberry.   I was sad to see this fabric go, however I recently saw on Freespirit Fabric's website that he is releasing a new collection soon with new colorways of the Deer print.  I might just have to make another one of these in a new colorway!!!

So what are all of you working on!?  Have you ever made something using this pattern before?  I would love to see what you have created!!!  This pattern is so versatile!

Cristina
The Quilted Mitten


Monday, February 4, 2019

All in the Family - Part 1 of 2

Hello Everyone!

I have 2 quilts to share with you in the near future.  Both of them were finished quite some time ago, however I am just now realizing that I never got the opportunity to show them to you!

I think it was about 3 years ago now (sheesh I'm behind), my Aunt K contacted me about making her a quilt.  Originally she was interested in finding one that I had already finished, or had a finished top, but in the end I didn't really have anything ready made in the style and colors she was looking for.  Ultimately we decided that I should make her a quilt of her own.

She really loved a quilt that I was working on with Parisville fabric by Tula Pink, however I had been hoarding that fabric quite a long time, and it was long out of print.  Luckily, Elizabeth by Tula Pink had just been released which was similar in color story and style.

Because there were so many prints in this collection, we decided to use pre-cuts to get all the color variety and pattern into the quilt.  We also used one of my quilt patterns "When in Rome"  which works great with charm packs or a layer cake.

This picture shows my "design wall" (aka a quilt hanging on the wall), as I laid out the blocks for the best color placement.

It feels weird to review my own pattern, because I'm obviously biased, but I do really like the way this plays with charm packs AND yardage.  It's a good way to use a whole collection while also highlighting larger prints.  The center block and the border are bigger cuts so that you can show off the feature fabric without losing design.

Here is the center of the quilt with all of the blocks and sashing.

 After the center, there are a series of borders including a pieced border of half-square triangles.























I love the way this quilt turned out.  The hardest part was letting it go, because I love Tula Pink so much!!!  I quilted this all over with a floral pattern, and even backed it with Tula's extra wide fabric.

 My favorite part was that she loved it. :)  That's always my favorite part.

Ooh!  I almost forgot!!!  I stashed more of this fabric!!! ;)  I haven't started it yet, but there will be a version 2.0 of this quilt added to the Etsy shop at some time in the future.  If you are an Etsy user, favorite my shop to stay in the loop.  :)

Thanks everyone!!!  Hoping for an early spring!

Cristina
The Quilted Mitten.