Thursday, August 11, 2016


Tomorrow is the last class for my latest Beginner's class and that got me thinking about the questions that I hear most often from beginner quilters. 

Of course there are always the questions about how to get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, how to get rulers to stop slipping while cutting, how much fabric should be purchased when you simply like the fabric and have no specific project in mind, etc.

But lately I've also been asked about building a stash.

I remember when I started quilted, I didn't have much stash because I didn't know what to buy that wasn't for a specific project. What I did do though, was to buy extra for every project I made. I did that for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I was worried about making a mistake and wanted to have extra on hand in case I needed it. Another reason I bought extra was because I loved all of the fabric I bought and I just knew that I would use it in another project.

Well, I think we can all relate to that last statement. Not only did that fabric get set aside and not used (usually because although I still loved it, I didn't have enough for the project I wanted to make and I couldn't find it again so I bought a whole new bunch of fabrics). I justified my continual buying by telling myself that I could use the extra in a scrappy quilt. I have always been intrigued by scrappy quilts, but I was never confident enough to actually make a scrappy quilt. Without even realizing it, I was building my stash. And oh what a stash it is!

I have all kinds of fabric and although I have pretty much rectified that fear of scrappy quilts, I still have a very large stash. (I was going to insert a picture here of the stash but decided that I was a bit too lazy to actually take the picture.)

Here are some pictures of various quilts I've used that are from scraps. They are all made from scraps with some background yardage used for some of them. Although many of these are pictures of quilt tops only, I do have most of them quilted and already gifts.

Lots of strippy triangles were pieced for this quilt.

 Left over jelly roll strips were used for these two quilts.

I had some large chunks of solids just begging to be used. I have always liked this quilt!

This quilt is one in which I look at some of fabrics and wonder why I bought it. Seriously, there are some very strange fabrics in this quilt.)

This was my first Four Patch Galore quilt using scraps. I have always liked this quilt and had to think long and hard about giving it away.

I liked the other one so much that I made a new one and it's much larger than the last one. This was pieced entirely on my Featherweight and was perfect for me because it was new and I was just learning how to use it.

Another quilt that was made from left over jelly roll strips.

And this fun quilt used up a bunch of my bright and cheery fabric scraps.

I even made to many blocks and ended up with them on the back.

So, I am in the process of re-organizing my sewing room because I was gifted a Koala sewing cabinet and it just seemed like the right time to do it. This is giving me a wonderful opportunity to not only see what I have, but also to thin it down a bit. I have decided that if I don't love a particular fabric any longer and I've had it for a while (time frame is yet to be determined), I am going to find a project for it or find someone who does love it and give it to them. I just started this and so far I've kit up four or five projects AND given away fabric. That sure does feel good!
Because I certainly do not feel that I am an expert on fabric stashes, I started to look around on line and see what I could find. I am happy to report that I found Sherri at A Quilting Life and she is in the middle of a series about building your stash. So far, everything has been good and I'm learning as we go along.

In the first post, Sherri talked about Background and Low Volume Fabrics, while in the next post it was about all kinds of prints, including polka dots, gingham, checks, plaids, floral, small geometrical, and stripes.

The latest post is about Novelty Prints and I really enjoyed that.

Hop on over to Sherri's and spend some time reading. Afterwards, come on back here and let me know what you think.

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