Monday, 15 June 2015

My fabric [some thoughts]

Back in March 2012 I created a "modern" mini quilt . I remember looking in my two 9-litre boxes of stash and being thoroughly disappointed with the lack of "modern fabric". I pulled out the best I had, but I have to confess, it's never been my favourite finish - it looks like lego...

But we still use it today and there was a silver lining: I realised what I was looking for in fabric and for the past 3 year I have carefully created a stash that represents that. Here it is:

Doesn't it look neat and tidy? I'd just unpacked it after we moved. I can confirm it does not look like this anymore. Because I've started a few projects recently that have required the mass emptying of this cupboard. I did a class at the weekend with Katy Jones. The design was a pixelated heart and it required 8 different fabrics. And here is the limiting thing about my stash: it's mostly fat quarters. And in general this is fine - I like mixing the fabrics together based on colours, and it makes my budget go further. But for this project we needed fat quarters of some prints but half metres of others. Whilst I did have a 2m piece that would have worked for the background, I just didn't have the fabric I needed. And having carefully curated this cupboard, I really should use it and not just buy more. So here's what I did

This is the first two-thirds of the quilt. Rather than picking out 8 fabrics, I picked out 330 different fabrics. Worryingly, that only about half of the cupboard. For the colours I cut 1 square from each fabric, and from the background I've cut three of each fabric. And I love it. There are even some of the fabrics that I now consider "ugly" - but in this type of quilt they work.

I took the opportunity of having all of those low volumes out of the cupboard to cut for the sky of the My Small World quilt, and the coloured fabrics are currently being put to good work on a few other projects.

The reason I say this, is because I am now ready to say that I am proud of my stash. It is truly representative of what I love. Rather than feeling guilty for having so much fabric, I am proud of it, and loving the freedom it gives me to sew anything I want.

Of course every good collection requires maintenance. I have noticed recently with the start of my La Passacaglia project that this collection lacks fussy-cut-able fabrics and fabrics with more than one colour. I shall endeavour to rectify this. But I will probably still be drawn to the blenders and low volume. I love the new range from Zen Chic, Paper! But I also love the look of Canyon by Kate Spain - and I really like the idea of a quilt made from a fat bundle of it - it's been a while since I made a quilt from a single range.
A Canyon Swoon? 16 blocks?
In the interest of full disclosure, I have another cupboard. A bigger one. With more fabric in it. But this is all fabric bought with a purpose, a project in mind. Some of those projects have even been started!

In conclusion, I could probably quilt from now until I retire without ever buying any more fabric. Pigs might fly.


pennydog said...

Blenders for the win... however you have THREE TIMES my stash lol

memmens said...

Thanks for sharing, it's amazing isn't it how we can have so much fabric but not enough of something or not the right colours, I've just not bought fabric from Lu Summers destash on IG, it was hard to resist!

Lin said...

Nice thoughts Jennie and a great stash cupboard! xx

Leanne said...

Your fabrics look great, and it is nice to have a collection that is both useful and what you love.