It’s the running joke in the office… we’re mostly quilters and stitchy-people so it’s not uncommon to walk by a table with new fabric and suddenly forget what it is you’d gotten up to go do-get-retrieve-whatever. Squirrel! It’s how being completely distracted is described… it’s a bit like “ooooh… shiny, pretty!”
The point of this is that building a stash of fabrics that you’ll use, or getting variety within a color palette for a specific purpose, takes time and dare I say it… a little bit of planning. These are fabrics that I will buy in 1/2- to 1-yard pieces to add to things I already have, and start building for a project I’d like to make when I get enough of what I want.
Everything in these pictures are fabrics that have shipped to stores in the past month or two, and fabrics coming in the next few months. It’s about mixing things up – collections, colors and prints.
First, let me just get it out there that I like prints. The more, the better. I also like mixing in one or two pieces that don’t quite blend as easily as everything else. This is a mix of Strawberry Fields Revisited by Fig Tree Quilts, Bespoke Blooms by Brenda Riddle, Essential Dots, Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique, Little Ruby by Bonnie & Camille, Refresh by Sandy Gervais and Serenity by Amy Ellis.
I also like prints that bring in other colors – the strawberries and the Little Ruby print – 4th from the bottom. I also like that the strawberries – 6th from the top – is a bit larger scale. The Little Miss Sunshine floral – 6th from the bottom – is also larger scale. To me, it gives it visual interest and balance. If every piece were the same scale, it would be “nice”. I also don’t think the yellows, pinks, greens and creams have to match.
I think there is enough variety here to make a nice project, but it’s also a group that’s fairly easy to add to. A few more green pieces would be nice, and depending on the pattern I’ve picked, I might be able to add another one or two cream background prints. The point is that this is enough for something, and every one of these prints are good “basics” for working in to other projects.
Fall is over. And given that it’s been a bit cold for yours-truly, it’s hard for me to think about crisp Autumn days. But if I want to be sewing with this in September and October, I’ll need to get one of these prints now and then wait for the rest to ship in April and May.
This assortment includes pieces from Bramblewood by Betsy Chutchian, Wild Orchid by Blackbird Designs, Ville Fleurie by French General, Christmas Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings, Silver Linings by Laundry Basket Quilts and Alpine by Erin Michael.
But if you want to know why I love charm packs and Layer Cakes? This might help…
The same collections – just more pieces. And yes, this is destined to be a quilt. At least that’s my plan.
Do I have plenty of squares left over? Yes. But those can either be pieced for a super-cool backing for this quilt or something else, or they can be used for other projects. Layer Cake squares have become my favorite pre-cut for just that reason – a little bit goes a long way, I get a lot of variety in a small-ish piece and even if I only use half of a couple of layer cakes for a project, it doesn’t take much before the leftovers work for something else.
My last “I’m starting to stash now” plan is for Christmas. I know it’s still 11 months away – 33o days from Friday if you’re counting – but if I want a red-and-green quilt that is Christmas without the Christmas-prints, I need to be stashing a few things now.
(Any excuse, right?)
Disclaimer: I seem to be very drawn to this lighter, brighter color palette of clear, vibrant colors these days. And I already have several Reproduction and traditional red-and-cream and red-and-green quilts that I still use and love at the holidays.
As before, a mix of print-scale, color shade and some of the prints bring in other colors.
The collections I pulled from are – Summerfest by April Rosenthal, Vintage Picnic by Bonnie & Camille, Volume 2 by Sweetwater, Strawberry Fields Revisited by Fig Tree Quilts, Hometown Girl by Pat Sloan, Bread n’ Butter by American Jane, Lil’ Red by Stacy Iest Hsu, and Moda’s Essential Dots.
Then a month later, after a few new collections had arrived, I pulled a few more…
North Woods by Kate Spain, Little Ruby by Bonnie & Camille, Juniper Berry by Basic Grey, The Cookie Exchange by Sweetwater, JOL by Wenche Wolff Hatling, Bespoke Blooms by Brenda Riddle and a few more Essential Dots. (I sometimes forget about those until “after”.)
A few pieces made multiple assortments – which means I’ll need/want just a little bit more of those. A yard will still do.
For a Christmas color-palette like this, I’ve also got it on my list to get a couple of pieces from First Crush, the Valentine collection from Sweetwater. There are some terrific red prints and red-on-white prints. (The circle-dots, herringbone and paisleys are on my list… just saying.)
Stash-building. It takes time and I think it takes a little bit of knowing what you like, what you want to sew, and what you actually do sew. And yes, now that I’ve moved, I will be doing a bit of re-evaluating and paring down of my stash. It isn’t that I don’t still love every piece of fabric, it’s simply that I know I won’t ever sew with some of it.
By the way, thank you to everyone for the good wishes on my crazy decision to move across the street. It was absolutely the right thing to do and I’m glad I did it – though it is anybody’s guess when I’ll find one or two of the projects I was working on. I’m 99% unpacked and 95% settled in – to the point that I am going to do some sewing this weekend – even though the weather in Dallas will be beautiful and warm.
I’ve missed Bernie and we need some time together.
Have a wonderful weekend!