Friday, September 16, 2011

So What Are You Waiting For??

You know those fabrics you're saving, hoarding for the perfect quilt? Maybe it's a big project and you don't have the energy to make it yet, but still, you have ALL this fabric you just had to have. I often buy fabric just because I love it, with no particular project in mind. What then? It gets stacked in a closet, bin or drawer, waiting for the opportunity to come alive in a quilt. I look at it occasionally. What am I waiting for??


Doll quilts have always been a perfect way for me to use up my scraps. Well, awhile ago, I decided to stop just using my scraps to make some of my small quilts. I made a vow to use up some of those special fabrics I've been saving. Not be afraid to cut into the pretty yardage. Small quilts don't really use up too much fabric so I still have enough left if I need it later. No point in just letting it sit there though. Occasionally, what I'll do is cut a few chunks off and then cut those into different sized squares to make scrappy patches until I come up with a design. Then I fold it up and put it  back. This takes a bit of courage I discovered if all you're used to doing is looking at it all folded up nicely. But boy, let me tell you, does it start the creative flow. Do you do this too?


Sometimes, when I finally cut into it, it's actually easier to make that second or third cut and then OMG  - all of a sudden I'm using it instead of hoarding it! And then when I look at that quilt I've made, I smile and think, oh, I love that print so much - I'm so glad it's not sitting in a drawer or bin, but someplace where I can see it and appreciate it, dancing around in a little quilt. Sitting on a table or hanging on a wall, smiling at me. Maybe I'll try to use that same fabric in a bigger quilt too.

I think it actually inpsires me to be more creative because it's so much easier for me to play around with some squares or small pieces and come up with a design than it is to visualize an entire quilt from fat quarters. Does that make sense?



I'll also use small pieces of my favorites in a larger scrappy quilt sometimes. And if it's a really special favorite print, my eye always goes right to that one and then I smile to myself. You all know I'm not a fan of ugly prints. Oh, I have a few that came with kits or bundles but I won't buy yardage of fabric I don't like. I know I wouldn't use it. I suspect the ugly prints work great in a scrappy quilt when you look at it from a distance but I know myself and I know my eye would always go to that print that I hate and then it would taint the quilt for me just a little. I'm working on it and maybe someday it's something I'll overcome. For now, I love almost all of the fabric I buy and thanks anyway for the advice, but I like it that way.

I used a lot of small pieces of my favorite prints to make hexagons awhile ago and the finished quilt lights me up on the inside whenever I look at it.



I didn't know what I was going to do with these - not my typical fabric purchase. But I just had to have them.


The polka dot ones eventually got worked into my daughter's quilt after I saw her eyes light up when she looked at them. Hope they still do when she wraps the quilt around herself and remembers that spark they gave her.

So, tell me - do you actually use your fabric or just hoard it for  .  .  .  Someday?

24 comments:

Impera_Magna said...

I rarely buy fabric just because I love it... most purchases are for a specific purpose although, given the number of projects lined up, there is a bit of fabric aging on the shelves. If I love a particular fabric, I am anxious to use it as soon as possible...

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I always buy fabric because I love it. Not always because I have a project in mind. My stash has grown to be quite healthy, and I am determined to shop my stash for future projects :-)

Robin said...

I usually buy fabric with a project in mind. But, occasionally I see something that I can't get off of my mind and I buy a little. I recently finished a quilt top out of fabric that I bought in 2002. I have not wanted to cut it up. I finally decided to cut it in big squares with flying geese sashing and I love how it turned out. Now, I have some left over to cut smaller for other projects.

Jeana said...

This post makes me laugh because I do exactly the same thing! What am I saving it for? Thanks for the inspiration!

Jill said...

I do too much hoarding of fabric. Thanks for getting me thinking, I need to start using my favorite fabrics and enjoy seeing it in quilts.

Judy said...

I buy fabric for specific projects, but then I'll see something that needs to come home with me! Batiks are my weakness....I love your hexagon quilt!!

Donna said...

I do have a hard time using some of my favorite pieces of fabric, and when I use the last tiny scrap am really sad! When I see it in a quilt that is a comfort. There are many beautiful fabrics that one can no longer get. I wish I had kept a piece of every fabric I have bought! Civil War fabrics, I cannot get enough of them, I will gladly take anyones scraps!

lil red hen said...

When I don't use my new pieces, I end up with every quilt made from the same old scraps. Of course others don't know they're old, but it makes the quilting a little less inspiring.

I have your first book and have made several of the little quilts. Love them!

Susie said...

I will use my favorites but save even the smallest leftover to use in scrap quilts or for bits of applique. The little pieces will always
catch my eye and make me smile remembering it was such a favorite as yardage.

WoolenSails said...

I'm a hoarder, lol. But I lots of scraps too and I use those for mini quilts. I love making doll sizes, great practice for me.

Debbie

Sue SA said...

Yes I am a horder but have been trying hard to cut into my stash. I have kept some fabrics so long I no longer like them, so was determined to start cutting into them for current projects. It worked and I am slowly whittling down my stash. However now I have a great collection of scraps and that creates more projects to try and use them up, I could not bear to give them away! Happy quilting, Sue SA.

baukje said...

I am still a beginner in quilting. And because i am living in the country side of France where are no shops, I am always searching for fabric on the internet. I started buying whole yards of fabric that I liked. A lot of them I never used. I am addicted to doll quilts now so i only need small pieces. Maybe I need to organize a giveaway......

Jantine said...

I Know what you mean, I learned start using it! If it is in the drawer too long, some day I found it is outdated! So I started using them. I usually buy FQ's. I used a lot for quilts to use to teach and sometimes I find myself in the shop to buy another FQ because I used it up and still love it soo much. My friend has been teasing me about it!

julierose said...

I have fabric from when I first began quilting --waaay too many years ago; I had taken a few years off from quilting and have now come back. And...voila...look at all those pieces of fabric that I still love and am now going to use (along, of course, with all those new ones I am buying just 'cause they call my name). Julierose

Me and My Stitches said...

I buy fabric because I love it and rarely have a specific project in mind. My stash is out of control, but I don't care - I love them all! I like to use my fabrics, but I do have a hard time using ALL of any piece of fabric - I don't want to run out of any of them!

Anonymous said...

I love most of my fabric and I finally learned to tell myself that I would rather see my favorites in something finished than to be stashed on a shelf where no one could enjoy them. I keep telling myself "use this,they'll make more".

quiltmom said...

Hi Kathleen,
I do try and use my fabric, but I am also a collector( a nicer word than hoarder LOL) I have certain kind of fabrics that I especially like to buy- batiks, sunflowers,kaffe fassett and laurel burch fabrics. I also have been collecting scraps from a variety of sources -not on purpose. The good news is that I have completed 4 big bed(all queensized ) quilts this year and a 5th top almost done( need to finish the boarders on it) The bad news ( if you want to call it that) is that I have boxes of fabric waiting for me to use and not enough time now that school is back in( I am a kindergarten teacher in my professional life). The other bad news is that I need to finish 3 more big quilts before Christmas so I best get moving on them.
There are worse things than to be a collector of beautiful fabrics... Happy quilting- you make gorgeous quilts too.
Regards from Western Canada,
Anna

Mad about Craft said...

On the whole I buy fabric with a project in mind, having said that I now have quite healthy stash. Also I'm a Moda girl so I will buy a pre cut in a line I really love.

I love the quilt with the little hourglass blocks in it, is that a published pattern?

Kathryn D. Duke said...

what an inspiring thought....and yes I too have more fabric than I need JUST SITTING THERE!!!

Love your centers that you have added to your "scraps"...
Thanks!!

Joanne Lavallee said...

I have begun to use even my most favoritest fabrics in big quilts and little quilts. After a long spell of only making small projects I found that I had lots of my favorite reproductions left to make a full size 9-patch and I couldn't be happier and now I have a reason to go buy more fabric! What could be better, use it up in a quilt you love and a reason to get more fantastic fabric!

Merilyn said...

I have to say I'm a bit of a hoarder, but like you say it is nice to use up small bits, so there is plenty left over LOL! for something bigger and better (which will probably be never!) I'm still planning on making that small hexie, but I got sidetracked.....

Heather said...

It's been some time since I have been by and left a comment here... I'm catching up on my reading this evening! I have a textile fettish, I'll admit it! I too hoard fabrics and don't want to cut them - just because. It takes some serious nerves to pick a favourite and actually use it for a quilt and CUT IT! :o) I love the applique quilt you have here and the little basket of hexies is darling!

Leeanne said...

Your quilts are stunning! Yes I do use what I buy, I do love to look, touch and dream of more time to use more of it.

Shasta said...

I don't buy fabric to hoard - I really do mean to use it. But there are so many projects, and I try to force myself to finish a current project before starting a new one (Have lots of ufos), and by the time I finish, there have been so many new quilt ideas (the scrappy ones get me most) that it becomes overwhelming and the new fabric winds up sitting on the shelf while I start to make a new quilt with the scraps.

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