Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lessons Learned in Year One - Fabric Magic

As threatened, I thought I would share with you some of the things I have learned in my first year of quilting.  Today's lesson:  I have discovered that fabric in my stash self-generates.  That is, it NEVER goes away.  Here's my proof:

What to do on a day that looks like this: start one of these!  It was inevitable!

I have greatly enjoyed looking at all the different versions of this Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt (tutorial here) but I was particularly excited about jumping in and making a dent in my growing stash of fabric.   Perfect project...or so I thought.  Sitting in my sewing room was a pile of fat quarters, scraps and strips remaining from this quilt:

and other projects.  As I was pleased with the overall look of this quilt, I thought I would START my scrappy quilt with this bundle of fabric and dig deeper into my stash for any additional fabric to get the desired size.  So the ironing and cutting began (side bar:  do you iron your scraps before cutting?  Another story for another day).  
My goal is a 5 block by 6 block quilt, needing 180 strips.  My cutting results:

1.  Approx. 180 2.5 X 16 inch strips
2.  Little pile of selvages (love what folks are doing with these, so of course I am collecting)
3.  Little pile of 2.5 inch strips shorter than 16 inches (I am sure I can find a use for these)
4.  Little pile of scraps, threads for disposal
5.  A BIG PILE of remaining fabric!  How can that be???
Remember all the cat fabric, same thing happened there!  Yikes!  In my first year of quilting, I have built a little fabric stash that I am trying to keep under control (limited storage space).    So, why is it that even when I try to "use up" my fabric, it does not seem to go away?
A.  I love every little square inch and even the smallest scrap has potential value.
B.  I am grossly underestimating how far, say, a quarter yard of fabric will go.
C.  There is something magical in the spray starch I use that is altering the fabric's cellular makeup causing growth mutations when I am not around to observe.

Your vote on this topic is greatly appreciated!  In the mean time, I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, where people actually DO seem to use up their fabric!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

PS  On the other hand, I am often reluctant to use up the last piece of a particularly lovely fabric...I am so conflicted!  Stay tuned for more drama with my stash...


  1. wow,I think the fabric multiplies while it sits. Your scrappy trip looks great though!

  2. There are always little bits and tasty morsels of favorite fabrics hanging out in my un organized stash--I mean, I've found fabric from the 1970's from my first (& almost forgotten quilts). Yup, it multiplies overnight I think!! Love your trip--looks lovely...Julierose

  3. I think fabric multiplies when left unattended. That's the story I tell my husband, and I'm sticking to it! ^_~

  4. Ha! My wool stash keeps self seeding too, turns up all over the house. Fabric growing slowly but inevitably, oozing from every shelf.
    Unfortunately, chocolate stash a complete non-starter. Lasts about 5 mins.


How nice of you to take the time to comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...