One of the aspects of quilting that we all seem to have in common is the accumulation of a "stash". Last week over at Amy's Creative Side, she shared this quote.
"The thing is: if you are never going to chose your own fabric, why do you have a stash at all?" (April Rosenthal)
Reading that has triggered a landslide of thoughts during the past week about my own stash.
I've been on both ends of stash development -- I've sold it and I've bought it.
As a shop owner for 26 years, I suspect I've single-handedly built some pretty awesome stashes out there -- conservatively, I estimate that my contribution to local stash inventories might surpass 125,000 yards of high quality cotton fabric.
That's a lot of fabric!!
And my own stash has the potential to keep me going for another 20 years though those last couple years will be frustrating as I'll be challenged by lots of "ugly" fabric.
As I get ready to set up my display for Vendors' Weekend at Lake Metroparks Farmpark Quilt Show this weekend, I'm pushing to finish this quilt.
I know that when quilters see it, the first thought that will pop into their heads if they like it is to make one "just like that".
And that is what diverts us from using our stash.
We want to make that quilt in those fabrics.
So my fruit and veggie Tessellated Windmill quilt will send someone on a quest to find all the veggie and fruit prints out there so she can make this quilt. (If you can't find the tool locally, I usually have some in stock -- e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
But you are better served by using the inspiration of quilts that catch your eye to use your stash and here's how I do it.
When I see a quilt that inspires me, I take a deep breath and try to identify why I love it!
What seems to catch a quilter's eye about this quilt is the way I used a set of fabrics unified by a theme contrasted with the "neutral" black prints.
So if that's the inspiration, how can you take that and apply it to your stash?
What style of prints do you hoard? (Hopefully, you use them once in a while as well!)
I hoard bird prints.
I hoard them in fall colors.
I hoard them in Christmas prints.
I hoard them in Oriental prints (in fact, birds make up about 1/3 of my Oriental stash). I'm already thinking my next Windmill quilt (love to make this quilt) needs to begin with this stack of Oriental crane prints.
So find your hoard and contemplate using it this time. And don't let these issues side track you!!
Have you ever heard yourself say, "if I use it, I won't have it anymore".
If you use now, you are the one who got to use it --
not some unknown quilter who grabbed it up at the yard sale for 25 cents.
How about this one? "Its too beautiful to cut up."
If you use that gorgeous large scale print on the backing of a quilt you are going to keep,
you'll always have it!!
"I'm looking for the perfect pattern for it.Really? How long have you been in that mode?
Watch for opportunities to use those hoarded fabrics because it's more fun to play with them than it is to refold them.
Once this weekend is over, I'm going to make a small wall hanging using this panel (love, love, love) to participate in the Tree Bird Blog Hop from March 13 to 23. It's been on the "scared shelf" for over a year now and I'm looking forward to chopping it up!!
It's back to the quilting for me!! For those of you living in Northeast Ohio, I hope to see you at the show this weekend. My booth will be in the classroom just past the milking parlor.
Stop by and say "Hello"!!