Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Good to Have Stash

I've been working on the February Schnibbles quilt, I.S.T.H. Sinta claims "I.S.T.H." is an anagram for a four letter word--you can probably figure it out--but Carrie Nelson, Schnibbles designer extraordinaire, claims it simply stands for "Insert Snappy Title Here." Whatever it is, it's a fun quilt to make.

For my version, I decided to change the setting a little bit because I wanted a quilt I could use on my kitchen table; in other words, I wanted something that looked the same from all sides and was square. Here's a photo of my quilt top:


Here's a photo of the original pattern, so you can see what changes I made. I love the checkerboard sections at the top and bottom, but I didn't think it would work for what I wanted.


For the most part, I used charm packs from the Blueberry Crumb Cake line, but I didn't have any yardage to go with it, so I had to "shop" my stash. I settled on the blue and white stripe early on, but the fabric I used for the setting squares and side triangles was harder. In fact, I first pulled out a beautiful blue, beige, and green watercolor floral. I even cut all the pieces and put them on the design wall along with the pieced blocks, but I decided the floral pattern overwhelmed the pieced blocks.

I hate to waste fabric and have to start all over again, but as I was trying to decide what to try to lighten up the quilt, my eye spotted this Debbie Mumm bird fabric in my stash:


I thought it was worth a try, so I took down the floral and cut squares of the bird fabric--it looked much, much nicer to me!

I wish I'd taken a photo of the floral fabric to show you, but I was deep into experimentation at the time and didn't think of it until later.

I like the way this one has turned out and I think it will look great in the kitchen for summer, don't you? Of course, I still have to quilt it. Sometimes I feel that having a large stash is a bit of a hinderance, because I wonder when I'll ever use it or if it will just languish on the shelves, but at other times, like today, I'm very grateful to have a variety of choices at hand. During my first few years as a quilter, I felt that having a good stash was as important as it is for an artist to have a variety of colors to chose from. Do you agree, or do you prefer to only purchase exactly what you need for a specific project?

24 comments:

Suzan said...

I have been quilting for about 9 years and I still buy fabric I like when I see it. When I decide on a new project I usually see what I have in my stash that will work and then purchase additional fabric as necessary for the project. I have been known to buy a yard (or 2) of every fabric in a particular line that I like knowing that I will use it "someday"! It may not be the most cost effective way to do it but it works for me!

Jean Burke said...

Love your version of the quilt - I especially like your corners - very cool! I buy fabric when I see it and I like it. I get so excited when I make a quilt and it has come entirely from stash. The strip quilts are particularly fun. Have a lovely day - Happy President's Day! Piece....

Shelley said...

As someone who's very first job was working in a fabric shop, I've been collecting (no! not hoarding lol!) fabric for more than 30 years. The past three years, I've found myself slowing de-stashing whether by using it up, giving it away, or in the rare instance, throwing it away..let's face it...there was just some fabric too outdated and ugly to even give away. I now only buy fabric when I start a new project and need something to "go with". My stash is more under control, I get a lot more pleasure out of fabric shopping now knowing that I really do need it:) Great topic Kim!

Eileen said...

Love your version Kim, it suits your situation. The setting squares fabric is perfect.

Denise in PA said...

I think your version of ISTH if fabulous! I agree with you on the fabric stash, Kim. Sometimes I feel like its too much, but then, when I can go to my stash and make an entire quilt on a whim, I'm grateful for it. I do need to look at it as my palette.

Heather said...

I am a stash kinda gal. Colors and tastes change over the years but the variety in my own personal collection far exceeds what I could find in any one fabric shop. Besides using stash fabric with new fabric ensures that all my quilts are unique!

Josie McRazie said...

As a new quilter I say I AGREE!! I remember my Mother (who was aseamstree not a quilter) being able to go up to her sewing room and pull out of her stash and make the most amazing things without ever having to go to the store! That was a magic room!!!!

Kim said...

Love the quilt/table topper! I do have a stash, but I don't really have the feel for how much of a piece of fabric I should buy, so inevitably I don't have the right amount when I search for something. I'm working on it though!

pcflamingo said...

I always feel so tidy after watching the Hoarders' show....and that my stash isn't completely out of control. I can usually find something to finish most any project without having to go shopping at an actual store. Must say I like your version of that quilt better than the "official" version!

Anonymous said...

At this time in my quilting life, there is no need for me to go out and buy fabric. I'm drawn to scrappy quilts and usually make scrappy backs for them. But that really hasn't stopped me from still buying fabric, I just buy in smaller quantities now. Thanks for sharing.
cindy

debbie m said...

I really like your setting! As to my stash, I love it, love petting it, looking at it, and rolling in it like a dog rolls in stinky stuff (not really). Like you I find it very satisfying when I find just the right fabric without leaving the house. However, my stash has outgrown my sewing room, and I have to search here and there sometimes. To be honest I would love to be frugal and pick a pattern, buy fabric for it, and make it start to finish. The problem is I like scrappy, rarely follow a pattern all the way through, and often just make it up as I go. It takes longer to make quilts this way, but that's just how I am.

Marie said...

Kim, I really have to write to you this morning, to tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog each day. I have been quilting for over 20 yrs. and have always purchased fabric as I saw it, however, now I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the stash and if I had it to do over again, would only purchase the fabric needed for 3 or 4 projects ahead and replentish that as needed. I would save the left overs and make scrappy donation quilts with them. How our thoughts change over the years, keep up the good work.
Marie

Lady of the Cloth said...

I have a large stash that is languishing on the shelves for sure. Times like this when money is tight, I really appreciate it, but it bothers me that I have so that I have no idea what to do with. I figure that this is my 401-F. When I retire I will have plenty to fall back on.

Sally said...

I have a huge stash but still buy fabric for most of my new projects.

krislovesfabric said...

Love your quilt:) As for stash, I am currently organizing and de-stashing but I still seem to justify bring more in!! I think I turned a corner last year though by buying a couple of neutrals...cream and white as bolts. I think it has allowed me to shop more out of my stash as well as finish more projects.

Nicole said...

Outstanding! I love your setting even more than the original!

Me and My Stitches said...

I have to say that I like your version better! Ha - stash...I have enough to last the rest of my life. But...I don't regret buying any one of them!!

CathyK said...

I really like the changes you made! Your quilt top is gorgeous!

Michelle said...

I love being able to pull from my stash for spur of the moment projects.

quiltmom said...

I have accumulated quite a stash over the last 10 years or so- I have quilted longer than that but I have bought more in the recent years. For the most part I am very happy that I have a stash- I do create from it mostly these days. ( that is not saying I don't go off shopping in the fabric stores LOL) I have even started to use some of the scraps from the scrap box in my quilts. I like having lots of choices in my collection and sometimes I go and pat the fabric for fun. It is my nature to collect things so I look at fabric as one of the things I collect. I am grateful that I have the choices in the stash that I do, because fabric has increasingly got more expensive especially here in Canada. I never have been someone who cared about whether I had the newest designer fabric. My stash is fairly eclectic- now if I could only make more time to play with the stash...
Regards,
Anna

Donna said...

I only have a small stash. I got out of sewing/quilting for health reasons a few years ago and cleaned out my stash. Now that I'm back into it again...I miss my stash. I really like your version of the quilt better. I think it is a combination of colour and pattern...I'm a blue/turquoise lover!

Quilt Hollow said...

Have to tell ya that your version is absolutely beautiful! Now to go GUESS at the word verification.

Sinta Renee said...

Gorgeous Kim! I love your stripe fabric... and your version does look a little "snappy"!

Jen said...

Great top! I just got that pattern and can't wait to start it. I was starting to build a stash but am rethinking it now. I think I like scraps better. Just buy what you need (maybe a little bit over) and keep the scraps. I feel like all I ever buy on impulse is prints and novelty fabrics. Maybe if I concentrated more on tone-on-tone or neutrals or batiks. I've only been quilting for 4 years and my tastes have changed since I began!