Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Idea Of A Scrap Quilt

Sometimes I sit in my studio and look at all the fabric that I own.  All of the money that I have spent over the years, has certainly been my form of therapy.  If you had to guess how many yards of fabric 
you owned could you do it?  Would you want to do it? I couldn't guess and the thought of it makes me very uncomfortable. 

 As a former scientist, I can figure out a way to approximate  the yardage in my stash.  I can estimate  how much I have by weighing it.  Do I want to do this?  Heck No!!!  It's depressing enough looking at my bulging shelves.  Much of the fabric is outdated and would not be the focus of a quilt that I would design now.  I shy away from fabric stores and quilt shows, so I am not tempted to buy more, at least until I've used up some of what I already have.  If I need to create a project for a book or magazine, then I would be happily forced to buy current fabric, but otherwise, I've gone on austerity.  And yes, for those of you that are not quilters, quilting fabric is like fashion.  It changes from year to year.

But here's the problem.  I probably have enough fabric to make 100 quilts. This means that I could potentially spend years trying to use it all.  And what about the new projects?? And what about quilting all those quilts?? It all makes my head hurt.

So here's my attempt to start using up some of that fabric.  This is my version of a scrap quilt. It's my own design that I created one step at a time.  That's the way I like to design.  I only used fabric from my stash.
 It measures about 57"w x 68"h.

The center of the design is a hibiscus.  The background fabric behind the flower is a feedsack from the 1930's.  I must have bought it about 20 yrs ago.  Some of the other fabrics have also been sitting on my shelves for a long time.  I am thrilled that I got to use them and now they are gone - in a quilt.

To make this a total scrap quilt, I also cut up fabric from my stash to piece together a back for the quilt.  This was instead of using one big piece.  I was happy to use up more fabric for this.

I enjoy piecing the back for a quilt. It certainly adds interest and it makes the quilt reversible. 
And it helps to decrease my fabric stash.


  1. I certainly can relate to this post. This year I decided that all my fabric looked alike so decided to allow myself to only buy brights. But i realize it is just making the stash grow and I just need to start making stuff. I love the idea of piecing the back too, time to stop hoarding!

  2. Nice use of your fabric stash! You're right.. the thought of calculating how much fabric and what kind of investment is head-hurting. Right along with 'will I ever be able to use all this?'

  3. I've got the same fabric stash issue--and am running out of storage! Your back is a very lovely solution!

  4. I'm big at using the stash I have for backs of quilts. I love pieced backs - really does make it a two for one deal. I really don't want to know how many yards of fabrics I have either.

  5. I loved this post! I, too, have been trying to find ways to use up my stash....which is also somewhat out of date. I've been making scrap quilts and tote bags. (Our county now requires that you bring bags for all shopping - or pay a few cents for a bag. Frugally, I've been bringing bags that I've made. I get great feedback from merchants and get to use up some of my stash!

  6. I went on a "Fabric Diet" in January of 2009 because I felt the same way about an overflowing, and partially outdated, stash. I decided that unless I won it, or got it as a gift, or a gift certificate for the quilt shop, I would not buy more fabric. If I didn't have enough of the proper fabric print or color for a project, I went back and tried a different colorway and print selection for the entire project, and usually ended up with a beautiful quilt. I've given some fabrics as gifts and donated some to my guild for members who really liked some that I didn't, as well as for some of our charity quilt stash. About 4 months ago, I reached a point where I have some colors or types of fabric that I've started running out of, though my stash is still larger than I want it to be, so I took myself off the "diet". I still don't go to quilt stores unless there is something specific that I need, or I have a gift certificate, but have found that after being on the "diet" for so long, I have found that my "appetite" has lessened, and when I buy fabric I am much more selective in my choices. This may not be for everyone, but I have not only found more money in my checking account than before, but a new sense of creativity and sense of adventure when approaching a new project. So I think what you are doing is great!

  7. Love your quilt and the back, especially the little strips of green! Great accent! You are so creative!
    Can't wait to see what you come up with next. Maybe this will lead to a book on using what is in your stash?

  8. This is such a pretty quilt. I really like how you did the colorful. I don't think there is a quilter in the world that doesn't have the same problem of stash overload, unless that quilter is a absolute beginner. I'm also on a fabric 'diet'. I refuse to buy more and try to make due with what is in my stash.(except for that knock-out purple I bought 2 weeks ago! It was calling my name.)I've even given some away...that made it possible to close the drawer. LOL But next month my quilt guild is requiring members to use orange in a project so I'll be sneaking to the fabric store because I don't have enough orange in my stash to fill the bill. Sigh...will it never end? Hope not...teehee!

  9. all of us with hobbies have 'too much' but 'never enough'! you're just a creative person. enjoy that and keep creating...

  10. We are so on the same wave length!!!Looks great.


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