Work-in-Progress Girl

Sew My Stash 2015 (and add to it a little…)

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So if you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen a dozen or more reposted SewMyStash2015 pics in the last couple weeks – down on the right somewhere is the image I’m talking about. It’s an idea started up by Leasa of Project: Leasa. Every year there is some variation on the theme – last year was the (failed, in my case) six month fabric fast. The idea, always, being to use more and buy less. Last year I discovered that I really don’t react well to being told No, because as soon as I said No to myself, I just started buying wildly every time I turned around. What I like about Sew My Stash is that it’s focused more on doing rather than on not doing, if that makes sense. It doesn’t say Just Say No to new fabric, it says Try to Use What You’ve Got. I probably appreciate the distinction a little more because it means I can still buy 2.5 metres of Denyse Schmidt’s Simple Plaid from Chicopee if I want to…

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Granted, I might not have bought it if I’d realized it was going to come in five pieces. I bought this from a new-to-me Canadian shop called Flare Fabrics. When I was piecing together my hashtag quilt top, I had this moment of fear that there was going to be Too Much Brown and so I started thinking about fabrics I thought would make good borders. I settled on that plaid from Chicopee and went looking online for someone in Canada who was selling it. Google lead me to Flare Fabrics, which is a shop that focuses on batiks, but had a small selection of Denyse Schmidt prints and 2.5 metres of that very plaid in stock. When I was looking around their site, I did notice a few different fabrics that specified that the last x-number metres were pre-cut into 1/2 metres, but if it was mentioned with this particular fabric, I sure didn’t notice it. Thank goodness I didn’t buy it hoping for a backing fabric – can you imagine trying to piece 5 cuts of the same fabric into one sheet of not-too-terribly mismatched plaid?

Anyway, I also picked up an embroidery kit, which I didn’t photograph, and this quilt pattern, which is a chevron pattern I can get behind.

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I don’t ever foresee myself making a chevron quilt out of half square triangles. It’s not that they don’t look nice, but I suppose I’ve just seen a few too many. I thought this one was an interesting take on the chevron idea, though I’m not sure how keen I am on working with 60 degree half-rectangles.

Anyway, Sew My Stash has also not stopped me from joining up with Fabric Spark‘s Blogger Bundle subscription for the year. I dithered about joining it for a little while because I’d been signed up for Blogger Bundles from Fat Quarter Shop ages ago and quit when I had to request that I not be sent a couple bundles in a row – someone had put together a bundle that was 90% one line, plus the few solids (I forget how those bundles worked exactly, 12 prints and 3 solids? 9 prints and 3 solids?) and if I’d wanted 9 prints from that line, I’d have just bought the whole line, you know? – and when I hit the third “give it a miss” month, I decided I should just give the whole thing a miss and stop hoping it’d be something good.

But I did sign up for Fabric Sparks and this is the first month’s bundle, curated by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches:

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I find it both mystifying and intriguing. I’m not remotely sure if I like it, but I am curious to see if I can put those 12 fabrics together and come up with something I like.

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It’s obvious what the through-line is with these – the colours in all the prints can be found in that one floral in the centre. But that chartreuse green sure does get over-powering in this grouping. I keep reminding myself that once it’s all cut up and sewed back together, those bright splashes of green will pull the eye around in a good way, but laid out like this I can’t help but wish I’d put it underneath something so that so much of it couldn’t jump out and over-power these peachy pink tones.

Where it gets weird, but also intriguing for me, is the addition of the blacks.

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I don’t, by and large, have an issue with putting black in with florals. I think a little bit of black gives a good contrast in a quilt and it can help ground things and blah blah blah. It maybe feels like a lot of black, instead of just a little bit? Maybe too much. I don’t know. What I do know is that in the spirit of Sew My Stash, I’ve already got an idea for sewing this brand new part of my stash. A magazine I recently bought has a pattern that I think could work well and would maybe make the most of that too bright green and maybe once I see it all paired together, I’ll even like all that black and white in the mix. So I guess I should get to working on that… or maybe to finishing something else, so that I can justify starting something new!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to track my fabric purchases vs use for real… but if I manage to make a quilt top with that bundle of fabrics before the year is out, I’m counting it as a neutral in the great fight to use more and buy less. I could add three yards and take three right back out of the tally for the year. It’d practically be like I hadn’t bought it at all.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

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Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

10 thoughts on “Sew My Stash 2015 (and add to it a little…)

  1. Sew My Stash is definitely a better idea than saying No to fabric 🙂 That blogger bundle is different, have fun playing with it.

    • I’m really terrible at restraining myself from buying things I want, so it’s good that this kind of leaves an out of sorts of people like me 😀 Of course, the Canadian dollar is terrible right now, so that’s definitely put a damper on my spend-happy ways in any case!

  2. I think that’s a great bundle and I’m never sure how to use black and white so it’ll be interesting to see what you do with them!

    • I don’t know… I’ve done black in quilts before, but I think I tend to default to dark grey or dark blue for the darkest element in whatever I make. One of the first quilts I ever did was from a swap using bright colours on black backgrounds and I think it lifts up those bright colours and gives them a chance to shine. But if you’re not wanting to make “a black quilt” then I think maybe you need to be a bit restrained about it. I remember ages ago hearing a (probably made up) statistic about how little yellow you need in a quilt in order for it to read as a yellow quilt – something like if 20% of the surface of a quilt is in yellow, it will read as yellow. Which, like I said, is probably a made up statistic (and certainly was just now since I forget what number I was told or read all those years ago), but whoever it was that said it was trying to get across the idea that yellow is a very overwhelming colour and it can easily take over if you use just a little too much… and I think it’s the same with black. I don’t know… I think anything can be made to work if you find the right way to go about it, anyway 😀

  3. I like that pattern! I did a quilt out of 60 deg diamonds and if you work across at a diagonal it’s all straightline sewing and easy peasy. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    • It is a nice looking pattern! I haven’t looked at it too closely, but I did see something about the pattern providing the math if a person didn’t have the right ruler for it, or something like that. It kind of scared me off! I’ll have to look at it more closely one of these days, anyway.

  4. I do like your logic!! Happy sewing.

  5. I don’t have a stash, so I’ve never signed up to these sort of things … I do like the idea of receiving odd bundles of fabric in the post though!

    • No stash? Do you just buy as needed? Do you keep the extra bits (I see from your blog that you do a lot of sewing!) or pass them along or just only buy as close as possible to exactly what you need? I never really set out to stash fabric when I first started sewing, it was mostly just that I bought fabric when I had money (I was a student in university at the time) because if I waited till I needed it, I probably wouldn’t have any money to spare. And then things started piling up as I had less time to sew but more money to spend on fabric.

      Anyway, bundles of fabric appearing like magic every month is a fun thing to have happen 😀 (Even though I do have to pay for it…..)

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