How did it get into such a mess?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How did I let my fabric stash get into such a mess? It used to be quite tidy! I have 6 crates for my fabric - one for pink, another for blue, then there's green, white, and one with purples and red and then one for my not-much-used-colours - yellow, brown and black. And the system has been working quite well for a few years.

But progressively, I became lazy, then I was in a hurry looking for something a few times and the easiest way to find it was to upend the whole crate and tip it out on the floor!!! By this time it was such a mess, that I just ended up shoving everything back in and closing the lid!

Disgusting, isn't it!

I've been enjoying the Stash Manicure blog and eventually was inspired enough to do something about my messy stash. My big mistake had been to leave all my little scrappy bits in with my fabric lengths, so that was easy to fix. I had some boxes that were holding items that I didn't use much, so into shoe boxes for them and now my scrappy bits are readily accessible in their own pretty box. I am happy to have them randomly sitting in their box at the moment without any order!

Now I had to tackle the fabric lengths. I decided I needed a system instead of randomly folding fabric to suit its size. My new method is to fold selvedge to selvedge, then take that fold again to the selvedge. This, of course, is also a fat quarter folded in half, measuring about 11 inches which is the perfect size for my crates. Then I cut a piece of cardboard 7½ x 11 inches for a template. I put the cardboard on the end of the fabric and fold over it to the end. When it's all folded neatly, I slide out the cardboard, and voila! my mess has turned into this:

And there's even some room for more fabric!!!!

Now, were those scrappy bits really worth keeping? Yes, of course they were! I rather liked the "A little help from my friends" scrappy string quilt which I found here. It's constructed similarly to my Colourwash Diamonds quilt. Because the strips are random sizes, I found that I had 99% of what I needed already cut from left-over borders, bindings, sashings etc. I like the quilt-as-you-go method, so out with some batting scraps and some larger fabric scraps for the backing squares and on to the sewing!

I made 8 inch blocks rather than the 6 inch in the tutorial and 36 blocks later I had a lap quilt 48 inches square. Add $5 (Aust) worth of black fabric for joining sashes and binding and here it is:

I am not really into "brights" but just a few here and there really give life to this quilt and the black gives it the extra "zing". DH keeps looking at it and admiring it - he obviously really likes it!

I've been so inspired, I've already designed another scrappy quilt-as-you-go and have made five blocks, so I'm on a roll!

Happy stitching!