Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Creative Use of Stash

As I have been trying to get my stash in order for several years, making loads of Scrap Quilts, cutting up smaller pieces into squares and strips I wholly empathised with Bonnie Hunter's blog post that she wrote a couple of days ago.

As you might imagine the amount of fabric I own and am dealing with is a mere 'drop in the ocean' compared to Bonnie's!  I gazed in awe and wonder at her filing shelves of see-through plastic shoe boxes containing FQs, sorted into colours, one or more box for each colour collection. She even had enough FQs to differentiate between the shades of pinks etc.

But of course Bonnie is a designer, teacher and prolific maker of HUGE quilts whereas I quilt as a hobby, making quilts for family and friends, the local hospital and good causes. I don't have a huge basement as a studio either, just a small bedroom that belonged to my son.

But, I do have a chest of drawers full of fabrics, a bookcase holding books and plastic boxes of threads, ribbons, embroidery floss, tins and jars of buttons, plastic bags and boxes of strips and squares of various sizes, a big box of batting off-cuts and bags of larger pieces of batting, three bags of strips, and tins of small scraps of fabric to use for making Crumb Blocks.  A lot for me to keep on top of and to keep moving from stash to finished quilt.

Very conscious that I need to use up some of this stash, I have been concentrating on using some of the pieces of fabric I re-discovered in my recent Big Sort Out.

I found a lovely Noah's Ark panel - bought so long ago I had completely forgotten I owned it and can't even remember where I bought it.  So, before it got buried again I decided to USE IT UP!  As I sorted I gathered together fabrics, squares and strips that I thought would blend with the panel colours.  Quite an unusual combination of muted colours but I found plenty to make a Boy Baby Quilt.  This morning I managed to use more from that fabric collection to make a pieced backing and it is now sandwiched ready for hand  quilting with a variegated yellow and olive green Perle cotton.

Every single part of this quilt was what I had squirreled away in my Sewing Room and I am pleased with the result.  Even more pleased that this quilt completely uses up stash that has been lying around for far too long.  Of course by the time I trim the quilt for binding I will create yet more scraps and strings which will go back into my stash.  You can't win, can you?

Here's the quilt:

And here's the pieced backing:

Of course there is another ulterior reason for my Big Sort Out. From 6th - 9th August it is the large Festival of Quilts Show at Birmingham's NEC.  I will be going on three of the days as there is far too much to fit into one visit. On the Friday I will be taking my sister with me so that's a nice opportunity for us to spend quality time together.  There are vendors galore and now I know what stash I have I know where the gaps are: batting, neutral fabrics ( 1/2 metres and FQs ), large pieces of green, yellow and blue fabrics, especially for backings and some solids.  Good job I am making more than one visit so I can carry everything home with me!

Happy sewing!


  1. Have fun at the show. I'm looking forward to ours

  2. Shows are great fun. Love seeing all the quilts and seeing people I know.

  3. As some one who can't run to these quilting shop at a whim. I get lot of fabric from thrift stores. I ask if they have an buffalo bucket or bag. Things that they can't sell at thrift store and there always glad to let you dig though it.

    Coffee is on