Monday 3 March 2014

How much fabric do you buy?

I really like precuts.  I find it hard to resist 5" Charm packs and 2.5" x 42" Jelly Rolls and I seem to need to have at least one 10" Layer Cake in my stash unopened at any one time, just to have!  I've not fallen for the 2.5" Candy packs yet but I am eyeing up the Honeycomb Hexagons!  But I'm starting to have a problem with Fat Quarters.

They just look so lovely all stacked together and come in neat bundles so you can buy a whole bunch really easy but I'm starting to discover there is just not enough fabric in them! 18" x 22" will go quite a ways towards making a block or a long way for appliqueing shapes but when it comes to Medallion quilts (which use a shocking amount of fabric!) my fat quarter stash just couldn't stretch to a border!

I had picked a blue flower print as the frame to get me from border 1 to border 2 for the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland Medallion-a-long.  I needed a 3.5" strip all the way around my chequerboard border to grow my quilt for border 2.  If my strip had been a teeny bit skinnier, I might have gotten away with it but no joy.  Melanie at Catbird Quilts does say you can have a different print top and bottom versus sides but I struggled with finding any in my small low volume stash that would work that way for this project.

So off to the quilt shop I went on Saturday and bought the polka dot in 1/2 yard above.  The lovely lady in the Limerick quilt shop spent 1/2 hour with me pulling every white small scale print we could find (at this stage I was contemplating a plain white frame) when eventually we found this one and I like it.  Different to what I first had in mind but still perfect for the project.  Isn't it funny how amongst hundreds of bolts only 1 will do?

This morning the post lady arrived with Westwood Acre's  low volume stash bundle for February.  Yes, there are FQ's but look, there is a piece of Tailored by Annette Tatum in there - I have a matching FQ already, so, thankfully that's frame number 2 taken care of.  I do have a plan for the rest of these! 2 are going to be used for Sarah's Broken Spiderweb Blocks for Modern Irish Bee and the rest I'm hoping to use with solids (which I buy in 1/2 yards for some reason!)

So complaining about having to go fabric shopping(!) to Serena at Sew Giving, she mentioned she now buys 30cm by width of fabric which is I guess about a 1/3 yard.  I'm seriously considering going on a FQ diet and taking up 1/3 to 1/2 yard bundles instead.   What do you guys buy for stash?

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  1. I tend to go for 1/2 yards of nearly everything I pick up on a "whim" for just that reason! I run out so quickly and by the time I'm using it in a project it's sold out of nearly every shop. I'm a huge FQ fan (clearly) but they're quite limited and most of them end up all too quickly in my scrap bin for use another day. I don't know - there doesn't seem to be a great solution from my end...except more fabric shopping :)

  2. I used to buy a lot of fat quarters. Then I stopped making as many pillows and I'm not really into scrappy looking quilts... but for some reason I was still defaulting to fat quarters. Now I try to buy at least a 1/2 yard, but a yard is really a more useful size for me. It means I can't afford as much variety, but I'm still working on that balance. You have some pretty fabrics.

  3. These days I try to buy a half yard if randomly picking. But fat quarters are still sneaking into my stash. I blame online sale sale. I am a scrap quilter very much but there is always something missing.

  4. FQ are just so limiting - they are great for a taste of material (think tapas) ... but I like a full roast dinner myself :)

  5. I don't know what it is about fat quarters... They are just so tempting. I guess it's like when you go to the buffet. Take a little bit of this or that. And go back for more of what you really like later! Your sweet new additions look fabulous! Looking forward to seeing your progress on the medallion quilt!

  6. The FQ are perfect for a huge variety. I was lucky to get a lot in sale last year where I had to take 1/2 yard but otherwise for the fussy cuts the FQ are enough. At the moment I am upgrading from 5'' charms to at least 10''.


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