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Moving Forward

I have what I would consider to be a reasonable stash of fabric. Quite reasonable, actually, considering the number of years I’ve been quilting, and the occasional uncontrolled fiber-bender I’ve been known to go on.  I’ve even purged on occasion – most recently when I moved into my sewing room a couple (few?) years ago.

I have beautiful fabrics in my stash (or they wouldn’t be there, trust me on this).  But some of them I’ve been looking at for a LONG time. A few, truthfully, were never meant to become part of the patchwork. Focal fabrics, the kind you build an entire quilt scheme around, but set aside when it comes time to cut & sew. Others, equally special, never found a pattern, or coordinating fabrics, or a project I could connect to.  And then a strange thing happened on the way to the sewing machine…..

My tastes have changed, along with my tools & skills.  And the fabrics now? Inspiring in ways I never imagined.  The patterns? From clean and simple to glorious and unrestrained.  I was here the whole time, and if it’s this amazing to me,  I can only guess what it must be like for a new quilter.

So here’s my plan:

  • Pull it ALL out. It’s in several tidy stacks, but it’s also in boxes and project bags.  I need to spread it out and look at it.  I have collections (sometimes just fat quarters, but sometimes 1/2 or full yards of coordinating fabrics). I have basics. I have fabrics left over from other projects. Not scraps, really, although I do have a bit of that, too.
  • Think big AND small. Once I had my mid-arm machine, my quilts got big. Really big. But I need table runners and cloth napkins and tote bags and….all kinds of things that a small set of fat quarters is perfect for.  So it makes sense to me to sort the quilt fabrics from the craft fabrics.
  • Research scrap quilts. Lately, every quilt I make has lots of fabrics in it. 20 to 40 or more fabrics, that make the quilt sing. But every one has been planned. I want one fabulous scrap quilt. A Value Quilt, to hang on the wall behind my quilting machine and remind me why I love to do this.
  • Sort, photograph and document the fabrics and pattern ideas.  I don’t seem to struggle with inspiration unless I’m staring at a pile of fabric and the pressure is on. Most of the time, I have ideas flying all over the place. I just don’t capture them in ways that are helpful.  I’m not saying make a career out of this part, but if I’m going to finish even half the quilts I want to make in this lifetime, I should figure out what they are.

Sound reasonable? Oh, just one more thing: Let it go. If it doesn’t inspire me, it likely won’t ever again. Actually the easiest part for me. I’m just like that.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. tinebeest #

    Boo! You mentioned on Junebug on a string you wanted me to be your monster. Poor soul, you should ask my students… I’m an evil task mistress >:-) Good luck with the quilting fabric clean up program; I need to do something like that to my research notes…

    April 15, 2010
    • Evil Task Mistress is a badge of honor in my world ~ you’ll have to try harder to change my mind. I just like the idea of a monster that speaks reason. They’re a bit hard to come by, especially when on an epic adventure.

      April 15, 2010

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