Saturday, 31 January 2009

Old stash

I have been picking fabrics for a workshop I am doing later with Kaffe Fassett. We are supposed to bring 25 large or medium scale floral prints in similar values but different colours, to do a scrappy colourwash quilt. This has made me realise that: a) I almost never buy large prints, and that in fact my stash is almost entirely small prints and tone on tones, and b) that most of my stash is really really ooooooollllllllllddddddddddddd.... I haven't been sewing very much the last few years, for various reasons, and the last five years I have mostly been sewing up kits I have bought at shows, or making tops out of coordinated fabric collections. Meanwhile my stash has been sitting there not getting used, and in fact quite a few of the fabrics are probably more than 10 years old. And despite having what seems like a lot of fabric, I constantly find I don't have the right colour or fabric for what I want. I should try harder to use it up, I guess, like the way I have been using up my unwanted FQs by piecing backing.

When I was pawing through the stacks, vainly searching for large prints, I couldn't help realising how dated a lot of it looks. The whole Valorie Wells-type fabric trends have completely left me behind, and unless I am suddenly contacted by a movie producer desperate for a era-appropriate quilt for the 80s movie he is making, I'm not sure what it will ever get used for. It's a bit of a dilemma - we want to have lots of 'crayons' on hand for the next time we want to 'colour' a quilt, yet the bigger the stash, the more likely it is going to sit on the shelves unused and going out of date. A lot of the fabric I bought 10 years ago was purchased mainly because it was cheap, in the days when quilting cotton fabric was very expensive here in the UK. Fabric still is expensive here, but it has come down in price and now we have a lot more available to us, and the internet has made it possible to purchase new designs direct from American quilt shops.

That's what I've had to do for the workshop, I ordered two stacks of large floral print FQs from, which were rather expensive by the time I paid shipping but at least I have what I need for the class now.

What else have I been up to this week? I've knit about 8 inches of stockinet for 'Hey Teach' and am almost ready to start the waist ribbing. DH's tie is down to its final decrease and I was knitting on it on the towpath this morning, watching DS racing on the river Thames. I broke down and bought one of those nifty drawstring pouches with a hanging loop, so I just threaded the loop through a button on my coat and knit happily away. At least until I lost all feeling in my frozen fingers, as there was an icy wind sweeping along the riverbank. I gave the pink sweater to my colleague at work, he and his wife were thrilled with it although they say it will probably only fit for a few weeks as their baby is growing fast, in the way that babies do. Perhaps I should make a bigger one, I still have the machine set up. I quilted a bit more on the landscape picture that is in the frame, I'm on the 'grass' now.

Here is the promised picture of the bear in his dungarees, I'm quite pleased with him. Don't know what I'm going to do with him. I wouldn't say I am a 'bear' person, the way some people are passionately interested in bears, yet somehow I do seem to have about 10 of them dotted around the house.

Tomorrow I am off to the Ardingly quilt show down in Sussex, which I've never been to before, but it is supposed to be a nice little show. I don't plan to buy very much [famous last words], as I have Paducah coming up in April, but it will be fun to look.


swooze said...

How was the show? Sorry I missed you today. I showed up an hour too early and had a horrendous headache. Finally went away. Came back and you had gone.

Send positive thoughts for me. I had an interview last week and another this week.

The Pin Factory said...

Hi there
I love your blog. We seem to have quite a bit common. Kaffe Fassett, minitaures, quilting....

The Pin Factory said...

HI again!
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog too! I am so soryy about the Lydia Pickett House. Have you contacted Sean Betterley on the off chance?? You must be really disappointed. I have heard they are thinking of doing another house with Suzanne and Andrew - but again in quarter scale.
I found your other blog - I love that too - I will be following both.
Nice to chat

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