Friday, February 3, 2012

Island of Misfit Fabrics

Remember in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer there is the island of misfit toys? There must be an island of misfit fabrics too, and I've rescued a few of those lately.

See this fabric, red, oranges, and black? I think it's really pretty (my daughters disagree) In fact, were I to find a skirt made out of it, I would consider buying it. I took this fabric out of my stash to be the border on my dark Indian Hatchet quilt. I knew I was cutting it close on how much fabric I had, it was a narrow piece, and last night I was thinking it was because the piece had been cut. In the light of day, I realized it was 36" fabric, it hadn't been cut down the center. Ah, this stuff was old, it had been on the island of misfit fabrics for a while. How long?

See the selvage edge? Textile Corporation of America 1961! This fabric is 51 years old! I am 44, so obviously I didn't buy it new. Actually, I'm not sure where it came from. It could have been a thrift store find, or it could have come from DH's great-aunt's stash, of which I got quite a bit.

It is now the border on the dark Indian Hatchet quilt.

Here the quilt top in folded in fourths and you can see the borders better. I think it looks happy after being rescued. Only a small amount of this fabric is left, so it's going into my scrap system.

This is the quilt top I had been so stumped on for the borders. I had originally thought piano key borders, but I couldn't decide if I really wanted that or not. I had looked at some of my green fabrics a few months ago, and couldn't find anything that looked right.

Now that my sewing room is moved, and all of my quilting fabrics are on minibolts in view, I found a suitable green fairly quickly. I liked the green swirls (another thrift store find, $1.99 I think for about two yards), but I thought it needed a darker green too. I decided to go with three borders, and put the dark green, the tan, and then the green swirls. I am happier with this than I would have been with a piano key border.

Here is a better view of the borders. I really like the swirls. Did you notice there are Indian Hatchet blocks in this quilt too? It is just Indian Hatchet blocks and four patches. The four patches are all in greens, so they are harder to pick out. It's funny, I was reading a quilting book on color and it showed a bunch of greens together, similar to the mix in this quilt, and it said you can't make a quilt with such a variety of greens, it would look bad. Either I'm wrong or the book is, but I like all the greens together, and there is everything from a pastel green to a dark almost black green, and all shades in between. I think I am going to ditch that quilting book.

One of the awesome things about this assembling/bordering spree I've been on, is that I can see the system I have in place for my fabric really works for me. I have all my larger than one yard pieces of fabric on plastic minibolts, on shelves with glass doors. I can see all of my fabrics at a glance, which really helps when choosing a border. With some of these borders, it used all of the fabric, which gave me an empty mini bolt form to reuse, and any small scraps were cut for my scrap user system, and put away. If I had more than a fat quarter left, but not more than a yard, it went onto one of my small mini-bolts, which are stored on multimedia shelves. A couple of my fabrics shifted this way, including the green swirls. For several of my inner borders, I went to my small minibolts from the start, and several of those are now completely gone. Moving my fabrics to where I can see them, was key for me to actually use, appreciate, and turn over my stash. Unless I am short on a color, or I need themed fabrics, I am using my stash first, and that makes me happy!

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