Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Saving and Using Favorite Fabrics and a Giveaway

Today's post is part of the Technique Tutorial Tuesday series at Pile O' Fabric.  

Have you ever saved a favorite fabric thinking that one day you'll find the perfect project for using it?  And then, weeks, months, or even years later, you still have the fabric - unused?  Or maybe you keep auditioning the fabric for your projects but it never wins?



I tend to easily use favorite novelty fabrics little bits at a time but what about when you have a full bundle of a favorite?  I actually rarely buy full bundles of a fabric line but I recently purchased a fat quarter bundle of Simpatico (available here) and a fat eighth bundle of Architextures (available here.)  These fabrics were most likely destined to sit in my fabric box for an indeterminate amount of time waiting for that perfect project but I instead decided to actually use them!  To admire the fabric in use, not in a box!

But baby steps!  I started by using just a small slice of each fabric.  That way I can enjoy them now but still save most of it for the elusive perfect project!

Here is what I did with the Architextures:



Cut off the selvedge and then cut a strip 1 to 2 inches wide right next to it - one strip from each fabric.  Don't worry about trimming the top or bottom edge (do you usually do that?) 

Randomly sew those strips together with the long edges together.  The order really doesn't matter as you'll see later on.  You can either sew them straight or angle some of them.


Sew a few sets of strips with each block having roughly the same measurements.  Trim to remove the frayed edges and so that they have straight edges if you angled any of your strips.




Slice each block into smaller strips of various widths.


Mix up the strips and sew them back together (this was random but I really like the effect with the more colorful pieces all together in the middle!)

If you haven't already, now is time to decide what you are going to make!  



I wanted to make some coasters so I cut out 4 5x5 squares (they were actually 4 3/4 x 4 /34 because of the size of the finished piece.)  Don't toss the extra - you can figure out another small project for that!


Use your preferred method for making coasters (I put the top fabric on a piece of batting and quilt a few random lines and then put that "half' sandwich right sides together with the backing, stitch all around leaving a few inches for turning, turn, press, and then finish quilting by first stitching a line closing up the opening.)  If you are wondering, I used fabric from my stash for the backing.



Then I took that leftover thin strip and sliced it in half and then sewed the two strips together to make it wider.  I thought about using this piece to make a little pouch but then I thought this would make a nice needlebook for my daughter.  


However, I didn't love having the one long seam running through the middle so I chopped it up and stitched it back together again (warning - this could make for some super thick seams - do what you can to avoid those when rearranging the pieces!!!)



And again I used fabric from my stash for the inside.



Now, I can see this fun fabric everyday and I still have most of it stashed!

And with the Simpatico?


a needlebook and a pincushion for  . . . me!  And I'll barely even notice the missing inches when I finally find the perfect project! 



Today's giveaway is from Marmalade Fabrics and it is for this fat quarter bundle of
Seven Wonders from Parson Grey.


You have 3 chances to win.

1.  Leave a comment (any comment) on this post.  

2.  My followers - old and new - get a second entry (leave a comment saying how you follow.)

3.  Visit Marmalade Fabrics and come back to leave a comment about your favorite item in their What's New section.

That's it - up to 3 entries per person.  The giveaway will remain open until Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8pm EST and one winner will be chosen at random.   And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE -  unless you are absolutely, positively sure that you are NOT a no-reply commenter, leave your email address in your comment!  

The winner is #99 Kimberly Cassie @ Quilty Doodads.  Congrats - I'm sending you an email right now.


354 comments:

  1. I always worry about using part of a piece of fabric in case I don't have enough left for what I eventually decided to do with it. Sometimes that actually results in me buying more to stash so I can use some of what I have, crazy! Thanks for the give away!

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  2. I finally made myself open my Moda Bake Shop box, I've looked at it for 1.5 years, and now I've decided to tackle it finally.
    I have already pieced 320 black-and-white fourpatches as checkerboard steps between the 2.5 by 5" bricks, and now I just have to muster the courage to finally open the packages. Weird! ^^

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  3. Love that you made some thing got yourself. After Christmas I want to do just that

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  4. I love the randomness of the final design!

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  5. Ask me what I'd love to have from the "What's New" section?
    Simply Colour by V and Co over all colours and patterns and by the bolt. I'm so in love with this line. And if I buy by the bold, I'll never have to part with this fabric. :-)

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  6. I'm a follower through GFC and read new posts in Reader.

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  7. I like the idea of the Zen Chic Zen OHO Starter Kit. Or the Zen Chic Dance With Me which would be great fun for a teenager.

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  8. I am a follower. Thanks for the give away!

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  9. I love that Science Fair pattern by Jaybird Quilts, but I could really use some more blenders in my stash, so some of the tone-on-tone prints in Juggling Summer or Simply Color would be great!

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  10. I have a fat quarter stack from Fly Away by Amy Schimler that I just love to look at but haven't had the "right" project to cut into it yet. It's so pretty that it sits in my windowsill above my sewing machine so I can look at it every day, but you're right. It would be so much better if I actually MADE something with it!!

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  11. Gorgeous way to use those favoured fabrics! Thanks for the inspiration, and the wonderful giveaway!

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  12. I am a follower! Thanks for the chance.

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  13. I really like all the Simply Color bundles, although I could never pick a favourite! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  14. Cute coasters! I love the giveaway bundle, green is one of my favorite colors!
    lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  15. I am a follower!
    lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  16. Simply Color Navy Blue is beautiful and I would love to have it!
    lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  17. Every baby step you took is lovely!
    Thank you for the chance :)

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  18. Simply Color in either Eggplant or Orange! Yummy!!

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  19. Referred here by Pile '0 Fabrics and like what I see. Great advice on how to use up what we love, but still have some left to pet :)

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  20. Cute little start on using your Architexture fabric!

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  21. I am new to sewing so I don't have much fabric and what I do have is all my fave so I do gaze, touch, unfold, refold and set it back on the shelf for that "perfect" project. I love the idea of using bits and pieces for everyday projects to see the gorgeous fabrics you love so much! Thank you for sharing this(:

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  22. Simply Color Navy Blue bundle is so pretty... it doesn't look Navy Blue in the slightest but I love that shade of blue.

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  23. Thanks for addressing that funny thing we quilters do when we say we want to use our stash but hesitate when it comes to cutting it. I just ran into this last night and I DID cut it!

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  24. Love quilt sites with actual tutorials! Thank you so much. Pictures make all the difference to me.

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  25. I love those Architextures fabrics, lovely.

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  26. I love the Mod Century hatches at Marmalade. Great blenders!

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  27. I follow your block through email! Thanks for doing it for us!

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  28. Thanks for the inspiration. I need to actually use some of my fabric.... even though it is too pretty to use, I may want it for another project, if I use some for a project I may need what I use for another,it is part of a collection and I don't want to use just part of the collection, the jelly roll looks so nice all rolled up and so it goes.

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  29. Using Simpatico on the little pincushion and needle blook looks perfect. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  30. I like your idea of using favourite fabrics! so often I can't bring myself to cut into a cherished piece!!

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  31. My favourite right now would be Simple Colors by Moda

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  32. I love the architecture fabrics.. and love what you did with it

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  33. I like the 'Simply Color' orange bundle!

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  34. Really like the Simply Color group. If I had to choose one, it would be the Lime Green fat quarter bundle.

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  35. My favorite section is the organic fabrics. I love the material tree mumsy Dusk its beautiful :)

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  36. I have bag of scraps not big enough yet but getting there. I cant wait to make something with them!

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  37. fun! I have a whole bucket of scraps that need using...

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  38. This is a cute tutorial, but I tend to buy large-scale prints, so I don't think its for me. Maybe with leftover scraps. Thanks for the giveaway

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  39. I love the Simply Color fat quarter bundles, but I can't decide which color I love the best! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  40. Pretty neat tutorial. Thanks!

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  41. Thanks for sharing the great idea.

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  42. This got me thinking I really need to make a quilt for the hubs!

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  43. Love your needlebook :) I have a FQ bundle of Simpatico as well, and I've been wondering what to do with it. Like how yours turned out!

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  44. I love the Type Fabric at Marmalade!

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  45. I love all of the Simply Color stuff on Marmalade's website. I've already made a baby quilt with a Simply Color jelly roll and it is such a lovely line :)

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  46. I love the Dec gem pack...kona is my fave

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  47. I love your architectures project! :)

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  48. I really love the Simply Color eggplant bundle!

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  49. I love the Type by Julia Rothman fat quarter :)

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  50. I just don't think this is a big enough nudge to cut into those favorites! lolol

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  51. I'm a new follower by email :)

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  52. They are such cute projects! Loving that Architextures fabric.

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  53. Thanks for the tutorial and for the chance for the giveaway!

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  54. Zen Chic Zen OHO Starter Kit looks like a fun project.

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  55. Thank you so much for the tutorial it is most excellent!!

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  56. I am a follower via email and I LOVE it.

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  57. I'm a new follower, via Google Reader

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  58. Thanks so much for the tutorial and therapy session! :)

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  59. Seguidora GFC.Obrigada.tiacarminhapezzuto@gmail.com

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  60. I love the coasters! I think I should tackle putting some together like that, I love the effect.

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  61. I am a follower too, thank you for the giveaway!

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  62. Como foi legal te visto este tut.Não preciso ter medo do tecido ""fugir""do esconderijo.
    Obrigada

    tiacarminhapezzuto@gmail.com

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  63. My favoirte from Marmalde Fabrics is Simply Color Graphite Grey
    1/2 Yard Bundle

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  64. Love your post-love your designs and I will definitely make some of these!

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  65. Simplesmente Cor V&CO,sem sombra de dúvidas é o queestá me encantando.Obrigada.tiacarminhapezzuto@gmail.com

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  66. Following you on Pinterest and twitter (mymble5)

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  67. Great projects and tutorial! I love those fabrics.

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  68. Thanks for the encouragement to cut into my fabrics :)

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  69. Also, Thank you for hosting this cool giveaway. :) You're going to totally make someones day.

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  70. Love the London Tube Quilt pattern and Juggling Summer jelly roll by Zen Chic- awesome!

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  71. I'm so guilty of the favorite fabric stash. I never seem to find a project or pattern 'worthy' enough. Thanks for the great tips. I have Curious Nature (which I haven't cut yet!) and already want Seven Wonders.

    Although you are playing with one of my current favorites. I have to get some Architextures. Thanks for the chance to win.

    rpsandbag(at)gmail(dot)com

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  72. I follow your blog.

    rpsandbag(at)gmail(dot)com

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  73. I love that Marmalade Fabrics is carrying Zen Chic. I'm crazy for just about anything she is doing. Also like the new 'Type' line.

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  74. I could make a lovely gift for my good friend with these. They are the perfect sage green to match her house.

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  75. Simply Color Orange 1/2 yard bundle.

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  76. Loving Simply Color Graphite Grey FQB over at Marmalade!!!!

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  77. great tutes ... little projects are great! i do take little bites out of my faves.

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  78. What great ideas! I love the coasters! :) Thanks for a chance to win! :)

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  79. I'm already a follower via gfc! :)

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  80. I love the Zen Chic Zen OHO Starter Kit! Fabulous fabric with a great pattern! :)

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  81. Thanks for a great tutorial. It is fun to be scrappy.

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  82. There are some wonderful things coming. I like Juggling Summer Fabrics

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  83. marmalade is a great online shop! i got as far as simply color ... then i discovered the bundles: Simply Color Lime Green 1/2 Yard Bundle and Simply Color Graphite Grey
    1/2 Yard Bundle! my favorite color combo.

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  84. Right off hand I can think of at least two 'perfect' fabrics I've had for at least 10-12 years! Maybe my first resolution for next year should be to pull them out and use them before I can buy any new fabrics, LOL!

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  85. Hi!!! Great tutorials!!! Great give away!! Thanks for the fun!!!

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  86. I have decided 2013 will be the year of scrappy.

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  87. Great tutorial Beth! Thank you so much for giving me inspiration to finally use some of my hoarded fabric (and I really have a lot of it!)

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  88. I am a follower - old. Rss for sure, maybe even GFC. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  89. Love Simply Color Lime Green from Moda!

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  90. I'm a follower but I don't stalk just to keep the record straight, wink, wink!

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  91. I make coasters and mug mats from scraps too and enjoy the versatility.

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  92. Thanks for the giveaway! I too have fabric I don't want to cut into.

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  93. I like the juggleing summer layer cake from marmalade.

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  94. I am a new quilter and I would really love to grow my stash with this pretty fabric.

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  95. I went over to marmalade fabrics and just love the Simply Color bundles in the "what's new" section.

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  96. Coasters? Hmmm, good quick project. May be able to fit that in before next week!

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  97. I am drooling over Vanessa's Simply Color fabric line at Marmalade. Maybe Santa will bring me a couple of fat quarters. Or I'll finally win a give away!

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  98. this fabrics great. Thanks for the chance to win some.

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  99. I have been collecting scraps and now scrap patterns so I might actually use them up. Love the coaster idea!!!

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  100. I like the New Pattern from Jaybird Quilts.... Science Fair From the Marmalade fabrics Website:)

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  101. I am a new email follower:)
    Thanks!

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  102. Because a fabric line becomes non-replaceable with age, I often struggle to find the right project. It's silly, I know.

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  103. I love love your project, one I am trying to get down before xmas.. yikes! running out of time

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  104. Marmalade is a great shopping experience! Love their shop and the lime green fabric is to die for!

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  105. love your blog. I am an email follower.
    mburnette912@bellsouth.net

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  106. I may need to try your approach. Hello, my name is Jen, and I am a fabricaholic. I just keep buying fabric and hoarding it away. I love each piece so much I can't bare the thought of cutting into it. But then I think, "what did I buy it for?" Yet, with each new project I start, I either use scraps from previous projects or just buy more fabric. I think I have a problem.

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  107. You know, I normally don't like or do "random" - but I love this! Your projects turned out beautifully - I'm going to have to be brave and try

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  108. My stash is lacking in these colors. They would be a great addition!

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  109. I like the Simply Color Graphite Grey 1/2 Yard Bundle

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  110. I love the idea of baby steps, just using a little

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  111. Oh I love architexture and I have a stash that's too precious to use!!! Thanks for the idea on how to use them.

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  112. Type by Julia Rothman
    Fat Quarter Bundle
    has me wanting to pet and refold

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  113. nice idea of using a small portions of a favorite line to make something small yet quite visible. I sometimes have trouble cutting into something too.

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  114. love the juggling summer charm pack.

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  115. Like your ideas for just sampling small pieces of favorite fabrics. I might try this since I have some that I'm still hanging on to from the 70's.

    thelady(at)hotmail.com

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  116. Hi! I just got some Architextures, too and have been afraid to cut into it? But I love your ideas, so am going to find my shears.

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  117. I follow you. Thanks for the great giveaway chance. Beautiful fabrics.

    thelady(at)hotmail.com

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  118. My favorite item in the What's New section at Marmalade has to be the Simply Color line - any of it! But what really caught my eye was the Valentina Stripes in red!

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  119. I really like the Simply Color Graphite Grey bundle but I want it in every colorway because they all look so good.

    thelady(at)hotmail.com

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  120. POF sent me *grin* love the idea of using just a little bit of your favorites! Thanks :)

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  121. I totally get having a favorite you fear cutting into least you don't "own" it anymore...I have a few pieces that I just can't imagine losing from my stash but I think I just may make myself a fabric storage bin out of it. Then I still have it to look at every day and it serves a function, too.

    shel704 at aol dot com

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  122. I'm a new follower
    shel704 at aol dot com

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  123. Loving "Type" by Julia Rothman fat quarter bundle at Marmalade Fabrics...that may make it to a new favorite

    shel704 at aol dot com

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  124. I love the simply color line! *swoon* Tried to follow her blog too, but couldn't find a way to do it

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  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  126. great way to use the hoarded fabric!

    radiyas (at) gmail (dot) com

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  127. i am a new follower

    radiyas (at) gmail (dot) com

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  128. i love "swoon"

    radiyas (at) gmail (dot) com

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  129. Good advice! It is sometimes so hard to make that first little cut!

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  130. At Marmalade, I like the Valentina stripes by Robert Kaufman.

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  131. Love the Grey Skies 1/2 yard bundle!

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  132. Love this tutorial. I'm so bad for being afraid to use fabric I love.

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  133. Love the new Type fabric line (the paperclips in particular).

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  134. Thanks for sharing this tutorial - I (like most quilters) have bins of precious fabrics - thanks for you "baby step" plan!

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  135. I must try this with my favorite batiks, which I seem to collect rather than use...thanks for the inspiration!

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  136. What great fabrics they have...I just love the Type line!!!

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  137. Nice giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

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  138. I'm a follower. Thanks for the opportunity to win your generous giveaway.

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  139. Well, I love Simply Colour, then I saw the Aquatic, and then I saw all those different bundles, and then...

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  140. What wonderful fabrics! Happy holidays!

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  141. I am a happy regular follower of your blog!

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  142. Merry Christmas! The needle case is so cute!

    Deborah
    pinkscissorsdesign @gmail .com

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  143. I'm a follower.

    Deborah
    pinkscissorsdesign @gmail .com

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  144. My favorite: http://www.marmaladefabrics.com/simply-color-aquatic-bluebrfat-quarter-bundle-p-3074.html

    I like the aquatic color!

    Deborah
    pinkscissorsdesign @gmail .com

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  145. I've never had a problem cutting into fabric. But that's typically because I don't buy unless I have a project in mind. Guess I'm the odd man out!

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  146. And I love the Simply Color line in Graphite Grey by Moda (http://www.marmaladefabrics.com/simply-color-graphite-greybr12-yard-bundle-p-3084.html)

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    sgc2002(at)gmail.com

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  147. Good advice! Now if I could just do it! I love the idea of just using a smidge of each! I'd love to play with the manly browns & grays...hmmmm...and just what would I do with that? I dunno, might have to keep it for a while & see! :) Thanks for the chance to win such a lovely bundle!

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  148. i like their new pattern by cluck cluck sew called chain reaction

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  149. I love your baby steps approach. The needle book is fab! I could really use one myself.

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