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 ofSeven 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.