Wednesday, August 26, 2009

London Step

I am no longer trying to reduce my fabric accumulation by getting rid of fabric.* I will only reduce my stash by using what I have and not buying anything new. Here's why: I can't get rid of fabric. As soon as I get a pile of fabric together that I have convinced myself I can part with, I am inspired to make something with it. Yes, there is something about seeing all that unloved, rejected fabric together in the same place that inspires me. Contrary to popular believe, this is NOT because I'm trying to get rid of fabric that is beautiful, or that I love or even like, or that on its own inspires me. Each individual piece of fabric in the pile is ugly, weird, or minimally it's boring, and almost all of it is of questionable quality. Every individual piece I can look at and say, "Oh yeah, I can get rid of this!" That's how it got into the pile, after all. I guess it's the pile that gets me. Once I see it all together I say to myself, "you know what I could do with all this..." and the wheels start turning. And it's all over.

So maybe I should just try getting rid of my nice fabric??

This is the first project inspired by "the pile". It is based on a photo of a quilt in the book "Bold Improvisation." If you get a chance to look at that book, I highly recommend it. I got it for my mother for Christmas and have been enjoying it ever since! There are many quilts in there that give me ideas. One in a zig-zag/rail fence pattern called "London Step" kind of jumped off the page at me, and I am doing an interpretation of it.

zigzaginprogress

Obviously it is a pretty free-style piece. I did no planning in terms of the fabric combinations and colors (do I even need to tell you that?). I didn't attempt to directly replicate the blocks/color combos in the inspiration quilt, but tried to get the same random "using up odds and ends" feel. I have used at least four fabrics so far that are not quilting cottons - some flannel from an old sheet, a stretch twill, a corduroy, and some pillow case fabric. This is the first time I have mixed so many fabrics, so we'll see how it goes. I think this is slightly more than half the number of blocks I will end up doing...

Well, the good news is that while I'm busy being inspired by my junk fabric, for the most part I have been realllllly good about not buying new fabric. Ever since I spent my Christmas gift certificate, I have only made a few small fabric purchases - a few yards of black and grey broadcloth, two or three 50% off remnants, and maybe two other pieces of yardage and one fat quarter. I mean we're talking about a time period of more than SIX MONTHS, so I definitely think I'm doing pretty well. And I've decided that if I continue to be good about not buying fabric for about another, you know, year or so, then I will buy myself some frivolous things as a treat. In the meantime I'm going to try to focus on USING WHAT I HAVE!! That means I need to get sewing....................



*Watch this space for posts in which I resolve to reduce my fabric accumulation by getting rid of fabric.

4 comments:

Jessica said...

i know, i know!! as soon as you pull the uglies out of the bunch and pile them together, you get the urge to use them! I'm the same way. I end up wasting time making things that aren't cute and I don't want displayed in my home. So, my new resolution is "Don't use fabric you don't love." that way even my test blocks will be pretty and I can get over my fear of cutting into yardage.
oh, and congrats on your minimal fabric purchases this year!

btw, the blue/red block in the bottom row-- that blue doesn't look ugly from the picture..

Debra said...

The other day I had a good talking to myself about going through my boxes and ruthlessly getting out the real "dogs". I ended up with a small pile and then when I looked at the pile, I decided that they would actually all work together so now they are designated as fabrics for service quilts or painting. When I came out, Wes says to me, "I knew you couldn't throw any of that fabric out!" It was really amazing how much I liked what I had and just needed to get busy and sew it. Like Jessica, I have a fear of cutting into the "good" fabric but not any more! It's all getting used. And, that is very freeing too.

So Good Luck!

Trisha said...

You are so good. I really should use my "older" stash more. I keep saying that need to make a scrap quilt with all that fabric and then all that fabric I am not so fond of anymore will probably become a quilt that I really like. Someday...

Michael5000 said...

Me too! Me too! Except... I don't know if I could ever use enough of my accumulation to dent it very much at this point, especially since fabric just kind of arrives from various sources unbidden now. It does make the whole enterprise into a much less expensive hobby, though, is the good thing.

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