Friday, December 21, 2007

Using a large print in a quilt

Basically, I think there are 2 ways to really use your stash... you can either start with a pattern/idea and start cutting, or start with the fabric and then find the pattern/inspiration to use it. In this case, I started with one fabric that I wanted to use and went looking for the pattern.

I think I can honestly say that I really like all the fabrics in my ever diminishing stash! In playing along in the "Stashbusting" game I am not interested in making a quilt with BIG pieces just to hurry the process along. I prefer quilts with lots of little pieces - most of the time. And these small patterns usually work very well with my stash of small scale prints. The other thing I will not do is put together fabric that really doesn't go well together just because I had it on hand - I feel that my time/energy/effort/talent has a value and I want my finished project to look nice and most of the time that means that buying additional fabric is necessary in order to make a project and have it come out the way I want it to look. So, I never feel badly if I need to buy a fabric(s) in order to be able to create something wonderful! But - I do try to use what I already have on hand first.

All that being said... I've had this 2 yard piece of beautiful floral sitting on the shelf for some time now... And all my other fabric - well even though they sort-ov match there really isn't a close match - but they all would sort-ov match if there was a bit of distance from each other! So - I was on the look-out for a pattern that did not cut my large print focus fabric down to nothing AND something that would give a little border around it - a bit of space - so the mis-matchyness of the other fabric would not be obvious.

Don't you think this block is the perfect solution? The 2nd block is a 9 patch with borders/cornerstones, but I don't have an individual photo of it.

And here is a photo of my quilt in progress! It is all pieced together since the photo and I am now working on the inner/outer border part. When finished it should measure 66.5 X 86.5. When figuring out yardage used - I always go by what size the backing is - 5 1/2 yards in this case! All from stash. But not in a "I've got to hurry up and use it" way, but in a "I love this fabric and really want to make a perfect quilt for it so I can enjoy it on my bed instead of just pulling it off the shelf once in awhile to admire it" kind of way.

I even used some medium value fabrics in here - these are always a challenge for me to use! And some really oldy-but-goodie fabrics too - I always feel a tiny bit sad cutting that last piece of a fabric from stash - silly me! And a good many fabrics from my Dresden Plate project (which I am still cutting out). I questioned some choices (even cut strips of "back-up" fabrics just in case, but stuck with my original choices and altogether I think it is a nice mix! I did not buy a single piece of new fabric to put this together! Of course - it always helps that I try to have neutral background yardage on hand for instant use.

Pattern info: From the book Save the Scraps by Gayle Bong (bosum buddies is the name she uses). She used a more neutral fabric for the alternate blocks but I think it was perfect for my large print! The directions are really accurate and everything went together fairly quickly. This is the 2nd quilt I've made from this book (I made a huge Bars quilt 2 winters ago)... and there are still some more patterns I would like to try in this book - plus I plan on making another Bars quilt in the future.
You can get your very own copy of this book at Amazon here:  I highly recommend it!

Edited on March 19, 2011 to add another great pattern for a large print:
I blogged about this quilt here:


tami said...

That was a perfect solution. I love that book and that quilt is absolutely gorgeous.

joyce said...

Great use of large scale print. I have some and am always at a loss to use them but I do really like them. You have given me an idea.

Laurie said...

what a great pattern! it's going to be a keeper!

Norma said...

I love your quilt! I too have some large scale prints sitting in my stash that I think would benefit from this idea. Thanks for sharing this wonderful quilt!

Susan said...

I love the quilt you chose! It looks wonderful put together that way. Simple, and much more complicated looking than it is - my favorite kind of quilt! I may have to try that one myself. Your colors are great! Did you get a chance to pick up my box of fabric yet?

Linda_J said...

What a gorgeous quilt, Evelyn and a perfect solution for working with the larger focus print. You can still do some fussier piecing in the nine patch blocks but the frames around both tie the whole thing together. Sewing is a great way to spend some indoor time between snows, right?

Little Boy will soon be needing an upgrade to his name as he is growing so much! What a cutie pie.

Shirley said...

I have to say on the subject of busting stash I hope I never do. I love my stash. I used a piece last week and used it all up. I cried because it has been in every scrappy quilt I've ever made and Its left over from a western shirt I made for my little boy when he was 4 he is now 36. Merry Christmas everyone.

Randi said...

Very nice. That is going to be a beautiful quilt!

Vicky said...

What a lovely quilt, and it all came from your stash! I agree -- neutrals need to be replenished often! I never feel guilty about buying those! Good job!

Morah said...

I love the way you explained your fabric purchases. I feel exactly the same way. Try hard to find a match in what you have and if you absolutely can't, buy something without guilt!