Monday, August 27, 2012

Stash-plosion! And what to do about it.

so, maybe I have a problem

What happened was this - I posted this picture to facebook and twitter:

what? I'm just quilting here.
And on each, I got comments about the strange mass of fabric above my chair.

I thought, well, maybe there is something to it. And yes, it is a horrible mess.

What happened, though, is this. Everyone is having a sale. All August has been sale after sale after sale. First, a sort of local fabric store was selling off their fabric for 40%-50% (I went twice).  Then the excellent Pink Castle Fabrics had a blow out sale to make room for new stock, and I bought fabric, then I happened on this... And bought more fabric.

So, I have been thinking, as I am quilting, as I am deciding what I am going to buy for my next quilt, and finding things I can't resist. Can I put that in quotes? Things that I "can't" resist. That I don't want to talk myself out of?

Well, it calls for a system. A system full of exceptions that can be exploited when the need is great. I do not want to have a stash that is only full of the remnants of quilts past. I enjoy the serendipity of finding something perfect and forgotten, and also, you know, you can never find what you are looking for when you are looking for it!

Or is that rationalization? Maybe, maybe.  As much as I would like to subscribe to the buy whatever you love philosophy, it makes me unhappy to spend all that money... So, where were we?

Right, a system! Here's my plan:

Basically, for every quilt I complete, I get a $1 allowance/ square foot. An allowance to spend on stash builders and other fabrics I want but can see no immediate use for.

But, importantly, threads and fabrics required for quilts I am actively working on are exempt, because to not do so would be shooting oneself in the foot. My second exemption is for fabric for backs of quilts when it is $6/yard or under, because, seriously! a good backing for a great price is too much to pass up.

Of course, this may just lead to my increasing the number of quilts I am actively working on (currently, I have at least 3, maybe 4?) But, well, why not?

As for the current stash, I went to Ikea and picked up this:
"from the top - sky fabrics, classic florals, black and white, stripes, solids, and lastly, Christmas
Well, it might work.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Finally! Pirate quilt!

It was finished ages ago! Seemingly. At least... 3 weeks ago? But I have been enjoying my new sewing machine too much to post. (Actually, I have only had the machine for two days, and that is a spurious excuse. But hey! new sewing machine!)

once again, I photographed it weird, but it is a rectangle in real life

There is a lot going on, so bear with me! This is for my elder child, who is into pirates. The sails we painted together (I did the purple one, she did the green and black. This was an attempt to sun print, it didn't work that well, but if you look closely, you can see the tiny clothespin shadows). The screenprint of the island is made from one of her drawings. The sun, you have seen before. The ship is many thin strips of fabric and ribbon overlapped to form a ship (it is built on a base of muslin). The flag is batik! (I made 5, and this was the only good one; on the rest the wax overtook the design). The border is a commercial red star fabric (stars are the theme!) and some black fabric I hand dyed.  The moon is from my best thrift store find of all time, Star Trek fabric. (She does not know the sacrifices I make for her!)

The border, and the ocean, are Seminole patchwork designs. Which is a sort of stripe piecing. It is amazing, although, I have to admit, I do not like sewing long strips of fabric together. (again, the sacrifices!)

pirates! castaways!

If I were to do it again, I would... run the sky from light to dark so they were not heading into a storm. Also, that would solve the issue of the sun facing the wrong way, and the ship appearing to abandon the people on the island. Which is something that concerns my daughter, too. Although, that would lead to a new problem, when the black flag would be against a black sky.

Also, I would not make it so large! That crazy quilt sky almost drove *me* crazy...