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Thread: Using my stash of yardage

  1. #1

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    I've been purchasing yardage in 2, 3, and 4-yard increments for about a year, and I have accumulated a nice collection. Also, I have a good supply of scraps in all different sizes. I have a couple of pieces of yardage, and yardage with some nice sized scraps that look terrific together. My dilemma is trying to find an appropriate pattern so that I can use them. I'm finding that it's much easier to choose the pattern first, then the fabric.

    My question is how do you go about matching a pattern to your yardage? What is your thinking process when you do this? I can certainly add other fabrics, I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed trying to find patterns to go with what I have. I hope this question makes sense.

    I made a New Year's resolution not to purchase any more yardage until I've used a good portion of what I have.

  2. #2
    grammynan's Avatar
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    Choose your pattern first. Then instead of going to the fabric store, go to your stash.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammynan
    Choose your pattern first. Then instead of going to the fabric store, go to your stash.
    That makes perfect sense, but why do I find it so hard to do???? :wink:

  4. #4
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    I look at what colors go together pull them all out (even if it is to much to make quilt)
    then figure out the yardage and then look for a pattern to match or one that I could modify without a problem to match up with the yardage that I have.
    Then based on the pattern I pick and chose the colors I want

  5. #5
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I understand what you are saying. That is so hard for me to do. I usually end up at the fabric store.

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    I'm in the same position. I bought a collection of pieces a few years ago, thinking I would find the perfect pattern some day. The collection sits...

    I am trying to use up a good portion of my stash this year, also. I will be watching this thread for suggestions. Thanks for starting it.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    If your yardage is larger sized prints, I would search for patterns like warm wishes, D9P, where they will be showcased.

    If they are smaller prints log cabins and other strip pieced blocks always seem to look nice.

    If you find you have a lot of lights and darks, or mediums/lights, etc... Look for patterns that utilize these combinations.

    Maybe sitting the fabrics beside you while you search for patterns? Then if one jumps out at you, you can imagine them better in the pattern?

  8. #8

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    Thanks these are all good suggestions. I have a couple of combinations that I think would be beautiful together and I really want to choose a pattern that shows them off.

  9. #9
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    scrap quilts amd more scrap quilts..... make a scrappy log cabin or the D9P. A lot of great pattern for scrap piecing... good luck, and Hi , I used to live in Tiagard and I worked in Hillsbrough, at one hour martinizing...
    I am in the rainie NW, Wa

  10. #10
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    when you bought the fabrics, did you buy them in "sets" you thought would go together in one quilt? can you easily pull out two or three "colors" and at least one "background" that will all work together?

    or are they mostly more random?

    my mountain consists mostly of "colors" (good for the foreground pieces). not a lot of fabrics good for backgrounds. i also tend to forget the back of the quilt. so, when i shop my stash i have a hard time pulling out everything i need for one quilt.

    if that's your problem, try modifying your resolution so that you only allow yourself to buy one or two new fabs to coordinate with those from your stash. don't buy anything, though, until you've settled on the pattern you want to use.

  11. #11
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    You have to start somewhere. Look at your pretty stash. Pick one piece of fabric that says ME ME ME. Then pick three or ten others that go with that one. Now you have your items and no you probably are not going to use all of each one unless your making a ballroom rug. I go to the picture section here and always bookmark the designs I love the most and that is where I get my next best project. Oh once you pull those main fabrics out get away from the stash. It will talk to you and some will say why not pick me? DONT LISTEN TO THEM. My fabric is sneaky like that always trying to distract me and get me to give that piece attention. Show us a project in motion. Just jump at it. Do a tube quilt, a 4 patch posie something!

  12. #12
    iamsogone's Avatar
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    my girl friend laughs at me me and her mom buy fabric and then the pattern comes to us she says it s because we ar e left handed i just never worried about it

  13. #13
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    bstanbro, thanks for bringing this up! for a couple of years, i have been buying what i liked at the moment. then, figured out that the designs i loved didnt last too long before discontinuing. i rarely brought more than 2 coordinating pieces, figured part of the process was "finding" the rest. now, i look at layer cakes and rolls and kits ask myself why didnt i just buy the "set" of yardage to make it easier to match fabrics to patterns. oh, well, live and learn...elisabrat and patrice j, your explanations are really helpful.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabrat
    You have to start somewhere. Look at your pretty stash. Pick one piece of fabric that says ME ME ME. . . . Oh once you pull those main fabrics out get away from the stash. It will talk to you and some will say why not pick me? DONT LISTEN TO THEM. My fabric is sneaky like that always trying to distract me and get me to give that piece attention.
    I love this. Now that you mention it . . .

    Good suggestions from everyone. For the most part, I bought single pieces in 2-, 3-, and 4-yard increments, depending on how much I liked it. I have pulled out a few to use as quilt backs and borders. The hard part is when I have two or more than look so pretty together. I want to put them into the same quilt, but I don't necessarily have the right amount of one or the other of them.

  15. #15
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    when that happens, pick a simple design that uses those two colors. if there are other fabs in your stash that work well with both of them together, you can "graduate" to a design that works with what you pull.

    adjust the size of the finished project according to the amount of fabric you have.

  16. #16
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    I think this is a common dillemma for many people...so glad you brought it up. I have a friend that is a fabulous quilter..but kind of color challenged and can't look at fabric and see what it will look like in a pattern...but if you hand her the most complicated pattern she can figure it out!
    What I try to do when I want to start something...I will sort through my stash and start making my own kits as I go..oh these will all look good together and then I go looking for a pattern that will let me utilize them.....or I will just be cruising through my books and see something I like and try to shop in my stash..I feel if I only have to buy one or two yards of fabric to make it go together I am doing well!

  17. #17
    Super Member oksewglad's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. I too have bought chunks of fabrics like you Barb, and have used some of them as suggested here-still have several chunks to work with. I'm amazed when I find 2 chunks that go together and they were made years apart from each other!

  18. #18

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    Thanks--you are all giving me such good advice.

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have been using the "It's OK if you sit on my quilt" book a lot lately. It has a great section on different blocks. Some are shown as two-color, some multiple colors, and I sometimes start with a block I want to do. Then I pick the main fabric based on the way it would look in the block. What position, how large, and how many times will this fabric be shown in that particular block. Then I pull the partners. Depending on contrast value, I might go with a more solid-reading fabric, or I may go with a softer look. And with that auditioning process, I generally end up with something I like.

    You know what really helped me? Participating in some of the swaps - like the Quilting Bee block of by month. In that swap, every participant declares their interest, and when you are partnered up, you make a block toward your partner's interest. It is a good way to grow creatively on a small scale.

  20. #20
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    I love "It's OK if You Sit on My Quilt." I learned a lot from studying that book. I have the original edition.

    A place I love to look at patterns is online at Quilters Cache website. I look at a block and then skip to the final page to see the overall pattern it makes. I especially love blocks that make a secondary pattern when combined. Many of her patterns are demonstrated using only 2 or 3 colors. And sometimes it is easy to imagine how it would look in colors/fabrics I would select. If I was looking for inspriation, that's one of the first places I would head.

  21. #21
    Senior Member aliaslaceygreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    when you bought the fabrics, did you buy them in "sets" you thought would go together in one quilt? can you easily pull out two or three "colors" and at least one "background" that will all work together?

    or are they mostly more random?

    my mountain consists mostly of "colors" (good for the foreground pieces). not a lot of fabrics good for backgrounds. i also tend to forget the back of the quilt. so, when i shop my stash i have a hard time pulling out everything i need for one quilt.

    if that's your problem, try modifying your resolution so that you only allow yourself to buy one or two new fabs to coordinate with those from your stash. don't buy anything, though, until you've settled on the pattern you want to use.
    What she said. Lol
    When I shop, I buy what speaks to me. I rarely have a pattern in mind, or a project or a gift.
    I sometimes find myself drawn on any given day to a series, (one shopping trip I might be all over the color orange, for example). When I get home, I usually audition them with what I own, and if something gels, gather them together. And then, they stay together, and look pretty, and get petted and fondled on occasion.
    Sometimes I even make a quilt from them!!!! :thumbup:

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