Uncluttering the stash

Quilters like to joke about their fabric obsessions and stashing tendencies.  But at what point does the Having Too Much impede the creative process?  Increasingly, I'm finding myself on overload (quilters' ADD) and not seeing projects through to the end because I can't seem to focus on where the project is and moving it on to the next stage. 

I've decided it's time to make some changes.  I'm going to try to use up most of my old repros stash I've been saving for years, "just in case" I ever make that large and spectacular repro quilt, and to find creative ways to use up odd fabrics I was compelled to buy but can't seem to find a use for. 

Ultimately, some fabrics may need to go (in the charity bag).  ***gasp*** 

Too this end, I've started on two projects.  One is a 9-patch quilt made with stash repros and some uglies.  The houses were extra blocks I had floating about.  This will probably be a small-ish quilt and may end up as an auction item for my daughter's school.

9-patch with houses
  My daughter likes to go through my scrap can and the day we were working on the 9-patches, she put together a random assortment of scraps which I helped her sew together.  It's freeing working with her because she doesn't have my sensibility about what colors and patterns work well together.  It will be fashioned into a simple pillowcase made with some leftover doll stuffing.

Pillowcase back & front (left to right)

It's officially Fall, which is absolutely the best time of year in San Francisco, when our fog magically disappears and we get a taste of summer.  I don't have much of  garden of my own (I live on essentially a sand dune) but I enjoy the gardens in Golden Gate Park.

Dalia Garden in Golden Gate Park


Getting Ready

It's almost my month for the Incredible Shrinking Quilters' Bee and I'm trying to get ahead of the game.  I have a business trip to Boston planned for the beginning of October and need to have everything mailed before then.

Sneak Peek
I've never done a "Bee" before, and was a little apprehensive about the process of deciding on a design (I'll admit, that part was agonizing), selecting  fabrics and calculating yardages.  The block I finally settled on is pretty straightforward and once I started cutting the fabric, it was no big deal.   I guess this was a case of over-thinking things.

I'm curious, do others find it hard choosing a project for a bee?  I'm using fabrics from my stash instead of purchasing something new - that was the other issue, I was concerned that my fabrics may not be well-received by everyone.  I'm interested in a wide range of fabrics styles including batiks and repros and don't always use the most trendy prints/designers.


Pseudo-Cathedral windows

Here's a little something I'm working on:

The block design is actually a "folded" Flying Geese block.  I found an excellent tutorial online (Ricky Timms & Alex Anderson video) and another tut that shows how to turn down and top-stitch the edges to create a curved-triangle shape (curved goose sounds too weird!).  I had to play around with it quite a bit to get the look I wanted.

I've completed my blocks but will add sashing to make an 18" pillow cover.  Check back here soon for further details.  I will be posting links and hints on this technique.


Ugly fugly fabric

I'm guessing we all have some of these "gems" in our stash ...

Coffee-themed Novelty Fabric

Yesterday, when I realized I was down to one Christmas-themed potholder given to me by my MIL about 15 years ago, I felt compelled to do something about it.

Plum cake + potholder

The kids were responsible for the delicious Polish plum cake (recipe from About.com).  I used 2 pieces of fabric for the potholder's front and back, two layers of cotton batting and one layer of heat resistant fabric in the middle.  I cut my binding on the bias which in retrospect was a mistake.  It was too stretchy and wavy. 

Even uglier fabric!
On the second potholder, I was inspired by a pattern in Susan Briscoe's Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match.  This time I made double folded french bindings like I use on all my quilts.