Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Things I've learned # 2

This is the second in a short series of posts reflecting on the things I have learned along my quilting journey that have made the most impact on how I work and that I hope might be interesting. 

This is an idea I also came across first in The Fabric Makes the Quilt (as mentioned last week) but that has been reinforced many times: if it's too small, add a bit on, if it's too big, chop a bit off.

The way this works for me is that I rarely buy more than half a metre of any fabric, even things that might be classed as blenders/basics. Of course I often get to a point where I  wish I had just a few inches more of something, but the trick is not to cave in and buy more.  Instead I have to go back to stash and find something similar enough, if I have it.  If I don't, then I have to make it work with a fabric I wouldn't otherwise have considered, or resort to searching through my scrapbag and piecing together tiny bits to make up the shortfall. Take a good look at the borders on this one:

Generally the 'chop a bit off' part of this approach I find pretty easy while the 'add a bit on' side can be more challenging, but once you get the hang of it, it stops being scary and becomes quite exciting and satisfying - definitely worth having a go!

Linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social.


  1. A quilter after my own heart. Half yards are my usual max, too. Running out forces creativity. Both of these are exciting.

  2. Great tip and wonderful looking quilt!

  3. I've been buying more 1/2 yards now that 1/4's - have only bought a yard once or twice. I'll be thinking more about what I have next time!

  4. I have done the add on too. Your quilt is full of wonderful fabrics. : )

  5. Great post! This is the first time I've looked at your blog, and I'm sure I'll be back. I have always been a "slow sewer"--well, until recently. I have started quilting by machine because there were certain quilts I wanted to completely quickly. I must admit it's still slowish because I use a treadle, but I find that I get a bit frustrated because it separates me from family and I feel the push to finish instead of enjoying the process. I'll continue to machine quilt some projects, but I know that hand quilting will always be my first love as it is both social and contemplative. Thanks for putting into words what I've been trying to sort out about slow sewing. I'm finally beginning to feel comfortable with my own style and process instead of trying to keep up with what I think I "should' be doing in today's quilting world.

  6. Thanks for the tip. I will have it in mind, when I buy fabrics.


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