Wednesday, December 04, 2019


If you've been quilting for as long as I have, I'm sure from time to time you look through your stash and realize you have a few pieces here and there that are starting to look dated or that you thought were similar to a newer fabric but when seen side by side, you can see the fabric designers have altered the color just enough that it will not go with the older fabric. I have such a stash, started in the 1990's and added to as I shopped at numerous quilt shows, that was specifically for a state block quilt that never got beyond the first block ("Michigan" made for a block contest) and some patterns I tracked down. It resides in a bin drawer along with orphan blocks, leftovers from strip sets and other odds and ends too good to toss but difficult to know what to do with. I have looked at that stash now and then over the years, never wanting to dip into it for other projects, but the last few times my best sense said it's time to incorporate those fabrics into my regular stash because it is clear I am never going to make that state block quilt.

Close-up of BOM quilt ad next to my stash and my Michigan Block

However, the last time I looked at them, which was probably earlier this year, I had to admit those peachy fabrics looked mighty dated and didn't belong in any of my stashes. Maybe I could make charity quilts with it but I thought it might be embarrassing to hand over a quilt with obviously dated fabric. So imagine my surprise when an October Connecting Threads catalog arrived advertising a new block of the month quilt that included these exact peachy colors paired with the same green. I can't believe it's back! But maybe it's only back because this BOM quilt is "inspired by an actual heirloom quilt, handed down from one generation to the next" in the designer's family. According to the ad, the original was paper pieced which means it can't be THAT old and perhaps was made during the same period as I was collecting my fabrics. And the original color palette was faithfully copied for the new line of fabrics. Whatever the story is, it is rare for a fabric color to reappear unchanged years later (unless it is a faithful reproduction fabric) and uncomfortably confirms my general modus operandi of keeping things forever because one day it might be just what I need. Uncomfortable because it leaves me conflicted about something I was close to letting go of!

Yes, I've been at this for a long time, and my tastes and leanings have definitely changed over the years. My stash is filled with batiks and hand-dyes now and brighter commercial fabrics that would be easy to match up with, say, the flowers in this year's deck garden. I haven't done that kind of "bring the outdoors in" sort of matching for years (my Azalea series started just so), yet here I was in September, thinking about what joy this little garden had brought me all summer and wondering how much longer before a season change would stop it in its tracks. As you know, quilting hadn't exactly been forefront in my mind for months, and yet as I sat there, my thoughts idly wandered to considering that these many colors might make a pretty scrap quilt. Stunned that I would be thinking this after all this time, I followed up by getting some shots of the various flowers, just in case whimsy would find me following up on the idea and needing reference photos. What do you think? If nothing else, if you are sitting in snow or rain and feeling a bit dreary, this might perk you up.

Lots of yellows and oranges, bright and pale.

Deep burgundy to light pink and some blue.
The tiniest pale lavender bloom, no bigger than 3/4 inch

And my most favorite, the dahlia with red accents.


Anonymous said...

'Inspiration' is our fiber arts group's 2020 Challenge theme! I think you've just had some inspiration come your way! You might try do some confetti play with those flowers that you learned at your group's meeting recently! Aren't you glad I've got it all figured out for you? Happy December! Jan in WY

The Idaho Beauty said...

Hey Jan, that's not a bad idea! I can just see tiny pieces of the different colors blending together . . . Happy December to you too!

The Inside Stori said...

So now you have a theme….flowers and a color palette…..go for it!