My Favorite Fabric Purchase in 2018

You know those big dinner salads you can get at some restaurants? The greens cover a platter, and there are a variety of toppings, and at least two condiment containers for the dressing. You can eat and eat and eat and eat. Your dinner companions can finish their entree as you just keep eating, with little apparent progress on your meal. Using fabric stash is like that, with the added problem of the server coming ’round and putting more salad on your plate now and then.

Some people measure stash in and stash used over a period of time, a calculation that is not interesting to me. Since all my fabric collection is in a fairly small space, it’s easy to see when it’s increased or decreased. Most years in October, I do a “state of the stash” post to review it. This year I didn’t, but the text of the post would be similar: It changed! I have a bit more! or a bit less!

As I look at this quickly-passing year, I do notice how my stash has changed. It is a bit smaller than a year ago, and I didn’t buy a huge amount this year. As always, most of my projects relied heavily on stash rather than new purchases. And as always, my favorite fabric purchases are those I used right away. 

I did buy mostly new for two projects. Georgia’s graduation quilt is from white and light grey, at her request. I rarely use grey, and white is not typical, either, so this was a rather hard quilt to make. I don’t remember the size, but it covers her queen-sized bed nicely, so something like 96″ square.

Georgia’s graduation quilt. Queen-bed sized. May 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Almost all of the grey got used up in Georgia’s quilt. The leftover greys became the back of Heather’s baby quilt. Leftover white went on the front.

Another project that required new fabric was the wedding quilt for Son and his bride. To make Hands and Hearts, I needed to buy solid black Kona for the background, and a variety of batiks for the hands. The green batik in the wreath and corner Celtic knots was from stash, as were the components in the Claddagh ring and the fussy-cut hearts. The hearts actually came from something purchased in 2007, so it’s one of the older pieces in my cupboard.

Hands and Hearts. 29″ x 29″. July 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

It would be hard to pick a specific favorite fabric from 2018. Since I don’t think of myself as a fabric collector, the best fabrics are those that are most useful. Sometimes that means they’re quite ordinary. Solid white, solid black, pastel batiks, grey and white prints. None of these are exciting, but the quilts they made were gifts of love.

21 thoughts on “My Favorite Fabric Purchase in 2018

  1. snarkyquilter

    Of course I’m most taken with the gray and white quilt and agree with other commenters that the small pops of color at the triangle corners really make it. You certainly got lots of HST practice. As to my fabric purchases this year, it’s been mostly deeply discounted yardage for quilt backs, though I splurged a bit at a retreat. Also, I can’t resist Marcia Derse fabrics, so I bought a bit of hers. To keep me coming back she threw in a few freebie fat eighths. Then, there’s my gifted fabric. Good thing I don’t keep stats on my yardage.

  2. KerryCan

    I really like Georgia’s quilt–it’s a great example of fabrics that aren’t special by themselves but become something fabulous when put together!

  3. katechiconi

    Like you, I wouldn’t normally make a quilt from all white and grey, but I like how calm and peaceful (or maybe pieceful?) it turned out, and it really showcases your piecing. I used to fall in love with and then hoard fabrics. These days, I only buy for a quilt in progress, so I fall in love with the fabric and then have to cut it straight away. Still, at least I get the scraps to play with!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I didn’t love making it because of the color scheme, and usually I’d prefer to give something that *I* like a lot. :/ But as I thought about it, I thought her life tends to be very chaotic, so perhaps the peaceful scheme was just what she needed. It made me feel better about it, and indeed she seemed very happy with it. That’s the important part! Thanks, Kate!

  4. Kerry

    I do love the hands and hearts. It definitely is a happy quilt.
    The idea this year, with things happening, was to reduce the stash. The quilt group forced me to buy things for charity and I felt I just had to oblige for a very good cause! Not only that, I can now finish a Christmas block with one of the fabrics. I also purchased some fabric for my son and his girlfriend with a view to making a special quilt (but aren’t they all special!). On the whole I have been able to break into the stash big time and almost finished a couple of tops – some of that fabric was quite old, so it did feel wonderful to cut into it, leaving only a few scraps. 😀

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Oh, I’m with you. I usually do love coming to the very end of a piece. Sometimes it makes me rather sad, if it’s something I used and felt sentimental about. But there is always more fabric somewhere, so no need to be sad for long!

  5. piecefulwendy

    I don’t keep track of my stash yardage either, although I admire those who do. I’ve tried, not very successfully, to use most my stash this year. I have depleted some of it, but I do love to purchase new fabric. My style is eclectic as of late, so having different varieties of fabric on hand is good. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to make a spur of the moment project and not having what I need.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Eclectic is good, as is having a variety of fabrics. I’ve been using all kinds of fabric together and not worrying as much about style. Solids, batiks, tone-on-tone, repro prints, and wild prints can all live together in the same quilt. Color is more important than style. That said, there are some colors still living in my bins that I don’t love anymore! Thanks.

  6. jeanswenson

    I agree with Jodie that the little pops of color in Georgia’s quilt add a great bit of visual interest. I also like how you extended the flying geese border to one edge on each side. Beautiful work!

  7. jodierichelle

    Oh, stunning quilts! I love how the grain of the batik looks like the natural lines in the palms of the hands. It makes them look dimensional and real. And – funny – two of my children requested (and got) gray and white quilts. I wish I had rebelled a bit and stuck some color in like you did. That really makes the quilt sing.


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