Sunday, 24 September 2017

a not so pastel 'vintage comfort' quilt

My not so pastel 'vintage comfort' quilt got the extra border treatment today. I'm using Judy Newman's pattern from her new book here and I tossed up for a while about making my version in soft pastels too. But I've seen some other inspiring colour combos over on instgram lately - see here,   here, and here . And, I'm a big fan of the modern way Sheena Chapman uses vintage fabrics, see here too, so I decided to be a bit adventurous, à la Sheena!

However, the other thing that also determines the direction of most of my projects is what I actually have on hand in my stash at the time. I mainly buy fat 1/4's, I figure that's a good way to get variety, and as I'm into scrappy quilts, variety is good.  The problem arises when I need larger amounts of fabric for borders, backgrounds and dividing strips, like today! Things got a bit touch & go with the red & white microdot background fabric and the wasabi green linen- both of which I ran out of midflight.

Still with this controlled pallette, a crazy mish-mash of old & new fabrics, a playful stripe, and lots of improv piecing, I got there in the end. It's quite a big quilt, approx. 170cms (68") x 200cms (80"), my usual spot on the deck for pics wasn't high enough, but you get the general idea.

Love to hear how you decide just how much fabric to buy? 
Linking up with Cynthia over here for 'oh scrap'.


  1. I also buy fat quarters, but when I see a fabric I especially like, I buy either a half yard or a full yard. Occasionally I buy more fabric if I think it's a good background fabric that could be used for multiple quilts, but usually only if the fabric is on sale. Right now I am a fabric hoarder since I'm not doing much real sewing, lol. I love your comfort quilt! It reminds me of the comfort/utility quilts that my grandmother made. I'm currently making a comfort quilt, and your beautiful quilt has inspired me to think outside the box on how to make my quilt bigger.

  2. I typically buy 1/2 yards or full yards unless it is a focal bit for which I buy a fat quarter. If I am quite certain the fabric will become a back, I buy 4-5 yards since most of my quilts are in the 48" x 64" range. If it goes larger, then I go scrappy and add a companionable piece to the yardage. I buy almost exclusively on sale (preferably 40% or more off) and love working from my deep stash. Your quilt today is beyond gorgeous!

  3. I love the vintage look of this quilt, Linda! So pretty! I also buy mostly fat quarters, and work out of my stash, so sometimes I get a little stuck when I need more yardage. That is part of thr challenge for me, I guess!

  4. I like half yard cuts too. Then I have the option to use it as a binding. Fat quarters tend to get lost in my scraps and they are an expensive cut of fabric. Thanks for sharing your pretty quilt with Oh Scrap!

  5. I do love looking at your quilts. You mix such interesting fabrics.

  6. Yes, it would be nice to be able to buy bigger quantities of fabric, pity the cost is so prohibitive in NZ. I do like the bright toile type fabric you have on the borders. I'm guessing maybe the decluttering and tidying has finished now.

  7. Choice for WOF is more limited or me too, so I understand your dilemma. Pretty quilt.

  8. I love how you play with colors! And I'm fascinated with those big floral prints - they're something that I've never used (or even noticed when fabric shopping, I think) - they're such a glorious addition of motion.
    I'm a fat quarter buyer, too, especially when at a fabric store. Though several times I've loved the fat quarter enough that I've gone back and bought a yard or two. Online fabric shopping often requires buying full yards, so I'll buy one yard (for stash) or 4-5 yard cuts (for backs), though typically I wait for a big sale to order.

  9. Oh my, this is so lovely. That row of improv blocks is so great - I'll have to remember that

  10. Beautiful Linda! Lovely selection of fabrics there and the luscious wasabi green embroidered linen is a splendid addition to the mix. I now buy 1/2metres, or 1/2yards if I'm buying online from the USA, I also buy yards occasionally and if I know I would use the fabric over and over then I go to 3 yards or metres.

  11. Love the addition of the the larger gingham look check fabric! I think the beauty of this sort of quilt is built by adding in other fabrics and 'making-do'. It would be too perfect looking if all the fabrics were the same! I'm like you, buying primarily fat quarters. If I think something will be a great background fabric then I'll buy anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 yds, but generally the largest pieces of fabric are those I've bought for a backing. Sometimes they get pressed into service for the front of a quilt tho if I just can't resist!

  12. I love your colour scheme - perfect for vintage. I even spy some Outback Wife in there. :)
    I usually buy half yards/metres if buying online so I can sample as many fabrics as I think I might like. Plus I prewash, and fat quarters can be a bit fiddly. If I love a fabric I will try to buy a good bit more, especially if on special.

    1. Thank you Karen. And yes, a little Outback Wife did creep in 

      The price of fabric here in NZ is high, it’s anywhere between $26 - $34 per metre these days. I’m all in favour of supporting our local shops, so that’s how I got stuck on buying just fat ¼’s and I do buy on sale.
      I also shop online, so occasionally I get ½ metres, but the postage is a bit OTT too!
      Wherever it’s from, I try to get a selection, going for variety over quantity.

      I have just this week discovered ‘claydeal’ on Etsy, and am splashing out on two larger amounts of fabric that I’ve coveted for ages now. Interestingly, they have refunded some of the shipping price, which is so good.
      Thanks for joining into the 'fabric buying' conversation!

  13. YOu are so clever with how you put your fabrics together Linda - and it does seem that you really enjoy the process too! I also tend to just buy FQ - I love the variety of fabrics - why use one when 3 or 4 or 5 will do instead!

  14. There is so much to look at in this quilt! Another beautiful finish. When I'm buying for stash enhancement, I try to buy on sale. Living in the states there are some wonderful on-line shops that have excellent deals on a regular basis. It depends on the price how much I buy. I've tried to be sure I have a good variety of fat quarters, fabrics for sashing and borders, plus yardage for backings.

  15. I love the colors in your 'vintage comfort' quilt. Wasabi compliments your colors and is a favorite of mine.
    Very happy quilt.


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