Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Land of Misfit Fabrics

I always hunt the clearance section of Joann's.  For whatever reason, as the price of a fabric goes down the prettier the fabric can become.  A price goggles phenomenon, I guess.  During one of their last sales, I bought this for about $2 and got a total of 2 1/4 yards:

It isn't the prettiest of fabrics, in my opinion, but it had potential.  I could think of people in my life that would like it.  And I like having random busy fabrics to back quilts. 

I have been wanting to work on a few different projects but this week has just been crazy.  I never made it out to get various fabrics I need to start these projects.  I have a small collection of quilt books and magazines that my MIL gave to me many years ago.  Occasionally, I try to go through them and get new ideas and inspiration.  Today, the Magic Stack N Whack Quilts book caught my attention.  After refreshing my memory on what fabrics work best for this technique, I looked through my stash and saw this fabric.  While the pattern repeat is on the small side, it was sufficient enough and cheap enough for me to take the plunge.

The process is fairly simple.  While I wouldn't attempt this as my first quilt, most quilters with a few quilts under their belt can handle this.  You cut the length of the vertical repeat and continue to match the vertical repeat for the number of repeats needed for your pattern.  Then you take the repeats, stack them on top of each other making sure the patterns line up and then cut as needed for your pattern.

I needed 2 1/2 inch strips.

I then cut those strips into diamonds, using a template in the book for a size guide.

And then you make some beautiful kaleidoscope stars.

These two are my favorite so far:

When I started out to make these, I didn't have enough material for the pattern.  So, I was just going to make 8 stars.  Well, I didn't follow directions.  I just looked at some pictures and then I just ran with it.  I ended up making 20 stars. 

I have no clue what I will do with 20 stars.  I'm going to work on the table runner the first 8 were planned for.  Then I might do some pillows. 

I have to say, this is a pretty addictive method.  And far more forgiving and way easier, than I originally gave it credit for.  There is another quilt in the book I want to try, that follows this method but ends up with a "diamond ring" look.

Definitely give it a try.  And use the less expensive fabric.  It is far less painful, when you make a mistake!

One last thing, I have to say a big THANK YOU to my friend Tara.  She gave me a few hints on taking better indoor pictures.  I am really happy with how much pictures came out tonight under the worst of lighting conditions.  Without her, this post wouldn't have happened!



Cheri said...

I LOVE those!

SewLovedByYou said...

Thanks! I have 20. Maybe I'll make something to cover your ottoman. ;)

Melissa said...

Those are really cool! I like the one with the flower in the center.

Cheri said...

Bwhahaha! That would be great. Thanks ;)

SewLovedByYou said...

Thank you, Melissa! I am piecing the blocks today with some outrageous green fabric that I picked up yesterday.