Monday, August 19, 2013

Finished Country Stars Top and State of the Stash

I have a finished quilt top!  This is Country Stars, which I've been working on since June.  It is about 89"x101", so should work as a queen-size.  It was inspired by a photo of a quilt I saw 4 years ago at a quilt shop in Lake Oswego, and I used that photo to reverse-engineer it.  My fabric "recipe" was Civil War repro fabrics and any fabric with a "country" feel, with that lovely Sturbridge Village barn red for the setting blocks and triangles.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough of that red for the outer border, and after a few attempts to find extra, I at first thought I would use a fabric that was very similar:
That's a Cotton Club by Paula Barnes fabric on the left... and I like it, but when I formally auditioned it with the Sturbridge Village on the right, it looked muddy and confusing, not warm and cozy like I wanted.
To the rescue - the striped red fabric (Debbie Mumm) I found at that epic estate sale.  It was the right shade of red - not too much purple, not too much orange - and it reads a little darker so it "anchored" the quilt at the edges.  And the stripes have a whimsical wave to them, balancing the more formal Civil War fabrics, and it's different enough from the feathers to avoid looking like a match gone bad.
Kind of rumply in this picture, but you can see how I mitered the corners, which I like to do with stripes.  I am really pleased with this quilt top - better be, because it's basically the only major project I've finished this summer!
It was a good opportunity to do a bit of stash organization.  I emptied out the giant bin of scraps from the estate sale and gave them homes, either with their colors in my strip boxes or fat quarter storage system, or in the overflowing bin of scraps to be cut down to usable sizes (I won't show you  pictures of that!)  Then I cleaned up the bin, and used it to store my felted sweater scraps, wool scraps and polar fleece yardage in the corner under my sewing nook.  In the foreground are my bins for 10.5" squares for quilt backings, 2.5" strips, and my old sewing basket Grandma gave me, with the old phone book for paper piecing on top.  On the left are the bins for 3.5" squares and strips, 2.5" and 2" squares and bricks, and 1.5" strips, squares and bricks.  I'm loosely following Bonnie K. Hunter's scrap user's system, but I needed to put these things away for awhile to deal with other projects.
Here's a montage - 3 pictures stitched together - of my 3-door fabric storage cabinet over my sewing machine.  I don't think I've ever shared a picture of my fabric storage system, and this is probably the best it's ever looked since I've been blogging.  (Don't judge me!)  I use tubs from baby-wipe containers, some of them 16 years old and still going strong to keep my fat quarters organized!  Bottom shelf left to right it starts with blacks, whites, neutrals, browns, and then progresses ROYGBIV, wrapping onto the 2nd shelf; then I finish that shelf with specialty fabrics, novelties, theme prints, etc.  The top shelf is for anything bigger than 1/2 a yard or so.  You can see the estate sale tub had a lot of blues and jewel tones that didn't quite fit into the tubs.  And that's pretty much my fabric stash.  I need to make about 5 more scrappy quilts before it gets down to a size where I can justify buying fabric again without a plan.
To the right of my sewing chair is this storage tower, which I put there with the idea of having it be convenient storage for whatever projects I'm currently working on.  At the moment I'm sorting my strings into cools, warms, and neutrals with the idea of doing Santa Fe String Star from String Fling.
Bottom line, the stash is not finished being organized, but it's in a fairly usable and convenient state right now, and I hope to start a new sewing project or two to ease the always stressful transition into the school year.

Stash report:

Fabric used this week: 8.5 yards for Country Stars top
Fabric used year to date: 49.5 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added year to date: 49 yards
Net used for 2013: .5 yards (yay, back in the black again!)
Knitting yarn:
Yarn used this week: 0 yards (2 knitting projects about 40% done)
Yarn used year to date: 6550 yards.
Yarn added this week: 0 yards (still have some to ply, skein and measure soon)
Yarn added year to date: 5800 yards
Net used for 2013: 750 yards


Barb in Mi said...

Love your country star top!

Judy Dietrich said...

What a pretty quilt top---very striking design. Bet it feels good to have it all together!! Like the red you used on the borders.

Patti said...

Gorgeous top! I'm amazed at how much quilting you do - I never would have guessed considering how much knitting you do. Here is another world we could have chatted about back in the days when I actually saw you (I miss seeing you!) Do you ever go to Clark County Quilters?

I see you are a Bonnie Hunter fan also. She is the greatest.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful top!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This is just a beautiful quilt! Oh, the stash looks like mine. But it's fun to have variety.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

What a beautiful quilt and the colors are so neat! Thanks for sharing.
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