No seriously, how do you deal with them? I’ve realised I have a bit of a problem. When I first started quilting I was drawn to fabrics by Tula Pink and Melody Miller (before her C+S days – I do still love her stuff though!) I loved the big, bold, beautiful prints, and I stocked up on a good few lines back before the £ went through the floor and in a time when USPS didn’t want a kidney in exchange for an overseas parcel. The only thing is though, I’ve never been able to bear the idea of cutting them up to put them in a quilt! My main issue with this is the scale of the print, and finding a way of actually showing off the featured patterns rather than chopping them up into such tiny pieces that they just contribute colour and no more – for that I could use much cheaper basics and solids.
Now the voices in my head say to me, when contemplating what I might make next, ‘For the love of god woman, use the fabric you’ve got, you could open a bloody shop!’ and whilst it’s generally not a good idea to listen to the voices in your head, this lot might be onto something and really I WANT to use them. So I’m going to do something, I’m going to confess to the stash of fabric for quilting that literally gives me a mental block (I will also, at this point, confess to a separate stash of some of these for bag making, but for them I can show off big bits of fabric!) I know some people would kill for some of these prints, so I will also apologise for hoarding and not using.
Above is my Melody Miller stash, most of which are at least a 1/2 m cut, but a good few pieces at least 1m. To show off the scale of the problem, I roped in a little help, so in all cases consider Jack as ‘bear for scale’. I didn’t photograph all the pieces BTW, just the worst culprits.
These telephones are huge. I love, them, but they’re huge, and they effectively overlap, so there will be some ‘chopping them into bits’ when I do finally get there, as I don’t want to just cut out each individual phone. The chopping into bits is where my anxiety starts.
And here’s some even more huge rollerskates, that I had totally misjudged the scale on when I bought them. Again, love, but GINORMOUS. They don’t overlap though…:
And then there’s alarm clocks and typewriters (I have all 3 colourways of those typewriters) and records
After that it’s onto hugemungous panels, like this one with arrows that are almost half the width of the fabric! I have this in 2 colourways of about 1m each.
Or this one with approaching life size telephones:
Or this one with scary big blue heads:
I think I’m going to need to make some kind of king sized 60’s themed quilt, with panels on the back and some mishmash of all the other prints on the front somehow. Any suggestions on how, gratefully received. I think it’s not going to be a regular pattern though.
And then there’s the Tula. Prince Charming aside (as I have actually got a vague plan for that) this is the rest of the stash for quilting, along with a 1/2 yd bundle of Holiday Homies, not pictured here. There’s 3 lines in that pile, a fat 1/8th bundle of Saltwater a the bottom, a FQ bundle of Fox Field and a FQ bundle of Elizabeth:
Here’s my big problem with Tula. She tessellates her designs, so that you can’t just cut a square of it without there being some serious decapitation or amputation issues going on. It physically pains me to cut through a person or animal, and I know it’s not real, and it’s just fabric but… well it just pains me.
For example with these 16th Century Selfies, there’s going to be a certain amount of ‘off with her head’ness:
And some of these horses may end up in the headless hunt:
This one makes my head hurt trying to work out how to split it up:
As for this one, I just hope I have enough to at least fussy cut one of each head:
So the Tula is really a whole ‘nother issue when it comes to making a quilt, although at least she has a load of basics mixed in that have less likelihood of mass genocide – any thoughts on what I could do with them? I’d like something a bit more exciting than plain squares, but I want to see all the feature creatures.
Do you have any fabrics that you have struggled with? Have you overcome them, or chickened out like me and stashed them?
Glad I’m not the only one! I love these big prints too, but cannot for the life of me use them for the very same reasons!
For the most part , I’ve avoided big prints for all your reasons. As a result I have masses of little prints that now, unfortunately, are out of style, as I’m liking all the newer little prints. The struggle is real.
The big prints I would use as appliques. The Tula Pink repeats lend themselves well to EPP in that kaleidoscopic fashion that people do.
This is why I can’t fabric hoard any more–I have mental breakdowns. So my stash is quite small and I only buy what I need. I do realize this is near impossible for most people though, haha.
I’ve seen a lot of the tula pinks used in bag making so I would google or search these facebook groups: ‘creative bag makers’ or ‘ncw addicts’. Then look thru the photo albums for inspiration.
My stash both freezes me and inspires me. I have the telephones in only one colorway which is an acceptable hoard (haha), maybe do an IG destash of those to allow someone else the chance to deal with the problem. Also, just googling the name of the fabric leads you down the rabbit hole of inspiring images of what you could make (if only you had more time).
I have the same problem! Big printed are gorgeous and inspiring but then figuring out how to use them… is hard. Especially because I’m a quilter but not a bag-maker. “Beyond Neutral”, by John Adams, has a bunch of patterns in it that are good for large scale prints (I have them dog-eared in my copy, with plans to use several of them with various Melody Miller lines!) https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Neutral-Inspired-Natures-Elements/dp/1604683902
For the most part I stay away from the big prints. I have to admit being tempted but seldom give in to collecting them. Note the word collect? So many of us are collectors. We see fabrics that we know we must have and then we add it to our stash to be brought out from time to time to look at and fondle and then it goes back. As space for storing these beautiful pieces of total loveliness becomes a problem we look for ways to destash. So I guess my answer to your question for what to do with the big prints is, I’ve got nothing. ;o)
A lot of the Tula prints lend themselves to diagonal cutting. Yes, you end up with bias edges, but the prints are whole…
Another option would be a quilt with bigger sized pieces. Quilting Jetgirl and Meadow Mist Designs both have patterns designed to use up fat quarters with very little scrap, but they use good size pieces (6″ wide is one I remember) so less is cut off.
You might not be able to fully eliminate the amputations, but hopefully can minimize them!
Maybe fussy cut squares so you don’t lose the beauty of the fabric. Just a thought.
Some kind of pattern with large octagons? Have to admit to “collecting” my melody miller…..
I have the same problem, hording the good bog prints… but what about cutting the telephones on the diagonal, and maybe using them that way?
Well sorry, not bog prints but big prints!!!
I think this time you have to listen to the voices in your head. I would suggest backing. but they are too good for backing, they deserve a quilt of their own, 1 hr baskets are good, but there is a maximum overload for baskets as well. I eventually cut my Elizabeth’s for pouches, apologising as I cut.
Ha ha ha! I was planning to bring my Tula Chipper print problem to the Thistle Patch Retreat next week to get some inspiration for how to make a quilt whilst not cutting off bits of Fox or chipmunk … so watching this space carefully…
I am a sucker for a good novelty print, big or small. You could make an amazing quilt back with some of your Melody Miller prints! I’ve done a few giant improv log cabins for quilt backs, using large cuts of favorite prints. They are my favorite backings. I hear you on the Tula fabric issue. I hate chopping off the animals, too. I made a tablecloth with the squirrel print. I also like to use her prints for pillow backs and also for bags.
I have just bought a fq bundlevof Tokyo milk Neptune and the maiden. Same problem then i found an amy butler pattern which alternates a log cabin with a plain block. Im going to cut out the huge patterns for the setting blocks