As I do almost every year, I’m working on UFOs this year. I hope to complete 13 in ’13. This idea came from QM Scrap Squad member Marty Dyer-Allison. (The girl also goes for 52 quilts in 52 weeks. Overachiever. )
So yesterday I was merrily attaching the binding to the back of this pink and green quilt I pieced about 10 years ago. I had cut the binding back then, rolled it up neatly and stuck it in a drawer. The rest of the fabric is long gone.
I take a deep breath and think these things:
- “I’ve run out of fabric before and have come up with a solution. So many times, in fact, that I’ve thought of creating a whole guild program/lecture about it. CALM DOWN.”
- “This is a utility quilt. I’m not trying to win any prizes.”
- “I’m a creative person. Surely I can solve this problem.”
I live way out in the middle of nowhere (see the green neon square?). I’m almost an hour away from a quilt shop, so shopping my stash seems like the way to go.
I’m lucky to have a pretty healthy stash and much of it is sorted by color. So I dive into the red/pink drawers and come up with a few so-so options. If I had known sooner, I could have used all of these fabrics for the binding and it would have been great, but it’s a little too late for that option.
If you run out of fabric, how should you proceed? Here’s what I have learned.
- Keep things in perspective. It’s just a quilt. It’s not a terminal diagnosis.
- Embrace the situation as an opportunity to be creative.
- Look for substitute fabric in your stash or at the quilt shop. It will need to be similar in these ways:
- Scale (how large or small the print is)
- Value (the lightness or darkness)
Sew it in and move forward! Sometime soon I’ll do a blog post with examples. This has happened to me so many times and I’ve learned how to roll with it. You can, too!