Friday, September 18, 2020

Stepping Stones Flimsy / Beauties Pageant 98

I mentioned a few months ago that I had started busting through my Denyse Schmidt stash. Making throw- and baby-size Ship’s Ladder quilts (which you can see here and here) was a great first step. Today I am unveiling my third DS project, in flimsy form, for the year ...

This is Stepping Stones, a pattern by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade. It uses fabrics from Denyse Schmidt’s chain-store collections as well as those she designed for independent quilt shops. If you’re a DS nerd as I am (respect!), you’ll recognize prints from Shelburne Falls, Chicopee, Ansonia, New Bedford, and Eastham.

I am piecing the backing for this beauty now and look forward to straight-line quilting it. I think I can get away without marking any quilting lines. This thought makes me ridiculously happy.

Mixing high-quality fabric with lesser-quality fabric makes me nervous. The colors in the quilt top are beautiful right now. I wonder whether that will be the case after several washings. 

The floral in the picture below is from Joann, and it’s one of my all-time favorite DS prints. Up until now, I’ve used it only in projects that won’t be laundered, like this Cargo Duffle Bag.

My hesitation in using fabrics from the big craft stores originates with my first-ever quilt. I gifted it to a friend who put it to use as a picnic blanket for her young family. It was used hard and washed often, and when I saw the quilt almost four years after making it, the fabrics were a shadow of what they once were. I wrote about the experience back in 2017. Now the care instructions I include with gifted quilts urge owners to wash only when necessary.

What are your thoughts on using fabric from big craft stores in your quilts?

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  1. I mainly stick with fabrics from quilt shops, but I'm sure some of my fabric scraps are from big craft stores. It will be interesting to see how the fabrics hold up together.

  2. I have definitely backed away from using fabric from big box stores because they have not held up as well as fabric from quilt shops. The quilt I made for us when we got married has been in constant use for near 17 years and it's the box store fabric that finally gave out (after only washing when I absolutely had to). But really, 16+ years of constant use for a quilt? It was well loved and I'll call that an overall win.

  3. I guess what you mean about the difference in fabric is the same as we here call "quilting quality cotton" (aka the known brands) vs. cheap cotton fabrics. I used a cheap one once for a backing and it bled badly - like whater drops and smears on a water painting... So sad. Thankfully it was only a backing. And it taught me to rather spend a bit more for the "normal quality" ones. And I only know of two baby quilts of normal fabric that have been used and washed extensively (5-6 years old). But for that they are in "perfect" condition. I am always amazed how much quilts can withstand :) xo Melanie

  4. Love, love, love this pattern, the purple/orange/black combo, and how it makes a diagonal sort of plaid. I do buy fabric at big box stores—but I try hard to stick to the premium quality. My first allegiance is to my local independent stores, though, and to quality online stores before going to the big stores.

  5. What a neat pattern! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Michelle, what a beautiful quilt!!! I love the design. Your color scheme is gorgeous!!!

  7. I completely agree that big box quilting fabrics aren't the same as quilt shop quilting fabrics. I haven't bought Joann Fabrics quilting cottons for years. When I learned that Joann's "Kona" cotton is not Kaufman Kona, I stopped purchasing quilting cottons there. And, though I also used to buy clothing fabrics at Joann's the selection is so abysmal now, I can't do that anymore either. I miss the "good old days" of being able to shop at a decent fabric store to buy quality products.

  8. What an awesome quilt! Must consider that, among the million other things I want to make.


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