November 16, 2012 - 10:01 pm

Failure to Plan

I love to go fabric shopping. And as anyone who has ever gone with me can tell you, I am notorious for buying fabric without having a definite plan on what I might make. Knowing that, I generally buy plenty of whatever it is I am buying.

I usually don’t mess around with one-yard cuts or even two. My rule of thumb is if I like it, I buy three yards. If I love it, I buy four or five yards. If I can’t live without it, I buy six.

Ninety-nine percent of the time that works for me, but now I’m in somewhat of a pickle. I have an entire bin, well, okay, maybe the bin is close to overflowing, of Dr. Seuss fabric.  I have red and white stripes, red ovals on a white background, and directional characters on blue backgrounds. Toss in some characters that look like they’ve been doodled onto a white background by someone using a black pen. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the fabric that has text on it. I have one piece that has the words printed in black on a white background and another that has the words printed in color on a white background.

Oh, and I have this wonderful panel of the Cat in The Hat standing there, twiddling his thumbs. Seriously, how can I go wrong when I have that piece to play with! All I have to do is make blocks to surround that mischievous looking cat. And a disappearing 9-patch block ought to be work perfectly.

The problem I’m encountering is that I neglected to buy nondirectional fabric in contrasting colors. Usually that wouldn’t matter. I would just change my pattern and make everything work. But here I am with the giant cat. And if I want to get quilts made for any of my grandchildren for Christmas, I need a pattern that is quick and easy.

I tried using a red and white stripe fabric for the center of the 9-patch block. As you can see, I have no contrast. It all just kind of runs together.

If I use directional fabric for the center patch, I am going to end up chopping up Thing One and Thing Two. And it’s more than just a little disconcerting to see characters that have lost their heads.

If I use the fabric with the words on it, they will be running in all directions.  Reading what it says will become a real challenge. After all, these children are just beginning to learn to read and I don’t want to be responsible for holding them back.

I expect if I want this quilt to work out the way I see it in my head, there is nothing to do but take the plunge and make the dreaded trip to the fabric store.

Woe is me, more fabric shopping. (Tee Hee!) I feel like Brer Rabbit telling Brer Fox, “Whatever you do, don’t throw me in the briar patch.”

And as much as I love to go fabric shopping, perhaps it’s time for me to take a hard look at my shopping practices. Maybe, just maybe, a little planning before I buy would serve me well. Or, at the very least, save me some grief.

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