How to Bust That Stash and Learn Sewing Techniques This Year

Did you resolve to make more fiber art this year? Learn new sewing techniques? Decrease the size of your scrap stash? Finish your UFOs?

modern tote with easy sewing techniques
Easy piecing and straight-line quilting will use up small pieces
of fabric and turn them into a modern tote. By Jean Wells,
featured in Make it! Patchwork.

Last year, I made a real effort to pull out all of my precious fabrics and start piecing them into the projects I’ve been dreaming about. I even started to whittle down that pile of UFOs I’ve been meaning to get to for . . . forever.

I’m happy to share some of my strategies with you. They’re not really that new, but it seems this time of year we all have to be reminded of how to get things done.

1. Make art every day-or at least every week. Make an appointment to make art, whether it’s 10 minutes a day or an hour or two every week. Use the time to finish UFOs, practice a new quilting stitch, or even read an article or watch a video about quilting techniques.

2. Start small. If you want to learn a new technique-say English paper piecing-don’t choose a large, paper-pieced quilt patterns that will end up on the UFO pile. Try making a small project where the paper piecing is just an embellishment. You will still learn the technique and you will feel accomplished.

3. Keep at it. Yes, it can take time to learn free-motion or straight-line quilting stitches or foundation piecing techniques. But I’ve learned that if you just keep practicing, you will get the hang of it. I shudder to think of the results when I was first learning how to sew a quilt, but I definitely got better with practice!

In our new publication Make it! Patchwork, we have 27 projects-many you can make in a day or a weekend–to help you learn quilting and sewing techniques, use up your stash, and finish UFOs Step-by-step instructions, templates, photos, and a basic sewing tutorial are included.

So go, enjoy your fabric stash, learn something new, and feel accomplished!

P.S. Do you have a quilting/sewing/creative resolution this year? Please share in the comments below.

Other topics you may enjoy:

Categories

Quilting Daily Blog, Quilting Techniques, Sewing Techniques

6 thoughts on “How to Bust That Stash and Learn Sewing Techniques This Year

  1. I turn 65this year. I have challenged myself to create 65 4inch quilts each with a women in a frame like a photo. No pattern just what ever hits me when I sit down to work. They are all hand work using what ever it takes to get the image from my mind to cloth. I have finished 6 so far. I started in December then had to take 3weeks off for holidays and family. Today I hope to get back to the studio again.

  2. I turn 65this year. I have challenged myself to create 65 4inch quilts each with a women in a frame like a photo. No pattern just what ever hits me when I sit down to work. They are all hand work using what ever it takes to get the image from my mind to cloth. I have finished 6 so far. I started in December then had to take 3weeks off for holidays and family. Today I hope to get back to the studio again.

  3. I am attempting to reduce my stash…starting with cosmetic bags. I can also practice my machine quilting…a fat quarter makes one. When I run out of people to give them to, plan to donate them to a women’s shelter.

    Would love more ideas to use up my stash.

  4. I am attempting to reduce my stash…starting with cosmetic bags. I can also practice my machine quilting…a fat quarter makes one. When I run out of people to give them to, plan to donate them to a women’s shelter.

    Would love more ideas to use up my stash.

  5. Microwave potholders are great for using up small pieces of fabric. For an 8″ soup bowl, all you need are two 10″ squares of complementary fabric and two 10″ squares of cotton batting. Just google microwave potholder. I made about 25 of them this Christmas.

  6. I don’t know about resolution, but I hope to finish at least one of my s-l-o-w-l-y progressing projects this year. I’ve been having fun with foundation piecing scraps of t-shirt fabric to make things-maybe they’ll work with the squares I’ve cut out of “retired” t-shirts for a lovely quilt, coat, shirt or such object. Is finishing really the most important thing? Or is enjoying the journey?

Comment