Stash Value Quilt


I spent most of Friday and Saturday stitching and binding the Stash Value Quilt. I was completely ready to finish it, no matter what, and we had no commitments this weekend. I machine stitched in the ditch around all the blocks, then made binding for the edges in a Kona Cotton Grass Green. I handstitched the binding on Saturday morning, removed the basting stitches, then washed and dried it. Done. Whew!

As I was making this quilt, I was thinking about all the fabrics I used in it and where they came from. Several of these fabrics have been in my stash for a while, and they really are like snapshots… I remember where I got them, what was going on in my life, other projects I used them in, etc. Many came from friends, literally from all over the world.  Aside from a few small cuts of yardage, I didn’t buy any new fabrics for this quilt, I really wanted to use what I had (which was the same goal I had when I made Emma’s quilt). As I was cutting and assembling the blocks, I kept finding forgotten fabrics, shoved in the back of the stacks, that looked pretty to me again. Like the vintage feedsack fabrics I collected a few years ago during a fairly healthy obsession with finding them on ebay, mixed with pieces like thrifted curtain panels that I’ve been holding on to simply because I loved them, leftover scraps from other projects. This quilt is really special to me for these reasons. You can look at my Flickrstream to see notes on where the individual fabrics came from.

I think one of the best things about this quilt is the process of free piecing and not having to give too much thought to color balance, fussy cuts, or anything complicated. I sorted the fabrics, decided how many blocks I would need, cut them, sewed them, placed them on my removable quilt wall to find a pleasing arrangement, then stitched it all together. It sort of freed my brain to do a little paper piecing on the side, which is really fun (honest!) but in a completely different way. More on that later. The quilt rumpled up perfectly when it was washed and dryed. The backing is cream flannel, and I used Warm & Natural Cotton batting, my current favorite because I love how rumply it gets when its washed. And, yes, it is warm (but not heavy).

Okay, seriously, how satisfying is this image for a quiltmaker?? Emma grabbed it the minute it came out of the dryer. This is exactly why I go to the trouble of making quilts. (And Gracie’s tight with Emma, so she’s willing to share.)

If you’re thinking of making a quilt like this, you can follow Katie’s tutorial here. Its one of those projects that big, but not overwhelming. She sent me a stack of pre-cut blocks for my version of this quilt a
month or so ago, I don’t think she realized how I quickly I would jump in, I didn’t either. It was the right project at the right time. Its a fantastic project for a beginner, the biggest challenge would be accumulating enough different fabrics for it. Although it would be just as interesting to try making this up in just a few prints repeated throughout the quilt.
OK, onto my next project. Floor pillows for the family room. The beanbag is in such high demand, we need to supplement. Have a lovely day!

  • amber

    August 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

    it’s simply beautiful! and inspiring.
    i’m currently working on a similar quilt of sorts, hoping to have it completed soon.
    yours is just wonderful!

  • The Antidote

    August 16, 2009 at 11:17 am

    This is gorgeous. It has such a lovely vintage look about it.
    The green binding ties all of those fabrics together perfectly x

  • Karin

    August 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Your quilt is beautiful. What a marvelous job you did!

  • Kelly

    August 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I love this quilt, gorgeous.

  • larissa

    August 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    wow. that really really really really makes me want to start a quilt.

  • Shannon

    August 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    So lovely. I have a couple of quilts I need to make but this makes me want to make a similar one. gorgeous.

  • melissa Crowe

    August 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Congratulations! It’s beautiful, and it’s a testament to what can be made from what’s on hand!

  • Anne Dorte Johanson

    August 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I love it, love it, love it!!!

  • Anne@andamento

    August 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    It’s beautiful.

  • Erin | house on hill road

    August 16, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    i love the history in this quilt – it’ll keep the memories coming and add some new ones, too. it’s really beautiful.
    (and floor pillows? i swear we are on the same wavelength again!)

  • Courtney Russell

    August 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I love it Blair. Somehow the green binding makes me think sitting under it would be like sitting in the shade. Weird thought, but that’s what it reminds me of! I never would have been attracted to a project like this, but you changed that for me.

  • Frogdancer

    August 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    That last photo says it all, doesn’t it?
    Lovely work Blair.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Courtney, I think what attracted me to this (even though it was in a
    completely different direction than everything I wanted to do), was that it
    was easy and resourceful. I had been thinking about all the fabric I have on
    hand, how its a mixture of big pieces and small pieces, totally random, and
    it felt like I could use them all for something like this. Plus patchwork in
    our family room is working for me these days (its a contrast to every other
    room in the house).

  • Cara @ Turvys

    August 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    That is so pretty – and very inspiring, but how did you manage to stitch in the ditch with it via the machine? Is there a technique for this that I am just missing???

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you! No special technique, just careful steady stitching.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    It really does. There is nothing sadder to a quiltmaker than a lonely quilt.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    You too?! I think the reason I keep making things to put on the floor in our
    family room is just to ignore the furniture in there, its totally gone.

  • Heather - Dollar Store Crafts

    August 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I love it! I love quilts so much, and so do all my family members. They’re always such a well-appreciated project around our house!
    This quilt of yours is really fabulous.

  • Melissa Nyc

    August 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Oh, it’s gorgeous! If I weren’t preparing to move this week I’d probably start one now! I’ll bookmark it and try to make it an early autumn project. I’m very inspired!

  • Jill

    August 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    So lovely. Even on this hot summer day, I’m getting visions of cool fall evenings (or perhaps it’s heat hallucinations).

  • Kristy

    August 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Love it!
    Just wondering how big are your squares?

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Kristy, I cut my squares 6″ x 6″. And if you don’t have time to start now,
    have some fun pulling together the fabrics for it (that part is always

  • Tina Poulsen

    August 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Amazingly beautiful :):) I have borrowed your photo and linked to you, from my own blog. I hope it is okay. 🙂

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    No problem Tina, thanks so much!

  • Pam

    August 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I love it! You’ve done a wonderful job, and the photo of your daughter w/the quilt is priceless. I think I’ll take your suggestion and start pulling together some fabrics…

  • melissa

    August 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Blair, the green binding just MAKES the quilt. Love it!

  • MyLand

    August 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I love how it turned out! The green binding is great, too.

  • Erin | house on hill road

    August 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    yes! our furniture isn’t in great shape, either, and the girls are constantly pulling the pillows off the couch to perch on. plus i have four huge pillows in my basement that just need a little love.

  • Peanut

    August 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Wow, that look so wonderfully cozy and fresh (do those go together?). I especially like the green binding. And thanks for mentioning the dryer – I was wondering if you could do that with a quilt. I’ve always been too paranoid to put a quilt through the dryer but part of me thinks they might feel a little softer and fluffier if I did.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 16, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you! Quilts definitely fluff up nicely in the dryer, go for it!

  • The Orchard

    August 16, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    It is just beautiful! I hope to make one of my own one day soon. I am just about to sign up for a sewing class so that I can figure out how to use my sewing machine once and for all!
    I love the photo of Emma curled up with it. How cozy!

  • Kristin

    August 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I love it!

  • soo

    August 17, 2009 at 3:48 am

    it’s gorgeous!

  • Fiona

    August 17, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Wow, this really did seem to come together quickly! (Quick for us sitting back enjoying all your hard work, anyway! ;)) You’ve done such a beautiful job, yet again. I could sit with this on my lap and happily look at the different prints & contrasts for hours. (Ack, and look at Emma! Perfect.)

  • Kathryn

    August 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

    I love the green binding! Hi there, new to your blog, I started coming just a few weeks ago and saw a version of this quilt and have also “dived right in”. I’m creating something similar in a fabric line called “pump the funk” cute is that? Thanks for the inspiration, mine will go to a bride and groom on their wedding day!

  • denise cochran

    August 17, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I love that bean bag, did you go by a tutorial to make that?

  • Tracy

    August 17, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I thought I commented this weekend but I didn’t! I adore this. I like the pattern and I love that it has pieces from lots of your friends, and from all over the place. I love something that reminds you of people all the time. That is so so great.

  • Liz

    August 17, 2009 at 6:45 am

    HI! I am new to your blog and am having such fun looking around. That newest quilt is just great. I love when my fabric has a story and can be reused once again. Did you seperate the colors into lights and darks or does it just appear that way because all the colors just really pop in each square. I am inspired. Thank you!

  • Mary

    August 17, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Ohhhh sooooo beautiful…..
    I have been coveting your bean bag chair since you made it. Even bought all the fabric on sale and it sits, daring me, from the fabric shelf. The free pattern from Michael Miller and the one from Amy butler don’t seem as big as yours though…. Did you enlarge a pattern and if so, which pattern did you use? Our playroom really needs a couple and I think I’m ready to make them….

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 17, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Sounds perfect for a wedding gift!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 17, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Ah, the beanbag. Well, I sort of made that pattern up as I went along, and
    wrestled large amounts of fabric and beanbag filler. I don’t know if I could
    ever remake it. But its been a huge hit here at home, well worth it.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 17, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Thank you Liz. I separated the fabric squares into lights, mediums (or what
    I called the “I don’t know whether these are lights or darks”) and darks.
    The fabrics in the medium stack found their place as I continued sewing. Its
    a super satisfying quilt to make.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 17, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I didn’t really use a pattern. I guess I started with the idea of the Amy
    Butler gumdrop shape, but that pattern would not work to just enlarge it, so
    that’s where I began making my own pattern. The part I kept from her design
    was the hexagon shape piece where all the joints meet, for extra
    reinforcement. That beanbag is the most popular furniture item in our house,
    it was worth all the trouble to make it big (big enough for 2 kids and a
    cat, all at the same time).

  • Deanna

    August 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

    What a beautiful quilt! Makes me inspired to try it as I’m pretty intimidated by quilting. 🙂

  • tifanie

    August 17, 2009 at 9:20 am

    wow. gorgeous. how inspiring! *

  • Erin Eckernode

    August 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

    wow, this is beautiful. I am contemplating starting my first quilt. I have the fabrics and pattern just waiting for me to the energy to start it. I want to make some floor pillows too so I’ll check back to see yours.

  • wendy

    August 17, 2009 at 11:42 am

    That’s absolutely beautiful! I have a *cough*couple*cough* of boxes of fabric scraps that would be perfect for a quilt like this. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks Wendy, sounds like you’ve got the perfect ingredients to start one of

  • amisha

    August 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    blair, this quilt is such an inspiration! i love the fact that each fabric has good memories in it too… it makes the project so meaningful. and that photo of emma curled up in it is so great!

  • Beth Taylor

    August 18, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Wow! I have never really quilted, but I am feeling inspired to do so now. I have a lot of my kids’ baby clothes that would be fun to incorporate into a memory quilt for each of them. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

    this would be extra special using kid’s baby clothes!

  • Diana

    August 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I think the time has come for me to finally attempt a quilt. I adore looking at yours and other people’s creations and suffer serious envy. Can you recommend a good book/guide for starting to quilt? Or would you think better to tag along at a class to learn?

  • Jessica

    August 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    What a beautiful quilt. This kind of quilt would probably also be great for a fabric-swap-then-quilt-along for newbies [or veterans :-P], or for mini quilts. In fact, I think that’s what I’m going to do :-). Thanks for the inspiration!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I think the quilt Amy Karol’s
    a fabulous first quilt to try. I have made this quilt 3 times (do a
    search for “study quilts” on my left sidebar) and its easy, leaves plenty of
    room for you to add your own twist, and isn’t such a crazy big quilt.

  • Jenny Mitchell

    August 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    wow. this is so good, it hurts me.
    i love everything you said about the snapshots. i totally get that. for the longest time, i could remember where and when i got *everything* i ever thrifted and how much i paid for it.
    that is one seriously gorgeous and special quilt. i DREAM of someday having the skills and the time to put into such a thing!!!!!
    it’s really gorgeous, blair. i am smitten.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 20, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    You *can* do this Jenny, its soooo doable (and, dare I say, fun?)!

  • fffc - fatima

    August 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Sorry, my English is not so good. But I like to say that it is so beautiful, simply beautiful, the history of it too. fffc(fatima)

  • Mama Urchin

    August 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    It turned out so well Blair!

  • péitseoga k. lee

    August 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    that’s a cool quilt, i love how the pattern kind of ‘pops’ as you look at it from far away! had a look at the tutorial, but can’t quite work out the THREE values! i mean, when you match your fabrics, do you do light-medium and dark-medium? or also light-dark? and then when you lay out, does it still matter or do you just go by whichever side of the square is darker, no matter if it’s a dark or a medium? it sounds so simple, but surely, it can’t be??

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Don’t overthink placement of the light, med and dark fabrics. When I was
    creating my squares, I first began pairing a light and a dark, but as I kept
    going, I saw cases where I could use a medium valued fabric in place of the
    light or dark in a square (it seemed to work best when what I was pairing it
    with was either really light or really dark). Laying it out, follow the same
    rule of no rules, laying it all out first, then going back and doing
    rearranging based on squares you like/don’t like next to each other. Hope
    that helps.

  • MJ

    August 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Wow, that is one amazing quilt. I recently made one for a girlfriend’s baby, based on the same pattern, but mine was solids and pattern. I really love your take on it. It’s opened a new avenue of possibilities!

Follow Wise Craft Handmade