Fabric of the Year Quilts

When I purchase fabric, I am not buying just yardage. I buy a dream, a finished project.  Thus, before I started this Fabric of the Year project, I found it really distressing to discover a lot of fabrics in my fabric closet from which I had never even cut one square.

Fabric of the Year (FOTY) is a concept my friend thought up. It made me think I could remedy the buying-fabric-and-never-using-it problem. I made the concept my own and ran with it.

My idea, thus far, is to cut a small piece of each fabric you buy for a project right away. By using some of the new fabrics immediately, I know right away what I like and don’t like. I also know whether I have enough of my favorite new fabrics to use in larger quantities. By using at least some of the new fabric right away I get the opportunity to buy additional yardage before the designs go out of print.

In the later versions of these quilts, I have also started to include fabrics I purchased previously. In some cases, I cut different sizes to denote the new vs existing fabrics in the quilt.

This practice has been really successful for me and I am pleased with the quilts that have come out of this project. While the quilts look very similar (gradated colors/fabrics), they are each unique in their own way. The process is also a big challenge. Gradating commercial fabrics is a lot harder than it seems. I find it a good challenge each year and feel I do improve with the exercise.

FOTY 2008
FOTY 2008

In the 2008 piece, I just used a simple rectangle. It turned out that I really liked working with that rectangle shape. I started thinking about gradating the colors, but didn’t obsess about it in FOTY 2008. These quilts turn out to be great exercises in color.

FOTY 2009
FOTY 2009

FOTY 2009 uses a modified block from Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle called Zanzibar. I tried more with gradation using the outside fabric of the block.

FOTY 2010 Top
FOTY 2010 Top

FOTY 2010 was leaps and bounds ahead of the previous two. I am still very proud of it. I love it as well. It set me on a new course for arranging the patches in future pieces. FOTY 2010 was in an exhibition of scrap quilts held at the San Jose Museum of Quilts  & Textiles.

FOTY 2011
FOTY 2011

FOTY 2010 made me bold, so with FOTY 2011, I went with triangles in two sizes. I used the Fons & Porter Pyramid ruler, which is a great ruler.

Fabric of the Year 2012
Fabric of the Year 2012

I decided to go back to  squares and rectangles so FOTY 2012 has a simpler look, but still uses squares and rectangles. The gradation/ colorwash effect turned out very well– better than I expected and better than in previous years. Practices makes perfect.

Finished: FOTY 2013
Finished: FOTY 2013

FOTY 2013 use 3″ squares.

FOTY 2014 Top
FOTY 2014 Top

FOTY 2014 started out using 3″x5″ rectangles. In the process of putting the top together, I cut them down to 4″ x 5″

Stay tuned for future versions.