Cue scarey organ music.
Unfortunately/fortunately, I've gotten rid of some of the uglier & more embarrassing pieces from my stash, but I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the ones I've held on to -- for better or worse. I won't show you them all at once, my creatures will be a recurring feature we'll come back to from time to time.
First, some real creatures: fishes, bunnies, ponies, owls & wild things from the American West. (I'm not including my cat fabrics -- that's a topic on its own!) How did these come to be in my stash? Well, the ponies & national parks critters were from the remnant bin, both about 1yard cuts -- I don't know why I bought them other than they probably didn't cost very much. The fish & rabbit cut-outs I probably planned on making up as pillows -- whimsical, right? The owls are a fairly recent purchase; I was making reusable shopping bags for everyone on my Christmas list one year & one friend has an especial fondness for owls. I found them on sale, asked for a yard & ended up with 2 yards.
I still like these fabrics (she said sheepishly (no creature pun intended)). I think I can find time to use them. And, most importantly, I think I can have fun making something fun with them.
So, let's see.
I think the owls could be interesting cut into strips, just their little eyes peeking out. They combine nicely with the stack of browns I got a few years ago. So maybe log cabins, maybe simple string blocks? Or! Maybe a teetering stack, inspired the Totally Tubular technique in Tula Pink's first book. I LIKE it!
The ponies with dots & swirls are kind of fun -- what about wonky stars with pony centers? (Is it just me, or does that sound like a children's breakfast cereal? Wonky Stars with Pony Centers! Now with MORE Ponies!!!
No? Just me? OK.)
Hmmm, the fish & bunnies? I've seen real make-do quilts, the Gee's Bend quilts for example, that use these cut-out panels as just another piece of cloth. But I've cut around my pieces, so can't do that. What about using them as applique -- trout swimming on top of patchwork, rabbits with some garden-y fabrics?
And the big game? My inclination with a fabric like this is to highlight the fabric with fussy cutting, maybe a square as the center of a medallion quilt. But I think it would be too easy to let this fabric look too lodge-y. One of my favorite things to do is to try to make something "modern" with very not-modern fabric. So what about something inspired by a painting from the 1940s by the artist Leon Polk Smith? Still very much a work-in-progress, I'm having a good time with this one!
And who knows, maybe the trout will show up on the back!