Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Sparkling Inventory

I'm a Featured Designer this month for the Just Wanna Quilt Inventory Quilt Project. I sent them a few copies of Sparkling Trail to play with back in January.  Besides wanting an excuse to make another Sparkling Trail, I thought the design would be a good one for an Inventory Quilt because it has a lot of patches.  That leaves room for a lot of different fabrics, which is perfect for taking stock of an extensive stash curated fabric collection.  120 triangles give plenty of opportunities to showcase individual fabrics.

This version was a pretty good snapshot of my red stash in 2014 when I made it.

There are not 120 different fabrics in that quilt, as I used some more than once, but you certainly could use 120 different fabrics if you had that many.

You could even use more that 120 by piecing several fabrics together and cutting the triangles out of that pieced swatch.  The original Sparkling Trail was actually Sparkling Strings.

Oops, it's upside down!  Just the same, you see you can stuff a lot of fabric samples into those stars!

You could also inventory just a subset of your collection.  This version used some of every Thirties reproduction fabrics I owned.  You can guess that I didn't have very many, as I repeated each multiple times.  It does demonstrate that you don't have to have all the triangles in a star be different fabrics of a single color.  In this fabric style it worked much better to scatter all the colors throughout.

None of these quilt, or the other two versions I made (here and here) were meant to be inventory quilts.  The version I'm making this month for the JWQ Inventory Project needs to intentionally fit that bill, so I had to decide precisely what that term means.

OK, precisely is not quite the right word.  I founds a couple of different interpretations:

  • a quilt that uses one piece of every fabric in your collection - a quilted inventory of your entire fabric stash.
  • a quilt made up of fabrics entirely from your stash, with no additional fabric purchase required.
That first interpretation was problematic for me.  Twenty years into my quilting adventure, I have rather a lot of different fabrics in the stash, even if some only in exist in small leftover pieces.  Perhaps I could refine the definition by dividing the stash into scraps and pieces large enough to be worth inventorying.  Hmm.  At what size should I draw the line between the two?  That's a bit  daunting, and frankly, it takes a little of the fun out of this project, so I reversed course.

I liked the challenge of working entirely from my stash, so leaned in that direction for a bit.  As I wrote in January, I'm trying to tame and reduce the scrap collection this year, but I hadn't made much of a dent since shortly after blogging about it in January.  In fact, I added more than I subtracted.  Working entirely from my stash for this project would help with the scrap mitigation project.  Let's do that.

But I have a lot of scraps and that's a bit paralyzing, so in the end I bundled both interpretations together and refined my plan.
  • Inventory a only a subset of my stash, to keep the project manageable.
  • Use each fabric only once, just because that seems like a fun challenge.
  • Purchase no new fabric, even for the backing and background (scraps from those two components inevitably grow my stash!).

Care to join me? Besides posting updates here on the blog, I'll be posting on FB on my page  and in the JWQ Inventory Quilt Sew Along group, as well as on Instagram (@canuckquilter). 

You might also like to see how other featured designers from past, current and future months interpret the theme.  You can find their posts on Instagram by searching for #justwannainventoryquilt, #inventoryquilt and #justwannaquilt.


  1. This is a fun pattern. The string design boggles my mind, and the one ion 30s fabrics looks like it could be a sweet child's quilt.
    I don't think I could do an inventory quilt--in any interpretation. :)
    But in a way, I am doing an inventory quilt of the scraps I have from my Mom's quilts. I'm just doing it with your Quilter's Scrapbook pattern.

  2. You can make any fabric look beautiful in your quilts, no matter what the color or shape, or even how you quilt them! You are one talented quilter! ---"Love"

  3. This is a great pattern for showcasing your inventory! I love the string one especially, and can see where the "sparkling" part of the name came from :)


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