One of the magic moments of quilting is realizing that any fabric plays well with another as long as something ties it all together.
I spent at least 18 months convincing myself of this very fact.
Finding fabrics that work well together when I did not purchase fabrics for something specific has always been the bane of my creative existence. I have bought tons of fabric in my lifetime and I have made most of my choices solely on the way the fabric looks. I like the color, or I like the texture. I rarely look at the pattern, what I am after is a color value. Many times my foray into a fabric store was to purchase a color that was missing from what I had in my cupboard. I seem to use up some colors faster than others. I wonder why!
My love affair with fabric is a mystery to me sometimes and I worry that I have gotten in over my head. When I want to start a new project I usually find a block I like and then I sit down with my EQ7 program and design a quilt top so I can do the math and know how much fabric I need. Since scrap quilts are my favorite, I want to know ahead of time how many fabrics to pull. If there is a focus fabric I have it on the table to see if what I pull works with it. If I don’t have a focus fabric, I make sure the quilt I am designing will have sashing or a border I can use to tie all the scrappy fabrics together.
There always seems to be something left over so I will cut it smaller and put it in a box to use in another project. As the pieces become smaller they still have usefulness, I just have to be more creative!
Trying to use it up becomes scrap management and I like to design projects that the little pieces can star in.