I’m Grounded

That’s right.  You read that completely and totally right.  I’m grounded.  I’m not allowed to go into a fabric store.

A couple  Saturdays ago I decided to go shopping.  This rarely happens and if that mood strikes I’m usually pretty quick to talk myself out of it.

I ended up on a bit of an adventure…First I went to my favorite Amish bakery near Hazelton, Iowa…then to Amish Grocery…then to quilt shop Merry’s Stitches near Jessup…then on to Hobby Lobby.  Thanks goodness at least a part of the money I spent was on something needed…groceries.  I really shouldn’t say that as I really was to the point that I needed some fabric.

I get lots of fabric gifted to me and I primarily sew with what is gifted but there comes a point when after making as many bright quilts as I have recently, that a girl needs some neutrals to go with the bright fabrics.  So I was on a mission.  Bright white prints….

Typically when I hunt for them I only find a few….not at Merry’s Stitches!!


She had a ton of white based neutrals, and I bought a ton!!  Seriously….I spent a lot here.  It’s a good thing I’ve been on that fabric diet for so long.


I had to laugh…Merry’s daughter Julie from Patchabilities was there.  I had asked for quarter yard cuts of them all.  (Yes, I am that girl)

Julie said are you sure you don’t just want 1/2 yard cuts.  Well…I’m sure I want to but I can’t afford 1/2 yard cuts on them all.  So I do what I do to make the quilts I want to make.  That means it’s quarter cuts and LOTS of different ones!!

LOTS.  You know it’s bad when the shop gives you a reusable bag with their shop logo.  See…

It actually doesn’t look bad until I lay it all out.

Look at the sea of happiness.  I love printed white based neutrals.  LOVE.  I used to think neutrals were boring.  I don’t any more.  Seriously, I think they are my favorite fabrics.


It was this little bee fabric that started me on my buying spree.  It’s the first fabric of the bunch that I picked.


I did listen to Julie a little bit.  I got half yard cuts of these.  I have a black and white quilt churning in the back of my brain. I need to a make a graduation quilt and was thinking on making one white and black and red.


These two I got a yard or more of.  I want to make a donate a quilt to the Humane Society for their annual benefit and thought one of these might make it go for more.


I bought myself a sewing necklace and rusted jingle bells too.  I told you I broke the bank!

This one is my particular favorite.  Any ideas on a block that will show off the print??  I was thinking a simple disappearing nine patch but was hoping for something with a little more punch.


I also bought a couple wool patterns.  When I bought these I was thinking of Karl’s “treat yourself” mantra.   These were so cute.


I was in the store and took stock of my sewing habits and loves as I was standing there thinking that “I bought this pattern and that pattern last time I was here and didn’t sew them.”  I’ve made a new resolution.  If I am buying wool projects, I have permission to BUY THE KIT!!  I have good intentions when I pattern of going home and pulling out my wool but…I NEVER PULL OUT THE WOOL.  I HATE PULLING OUT THE WOOL.  So kits for me now on.  I also said no more wool kits unless I have these DONE.

I drove away thinking…”Girl, you spent a lot of money.”  But, I got to thinking about it.  I’ve just made FIVE quilts or quilt tops in the last six weeks.  Think of all the fabric that is going out of sewing room.  It’s no wonder why I am so low on white based neutrals….not anymore though.  I’m stocked.  I’ll still be on the lookout for more.  I go through so many when I am making kids’ quilts.

I laughingly titled this post, “I’m Grounded”.  I’m not really.  I have a bit more quilt related shopping to do before I stick myself back on a stricker diet.

So that’s the saga on my trip to Merry’s Stitchin’s in Jessup Iowa.  Seriously…she had the very best selection of white based neutrals I’ve ever seen.  Thanks Merry!!

35 thoughts on “I’m Grounded

  1. Donna T

    Sometimes a girl just needs to restock!!! You can’t get everything you need at the thrift stores or friends giving you fabric!!! Plus think of all the money you save buying at the thrift stores and through friends!!! My husband says I can justify anything! Ha!

  2. Diann Smith

    I’m with you on those neutrals. I just finished the Omigosh quilt top and oh the neutrals needed….and THEN you cut them into teeny tiny pieces. But I’m out too. I enjoyed the look of what all you bought. I need to go shopping for those again too. And I will TRY to remember to buy half yard slices. Serious eye candy in the blog this time. Enjoyed!

  3. Donna Weeks

    You bought a wonderful selection of fabrics. I shopped at Quilted Twins the other day and bought a HUGE variety of fabrics, including two bolts of white. It is always great to find that oh so perfect fabric.

  4. Stearns Carol

    In January, I started a fabric in and out log. Each time a piece of fabric comes into the house, whether it is donated, thrifted or purchased at an LQS, I total the yardage. Each time I use up yardage or give it away or sew it into a quilt, I total that amount.
    This year, I donated a lot of older stash. You got a box last week I hope!
    My totals for the year are
    Fabric In 100 1/2 yards plus 2 layer cakes
    Fabric out 213 yards
    It all adds up. On January 1 I will start over for the year but log this total so I can compare. When I drag a languishing quilt top out to be quilted, I count the yardage even if it has been done for years. I try not to count it until I’ve finished it.

  5. Colleen

    Good for you! I too often have no neutrals in my collection. I struggled with that when doing Bonnies mystery quilts. I now shop the after Christmas sales on Christmas fabrics. There are so many neutrals that are not really just Christmas prints I those lines. I buy 1 yard or half yard cuts.

  6. Donna Pheneger

    I’m also one that never has neutrals for some reason! And when looking for a quilt pattern, I see it needs neutrals and I look at my poor stash and think….well, never mind! LOL!

  7. Robby

    IM on envious of your neutrals haul! I’ve been looking for a bunch of white neutrals and struggling. I love the way you use our neutrals so I might need to study this haul to see if I can learn something about choosing them.

  8. Tina in NJ

    Yes, the Humane Society fabrics were dogs; you’ A dog person. Bot have you considered the block Puss in the Corner? If I remember right, it has a large patch in the center that would showcase your fabric.
    Beautiful neutrals.

  9. Kim LeMere

    I think you hit the jackpot on neutrals at Merry’s Stitches, wow! They will be wonderful to have on hand for the next projects. I cant wait to see what you do with the dog fabrics, those are adorable also.

  10. Deb S

    What a beautiful supply of neutrals you now have! I am going to start rethinking my neutrals and not just limit myself to white and off-white. Thank you again for the inspiration!

  11. elizabeth a hinze

    So fun, I need to go on a fabric diet…
    so that I could go on a binge shopping spree : )
    Save some money up then spend it!

  12. Diane

    When my husband died, I spent hours and hours on the Hancock of Paducah online site…I chose, I put t hings into my cart, I took them out, I left the site…they sent me a 10% off coupon, if I would go back and buy…sometimes I did…There was so much comfort in getting lost in fabric…so much..I am glad you had fun. xo

  13. LaneyKwiltz

    Great stash of neutrals! When I want to feature some prints in a quilt, my go-to pattern is Urban Cabin by Atkinson Patterns. It’s a modernized log cabin – quickly made with FQ’s and a background.

  14. Beth

    Wow – they had a great selection – it will be great fun to have such variety to work with on your upcoming quilts.

  15. Carol Collier

    What about using that wonderful dog fabric as the center square for a star block. The points could be bright solids. Someone online is doing a block swap like that, and it is so cute. Those blocks have black/white squares as centers, with plain bright star points. Love the new fabrics!!

  16. Mary Lynn Parson

    Oh, those bees! I can understand how they started it all! I will enjoy seeing what kind of quilts you make with them.

  17. DebMac

    I also am thinking a star block using the dog print as the center. You can make the points all match, controlled, or scrappy as stash permits. I have a friend who is dog crazy and the dog prints got me thinking about a quilt for her. At the moment, I am almost thru washing, ironing, and folding stash to put into the “Fabric Vault”. Then I have a big bag of (guess what) white neutrals to sort out and fold. I haven’t been in to mood to quilt for a while but playing with fabric is fun also.

  18. Janet R

    I love all your fabrics! I need to get better about using neutrals with prints on them. I like them when I see them in other quilts and yet when I’m planning my fabric, I tend to use white on white. Of course there’s lots of color in whatever I’m putting it with, but it would be even better with printed neutrals.

    What a great shopping spree. You deserve it!

  19. LaNan Ekdridge

    I kindof did that this week except I had to think of flying home with it. My daughter in law was amazed of how much I did get stuffed in my suitcase but there’s a small tote left at their house that’ll make it to Iowa in the next week or two!!!! Found a fun shop in Arlington and the owner and her staff were a joy!! I’ve got a list to start on as soon as I get homeit’s fun tho!!!

  20. Beth in Maine

    Hi Jo – my first time commenting although I read your blog first thing every day! You are inspiring me to get into my sewing room and make, or maybe finish, something! I’ve just recovered from a broken wrist which limited my activities for a couple of months. I made a baby quilt with six inch finished squares of a featured fabric, sashing was three one inch finished strips – dark, light, dark, and cornerstones were three inch finished nine patches with the light squares on the corners and center and the dark on the sides so they contrasted with the strip light/dark values. You could do the same thing with any size center squares if the scale of the print makes that have more dogs in each center square. The sashing and cornerstones on mine were all the same fabrics but you are more adventurous than I am and could scrappy them up.

  21. Linda in NE

    You sure hit the jackpot on the white based neutrals, great selection! When I’m shopping for neutrals or some color I’m running short on I usually go for a third of a yard. I’m thinking that for a quilt made with the puppy fabric cut good sized squares of the puppy fabric and then alternate with black & red four patches. Simple yet striking & it would really show off the puppies.

  22. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Interesting how, when the shop and staff are welcoming, we buy so much more than when the shop is either so stuffed with stuff it is hard to move around or when there is little selection…and the staff, if they are grumps and ignore us, it is easy to walk away without buying anything. I wish they would pay attention!! Love your 22+ yard haul…yeah, I kinda counted!!

  23. Susan

    Sounds like Merry needs to make a pack of white based neutrals using your selections, so that we can order our neutral stash enhancers from her shop. :)

  24. Judith Fairchild

    Jo your haul was fabulous! I’d have bought half yards of everything. Your dog prints are so cool l think fussy cut the squares making portraits by using sashing and you have a quilt any dog lover would want.

  25. Terri L

    Love the Humane Society fabrics. How about a card trick block. It could look like the dogs were chasing around the block.

  26. Mary Jo B.

    Love the dog prints. Thanks for the tour of the shop. I checked into the Web Site to see if I could drive there this weekend, but it is a 2.5+ hour drive, so I settled for buying a kit from the Web Site. I’ll keep my MapQuest directions until the forecast is a little better. This weekend is supposed to be rain and snow, or a mix – so best if I stay off the roads. I had purchased this pattern to use for some fabrics that I did not want to cut up into smaller pieces. The pattern is called SlideShow from Atkinson Designs.

    https://atkinsondesigns.com/products/slide-show-pattern

  27. Jo Post author

    That’s the perfect pattern Mary Jo. I have which if best yet!! It you head that way sometime, I’d happily meet you for lunch. The weather does sound icky.

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