Off the Fabric Diet

For the most part, I’ve been on a fabric diet for a year and a half…what I mean is that I’ve really not bought any fabric in a quilt shop.  Well maybe a half yard for binding or something but nothing much that didn’t have a real purpose.

Well…I went off the fabric diet.  But I went off for good reason.  My Courthouse Steps quilt top is finished.
How fun is this???


Who would ever guess that this quilt is just a scrap bucket clean out and not a planned beauty??


So often when working with greens there is such a wide range of them that it’s hard…here I threw them all in and didn’t worry about it.

I’m in love.  I spent yesterday morning ironing it and getting it ready for the quilt machine because it was on my list to tackle in the quilt machine.

Last week when the childcare kiddos were here the little boy who is getting this quilt for Christmas came over to the kitchen island and saw some of the blocks.  He commented on them and said something along the lines of “if you make me a quilt, I want a turtle quilt”.  Hmm.  “Well”, I told him, “the colors are remind me of an ocean turtle.  Green like the turtle and blue like the ocean, don’t you think?”  He said yes.  Well…that set my brain in motion.

I could make this be a turtle quilt.  All I needed was a backing fabric that had sea turtles.  Even though I was willing to break my fabric diet, I still wanted it to be reasonably priced so I went to Quilted Twins online.  I know they often have novelty prints or panels.  I could easily buy a panel and border it with fabric I had here to make a backing.

After looking they had a couple more expensive fabrics..and a cheaper fabric.  I weighed the pros and cons of each and ended up with this fabric.


The plan is that I’ll have a strip of that through the quilt backing with some green fabric across the top and blue along the bottom.  I haven’t dug to see what I have yet but I know something it there.  I think that will make a fun backing.  I got 3/4 of a yard extra of the fabric with the plan to make a matching pillowcase.  I’m so happy with the idea…I hope it turns out like I see envisioned.

Well..You know how it goes, as long as I was ordering, I might as well make the postage I’m paying worth it, right??  Well in the process of making the Crooked Courthouse Steps quilt, I used up all of the white based neutrals I had in the scrap bin.  I ended up then moving to the 1 1/2″ bin and raided everything there and even went to the 2″ bin and raided…so I am out of scraps or strips to use.  Any quilt I make from now on that needs white based neutral scraps is either going to need to come from the 2 1/2″ bin or from fabric.  That means I need to stock up!!  So I did.

I looked for anything that was white based and CHEAP.  I wanted printed fabric like the ones you see here….


I think they make the quilt so fun.

Much of their fabric is $5.99 a yard and I snapped up what I could find that fit the criteria of being white based.


I like busy prints…this one below was cute.


Both of these are leaf themed.

I picked these five too.  You can’t see it very well but the one that looks mostly white, actually has Disney’s dumbo the elephant on it.  The Mickey Mouse comic fabric was cute too.

I did find a bundle of fabric that was something I would have bought but that was sold out.  Typically if I’m at a fabric store I only buy quarter yard cuts but this is sold by the yard, and a yards worth was reasonably priced.

When I put these away I noticed that my white based stash is really low so I’m allowing a few more purchases so I can have a nice blend when it comes time to need this type of fabric again…in fact, something is on the back burner that does need it!!  So I’ll stay on the lookout.

With the finish of that top, my scrap bucket is VERY low on greens and blues.  That doesn’t mean that it’s still not overflowing because it it.  Seriously, how did that quilt not make a dent in it??

Anyway…I’m off.  I need to keep working if this quilt is going to be done by next Friday.  That’s the goal.

19 thoughts on “Off the Fabric Diet

  1. Mary Ann Mettler

    That is really pretty and a great idea – good luck keeping it a secret to the inquisitive boy – I love it!!

  2. Connie

    Oh my gosh what a great quilt and the turtle fabric just adds to the fun, perfectly! He’s going to LOVE it!!

  3. Marilyn

    The color theme really looks great. Love the turtles. You are getting them done!!!!!!
    Are you having real food now?

  4. Sandra B

    I love this quilt top!! I think it is one of my favorites that you have made!
    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing it all finished!

  5. Debbie B

    I love it, Jo! It’s has a very calming feeling. That backing fabric you found will be perfect. Lucky little guy!

  6. Aileen Uribe

    Love your new backing fabric and all the neutrals. You’ve mentioned plans to do Bonnie Hunter’s mystery so we know you will.be needing neutrals. Good planning! I may need to do the courthouse squares in a color coordinated manner like you did. Looks so nice.

  7. Stephani in N. TX

    You are the lightning quilter Jo. Seems like yesterday you just got on that bandwagon and here you are with a completed top. I like your combination of scraps for the courthouse blocks and love the turtle fabric. Your little munchkin is going to love the quilt.

  8. Stephani in N. TX

    You are the lightning quick quilter Jo. Seems like yesterday you just got on that bandwagon and here you are with a completed top. I like your combination of scraps for the courthouse blocks and love the turtle fabric. Your little munchkin is going to love the quilt.

  9. Robby

    I love this quilt more every time I see it! I had a baby-sitter sneakily askme questions one year so she made me the perfect pj’s for me. You’re making great memories for these kids.

  10. Linda

    Love your Blue/Green Courthouse Steps quilt. The lime green really makes the quilt “glow”. The pops of colour in the neutrals fabrics add another dimension to the quilt. Great idea to incorporate the little boy’s turtle theme, he’ll love the added pillowcase.

  11. Donna

    Just beautiful! Love the greens and blues and how they go together. Also love the backing fabric. In fact, I used to have some of that when I made curtains for our bathroom!
    Love and prayers

  12. Donna Weeks

    The courthouse Steps quilts spectacular. Love that you found some gorgeous fabrics at Quilted Twins. Their fabrics are absolutely irresistible. All high quality at affordable prices. Keep yourself healthy and well.

  13. Janet R

    What a perfect backing fabric. How great that he told you just in the nick of time. He’s going to love that quilt!

    I too have been on a fabric diet. I haven’t bought anything unless it was for a specific purpose…well, except that jelly roll. And I’m going to need a neutral for it. There was a quilt made up with the jelly roll and I liked it a lot. Now I just need to heal enough to be able to sew.

  14. Brenda Fiedler

    OH!! This quilt and the backing is perfect!! Pure perfection!! I love it! You are so fast with these quilts! Love and hugs!

  15. Gale

    Jo, this is beautiful! I would not have thought of making it with one color and white, but I really love yours and want to make one like it. I do have a suggestion for you on the white novelty background fabric you are looking for for cutting into strips. I order often from Thousands of Bolts.com and their prices start at $5.25. That is where I get most of my white scrappy backgrounds. Hope this helps.

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