In this baby quilt project I am trying to stick as much as possible with the fabrics that came from the children's great-great grandmother. That means my box full of quilt blocks and a very small set of three-inch-wide strips (the red in the first quilt below), plus several yards of an indigo-and-white Japanese fabric printed with origami cranes. As I have been making more and more quilts from this diminishing stash, I'm needing to augment the original fabrics -- but how to do so without changing the character of the quilts?
I have decided that the best way is to use either solids or stripes. I'm a lover of striped fabrics, having made several huge quilts out of stripes. Some time ago I panicked to discover that stripes had gone out of fashion at the fabric store, but was happy to find a lot online, and bought some of every single one available. They fill three dresser drawers and ought to last me quite a while.
What I like about stripes is that they're graphic, and full of energy, and they seem to fit in with whatever other collection of fabrics you have already assembled. They go with solids, they go with prints, they go with solids, pepping up whatever is there without being too assertive. (But if you put them with other stripes, they go crazy!)
So I felt good about eking out my genuine Hawaiian-shirt blocks with stripes in my current project.
And stripes also make nice bindings. (What else would go so well with large-scale tropical prints?)