Thursday, August 9, 2018

Start a Nice Fabric Collection

Here's a post I am repeating from my Small Quilt Lovers Facebook group -
Good morning, quilters - I have to say I'm happy to see so many of you are loving this month's challenge - Sewing Box Scraps (from my new book, A Prairie Journey). Your quilts so far are lovely. I chose it for a reason. It's a great quilt to practice making scrap quilts. But, I know that some of you have a hard time with scraps and maybe, if you're a beginner, you just don't have that many scraps to make this one. This is something you can accumulate over time. I wrote a blog post last year on this subject   It may help some of you who struggle with making scrap quilts.

If you love making little quilts, and you love the scrappy look, then you really don't need a huge amount of fabric by the yard. If you're like me and have a small sewing room, then it has to be contained. You just need a nice variety of prints in all different colors and a good way to store them. These can easily be small cuts. Because it can be overwhelming when you enter a quilt shop, with so many fabrics to choose from, why not make more frequent trips to build up your collection? A good fabric wardrobe, I call it. Like a nice basic wardrobe where all the pieces work together for many outfits, a nice variety of prints in all the colors will take you anywhere. You can add to this as you continue your quilting journey.

Try this - Start with your favorite color, then buy 5 or more pieces of fabric in that color. These can be 1/4 yards or fat quarters, does not have to be a yard. I like to buy smaller prints like geometrics, tiny florals, stripes but throw in a few larger prints too. Next week, buy a few more pieces in a color that coordinates with that one. As you go on, week after week or month after month, make sure you have at least several prints in these shades: light and medium blue, pink, indigo, brown, red, green, gold, tan, cream or shirting prints, black, gray, purple. Add a few checks or plaids if you like. Within a short time, you will have accumulated quite a bit of fabric for a nice collection. It will be easier to add to it over time. Then you can begin buying larger prints you love for the borders for your quilts. But, first, start with the basics.

This quilt below is a perfect example and you can see I've used a good variety of prints in all different colors.

Storing your fabric is important. I sort and store according to color. Plastic bins or drawers, photo boxes, large zip lock bags, all work for scraps. Throwing them into a large bin does not work for me -  too much of a jumbled mess and I can never find what I need. If they're sorted, they're easily accessible when I want to start a project. It's also a good way for me to see what colors I am lacking and need to buy more of in the future. I started making something last week and realized I was low on green and gold fabric. These are not my favorite colors but l still like to add small pieces of them to a scrap quilt. Now, this is in my head for the next time I shop. Move over, Blue! 


Marian said...

Great advice Kathy!! Must admit scrappy is my fav style and i've got quite a stash to pick from, added to over many years. I'm always on the hunt for small pieces - fat eighths & fat quarters. I very rarely buy more than a half yard of any one fabric.

Frankie Brown said...

What good advice. I bought your new book yesterday at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham which looks great. I love the way you combine history and quilting in your books.

Vickie said...

I admit to buying ALOT of FQ's, as I love scrappy these can go along ways to making small quilts. You get so much more variety then. Love all your books and enjoy browsing through them so much.

quiltgrannie said...

Scrappy makes me happy!! I have been collecting smaller amounts of fabric for many years like Marian, so I have lots to choose from. But it's always fun to go buy more, there is always some new fabric line coming out that catches your eye!! I love the way you put your fabrics together Kathy. They always play so well together, and you are always giving us such great tips!! Thank's for all you do.

Carolyn Rector said...

I love your style! All your quilts are so well coordinated. You have a real gift for colors! Thank you for sharing your "secrets".


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