Monday, October 31, 2011

Building a Fabric Stash

Just as a painter needs a palette of paint colors, every quilter needs a palette of fabric to work with. I have a pretty large stash, but just like most everyone I can't buy every piece of fabric I'd like. So I thought I'd share how I keep my stash supplied.

It's very rare that I buy a complete line. When a see a multi-colored focus print that may be the basis for a quilt - yes, I buy it. But most of the time I pick and choose from the lines I like and buy "the basics".
The basics are fabrics that have one or two colors in them plus a neutral (white, black, cream, etc.). Here are some green and blue basics along with a green/blue print. I have that in my stash because I use green and blue together a lot.
The question always comes up ~ how much to buy? I usually but 1/2 yards, but you have to consider your individual needs. In addition to budget and storage inquiries, do you make large or small quilts? Do you like to make quilts with lots and lots of fabric? Or just a few different fabrics?

My stash has a really good supply of blues, simply because I use blue a lot!
In addition to color, consider the scale and type of print you're buying, so that you have a nice variety. Here are three blue prints in a small, medium and large scale.
Your stash should consist of florals, geometrics. dots. stripes, leaves, solids, etc.
Then when you go to pull a quilt, you can use pieces from a collection and add your own individual touch with the gems from your stash!
How about you? Any tips on building a stash??

12 comments:

  1. I would just be happy if my stash would climb out of the boxes and put itself away on the shelves...lol

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  2. This was a great post. Thank you.

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  3. Thanks for a great post. I don't usually buy a complete fabric collection either, because I like to use up pieces from my stash so I can make room for new fabric. Your tips for building a stash were very informative. I usually only buy fat quarters simply because my quilts are scrappy and I don't like cutting into large pieces of fabric.

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  4. this post has me sitting here blinking...and rereading! It never occurred to me that there could be a useable method for stash building, beyond impulse! who knew?! THANK YOU! You have a new follower!

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  5. I usually buy 1/2 yds. and I try to buy basics too, although there are so many very pretty multi colour prints that call my name.

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  6. How fun to learn your insight. How do you store your fabrics? It looks like maybe in drawers rather than open shelves...just wondering.

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  7. Thanks Cindy, for sharing this useful information, I usually buy 1/2mts, yds!! And generally I buy what grabs me and then work the basics around the focal print, similar to what you do!! Can you share something on your storage solutions for keeping your fabrics, like the box you have your blue fabrics in?!! Thanks!!

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  8. Fun post, Cindy! I love to learn about how people build their collections! Lately, I've been focusing on buying solids...but I still can't resist a pretty print!

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  9. great post :) you are a fountain of knowledge!

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  10. I seem to flit from one thing to the next - once it was florals, then plaids and not I am into solids. Also lately aquas, oranges and text fabrics.

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  11. If your a scrappy quilter, build with the basics like you said, or tone on tones. They will go where ever you want them to go. Buy what you like. If it is ok I might buy a half yard, if I like it a whole yard, if I really like it 2 yards. If I really like it and I might use it for a border I buy between 4-6 yards, depending on if it will be a lap size or a king size quilt. My stash has surpassed the two book shelf limit I put on myself, so I had better get sewing.

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  12. Very interesting information and lovely presentation, thanks for sharing.......
    Clear Span Fabric Building

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Thanks so much for taking time to comment!