Saturday, May 12, 2012

Take One: Fabric

As a promise, I would like to show you the steps of how I make the {patchwork tote edition} and {patchwork tote}. There will be a several posts about this process and please excuse me if anything that confuses you. Please let me know! Today I would  like to talk about about my fabric stashes and will share some of my own experiences with you.  We all have different taste about fabric colors, prints on fabric, texture on the fabric and that's what make sewing, quilting and patchwork fun and individual!  It took me a couple of years to find me own colors, prints, and texture that works for me! There are much money went wasted and mistake that I learned. As you can see that I bought small plastic shoes container for my small cut fabrics.  The one above is where I store my larger scraps. Those scraps are larger then 2"x2" or longer strips. Sometimes, I made larger binding strips they went in this container as well! I used these for my {patchwork} and smaller pieces are in the bowls where sets randomly. These small tiny pieces sometimes is less than 1"x1", but when you have 10 of these small pieces then you can patch them together and roughly you will get a good 5"x5" larger pieces. Save your mini scarps! Sometimes it is annoying, but they are great for the patchwork and comes so handy! I try to keep my scraps low, but once I need more bowls on the table I will start patching them together and sometimes just save the patchwork for something else later!

Last summer when I started the {Farmer's Wife Quilt along} project. I had such hard time to cut of my 1/2 yard and full yard fabric for small squares! Later on, I discovered the fat quarters works well with small cuts and irregular cuts. I went through my yardage then cut some of the fabric into fat quarters. I kept one fat quarter in my drawer that next to my sewing table. It has been working very well for me. I sort them by colors, but not the best arrangement for each hue.  It helps me to go pick out the fabric for the project quickly and I won't feel bad about cutting them! Sometimes, I would just purchase fat quarters for small projects. I like to think these fabric as playing fabric!  Then I keep my full yardage fabric aside for quilts, bag linings, clothes making, etc.

I found my colors are retro and involved with reproduction print and simple. I love large prints for a long time, but recently I have discovered that any of my large print won't go well with { paper piecing} project that I am working on now. I began to look for some small prints lately!

I also found {Suzuko Koskei}'s retro and vibrate color scheme works well with my stashes. They are amazing nice and the texture is so nice! I have been collecting these {button charts} and hope to find the rest of colors.  My personal experiences is sometimes patchwork needs a little off  traditional colors and adds some dynamic color to highly and give color contrast to the patchwork.

The Old and new prints at the same time help give good contrast on the colors.  For example: floral print v.s. simple large prints. The floral print will be highly from it! {do I make sense here?}

Some of these novelty prints adds the cuteness to the patchwork as well. You, as a designer also can give a theme to you patchwork: sewing theme, children theme, animal themes, floral theme, etc. This would allow you to expend your ideas and give you something to start with.

Collecting  fabric is madness! I have been saving these 30's reproduction prints for a future quilt! These are all in fat quarters.  Again, the retro color and prints for my stashes!  I hope in a few years, I will go off my color scheme and try something different.

When I purchased fabric. I get half yard for the bundle then again I gut them into fat quarters. These are just great for playing with patchwork and paper piecing projects.

When I start with my patchwork,  first I look into my scrap box. I don't sort my scraps into colors. It helps to randomly pick out and not need to have second though about it. 

Overall,  any fabric scarps you have from your scrap box will be wonderful for any patchwork projects! I shall get back soon and share { take two} in next few days! 



  1. I am similar in my fabric use and tastes and rarely buy more than 1/2 yard at a time as I tend to use smaller pieces. Lovely photos of your stash

    1. I have found my yardage fabrics are sitting the same all the time! Lately I have really enjoy getting smaller cuts and able to let the fabric stashes flow around.

  2. Thanks, Paula! Hope any of these information help out a bit!

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  5. Oh my gosh! I just love that you have all this fabric and love how you organized it! I have alot of fabric and find that I had a hard time cutting into it until I took a class with Kathy Doughty (Material Obsession Australia) called Soul Searching. Went through all my stash and it was so fun! A little fabric goes a long way!

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