fabric collection of an art quilter
Creative Chrysalis

118 – Fabric Palette

May 16, 2021 By

Even though I buy fabric in the smallest possible amount, usually ¼ of a yard, I still manage to support the local fabric shops. Favorite colors jump into the shopping basket and I have to convince myself to choose some patterns and color ways unusual to my tastes. Novelty prints are fun purchases, often appearing on the shelf for a limited time and never to be seen again, so a special flamingo or farm tractor can be hard to pass up – you never know when the unusual item will become the exact thing needed.

A specific search is the lure into a fabric store, otherwise I need to keep away from temptation. Once in the store I give myself license to buy a few extras. Even though I have a good memory for the colors in my stash it is very easy to get side-tracked when looking at gorgeous bolts of rainbow hues. So I bring something to remind me of what I am looking for. It might be a button, a paper, or dog toy – anything that has the color I need.

I don’t know how or when these fabrics will get used, so I prepare them all in the same way by washing with like colors in order to rid them of any excess dye or possible manufacturing chemicals. Then they are ironed, folded and sorted by color. My husband installed Elfa Shelving from The Container Store for my collection. Sliding baskets in variety of depths and widths fill more than two closets, with organized space for all my art supplies!

photo of washed and ironed fabric
Washed and ironed material ready for fabric collage

Cutting out areas of interest leaves swiss-cheese holes in my fabrics. I didn’t realize how often I’ve done this until I pulled fabrics for a Covid mask-making session and found many unusable pieces! Every time I pull a fabric, I re-fold it differently to change where the creases are. Several bins are devoted to scraps. Anything with fusible web ironed on to it goes into a separate bin. An over the door shoe holder holds small, similar bits that might be used in an on-going project. “An Ordinary Day” required building materials, so I had scrap pockets for things that looked like bricks, roofing, and masonry.

photo of over the door shoe storage used for storing fabric
Small bits of similar fabrics are organized in over the door shoe storage