In case you hadn’t already guessed I LOVE Fabric! I have been buying fabric since I can remember. When I’m travelling I always find myself searching out the one fabric shop in town and buying a random piece of fabric with no idea what I’ll use it for but knowing I can’t leave without it!
So inevitably my stash is pretty extensive. I did have a big clear out a few months back and sold some and gifted lots away but I still have a big box of mixed cottons and dress-weight fabrics plus a box of jersey and a box of other mixed fabric pieces!
So in order to make sense of it all I decided to make this board…
This is a visual library of all the printed and plain fabrics I have in one of my boxes.
It’s a revelation- in so many ways- not only of my terrible fabric addiction!
It’s made me realise what I have- every time I go to buy more fabric I can simply look at a photo of this on my phone and check I actually need it… I do of course use the word ‘need’ in a very loose way still! It’s also great for matching fabrics. I can pull this pic out to match trims and other fabrics for projects.
I still have fabrics I bought when I was at uni in London. I bought some turquoise with white spot poly crepe fabric from Goldhalke Road.
I have been holding out for the perfect project to actually USE this fabric for. Then I spotted this fab Mathilde by Tilly and the Buttons top sampled up in this exact fabric at the NEC Stitches show! Now I have my answer!
It has also made me look at the fabrics I have in a different way. I have been wanting to make some patchwork oven gloves for a while but thought didn’t have the right coordinating fabrics for that project – when I put my fabric board together I realised I actually have the PERFECT matching retro kitchen print fabrics plus some coordinating plain fabrics too! I can see from this that I just need a fat quarter of ochre, green or maybe blue fabric and I’ll have a nice mix of prints and plains for my project.
Actually, I might already have something in my fat quarter stash….
I also have an ever increasing stash of fat quarters including some gorgeous prints by my favourite brand Dashwood studios. I used to think that a fat quarter was not enough fabric to make anything but since discovering patchwork and also exploring smaller accessories projects for my workshops for Crafty Sew&So I seem to constantly find new uses for them!
For anyone who hasn’t discovered them yet, fat quarters are the pick and mix sweeties of the fabric world! They are quarter meters of fabric measuring 50cm by approx 55 to 75cm depending on the original width of the fabric -they are a half meter of fabric cut it into a half again to make a very usable squarish piece of fabric rather than a long quarter which is a long thin strip of fabric measuring 25 cm by the width of the fabric.
I’m also discovering projects for all my lovely little scraps too! I’ve been working on a paper pieced hexi project for about a year now! I anticipate it will be at least that again before I have anything usable to make a larger item out of but I have made a couple of little pin cushions and I am really enjoying having this on the go to pick up and put down when feel like a quick stitch.
A customer and friend of mine, Rory, has a novel way of carrying his stash with him. He carries this little string of swatches to reference whenever he requires.
It made a fun game at Sew Sociable * last night trying to guess the composition and think up uses for each fabric.
Another customer Irene, puts her fabrics in large zip lock plastic bags with a post-it to note the amount she’s bought- so clever and useful!
I’d love to hear how you organise your stash, please share your tips in the comments
*Sew Sociable is a monthly sewing meet up in Leicester- look it up and come along!