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Thread: Crazy Question -- What to buy to build a good fabric collection....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Crazy Question -- What to buy to build a good fabric collection....

    I finally have my own quilting/sewing room. YEAH!!!!!!

    After putting my fabric collection together....I really don't have much. I joined the I SPY swap and was looking at my fabric to pick out the best ones for I SPY fabric and realized I have a pretty sad collection. Mostly fat quarter prints, but nothing very inspiring. Also, few yards of fabric rolled onto comic book boards. My entire fabric collection consists of two bookcase shelves about 24" wide. The top shelf has the FQs and some 1/2 yrds of fabric on boards. The second shelf has some kits, and a couple books and material purchased for a specific pattern in the book. I had a painful experience sewing up jelly rolls, but after sewing a few blocks I realized that a 1/4" seam on jelly rolls isn't correct...more like a 1/8" is correct. WTH!! Had to rip and re-sew....ugh! Now I'm a little gun-shy of jelly rolls.

    Anyway, just trying to get some ideas for the best way to accumulate a slightly larger stash for on-the-spot inspiration. Also, happy to take whatever anyone doesn't want anymore.

    Thanks..
    Julie

  2. #2
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I started by buying what I needed for a particular project..then I added an extra yard or 2 if I really liked one of the fabrics..Then of course 2-3 yards of any fabrics that I just have to have to have, just because. When it comes to solids, I usually end up buying them by the project, as I decide what design I want

  3. #3
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I just buy what I like and add it to the collection.

  4. #4
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I prefer to cut my own jelly rolls. You might want to consider working on your kits or the fabrics you have for the patterns in the books. Your stash will grow as you go. You may discover that a fabric you bought for a pattern doesn't work as well as you thought and it will become a part of your stash. Once people you know realize you make quilts you will be surprised how often you will get fabric and scraps from others. Build a stash gradually. You may want to start deciding how to sort the scraps you have and will receive. Find some ideas for scrappy quilts. There are several on this board. Hit sales at the stores and check at thrift stores. But only buy fabrics you really love no matter what. Just because it is on sale doesn't mean you have to buy. Fabrics you can use for backgrounds are a good choice to start. You will soon discover the types of fabrics you like, they may be brights, pastels, 30's, Civil War, muted, florals, animal, etc. I have found I really enjoy kaliedoscope type quilts so a lot of my fabrics could be used for that and then I have blenders for backgrounds.

  5. #5
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    My advice is "Don't worry about building a stash." You are better off buying extra for each project you do. I have a stash and I rarely have enough fabric in the stash for the pattern I want to do. If I bought 3 pieces of a collection - the pattern invariably needs 4-6. If you are lucky enough to find a great deal then buy but at today's prices I really think you are better off just getting a bit more than you need per project.
    Cherylsea

  6. #6
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    I like to buy sale fabric for my stash. I shop a lot at my LQS where they always have a lot of designer fabric on sale for half price. Sometimes I see a fabric that I just love and buy several yards and a few coordinating colors as well. I also buy a lot of precuts like layer cakes, charm squares, and jelly rolls. I always buy some yardage to make borders for those. I buy seasonal fabrics like Christmas and Halloween to make gift quilts, table runners, or pillow cases.

  7. #7
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I shop Craigslist! Several times I've seen ads from quilters who were de-stashing at super low rates. My closet runneth over!

  8. #8
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    I'm going to add to those who say don't TRY to build a stash. Instead, just buy for the projects you are doing. Over time, you'll probably buy for something you're going to start "right away" and then not get to it- that becomes stash...

    My stash seems to grow without me trying. And the stuff I bought in early years to have on hand is still on hand, and not really my style.

    The only thing I really like to 'stock' is white.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Buy lots of sale yardage for backings.
    Background fabric is a good thing to have on hand also.
    Your favorite color.
    Batiks are great because they all go togather.
    Holiday fabric after the Holiday sales.

  10. #10
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    This is a good way to do things.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherylsea View Post
    My advice is "Don't worry about building a stash." You are better off buying extra for each project you do. I have a stash and I rarely have enough fabric in the stash for the pattern I want to do. If I bought 3 pieces of a collection - the pattern invariably needs 4-6. If you are lucky enough to find a great deal then buy but at today's prices I really think you are better off just getting a bit more than you need per project.
    This is my philosophy as well. I just buy extra for any given project. I'm not a 'scrappy' person. I like very organized quilts. With over-buying, I have enough for a smallish project (usually) on the spot or to try different techniques. My tastes change over time and I would hate to have a bunch of fabs that I've spent lots of $$ and now don't like any more. Plus I just don't have room to store a bunch of fabric.

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Wow. My stash just plain 'ol multiplied in the dark. Of course friends helped it grow when I first started.

    I'd buy blenders, fabrics that read solid, and lots of batiks. I would make an effort to supplement my stash in terms of darks, mediums, and lights. From what I have learned too many of us get too many mediums or fabrics that can be read as medium and therefore need to buy more fabric when using from our stash.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  13. #13
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I too would advise buying blenders and backgrounds. These were the fabrics that I didn't realize were necessary to any quilter's collection. I'd look for the "mottley" or tiny prints that read as solids and some basic solids like black, gray, red, blue. Make sure you have some lights as I first bought all dark intense colours. Buy your focus prints as you need them and don't stockpile too many as your fabric tastes may change before you get through your original choices. Look for sales and stock up on the blenders because they don't go out of style.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  14. #14
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    I buy fabric for quilts but always buy 3 meters.
    and when fabricland as a sale buy one get two free I go spend my allowance.
    now I am at the point that I use what I have and only need something to finish a project.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryb119 View Post
    I just buy what I like and add it to the collection.
    This is how I do it!
    Aronel aka Lee

  16. #16
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    Remember that you can also get some great deals right here on the QB. Watch the sales threads on here. That's where I have bought a lot of mine. Then I can buy a piece or 2 to add to it for a quilt. It has saved me a ton of $.
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

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