I had a very interesting question from Suzanne in Florida wanting to know how I organized my stash – the above picture illustrates!! Sort of scattered..with some similar elements grouped together! I do like to keep the bigger bits separate, especially background colours, like the blue sea , or the sky…and then I have boxes with interesting little rock like scraps!
Thinking about it more, I realized that I organize the fabric in four dimensions – which might account for the apparent confusion! I organize
1.by type of fabric (silk, mercerized cotton, cotton sateen and muslin),
2.by size of the piece,
3.by texture (whether or not its patterned, or solid-ish ( I don’t like solid solids and threw them all out)
I am always first concerned with fiber content – do I want it to be translucent? or do I want to hand stitch on it (impossible with the 130 count mercerized cloth)? Size is really the next consideration…and then texture. Patterned pieces (in my case screen printed, painted or tie-dyed) really stand out very strongly and so have to be used either a LOT (as in the piece below), (Semmerwater 54”w, 37”h)
or very sparingly..as in this piece:
Oh What Lovely Smoke (36”w, 43”h)
where the sponge painted texture is only a minor part of the image.
Colour is my very last consideration – as any shape in any quilt could be any colour! Yes to pink trees! and purple clouds, and orange chimneys and “pretty” yellow smoke!
So where does value come into this? it’s very important, but is a later stage for me. (Unlike the old Log Cabin quilters who always divided their fabric scraps into lights and darks…for that was their palette.)
Having got my main inspiration, decided on a sketch and shaded in the values, I then choose a colour scheme. I generally pull out everything that is the right fabric, the right size and the right amount of texture in the colours I want. Then I organize the chosen fabrics according to value before I start to cut and sew.
Now I realize why my chef organizes the herbs by frequency of use rather than alphabetically….hmmm!! I must take back several sarky comments!
so…..how are you organized? Is there a one-dimensional approach to this?
if you have been, thanks for reading! Elizabeth