Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Take a Break, Pet the Fabric!

And so the fabric folding still goes on behind the scenes at Quiltville.

I can’t spend a whole day doing nothing but folding fabric, but when I need a break from pattern writing – when my eyes are just not up to looking at a big back-lit screen and I need to step away- it’s amazing what can be done in a few 15 minute breaks here and there!

Here you see Oranges and Yellows….I  “ALMOST” have enough of each to start a second container for each..but not quite. 

So I made good use of the space on the sides to just tuck a couple in there.

The object is NOT to start another container in ANY color until quite a bit of this is sewn into quilts!


Not lit very well..but this is how things stand!

I’ll have to get a better photo with more light…and yes, the top of my cutting table is covered in yardage…this is stuff that also needs to be re-categorized as I go along.

Small bites at a time.

A half hour here.

A half hour there.

Sometimes while working out how to word a quilt pattern in my head, to best present it so that everyone can understand what I’m trying to say – I’ll just get up from the computer and go fold some fabric…


This bin on my table!

Pinks & Purples!


Pinks are harder than you would think!

I’ve found some that are more peachy.  Some that are more coral or more toward red, or even some that are rusty looking. 

I’ve pulled quite a few fat quarters as I’m sorting –anything that would add interest to the strips already in the Scrap User’s System are pulled for cutting down later.  I want this fabric to be used in quilts.  Not just sit in a box for some day.

“DO cut some strips off of favorite ones so you can incorporate them in quilts NOW!”  I tell myself.  Why keep hanging on to a Fat Quarter until it ages out and becomes something I don’t love anymore, only to be used by FORCE down the road?


Are they pink or are they not?

These are the strange pink-cousins that will probably get their own “not really pink or is it?” bin.


And these?  Mostly neutral looking I think.

Some to be cut down and added to the light/neutral strip stash.

They just are NOT moving where I have them stored right now.

It’s GOOD to re-assess the stash!  It’s good to go through it and re-familiarize yourself with what you already own.  It’s good to decide to stop SAVING these un-cut fat quarters for who knows when – but to make the decision now to cut them up and use them while you still do love them!


This has also been going on here!

I’ve got all of my step outs DONE for the workshops I’m taping!  Now I just need to gather things I need for each episode – things like – a good sampling of strips & square sizes for my little schpiel on how the Scrap User’s System works.  Things I need to demo Leaders & Enders.  Rulers to demo how I work with strips for various shapes and units. Some shirts to debone!  Marking tools I like to use, anything that might come up in the course of these 6 workshops.

Filming 6 workshops in TWO DAYS!  Three episodes a day!


And I’m rambling.


Flowers from my morning walk make me smile!

You know where to find me…here in the basement, typing more book text!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. Just read your Take a Break..... and saw several fabrics that are in my stash. Sunday one of my friends came over. Her and her husband are missionaries to Honduras. One of the ladies there is a quilter and their access to fabrics is not 100% cotton as you might imagine. Joan and I went thru my stash and a whole bag of fabrics are on there way to Honduras to give this lady joy in her quilting. She makes bed quilts for an orphanage there in Honduras. Only a bag because of weight restrictions, but will be sending more. Shipping is not an option because the Honduran govt. charges taxes on what comes into the residents and it is a very poor community.
    I felt blessed to share - I can buy more fabric!!! My husband was not amused by that. LOL

  2. It's so much fun to see fabrics in your stash that are in my stash. And then there is the Oh I want some of that!!!
    You are making such fabulous progress on your petting, folding and organizing and your writing. Can't wait to see the next picture of the shelves. You are such an inspiration!

  3. Anonymous10:10 AM EDT

    Sorting fabric is a good break. Reading your post also reminds me to look again at what I have and use it. I have been tempted by some fabric but realize I have a done to use, probably enough to last me at least 5 years and I just started quilting last year!

    Kathryn from Canada

  4. You have shown the shelving you are using for fat quarters, but where do you stash your yardage? You assume you must have a significant amount sine you have some several years old. Just curious.

  5. Yep, several fabrics I saw in your stash also live in my stash--what fun to see them on my screen! I have also been folding and organizing my stash. Whew. I have one heap in front of the table still mocking me, but it is getting whittled down a bit at a time this week. What a good feeling, and how nice to be able to see all of my fabric. Thanks for sharing your process, and yes, pinks are difficult to categorize.

  6. good prep will make for excellent result....so well worth the effort....you'll do great!looking forward to the result..

  7. "Strange pink-cousins". Yes! I have a strange cousins bin for just about every color. They're tricky to use. Sometimes I get just the right inspiration and they end up totally making a quilt. Sometimes I punt and use them for small zipper pouches where I don't have to figure out what they go with.

  8. Funny you should post this today. I started a fabric reorg last night. Now I'm inspired to keep going. Bonnie, how do you USE your yardage? I have many pieces 3+ yards and many more 1+ yards. I don't want to see it forever. What was I thinking?

  9. Where and when will the videos you are taping be available?

  10. Great post. Good luck with the writing and refolding.

  11. I love sorting out to my stash and put all the colors together in boxes

  12. Are you heading to Golden already!? I need to mail my Quilt. Did I miss getting the address?
    Love your Pinks. I think Blues are the hard ones to sort out or match.

  13. My dream would be to have a stash like yours ... almost like your very own mini quilt shop! Fat quarters have inched up so much, I rarely buy them. Have to restart... seeing the benefit of fats :)

    Have a super day. No idea how on earth you can write up a pattern ... that alone is a major talent.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  14. Anonymous1:08 PM EDT

    I have been sorting my cut up shirts, and cutting them down with my new Accuquilt cutter..My tuxedo cat Button, who has been diagnosed with cancer, came to help, and laid down in the middle of it..it made him happy, so I left him there..I'll have time to finish later Chris Gray Augusta GA

  15. Loved your post today... just the kick in the pants I need... I don't have a huge stash yet but I have several of those plastic containers you use for fat quarters.. I use as my scrap user system.. LOVE going there when a charm pack is too matchy matchy for me and I need to throw in extra variety .. or when I just need a 2 1/2" square/strip, whatever is useful for later I save also in strings and bits bin... I love using this. My quilting mentor helped me set it up but you started the idea for me rolling! I appreciate that ;) Hope your taping turns out wonderfully. Can hardly wait a few months to see what you produce for us in 2 days!!! Kathi

  16. Hi Bonnie,
    First time poster.
    Folding fabric, folding laundry. Zen habits. Calming.
    Live in a Very Small house. Only have fabric for one project at a time. I collect some fabric, when it seems like enough, I start making some blocks. Hence, blocks may have a theme, but nearly every block is different. When I run out of fabric, the quilt is done! LOL! Well, that's one way of doing it.
    :) maureen & josephine (the cat)

  17. Bonnie, your first box of pink made me smile. At first I thought, what's my pink box doing on Bonnie's blog? I think I have at least 50% of those fabrics and some are from the late 90's. Yikes. :-) Love the posts about organizing your fabric. I am only half way there but I do love folding fabric.

  18. You are getting ready to make Videos. Will these videos be available on at your STORE for future information or is some of it in your books and if so which one's so I can purchase them. Thanks Robin in Leavenworth

  19. Anonymous4:08 PM EDT

    I love looking at your stash. You should post stash pics more often. A little stash envy by your readers is not a bad thing. :)

    I probably have 5,000 cuts of fabric of one size or the other in my sewing room (not an exaggeration -- I used to keep rough track), but I'm constantly amazed at what other people have. Tons of pieces I don't have & have never seen! I wonder how many different fabrics are available in the quilt world at any given time? Has anyone ever done an estimate? How many new lines come out per month/year? And why don't I have them all, LOL!

    Thanks, too, for reminding me why every piece of fabric that comes into my room gets folded to a uniform size (and labeled with date/place of purchase) before it gets put away. Once and done. Sometimes I stand at the cutting counter at the LQS & fold while they cut, so it comes home all ready to be tagged & shelved. I can't imagine ever having to refold my entire stash in one big job like you've shown! Although I'm sure I'd find long lost friends & "What was I thinking?!" fabrics out the wazoo if I did.... ;)

  20. Thank you for everything Bonnie!

  21. You will be in my thoughts as you tape the 6 workshop episodes! We are all going to LOVE having Bonnie in our living room explaining her fave scrappy quilt ideas (via TV). Remember to hydrate; I find I can think and speak more fluidly when I've had plenty of water to drink. BTW, I finished quilting Marie's "Wild and Goosey" and returned it to her for binding and labeling. I'm sure she'll make the Aug. 1 deadline. I am so excited for her; the quilt is exquisite! Thanks for all the inspiration to use our stashes to make beautiful quilts! Aby Dolinger

  22. You inspired me to do the same thing with my fat quarters, of course I don't have as many as you. I also sorted my strips by color. It's interesting to see what colors you have the most of. I just now finished the last of it and sat down to look at your posts. I think my husband was confused by what I have been doing the last week and a half, but he never questioned me. It's a good feeling to have it all organized. Thank you for the inspiration!

  23. Anonymous10:34 PM EDT

    Is there a particular way you fold your fabrics, or do just fold and put away?

    BTW, I feel like a stalker. I have never followed a blog as closely as I follow yours. You are an inspiration!

  24. If you "zoomed" in on Bonnie's fabrics to get a closer look, raise your hand! I think i see a LOT of raised hands! Lol. I know I did....You always inspire us, Bonnie! Thank you!

  25. What do you trim your scraps to? And what about squares? I have lots of FQ's that need to be used too, lol. My name is Bobbi, and I am a fabric hoarder...
    Thanks. :)

  26. Great post, love reading them. My daughters say I love to organize more than the sewing!

  27. boy I know what you mean about certain colors. Are they really pink or purple (neither)? I would keep moving it anytime I go through the bin. So finally, if I have enough betweens then I put it in its own pile either in same drawer or another drawer of betweens. Same goes for florals, some just don't have any particular dominant color, so I now have floral drawer which I use alot for our comfort quilting group. And you'd be proud of me, my blues are overflowing, so, I have been cutting them up for Smith Mountain quilt, already got my pinwheels done! Thanks for inspiration as usual!!!! rea from Upstate NY

  28. I love Pink! I think it's a happy color and makes me smile.
    Does anybody know anything about the fabric in the 5th picture down, middle fabric, bottom of the pic, that is almost a red. It has white dots and cherries. I got some of it in a scrap bag and it didn't have the selvage. I'd like to find more.
    thanks, KarenSue in Ohio

  29. When is the next quilt cam? Heard it might be last night or tonight, but don't see anything in the recent blog posts.

    Wendy at MzDetail@gmail.com


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