Friday, June 14, 2013

Blogger Stash: Rachel from Stitched In Color

Today is the very first post of a series I've created called "Blogger Stash". I'm constantly trying to expand my stash, but I get so overwhelmed looking at the beautiful fabrics out there! My conversation with myself sounds something like this when I think about stashing, "So many pretty fabrics! Which do I buy!?" "Well, what do my favorite bloggers buy?" "Maybe I should ask them..." and that's when it hit me... "That would be a totally awesome series on the blog!" "Hmmm... who should I ask?"

I instantly thought of Rachel from Stitched In Color. I've always loved her color palettes and her quilting creations. She was kind enough to agree to answer my super long list of interview questions. Read below to see her thoughts on sewing and stashing!


-When did you first start sewing and quilting? Were there any influences as to why you started?

I started sewing in 2009, when I dusted off the boxes that had long stored my childhood collection of My Little Ponies, sold them and used the money to buy my first sewing machine and my first fabrics.  I still remember that grand purchase.  It was a huge lot of glorious fabric from Sew Love Fabrics, including an almost-complete set of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks collection.  In fact, I think Anna deserves a lot of credit for enticing me to take the leap!  I was also drawn in by bloggers and sewing books that painted such colorful possibilities.  About six months into "drip, drip" sewing I made my first quilt.  Since then it's been a rush, a river of making.

-How would you describe your style of quilting?

From the beginning with my very first quilt, color has been my muse.  I was drawn into this world by beautiful designer fabrics, which I felt defined "modern quilting" as a style.  Since then I've learned that modern quilting is often described in much more specific design terms.  I actually enjoy a huge range of styles from traditional, detailed, precise kinds of works to free form improv in exuberant all-solids and also really simple quilts.  I love them all!  What I'm after, what I crave, is the chance to explore every possibility of color and scale and pattern.  Impossible, I know.  But, the best dreams usually are.

-How do you decide on which fabric you buy for your stash? Do you go on merely seeing it on a fabric website/in store, or are you influenced by seeing other's creations with certain fabrics, etc.?

I am absolutely influenced by seeing other's creations online!  Sometimes I'll search out a particular fabric after seeing it used beautifully or realize after seeing someone's work that I want to add more stripes to my stash.  It makes sense - creativity inspires!  That's actually a big part of what felt right about accepting fabric store sponsors on my blog.  Fabric advertising can be done in a natural, organic way that inspires the community rather than taking from it, precisely because of the fact that it happens naturally anyways.

I actually never shop in person for fabric.  I started by shopping online, and it works well for me.  Plus, I prefer to shop with my sponsors!  I especially like shopping on Etsy sites and using the "favorites" tool to make a collage of fabrics.  It's fun to put together a color story that way.

-What do you look for in fabric that you get for your stash?

Well, that depends, doesn't it!  Sometimes I fall in love with a whole collection.  Love is about jumping in, seizing the moment, and letting that passion be the inspiration for my next project.  Not so much thinking involved there, shopping-wise!  But more often I shop to fill a "hole" in my stash.  Like recently I wanted to make a jade and peach quilt and discovered that somehow I didn't have either color in my stash. What's with that?  Shopping time!  Other times I've gone shopping for orange or yellow fabrics or searched out low-volume fabrics.  I guess I'm usually looking for a color.

Getting more specific, I mainly buy fabrics that are about one color or at most two.  When I say "color" in this context, I'm not counting neutrals like black, white, brown, gray, etc.  So, I'll buy a gray and yellow fabric, a navy and white one, a green and darker green, etc.  These helpful fabrics are great investments, because they're so versatile.  Often, the simple designs are better, especially dots and stripes.  In fact, I wrote a whole post about helpful fabrics earlier this year!

-Do you have any favorite fabrics that you stash in bulk or find yourself buying repeatedly?

Most collections come and go so fast that I can't keep favorite fabrics in my stash, even if I wanted to.  But, if I were shopping for basics and getting started today, this is what I'd add to my cart:

Heath in Black
Architextures in Gray
Essex Linen in Flax
Old Script text print
black text print
Comma periods, especially chalk
Dots in lots of colors, especially stone
Lizzy's jewels

Yep, that would be a fantastic start!

-What fabric do you think every stash should have?

Kona cotton solids and a Kona color card!  These are my go-to solids, and they have the most colors.  Love them!
-How do you organize your stash?

All of my quilting cottons are organized by color and on display behind glass doors in my fabric cabinet. The bottom section of the cabinet, which has wooden doors, hides bulkier stash like flannels, home decorator's weight and random somethings.  Anything significantly less than a fat quarter goes to my scrap drawer system, also organized by color.  Within the drawers I have separate bins for large scraps, small scraps, string scraps and crumb scraps.  Triangle scraps of all colors go to separate place of purgatory, where they devise plans to take over my scrappy world.  I actually love working from scrap, which is why I have invested so much space and energy in keeping them organized and at hand!  You can take a tour of my room right here.

I hope this has been helpful folks.  Thanks for giving me a chance to ramble about fabric.  Always appreciated.  Thanks for having me, Alie!


Thank you Rachel for answering my questions, and for helping those of us having "stash anxiety". It really means a lot that you took time to help me on a post and helped out my readers!

Go by and take a look at Rachel's blog, Stitched In Color, if you haven't already done so. Oh, and go add to your stash ;)


  1. Very nice interview. I usually just buy what I like, but sometimes it is limiting since I don't buy stash builders/helpful fabrics, just pretties that I want!

  2. Wow , she is awesome, isn't she?! And so organized! Thanks for interviewing her for us!!


  3. Great interview. Learned a lot!

  4. That was great reading! It is always helpful and inspiring to read Racheal's thoughts! Can't wait to see who you get next!

  5. Great topic Alie! That sewing room photo at the end just made my heart stop...

  6. What a great concept for a series! I'm definitely looking forward to more. Thanks Rachel for doing the interview :)