Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The stash and parts thereof

On more than one occassion, generally related to moving I have looked at all the fabric I have and asked myself, WHY? I know, I know fabric is our palette and when we don't have it on hand then we can not create. True, but each time I have moved I seem to weed out fabric that is no longer relevent to my current state of creativity and place it futher and futher out of sight. I've yard sold it and given it away as well. Before this move I had weeded out a large trash bag full of fabric and had no one to give it too. I really did not want to make room for it on the truck, so I left it at the Goodwill. Now I see that there are many many more yards that should have met the same fate.

How can I tell where my creative mind is? I can tell by the fabrics I fondle, fold and put away first. In this case it was my latest batch of dyed fabrics in a range of colors and values that filled 6 drawer in my wire basket system.

Then came all of my commercial yellows that read like solids, lights, medium and dark filled two drawer, but not annally heaven forbid in graduated steps.

Next were the black and white patterned commercial, because I love the high contrast of black and white. The use of them is NOT my signature because I don't use them in every piece I make.
Then I sorted the geometrics. Putting strips together with other fabrics with straight lines in the design.
Then I put all the dots fabric with circles and curved lines together.
All my greens from yellow green to blue green, greens that lean to brown etc together because they remind me of follage at different times of the year.
Not that I have much blue or want it in some cases it is good to have on hand for sky and water. All the commercial solids are stored in two bins, one larger and the other a little smaller. It is rare that I use solid fabrics. For two weeks of a classes with Nancy Crow I brought at least one yard of every color Kona made at the time and in the case of black and white 10 yards of each. Although you have on hand about 200 yards of fabric, you do not use it all up in the two weeks. IT'S YOUR PALETTE

Everyone's sorting,ordering and storage of their fabric should be done according to how you work and not by some book or another's way. I think in value yet I don't like the regementation of value steps. I love having an eclectic collection of fabric sorted in baskets as warms verses cools rather than all ten steps from light to dark.

I find that since most of my work is based on nature I would also rather have it sorted in that manner rather than by color according to value. So I have a selection pf fabrics that suggest leaves even if the color is not green.

All the browns and rust WILL be together along with anything that reminds me of soil, follage on the ground or rocks.

Oranges and reds each have their own drawers but tend to overlap when the color is red orange and I have to decide which color is dominating. And in most cases that is relative to where you place it in you composition and what is around it to influence it in one direction moreso than another. I let the work decide.

While my work is not ethnic, I do have fabrics that suggest one culture or another and they are stored together. I find them very hard to use in my work so they will not be stored in a prime location.
So if these fabrics are being relegated to outer Mongolia, why am I keeping them. I don't know. "Maybe, because I just like them hummmm"

It's the same with some large cuts of calico's I've had for YEARS. I liked them then for the work I was doing then, I like them now because of the pattern and color. I keep them because maybe someday they can be used as a backing.
Two closets

and the garage space in ORDER.
Today I am recovering my ironing surface and THEN I WILL BEGIN TO CREATE. GOD IT BEEN A LOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG TIME>


Anonymous said...


Brenda said...

No quilter should be without plastic tubs and wire baskets. My own stash is ordered between commercial prints; novelty brights (for my baby quilts); flannels (for snuggly backs to my baby quilts); hand dyes in colour families; batiks in colour families. Oh and I do have a small collection of flat solids from my workshop with Nancy over the summer - the rest of them are coming on a slow boat from America...