Hello! Today I’m starting a multi-part series on building, organizing, and using your fabric stash. I’ve been writing a lot this year about using your stash and making quilts from scraps; however, I know many new quilters are unsure about the best ways to collect a stash of fabrics to use for scrap projects. Most quilters want to have fabric on hand for when they just have to make something now…without running to the store or waiting for an order to come in the mail.
Today’s post will focus on tips for building up your supply of background fabrics.
While solids are most commonly used for backgrounds, don’t overlook low-volume, tone-on-tone, and text prints for background choices. You will also want to consider colored fabrics for backgrounds in your quilts.
Pick solid fabrics that you love and stick with them.
I have just a couple of solid colored backgrounds that I use. When I want a creamy white fabric I use Moda Bella 9900-97. When I want a more creamy, ivory tone I use Moda Bella 9900-60. By using just these two solids for white and off-white backgrounds I’m easily able to use fabrics from one project with another. I keep all of my scraps for each of these two colors in separate plastic drawers, and I’m often able to make a small project or mini quilt just from scraps!
There are also some great darker background fabrics available that I use when I want something a little different. Moda Mochi Linen in Natural is a favorite as is the Moda Cross-Weave in Black.
Collect text prints and simple textured prints.
I also love collecting text print fabrics and simple textured prints. These fabrics work great as backgrounds but also add that extra bit of interest. I recently pulled the fabrics below and cut a 2 ½″ strip, a 2″ strip, and a 5″ strip from each of them. I store the different strip sizes in bins so I have great backgrounds ready when they are needed for scrappy projects.
Don’t be afraid to use a little color in your background fabrics.
The multi-colored floral print from Desert Bloom pictured below has quite a bit of color in it, but it works well as a background and as a sashing fabric when paired with stronger colors.
Have fun with your background choices.
The blocks below have some fun background choices. These blocks will all (eventually) end up in the same quilt, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to have quite a mix of backgrounds. Another option is to use one background for most of your blocks and add in a couple of blocks with a contrast background for interest. The choices are unlimited!
I’m often asked how much fabric to buy when shopping for my stash. With background fabric choices the amounts are a little larger than for prints. I buy my Moda Bella solids by the bolt so I don’t run out. I generally buy just fat quarters of text prints and low-volume geometric prints, but if I find a print I really love I’ll get a yard (you can see in my low-volume photo above that there are a couple of pieces in there that are quite a bit larger than the others).
I will be back next Tuesday with another installment in the building a fabric stash series.
Feel free to leave any tips or suggestions to share in the comment section…thanks so much for stopping by!