Finding Fabric

I enjoy quilting, and I love fabric. But since I love lots of things, I sometimes have to satisfy my love of quilting vicariously by looking at the work of other quilters, watching my quilting videos, going through quilting books, or—best of all, playing with fabric.

Mr Logan with the quilt I made him

That’s why when I made the move to Taiwan over three years ago, my fabric collection did not make the trip. To be fair, I only planned to be here for a year or two, so it didn’t make sense to bring a lot of stuff with me. But when I made the decision to come back to Taiwan for a third year of teaching, I also decided that it was time to get back into my quilting. Without a hobby, I was spending way too much time working.

In late fall of my second year in Taiwan, with my decision made to return for a third year, I started building a modest stash of fabric. When I got my first box of fabric from, I would go through the fabric and think about the possibilities.  The delivery box served as a home for my fabric treasure chest.

STORING: (November 2010)  Since my grandson, Logan, was on the way, my second order of fabric contained several John Deere prints, so I could make a quilt for his farm-themed nursery. The fabric stash, though still relatively small, could not fit entirely in either of the boxes. So my stash moved into a clear zippered, which made for a cheerful stack of color to look at, but not all that efficient for working with. But that was ok, because the apartment I was in at that time didn’t really have room to set up actually quilting space. But with my husband joining me in year three, a new apartment was in the plan.

February 2011: The new apartment was spacious in comparison, with lots of light and a western kitchen. I was sold from the moment I saw it. About the same time, I found a Singer sewing machine at Costco.

June 2011: I inherited many wonderful kitchen and household items from my friend, Diane. Among the treasures were three containers like the one you see here. This one would be the future home for my fabric stash which would grow when I returned in September with fabric from the US. It was handy and kept things contained, but when I wanted to find fabric for a project, it was not very convenient. It took me a lot of trial and error in the big plastic crate to find the fabrics to go along with the John Deere prints. But the quilttop for Logan was completed in February 2012. You can see above how excited he was to get it last summer, when Grandma was home visiting in the US.

COMPARTMENTALIZING:  (September 2012) After my summer in the US, I brought back the rest of my fabric. I used a bookcase to begin sorting the fabric by color families. And then we found the storage unit I really wanted for my fabric. And while the fabric isn’t really organized yet, it is getting there. And it’s become easier to find the fabric I want and to imagine projects I want to do. Those vibrant colors do a lot to get me thinking about future projects. 

ORGANIZING: (November 2012)  Once the quilting bug bites, I go for it. But then it might be a while before the bug really bites me again. But when it does, I’m ready. I can find what I need and see what I have. I suspect it won’t be long now before I finally get started on a quilt for my daughter.

One last thing, some of my fabric did come from the fabric district in Taipei. It’s a great place, like a mini mall of fabric. I’ve been there twice, and I’ll be going again. Yongle (the name of the district) means “forever happy” in Chinese. And now that my fabric is nearly organized, I can imagine being “forever happy” with my reestablished hobby.