Monday, January 14, 2013


In December when I participated in the SMS Giveaway Day(s), I asked people to tell me their most and least favorite colors to stash.  I found the results very interesting.  I stated that I have a ton of yellows, reds, and blues (especially aqua) and that my stash is smallest in orange and purple (most of my purple was given to me or bought for Emma!).  Funny enough I love orange, but don't seem to buy much of it.  And I'm on-again-off-again with green, black and brown.

The results somewhat surprised me and made me think about buying fabric in a new way.  Actually I thought it would be fun to do more research on this topic and then compile some sort of report for fabric houses to know what we're looking for.  Of course I'm sure they already employ someone who does that but if not...Moda, Art Gallery, Robert Kaufman, Michael Miller...I'm available!

I had 486 comments, many which were duplicate entries (the I follow you! sort), so nearly 250 were actual comments about color.  And the overall winner of favorite color to buy/stash was blue with a total of 62 votes.  But not only that--aqua itself was named 25 times.  Seems I'm not alone in my love for that bright color.  :)

That little pile on the top left is flannels and multicolored fabrics that I couldn't figure out where to put.  :)  And see, I told you I loved me some blue and aqua!

Second place went to green (with lime mentioned multiple times) with a total of 47 votes.  Then pink with 32, red with 21, gray with 17, orange and purple tied at 16, yellow had 11 and brown was the last mentioned with 5.

I was surprised by these findings.  I mean I see I'm not alone in leaning towards certain colors, but aqua as it's own subgroup had more likings than red, gray, orange, purple, etc.  And pink was more than all of those!    I love pink but never even thought about it when describing my own fabric stash.

And honestly, I was surprised that blue and green were the top picks.  I don't know why, really, but I just never really think of green.  Toni and I were talking on IG the other day about this.  She said she had more green fabrics than anything else.  I found that a lot of people said that when commenting.  Their blue or green stashes far outweighed everything else.

As far as dislikes/least stash Purple was the hands down winner (or loser...).  It seems we are quite divided on purple.  Twelve people mentioned it as their least favorite.  Orange had 7 votes with red at 6, yellow at 4 and brown, green, pink and aqua each getting mentioned twice as well.

Please excuse the Quaker Oatmeal Man in the middle of my stash.  He's actually holding on to old  EPP projects of my Great Grandmothers AND supporting the middle of that shelf so my top shelf of pre-cuts doesn't sag.  :)
This showed me that I'm not alone in my meager stash of orange and purple.  But I got to thinking--is it that we don't like these colors or that we don't buy them?  I love orange, but I keep a small amount of it.  Is it because there's less orange (and purple for that matter) on the market?  Is it because these colors are harder to picture online or even what to do with them at home?

Or is buying fabrics more emotional for many of us?  Are we drawn to greens and blues because they are calming and make us feel happier.  Do I (and many others) love aqua because it reminds us of fun times at the beach/lake/vacation in general?  Are we less likely to buy orange because it feels too bold or brash to us?  Does it make us think solely of Halloween or fall?  Are we more likely to buy this color in the fall?

And what about those middle-of-the-road colors?  Like red?  I was surprised to see it in the middle of both the likes and dislikes.  I LOVE red and am incredibly drawn to it, but only a very true, clear red.  My stash is almost completely a Crayola version of "red."

It seems like "traditional" quilters are often drawn to darker shades of color than "modern" quilters.  Or maybe darker and muter.  It seems that modern quilters like bright, clear color choices no matter the specific color.  Would you agree?  Are we just stepping away from what previous generations adored or is it something more?

So--I've accomplished nothing with this post other than hopefully making you think.  Think about what you like and what you use.  Are you drawn to certain colors more often than others?  Are you drawn to particular shades of that color?  Do you have emotional ties to certain colors?  Share with us in the comments.  Let's discuss one of quilters favorite things--choosing and buying fabrics.  Tell me why you pick what you do.

p.s.  I DIDN'T even straighten my shelves for this post as I just wrote it and took photos on a whim.  Sorry for all you OCDers out there that are wishing you could fix my piles.  This is as close to neat as my shelves usually get...  ;)


  1. I love bright clear colors, too. I'm a fan of red.. blue.. brown, but I think what most draws me to the fabric I choose is the design..once I've established that I'm in love with the design, then I'll pick my favorite colorway. I'm just a fan of color in general, but not a fan of darks. Is all of this making any sense? I don't even know myself well, and obviously need to do some more research. Better head off to the LQS. ;o)

  2. Great post Kelli. And thanks for explaining the Oatmeal-I was curious! I don't even remember what I answered on your SMS survey...probably because my favorites shift around. I likely said orange or blue/green...and I tend to agree with you that we may be drawn to calming colors. I also think seasonally with my favorite colors, being drawn to more warm and spicy in the colder months and brighter more saturated colors for spring/summer. If I look at my stash, I have hardly any reds...why is that, it's a perfectly lovely color. I have a smattering of blacks, but hardly ever reach for them. It certainly is interesting to think about the reasons behind our choices...I'm sure I'm prey to some good marketing strategies too:). And yeah, how do those lucky souls get jobs with fabric companies?!

  3. VERY interesting! My biggest stacks are green and gray, followed closely by orange. I am totally drawn to these 3 and have trouble not buying more just because I see one I like that I don't have! Red and yellow are probably my smallest stacks. Another category I don't think you mentioned was solids. Two years ago when I started blogging, I had zilch, now I have a huge bin worth!

  4. REALLY thought provoking Kelli! This is a great post!! I agree on the orange. It really has settled in as a Halloween color! I like it in it's ranges rust and to almost a peach. I have to say, I looked at my stash and it looks pretty even throughout...if you count beige as brown? Solids. I have purchased all ranges. I just keep stocking it up for no apparent reason, but it always seems to come in handy!!!! And I agree. I associate darker/duskier with traditional, but my hand was slapped when I said that French General is a bit traditional. Sure, a modern take, but still pretty traditional! For some reason, I associate modern with geometrics, stripes, dot, modern novelty, and abstract florals. But long as they keep making fabric? I am a happy girl!

  5. This is really interesting! One thing I've noticed recently is that I love to wear purple shades but don't decorate with it at all. My house is full of shades of green and my master bedroom is blue. My favorite color is yellow (I drive a yellow Beetle and it makes me happy every day!). A quick glance at my stash by color shelves tell I have a lot of blue, but I actually think it's because I don't use it very much, not because I'm buying it. I buy a lot of greens and use them.

  6. Hmm now you've made me think! I LOVE colour, and I think red is my favourite and has been for a few years now. I never used to like aqua but now I do. So my tastes go through cycles. I like purple but don't have much of it. I've found it's very difficult to find purple fabrics, that are purple, not fuchsia, or aubergine or lavender. Purple clothes are common, especially for older ladies. We joke that its called menopausal mauve! I really dislike orange, I find it harsh. And I could never wear orange. Reds have to be proper reds, not orange reds. I like blues, always have, and have always had a bedroom decorated in blues. I like greens, but not all of them. I like blue based greens, not yellow based greens. Yellow is okay. So I don't know what influences my buying at all!


I'd love to hear from you, so let me know...whaddya think!