‘Crowdstashing’: Marianne’s Fabric S.O.S.

posted in: Day In The Life, Quilting 25
That's the quilt in progress. And that's my sad mom. We're up at the lake house. It's time to crowdstash. Image: Me
That’s the quilt in progress. And that’s my sad mom. It’s time to crowdstash. Image: Me


People, we have a quilt crisis situation.

It’s time to crowdstash.

Crowdstashing is like crowdsourcing, except for fabric. I mean, this seems like it should be a word. Because if  you want to fund a lemonade stand operation, you can go on sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe and raise money from the proverbial “crowd.” Well, if you desperately need a specific fabric for a quilt — fabric that is definitely not available in quilt shops or online and yes, you checked everywhere — it’s time to call upon the quilting crowd and ask if they might dig into their respective (bottomless) stashes to see if they might have some of what you need. That’s crowdstashing, baby — and it could one day save your very life!

Here now follows an interview I did with La Marianne about an hour ago. I’m up here at the lake house in Door County and we’re back from the Friday night fish fry, but don’t let that fool you for a second. This is serious business.

PAPERGIRL: What’s the situation, Mommy.

MOM: I’m working on a major quilt. It’s likely be slated for a TV episode and for publication in Love of Quilting magazine. It’s a really big quilt: 110″ square. And it’s working, design-wise. The fabric, the patchwork. It looks good.

PG: Okay.

MOM: One of the two most important fabrics in the quilt — one I’ve had in my stash for more than five years — is a wonderful toile print, thin black on a creamy ground. I was thrilled I had so much of it when I started because the setting pieces are really huge: 26” squares, cut in half. But, honey, I made mistakes. In the cutting. One of the squares I cut too small. If you need a 27” square and you cut it 25”, it’s just —

PG: Yeah. That’s…not good.

MOM: Right. And then I wasted more of this fabric in a design error! When you’re making a prototype, you know, these things are going to happen sometimes. But now I’m really over a barrel. I mean, I don’t have enough fabric to do this quilt. And it really has to be that particular toile print in those setting pieces. It’s a real crisis.

PG: Now, I’m generally an advocate for finding a fabric that will work instead or changing the whole direction of the quilt, but a) you and I work differently, and b) you literally can’t do that in this case. This is not a place for winging it. This quilt is a serious deal.

MOM: The painful thing is that if I had not made those cutting mistakes, I would’ve had enough. But… There’s no turning back.

PG: I don’t want to undermine your pain, Mom, but people are going to love reading that you screw stuff up, too. You’re human. You measure incorrectly. You run out of a fabric you cannot get anymore, anywhere online or via the quilt mafia. What was the feeling you had when you realized what you’d done?

MOM: Sinking.

PG: Okay, so let’s take action. Let’s crowdstash. There are millions and millions of quilters out there. Most with incredible fabric stashes filled with fabric new and old. I’ll bet someone has this fabric, Mom, and if we make the deal sweet, you might just be able to get your hands on some. What do you need, exactly?

MOM: The fabric I need is by Anna Griffin for Windham Fabrics. The selvedge says “Anna Griffin for Windham Presents the Dorothy Collection Pattern #27189I”. And in quilt shop terms, I need a one-and-a-half yards.

[EDITOR’S UPDATE, 8/5: Mom needs the black on cream, not the brown on cream. We’ve found a good deal of the brown, but black’s the thing! xoxo, Pendennis]

PG: Oh, come on! Someone will have that. They just have to! What are you/we gonna do to sweeten the pot? You have to give back when you crowdstash. That’s the model.

MOM: Well —

PG: Ooh! We could talk about it on the TV episode! We could share the story about crowdstashing!

MOM: Yep. Great idea. And if I get enough of it, I’ll put it on the back, too. That would be terrific.

PG: And I can write it up for my Quilt Scout column. I’ll do that. That’s a promise.

MOM: Of course, I’ll pay for the material and the shipping. Gee, what if we get a ton of it?

PG: We could make dresses and wear those on the show, too.

MOM: Dresses and headbands and rings. That would be really funny.


***If you indeed have this fabric — and other pictures of it are coming on Facebook tomorrow to help identify — please email me a picture at mary  @ maryfons dot com. I’ll be checking back to see if this crowdstashing thing could actually work. Thank you!!!


25 Responses

  1. Tami
    | Reply

    Great idea!! I hope we find it!

  2. Marianne ten Kate
    | Reply

    Any help? http://www.sweetpeasandangels.com/Dorothy-BirdVine-Brown

    • Deb
      | Reply

      By jove, I think you’ve found it!! Good work Sherlock!

  3. Bonnie
    | Reply

    Have you contacted the Patchwork Company in Windham, NY. They exculusively sell only Windham fabrics.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      We’ll check, Bonnie! xoxoox

  4. Michelle
    | Reply

    Yo Mar! If I had this fabric it would soooo be yours – no payment needed or wanted. And I would bet that there’s a great big world of generous quilters/fabric stashers who would feel the same. But if you wanted to thank the donor or “sweeten the pot,” as you say, perhaps a copy of a Fons publication or a couple of fat quarters from the fabulous Fons stash or from your fabric line (your ❤️+ fabric is adorable!) would be greatly appreciated. Just a couple thoughts….

  5. Liz Flaherty
    | Reply

    I don’t have it, but hope you find it. It’s fabulous!

  6. susan
    | Reply

    Gah! I wish I had some of this fabric to help you out but I think crowdstashing is a great idea. It will happen!

  7. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    Good luck with it, Mary! and Marianne!

  8. Susan
    | Reply

    Great idea! Hmm…do we need a crowdstashing app?!?

  9. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    Dang, not in my stash but may the blessings of the fabric fairy gently float fancy fabric your way!

  10. Buffy Harris
    | Reply

    Found it! http://www.sweetpeasandangels.com/Dorothy-BirdVine-Brown

  11. Mabel Brooks
    | Reply

    I work in the same town as Windham Fabrics manufacturing plant. Maybe they have some in storage? I bet they would track it down for you and the Amazing Marine Fons! I am sorry this happened but I did find comfort in knowing that mishaps happen to everyone! Great idea on the crowdstashing! The person who has this material would be a winner by contributing to your Mom’s quilt!

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Mabel! We’re still working on this case, so sure! We’ll take all the help we can get! This is really fun.

  12. Carol
    | Reply

    Ladies, she says that the fabric is black and cream.

  13. Paula White
    | Reply

    This is a fabulous idea! I am looking for RJR Farmer’S Market, Andover Fabrics Downton Abbey Egyptian Farmer’S Market and the Timeless Treasures King Tut Collection. I want to make a grandmother’S flower garden with the Farmer’s Market fabric. I want to make quilts and maxi dresses out of the Egyption fabrics. Does anyone have suggestions?

  14. Linda Taylor
    | Reply

    Hey I went online to windhamfabrics.net and found it in their archived fabrics ! Don’t know if they carry it still but at least it is a starting place !

  15. St. Barb
    | Reply

    Hey, Mary, if you really want dresses from the extra fabric, I still have your pattern. And I could do a different size for your mom!

  16. Brenda Suderman
    | Reply

    I have that print in black and cream but it’s in long strips instead of yardage. What size do you need?

  17. Jeanne
    | Reply

    I posted a query on a facebook group “Quilters classifieds”. Have gotten a lot of help finding fabrics on there. I did not say who needed it but hopefully someone has it.

  18. Mary Lynn
    | Reply

    I don’t have the fabric but the thought of y’all making dresses out of the fabric and wearing them on the show was fabulous! Good luck on the search 🙂

  19. Jennifer Ward
    | Reply

    Wish I could help, but my toile blue/cream or green/cream. I’sure you’ll find it. Best of luck!

  20. Julia Sander
    | Reply

    This just happened to me yesterday when I thought I had enough of the fabrics I needed to make 2 twin quilts & realized that I needed some more of a main fabric. I was lucky enough to find it on Etsy, but it isn’t 5 years old – probably about 2 years old. Good luck! And thanks for letting us know you are human too!

  21. […] book is better, even, than the fact that after all the achingly excellent crowd-stashing suggestions re: my mom’s fabric — all of them incredible but ultimately leading to not-quiiiiite-enough […]

  22. Cindy
    | Reply

    Can’t wait to see the finished quilt! Glad to know I am not alone in cutting mistakes occasionally! Lol. Measure twice, cut once… sigh

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