As I mentioned in my last blog post, buying fabric online has many challenges, but the one that has caused me the most grief is getting the color of fabric I wanted. The sensible solution would be to buy a fabric card which had tiny swatches of each fabric in the brand’s line. However, the card is 30 bucks. The idea that I have to spend that much money just so I can buy the correct fabric makes me… unhappy. Also, not all lines of fabric solids have fabric cards, but those that do are in a large booklet. This makes it difficult to match colors for your next project because you can’t move the pieces around. So, I got to thinking… My Space Travel quilt required a hefty amount of fabric in a rainbow of colors. From that alone, I had a good stash going. So I decided to make my own fabric swatch cards. Here’s how to do it:
- fabric swatches
- index cards (3″ x 5″)
- thin card board or card stock
- stick-on velcro
- pen (or other marking tool
Making the swatch cards
I used standard 3″ x 5″ index cards. Draw a line across the middle of the card vertically and horizontally. Cut the card on both lines to make four small cards.
Then, cut a small swatch of your fabric roughly 1″ x 1.5″.
Staple the fabric swatch to the top of your fabric card. I also contemplate using glue, tape, or even laminating the fabric to the card, but I wanted to preserve the color of the fabric the best I could. Even if I tested these methods now, I wouldn’t be sure how they stood up over time. Use them at your own risk.
Lastly, write the line of your fabric (Kona, Bella Solids, Cotton Supreme, etc…) and the name of the fabric below the swatch. I had forgotten what mind were call, but at least that’s one good thing about buying fabric online. The magical internet had saved all of my past orders.
Make a card for each of your fabrics.
Putting the Cards together
Stick the two sides of your velcro together and cut a small piece roughly .5″ x 1″. Peel one side of the protective tape off the back of your velcro and press the tacky side to the back of your fabric swatch card. Make sure you press the same side of the velcro (scratchy or soft) to the back of all your cards. This will allow you rearrange your cards in the future.
Remove the remaining protective tape and press the fabric card onto your cardboard or card stock. I used a piece of thin cardboard that was 8.5″ x 11″. It was actually the container to some fancy paper that had come with my printer. I was able to fit 5 cards across and 4 cards down.
Repeat for all your fabric swatch cards.
Ta da! You’re done. Now you can peel your fabric swatch cards off their velcro to pick colors for your next quilt or to rearrange your swatch rainbow as you buy more fabrics. Even if you don’t want to use the exact same colors on your next quilt, you can use these swatches to help you figure out which colors you should buy based off pictures online.