Kelly’s Custom Colors Fat Quarter Bundle: Video Review

Hello Vintage Fabric Lovers!

I am super excited to share this little video with you from Maddie at BadAss Quilter’s Society. Maddie is a lover of all things vintage and fabric might be at the top of that list. She placed a big at quarter order during our grand opening week and she took the time to record  this little video of her opening up her curated rainbow color fat quarter bundles just for you.

The video was super fun to watch and it gives you a great peek at what the shop has to offer. There is even a blast from her past near the end you have to see to believe.

P.S. Did you know that Vintage Fabric Studio is a Premier Provider to the Speakeasy Members of BadAss Quilter’s Society? That’s right; and members get a standing 10% discount everyday of the week plus extras along the way. Sound like something you want in on? Check out the website and sign up today.

Kelly’s Custom Colors Fat Quarter Bundle

Kelly’s Custom Colors Fat Quarter Bundle…now say that 5 times fast! That title may be a mouthful and for good reason; it’s not just a pretty name. Each fat quarter bundle is created by me especially for you with hue, prints, colors and scale in mind.

Fat quarter is a quilters term for a yard of fabric cut into four equal pieces. The first cut is made by cutting the yard of fabric (36″ by the width of fabric, usually 44″) in half down the middle and then cutting those halves in half again down the middle. When cut like this you end up with four pieces of fabric measuring 18″ x 22″. A traditional quarter yard of fabric is 9″ wide by 44″ long (or width of fabric).  A fat quarter gives you enough fabric to play around with and cut lots of different size shapes from because you are not limited by the 9″ width.

vintage sheets

Vintage Fabric Studio has four styles of bundles to choose from; warm, cool, rainbow and low volume. The warm colors have a mix of yellows, oranges and pinks. Cool color bundles have lots of bright greens and blues as well as a few purples in the mix. A rainbow bundle is just that; all the colors of the rainbow including a selection of warm, cool and low volume prints. That leaves the low volume bundles. Low volume is a new fabric term that comes from the modern quilting world. It is a fabric where the color and print are muted or sparse so it reads as a light color.

When you purchase a fat quarter bundle I start playing around with our stock of vintage sheet fat quarters to create a cohesive mix of prints, colors and patterns so that you can get started on your next project with confidence. I select a mix of fabrics with hue and scale being important factors during the audition process. Not all colors and styles play nicely together and I want to make sure your bundle of fabric gets along nicely!

I have been a student of color my whole life. As far back as I can remember I was playing with crayons and water colors. A craft my mom and I would do together on rainy afternoons was to make crayon butterflies. Start by shaving crayons onto paper with dull scissors, then fold the paper in half and use a warm iron to melt the wax.  Quickly open the paper up and see what kind of design was created and add a little set of antenna for the butterfly. In high school Art class got me through the tedium of math and keyboarding classes; it quite literally kept me in school! Then when it was time to go to college I started a degree in Art History for a term and quickly found that I wasn’t quite cut out for college at 18. (I did finally finish with a BS in Environmental Science in 2008!)

Even though I didn’t stick with college, art stuck with me, and I continued to paint and draw into my 20’s. It was around this time that I rediscovered fabric through a little quilt shop in the small town of Scappose, Oregon I was living in at the time. A friend and I would go and buy fat quarters by the stacks! It was such fun to use fabric as the color pallet for making quilts. Creating with fabric is just like any other fine art medium; quilting specifically uses color theory, texture and placement to bring forth an idea from factory of imagination.

I love to use fat quarters in my own quilting. I have stacks of fat quarters from my favorite designers and lines of fabric that I just had to add to my collection. Because sometimes there isn’t an immediate plan for our fabric purchases and that’s totally acceptable in my book!

I also love to create custom color bundles just for you so if you are looking for a bundle of say all greens, or all pinks then drop me a note in your order telling me what you want, and I will do my best to accommodate. To make the blue bundle of your dreams come true add a Cool Colors Fat Quarter Bundle to your cart and when you checkout add a note requesting all blue fat quarters. Alternatively if you want an all pink bundle add a Warm Color Fat Quarter Bundle to your cart and at checkout add your note that you want all pinks. Easy Peasy! And if you have any questions just email me Kelly and I can walk through the order process.

Thanks so much for following along with me I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about the fat quarter bundles. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas. I love hearing from you – it is the best part of my job; connecting with other vintage fabric lovers! It has been such a fun Grand Opening! If you haven’t had a chance to enter the giveaway going on hop on over to the Grand Opening Giveaway page and get in for a chance to win a Pretty Pincushion Kit with the upgraded hazelnut shell filling. Have a wonderful day!


Vintage Fabric Studio :: Super Wash

I get asked a bunch where I find the vintage sheets and fabric offered in the shop. The quick answer is that there are lots of sources here in Portland, Oregon to find vintage textiles but more to the point is that most are purchased as a second hand item. That gets the wheels turning and I can see the questions surface about what I do with the sheet to get it ready to become part of a custom color fat quarter bundle, a charm pack or packaged in a kit.

The process of making your fabrics ready to create with starts with quality control before I even buy a single sheet. In the store I inspect for major defects like discoloring, sheets worn thin or large stains. Fabrics like this stay at the thrift shop. The sheets that do make it back to the studio get the spa treatment before anything else happens. All the fabric gets a Super Wash.

The Super Wash is a mix of detergents and the way we wash. First the sheets are let to soak in hot water with the detergent mix for 12-24 hours depending on what the water looks like. During this soak the action of the soap gets into the fibers and releases dirt and odor that may have been lingering. Being a child of the 1990’s I love a good before and after picture of anything getting  a deep clean! (remember those infomercials?) Check out the before and after of the water during the super wash! WHOA!



The difference is pretty clear here, dingy brown water on the left. This load was pretty bad  so I put them through the Super Wash again for another 12-hour soak and the water came out much clearer after the second Super Wash soak.

After the Super Wash is complete the sheets and fabrics are tumble dried or hung on the line if with weather cooperates. The results are SUPER! I was given a couple pillow cases that were just too dirty to use in the shop but were too cute to let go of yet! So when I decided to share with you about the Super Wash process I thought ‘let’s throw these really dingy pillow cases in the Super Wash and see what happens’. I will let the pictures speak for the power of Super Wash!

I love these before and after pictures! The left hand pretty pink floral went from dingy tan with an off odor to bright and white with a fresh scent. The right hand pillow case I thought was a lost cause but after the two rounds in the Super Wash it is so much brighter and smells great. (click the photos for a larger view)

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at how to care for vintage textiles and what we do to make sure each piece of fabric you receive is up to your highest standard of quality. I want to make certain you are going to love each design and print we have and that you love the quality of the fabrics we offer. If you have other questions about our shop policies take a look at our FAQ page as well.

Please let me know if you have any questions about our process. You can now leave a comment by selecting the tiny link at the bottom that says ‘leave a comment’ 🙂


I am Vintage

I’ve been throwing around the term vintage for a long time now. Since the early 2000’s the term started to mean something, imbibe a feeling – a nostalgia: a style. Vintage to me evokes a picture in my mind of a white farm house kitchen in pale aqua and whites with feed-sack cloth for curtains that looks out onto the expanding prairie. Just search ‘vintage kitchen’ on google images or pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.

Cross Back Apron: Pattern from Amanda at A Crafty Fox

But then I wonder is vintage something I have been taught or do I really know it? How do I know it? Is it that you’ll know it when you see it kind of a thing or is it more concrete than that? Can it be defined by a number? Oh yes it can: 1940-1980. Bam. Vintage.

I was born in 1979 right on the edge of vintage. Lookey there; by the very definition I am a vintage person. I grew up around things that are now considered vintage. The knick knacks in my parents house, the hand-me-down clothes I wore, the television I watched, the fabrics my mom sewed with; all of it was produced in the vintage window.

Going back another generation to my Grandparents and the things they were surrounded with firmly placed the range of 1940 to 1980 in my early childhood memory. Their house, their aesthetic became the creative language of my youth. The patterns in the fabric, the style of clothes we wore, the music we listened too. My dad always had the oldies station and the top 40 station programmed on the push button radio in the beat up vintage car he drove. Pushing between his youth and my older sister’s pre-teen demands.

So when I say I am drawn to vintage fabrics, vintage patterns, vintage everything; it’s because I am vintage. And I like it that way; I want to be true to that part of me. I am not modern, I am not a great big expanse of white with a square strategically placed here and there. I am a big ‘ol cornucopia of color, shape and repetition. I am making due with what I have. I am re-purposing the old in a usable way. I am aqua, red, yellow, blue and green.

So when I bring to you this newest form of Blue Bird Sews please know it is not for kitsch. It is not to jump on a bandwagon of vintage. I am in the vintage camp and always have been. It’s just not until now that I have found my best form of expression to it and I can’t wait to share it! But it’s not ready yet; I am still cutting, ripping, formulating, measuring, asking and percolating on it. Believe me, you’ll know when it’s ready.

It’s gonna be so fun! Yee-haw!


Ps. This post first appeared at It only seemed right to share it here, at the the Vintage Fabric Studio as my first post 🙂

Pps. If you’d like to send me a comment please do so through the comment box below. To cut down on spam I remove the ability to comment on a post after 21 days. Thank you for understanding!