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Thread: Does anybody get overwhelmed by their stash?

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Small town in Northeast Oregon close to Washington and Idaho
    Blog Entries

    Does anybody get overwhelmed by their stash?

    I use to not have a stash. I would buy enough fabric for one quilt and just make it. When I was done, I would buy fabric for another quilt and make it. And so forth. Then I started collecting fabric. Now my spare bedroom lost the bed and nightstand and dresser and I put in bookcases and storage units and rubbermaid tubs and two long tables and a long dresser with a rectangular ironing board on top and 4 irons and the closet is plum full of batting and under the tables is full of fabric and everywhere I look is full of fabric. I have fabric from floor to ceiling.

    I am not getting any quilting done. I am overwhelmed. I can't decide what to do. Too many choices. I have quite a few BOMs every month and am behind in every one. I have one from last year that I never even started and have all 12 blocks still in their bags.

    What can I do? I go into my sewing room and plan on doing a certain quilt, but get sidelined by all my fabric lines and patterns and end up petting and rearranging my fabric and then shutting the light off and closing the door. I so wish I would have just bought enough fabric for one quilt at a time. I gave away so many kits (probably 30) to help me reduce my load, but I end up finding more fabric I just have to have and my room is plum full again.

    Help me figure out how I can start sewing again!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I got all my fabric out of totes and arranged on boards in a cupboard with doors. It has helped a lot to be able to see what I have. I stopped picking up BOM a couple of years ago because I have 2 tops waiting to be quilted. I don't think I will pick any more because there are so many great quilts I want to do and I would rather do them than make another cookie cutter quilt. Does your guild have a yard sale every year? You might consider pricing some of your things you no longer want. You can offer things for sale on QB if you meet the rules. Do you have quilt tops ready to be quilted? Use up some big pieces for backs and that will reduce your stash a bit.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Okay, so you are a quilter. That's fine to have a lot in your stash. If the economy gets really bad, you can still make quilts.(that's what I tell myself.). Honestly, you sound just like me. I have several of those block of the month projects in varying stages of completion. I have many quilt kits that I can make. I have LOTS of pre cuts like jelly rolls, charm packs, and layer cakes. I also have several Rubbermaid tubs of yardage. This year, I made a short list of four UFO's that I am going to finish right away. I am almost finished with the first one. When I finish these, I will make another short list. Take small steps and enjoy each project. It helped me to put everything away except the project I am working on or maybe one other. I am quilting and enjoying myself more now that I have a plan. Don't feel guilty. Just start somewhere and move forward. Have fun.

  4. #4
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Michigan. . .FINALLY!!!!
    Blog Entries
    Hi Jeanne! Do you feel like your fabrics aren't organized? I lost my quilting mojo when I felt like my fabrics were taking me over. I got them all organized on foam core boards and placed on shelves and then there was peace in my valley! It sounds like you have too many projects that you WANT to do. I have decided that there is no way I will make everything that I want to. I do have all the elements for certain projects together in bags or boxes which keeps me from attempting to use the fabrics for another project. I have given myself permission to not do everything that I want to. The world is not going to end if I don't make a Mariner's Compass quilt, a Lone Star quilt, a Bargello, etc etc. I have a so called "bucket list" but it's really just a list of items that I would like to do but I am in no way obligated to do them! I think we as quilters put to much pressure on ourselves which is silly. It only adds to our frustrations!

    As for your fabrics - put yourself on a fabric diet. Make a deal with yourself that you will make at least one project before you will allow yourself to buy more fabric. Some people are really just fabric collectors; it's like art pieces! I know that I have fabrics that I have purchased and I WILL NEVER use them because they are my favorites and I love them. No shame here! You need to figure out what will help you feel better about you and your quilting. Hang in there! We are all here for you!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.


  5. #5
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    You can start a notebook with a swatch of each material and where it's at in your stash. Then pick a project and use your notebook to decide the material you're going to use. Go get those particular materials and get started.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  6. #6
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    New Hampshire
    Yes, there are times when I am surrounded by my several hundred yards of fabric and I do feel overwhelmed. I sit down on the floor, alongside an enormous pile of fabric that I have pulled out of a bin or off a shelf, and I say to myself, "this is insane. The fabric is lovely but I can't decide what to do with it all."
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I do not have a huge stash but what I do have calls me often. I usually buy for a certain pattern but not all at once. Some fabrics are bought over time and at different places. I have given up on some and used it for other newer projects. After a while I am over whelmed like you. At this point I have to make myself a list of what I have started and another of what I want to start. I force myself to finish one or two of those WIP before I start something new. This list helps to remind me of what I have in progress. Sometimes the call is too strong to resist and I end up starting something completely off the lists. The complicated life of a quilter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Pikeville, KY
    I feel the same way and I am not getting anything accomplished. So this year, I promised myself "No new fabric" unless I needed something specific to finish a project. i got carried away with buying all of the pretty fabrics and somewhere along the way, I lost the joy of getting something accomplished. I have moved to 3 different rooms in the house, each one is bigger than the last. I have outgrown them all but when I think back, I got more accomplished in the small room because I wasn't so overwhelmed with fabric and trying to organize it. I have even went as far as apologizing to my husband because I feel like I have wasted so much money on buying fabric and gadgets without a lot to show for it. I am hoping to get a few project finished this year and maybe I can the sense of accomplishment back.
    I have started a shelf with projects that are ready for me to start, like BOM's or kits for table toppers or bed runners. I have started putting my fabric on boards so I can see what I have. My sewing room looks like a fabric store has "thrown up" in there but when I am finished, in about a month, I think it will be worth it. But right now, I have to force myself in there and I have to make myself actually work on something. It has just grown to be a problem. I don't have a huge stash but it has gotten out of control and it has taken the joy of creating away from me. So, good luck and keep us informed. Let me know if you have any ideas that work.

  9. #9
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    was Upstate NY, now Winston-Salem NC
    I do feel that way occasionally. Sometimes it means that I feel disorganized and I have to spend a week or two trying to organize it all. Sometimes I don't have the desire to get that deep into solving my problem and then I pick 2 or 3 projects or WIP, pick out the fabric for those projects out and put each in a container (so those projects feel organized at least) and then shove everything else in the closet where I can't see it and shut the doors. Instant organization or at least enough to let me get started again until I am ready to really clean up.

    And I do try to go through my fabric once a year and get rid of anything I know I will never use. That's always helps too. Good luck.
    I'd rather be at the lake

    Do one thing every day that scares you... Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I'm proud to say that I was the blessed recipient your quilt kits, Jeanne. I'm sorry you're feeling disorganized to the point that you don't want to quilt. Is there any fabric that you KNOW you will never use? I'd suggest selling it here or better still, giving it to a guild for charity quilts. Definitely give yourself permission to stop buying for a while. Get out one project that you will love and focus on that, nothing else. Maybe that will get you back in the groove again. Good luck.
    aka Gale

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