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Thread: Building a stash

  1. #1
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    Hello fellow quilters!

    So up until this point, I've only bought fabric for a project that I'm working on. I would like to start building a stash so that I can have some on hand for coordinating, ect if I find a fabric I like.

    So my question is, are there some brands, some patterns, and how much is good amounts to start with. I'm really not good at estimating how much fabric a quilt will require, especially if I change the size from a pattern.

    I have a couple of textile outlets in this area that have some good deals. I just don't always know if they are good deals or not. For example, I bought some fabric for a baby quilt and thought it was a great deal, then I went to Walmart and found the same fabric for less! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    There are lots of threads on this topic - do a search for stash and see what comes up.

    Personally, when I see something I LOVE, I buy a 2-3 yards. If it's interesting, and think it's going to be used, I will sometimes buy up to two yards, sometimes just a fat quarter. If it's a neutral that will be used to blend, I'll get at least a yard. I definitely stock up when I see a decent price- black/white/gray/brown/red...assortments.

    Also, if you are making a quilt, you can buy extra of the fabrics. I recently made a batik that required up to 90 different fabrics, so I stocked up on fat quarters. Didn't get that many, but made it to about 50 I believe. So now I have an awesome stash of batiks for other projects.

    Remember this - if you HAVE TO HAVE the fabric, if you don't buy it, you'll never see it again. Also, if you don't get enough, you'll never see it again!

    Another thing - there was a thread about different grades of the same fabric. Sometimes the manufacturers will make a lesser quality fabric for stores that carry less expensive fabrics (like WalMart) and a higher quality version of the same fabric for the quilting stores and other retailers like that. You may want to get a sample of the WalMart fabric and put it next to the higher priced fabric to see if it really is the same. Probably not from what I've learned on this very informative board!!

    Good luck, and have fun!

  3. #3

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    I am in total agreement. If you love it buy it, because it definately won't be there when you go back.

    I generally make queen size quilts. I know it takes about 8 yds to make one. I usually buy at least 3 yds if I really love a fabric. That way you can add 3 of the fabrics you have together and you should have more than enough for the project intended.

    Lynette

  4. #4
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    That is a great, simple formula Lynette! I've always used a 3 yard rule (if I might use it as a border, or background - 3 yard minimum.) If it has lots of colors that I can match, I''ll buy 1 1/2 yards (1 yard cuts never seem to work out for me for some reason - I always seem to need a bit more.) Backgrounds I'll buy from 3-5 yards. Then again, I've found that I like to make patterned quilts and really don't do anything scrappy, so buying fat quarters or fat eights really doesn't work for me.

  5. #5
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    i'm a contemporary quilt artist so i mainly buy batiks and gradations if i purchase a pattern fabric its usually a geometric or abstract design.

    if i like it, i buy 2 yards and if i love it, i'll buy 3-6 yards.

    blender fabric that i use often i buy by the bolt.

  6. #6
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I was told when I began building my stash to buy 3 yards of it if I liked it, then I could use it for a border without piecing. Now, I find I buy more, full bolts if it is a really beautiful pattern and it I want to use it in a Kaleidoscope and it is on sale! But, I also find I have WAY TOO MUCH fabric, and will NEVER be able to sew it all! But I do enjoy feeling GOOD fabric and I can't pass up a bargain. Recently went to some sales and bought the rest of the bolt when it was $3 and $4 a yard. Just couldn't help myself! :?

    Good luck on building your stash. It does help to stick to a theme or color scheme. I find I use some colors more, so I have more of those on hand. I am fortuante that I have NICE shops close by.

  7. #7
    farscapegal
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    Quote Originally Posted by kluedesigns
    i'm a contemporary quilt artist so i mainly buy batiks and gradations if i purchase a pattern fabric its usually a geometric or abstract design.

    if i like it, i buy 2 yards and if i love it, i'll buy 3-6 yards.

    blender fabric that i use often i buy by the bolt.
    Ditto.

    Sybil

  8. #8
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    Oh and if you haven't signed up for the news letter that comes out do so, it is very informative and I think this last news letter covered the difference between walmart fabric and a quilt store fabric.

  9. #9
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    Speaking as a confirmed fabriholic - and with stacks of fabric on hand -

    If I was going to do it again, I think I would (mostly) stay with buying fabric only for a definite project in mind - maybe a little extra of each fabric called for -

    You will soon have enough leftovers to have a stash going - and if you tend to buy only one "type" - they will go together well enough

    That said - the yardages suggested by the other posters are very sensible.

    I think fabric breeds fabric, and it soon takes over the house.








  10. #10
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    I think what you buy should also depend on the type of quilts that you like to make.
    I enjoy making samplers, so if I see a fabric that would be a good "primary" fabric for a quilt, meaning for me, I'll use a little in each block and use it for sashing and borders, I'll buy 3-5 yards of that.. if it's something that will make a good secondary fabric anywhere from 1/2 to 2 yards.
    Fabrics that I find that are a bit more "neutral" I may buy enough for a back and binding.. I rarely buy less than 1/2 yard.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    My advice is to make sure you have excellent storage facilities for a fabric stash before you start collecting. I have stacks of clear plastic boxes and, frankly speaking, if I were starting over again I would *not* buy so much fabric without specific projects in mind. My tastes in fabric have changed radically over time, so I have given away a lot of yardage just to make space for the types of fabrics I like to work with now. I still have so much fabric that it is difficult to pull everything that might work for a specific project; I dread having to move all those stacked boxes, rummage through them, and then replace everything in the closet. Even having given away a lot of yardage, I still have way too much of some fabrics.

    With fabric getting more expensive every year, it is harder that it used to be for me to give away fabric. It is also getting harder for me to buy more fabric because I have less wealth (!) and the fabric I like now costs a lot more than the fabric I used to like.

    I agree that if you just buy extra for every project you make, soon enough you will have a stash that reflects your tastes in fabric. Be patient!!! If you still have the collecting bug, I would advise purchasing only fabrics that you really *love*, not fabrics that you think might come in useful some day. I found that "some day" sometimes never comes!

    Edit: I decided I should add one caveat, that my advice should be ignored if you are truly an artist. Ruth McDowell comes to mind. She has accummulated fabrics for many years and draws on them for every quilt she makes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    My advice is to make sure you have excellent storage facilities for a fabric stash before you start collecting. I have stacks of clear plastic boxes and, frankly speaking, if I were starting over again I would *not* buy so much fabric without specific projects in mind. My tastes in fabric have changed radically over time, so I have given away a lot of yardage just to make space for the types of fabrics I like to work with now. I still have so much fabric that it is difficult to pull everything that might work for a specific project; I dread having to move all those stacked boxes, rummage through them, and then replace everything in the closet. Even having given away a lot of yardage, I still have way too much of some fabrics.

    With fabric getting more expensive every year, it is harder that it used to be for me to give away fabric. It is also getting harder for me to buy more fabric because I have less wealth (!) and the fabric I like now costs a lot more than the fabric I used to like.

    I agree that if you just buy extra for every project you make, soon enough you will have a stash that reflects your tastes in fabric. Be patient!!! If you still have the collecting bug, I would advise purchasing only fabrics that you really *love*, not fabrics that you think might come in useful some day. I found that "some day" sometimes never comes!

    Edit: I decided I should add one caveat, that my advice should be ignored if you are truly an artist. Ruth McDowell comes to mind. She has accummulated fabrics for many years and draws on them for every quilt she makes.
    I could have written the above :? (Before the edit part)

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I buy 2-3 yards of fabrics that I love, that are my favorite colors and ones that I just know that I will use a lot....
    Then I will buy 1-2 yards of fabrics that are my family and friends favorites...these will end up in quilts one day....
    Novelty fabrics that catch my eye I buy 1/2 yards, future I spy quilts for my grands and maybe even greatgrands someday....
    I also have a spot with a strange looking assortment of fabrics...these are some that do not go with anything else, but some future quilts that are "out of the box ideas" and as I find fabrics for them I buy 1-2 yards as I come across them...
    It all depends on you, your situation....as for me :oops: :lol: :lol: I may never reach the point of having too much fabric.... 8) 8) 8)

  14. #14
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I almost never buy just one yard of fabric. If I like it I buy two yards and if it yells to me across the fabric store I'll buy three or four yards. I started buying fat quarters about six months ago and am making a Grandmother's Garden quilt this summer ( OK, it's going to take me longer than this summer to get this one done.) so now I'm glad I have all those fat quarters. When I buy fabric to make a specific quilt I always buy more than I need so I have some left when I finish it. My stash is growing.

  15. #15
    MsSage's Avatar
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    I have only been "stashing" for hmmm a few months....I was only going to buy what I needed and maybe some fat quarters :lol: :lol: :lol:
    Now I have 3 huge tubs FULL to overflowing with fabric. No its not as big as some BUT I do have about 10 projects with fabric and patterns all together plus LOTS more fabric with no pattern or project in mind LOL now to find the time.
    I use to worry about building my stash ...but trust me it will grow all on its own :lol:
    Get what you LOVE and most patterns call for about 2-3 yards of one color.
    Dont forget batting.....I only have 2 packages of crib size batting and wish I had a couple queen size. Oh well after I get back to work I will get some LOL

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