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Thread: Building up a stash from nothing

  1. #26
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I am a newbie also and have a very little stash that is growing with sales. My current love is batiks and I think of them more as blenders depending on the "prints" on them. I try to buy 1-3 yards when I am stashing. more toward the three yards is better. But then again I don't do large quilts yet. I also try to use at least one of the fabrics from my stash for every quilt. unless I have nothing that "looks" like the recipient. have one of those that I am working on collecting now for my MIL. getting ready to also start two quilts. one for my dd and one for a new niece that will be born at the end of summer. dd's will be partly from my "stash" that I have been collecting specifically for her quilt and the baby blanket will be totally from my stash. have a FQ set that I have been wanting to use for a while but haven't had a good reason to use it.

  2. #27
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    I buy almost all of my stuff from sales now. There are so many people who want to get rid of fabric.
    Judy

  3. #28
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    I usually buy at least a half yard, although I do buy quarter yards also. I usually buy as much as I can afford, and I don't buy any if it's not on sale or I don't have a coupon. I've also bought fabric, clothes, sheets, etc., at thrift stores, auctions and yard sales.

  4. #29
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    When I began I bought for quilts that I wanted . I have a stash now because Iwant to do scrappies. One thing Ilove to do is to buy the rolled up remnants ..any size they ar 50%off. I really dont think of the size of them. One month I would search for only one color til I had enough for some order in the scrappy. then on to another color. 40 years later voila..a colorful stash.

    you will get there sooner than you think. have fun.

  5. #30
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    I've been quilting for a year and from my experience so far, it totally depends on what quilts you like to make.

    I started out buying fat quarters, but found they tend to be too small for what I like to do with a color. So I started buying yardage - and am finding that more than a yard is usually too much for my uses. If I need more for a border or backing fabric, I prefer to buy it as needed to make sure I'm happy with the match. Sooo.... at the moment I'd tend to buy a yard or so.

    I've always gone for the fabrics I loved, and that turns out to have been a good decision. There are a few in my stash that I bought because I thought they'd "go with everything" (neutrals...) and hey - I'm not using them.
    I'm just not a traditional quilter and not big on neutrals. I've now sorted those "sensible-but-uninspiring" (for me) fabrics into their own stack, and might use them for dyeing and painting on once I get around to that.

    So... sorry for the novel, it's just in case any of this helps you think! :D What I'd most like to recommend is, trust yourself. Buy what you love, experiment, find out what's best for how you like to create.

  6. #31
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I like scrappy quilts, so I go for half yards or even fat quarters.

  7. #32
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    my standard buy is 3 yards.

    if the price is great or i really love it i buy 6 or more yards.

    i just bought a couple of bolts the other day because the price was right and i know i'll use it all up.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Claddaughquilting's Avatar
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    My motto:
    If you like it, buy 1 yard
    If you love it, buy 3 yards
    If you can't live without it, buy 5 yards

    but only if on sale!! I also buy the scrap packs at the LQS, and remnants from on-line fabric sites.

    If I am close to finishing a bolt, I always take it all.

    I have already identified the lucky recipient of my stash in my will....If I ever start to feel guilty about the quantity, I take the oldest (and not my favorites) and give it away to the guild to make charity quilts....eases my conscience...

  9. #34
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    I started by getting fat quarter as gifts. Then as I was out i started buying more fabrics of what would go with those flat quarters. I alway by at least a yard and if I really like it 3 yards. If I see something on sale that I really like, I will buy the rest of the fabric on the bolt. That works great for backing.

  10. #35
    Junior Member winterpromise31's Avatar
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    Wow! You guys are awesome. :D Thanks for all the responses. There are definitely a few things here to think about.

    Since I'm still new, I don't really know which kind of quilts I prefer. I do know I want to try something more complex than 9-patch. I will have made four quilts as gifts before I make the first for me to keep, and I know that one will be a mystery/sampler quilt (I think queen sized). So I guess I'll keep buying fabric as needed for now unless I find an awesome sale on something I love! Maybe after a couple more quilts, I'll have a better idea of what I want to do in the future and will thus be able to buy fabric in advance.

    Thanks again for all of your help!

  11. #36
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    Welcome to the fun board of 'quilt nuts!' You asked how much fabric to purchase? I would purchase no less than 3.5 yards for the background fabric (based on a double bed quilt) the if you have 4 fabrics total: 2 yds. of the next must used fabric; & 1.5 of each of the rest. Of course; you just gotta get some other fabrics too if you maybe 'need' them! I find that if you buy a little here, a little there, great way for building! You will find that you have some fabrics left over too after making a quilt! NEVER throw out any that is at least 1/8 yard.

    BUY when there are good sales - build using COLOR! Colors you love & cannot do without. Always get minimum of 1 yd. You are so lucky to have a suportive husband!

  12. #37
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I buy fabric that calls to me. Usually three yards at a time. When I buy for a project I always add a yard to what the pattern calls for. I just spent a day sorting and organizing fabric and was shocked at how big my stash has become.

  13. #38
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I am fairly new to quilting too, and I started off buying one yard. I learned fairly quickly that a yard is not enough for what I want to do. I usually want a border or binding made of one of the fabrics in my quilt top. One yard doesn't allow for that, or at least it doesn't for me. I now buy a yard and a half or two yards.

    So far this has worked well for me.

    My stash recently grew at a Hancock;s sale. The sale is still one, if you have one nearby. Most of what I bought was 40% off.

  14. #39
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    Stash it! Prices going up up up!

  15. #40
    Member Cornish Maid's Avatar
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    I too am fairly new to quilting. My current stash fits into one teeny little bag! I tend to buy fat quarters because fabric in UK is so expensive. I don't want to lash out on something I may never get around to using. I usually wait till I have a project in mind before going fabric shopping. That said, I sometimes get a bit hysterical when I reach the quilting shop!

  16. #41
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    Every place I go for news predicts that fabric is going up 30%+ within this year. That does not include what it has ALREADY gone up this year. If one can - build stash now AND also use those backs of shirts too - they are great for little needed pieces. If prices continue to rise, us oldies with TOO much fabric must share with our new lil' quilting friends!

  17. #42
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
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    The very first quilt book I bought was Carol Doak's "Your First Quilt Book" (or it should be) Her advice in there:
    "If you like it, buy a yard
    If you really like it, buy 2 yards
    If you can't live without it, buy as much as your budget can afford"
    I buy fat quarters, but mostly I buy a yard at a time. I can almost always put enough complimentaryfabric to gether for a baby blanket or some other quick project. However, most the quilts I make are baby or lap robe sizes, so this is working so far.

  18. #43
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Be careful what you wish for. Stash can take over and if you don't have the space and you don't like scrappy quilts then it can become a hinderance. That said, when I first started, I always bought a little extra for the projects that I was actually working on. Then I started buying fabric "just because." DH thought for the longest time that fabric HAD to be bought in full yard increments, starting with 1 yard. lol.

    I have now become "full up" in my stash containers and have to be extremely frugal (self-imposed).

    Some people make a swatch book of their stash and take that with them to the fabric store so they can match and supplement. Others just buy what suits their fancy.

    Anything from 1 yard of a panel size to 5 1/2 yards for a potential backing (or more). Trust me, if you want to grow your stash - every Fat Quarter helps.

  19. #44
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    This has been a very interesting thread. I think a stash builds itself, at least mine did. I got the quilting fever in 2004; started off buying 1/4 yard pieces. That didn't last long. I still only buy 1 yard pieces; but, that's because of finaancial issues. I only buy on sale, unless I'm buying from my local QS; never find fabrics on sale there. However, I don't use only QSQ, though I don't use thin or see-thru. Oh, my stash was increased greatly when I inherited my mother's large stash. Took me months to give away all her double knit; I still find a piece here or there, lol.
    My advice is similar to the previous posts. Buy at least a yard when on sale; mostly blenders and tonals. and have fun!

  20. #45
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'm not helping probably b/c I buy whatever appeals to me!
    I do go for sales though, rarely pay full price!
    The internet has made it much worse for my fabric addiction lol
    Welcome!!!!!!!!! :D:D

  21. #46
    Super Member karate lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn
    I can't help because I buy anything! anytime! and if I'd actually sew more then I wouldn't have a whole house full of fabric. So if you have enough to do what you want when you want, the rest will just come in time, I think :)
    I recently bought material to do a simple quilt (i am a beginner) and after getting what I needed I was looking around and saw a beautiful yellow tone on tone. Luckily it was on sale because I got 3 yds. Have no idea where I will use it. But it just screamed at me to buy it. LOL...

  22. #47
    Super Member karate lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterpromise31
    Wow! You guys are awesome. :D Thanks for all the responses. There are definitely a few things here to think about.

    Since I'm still new, I don't really know which kind of quilts I prefer. I do know I want to try something more complex than 9-patch. I will have made four quilts as gifts before I make the first for me to keep, and I know that one will be a mystery/sampler quilt (I think queen sized). So I guess I'll keep buying fabric as needed for now unless I find an awesome sale on something I love! Maybe after a couple more quilts, I'll have a better idea of what I want to do in the future and will thus be able to buy fabric in advance.

    Thanks again for all of your help!
    I am trying one called Easy beginner's rail fence. Is all strips.check it out...www.victorianaquiltdesigns.com

  23. #48
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I just re-read this entire thread and you have tons of great ideas!!
    I realize also that I need a stash for inspiration. It's amazing what can happen when I'm just playing around with my fabric :D:D

  24. #49
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    Since I only purchase fabric I really like for specific projects, I purchase at least 2 -3 yards. Also, I select other fabrics I like and purchase a couple of yards for my stash at the same time. As my stash builds I purchase colors I am missing. Currently I am adding browns and backgrounds in colors other than white, adding prints.

    While I don't particularly like pastels, for our guild challenge project this year I have pastels, so on a recent roadtrip I actually found several I liked and purchased extra for my stash.

    No matter how big my stash is, I always find several new pieces to add to it. Once you start, it will be easier. It is alot like eating potato chips.

  25. #50
    deema's Avatar
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    I'm a fairly new quilter myself and when I started stash building, I'd get fat quarters or a yard. I quickly found out that that is not enough unless you plan on making scrappy quilts. So now, I buy at least 2 yards. If I'm buying a lot of coordinating fabrics and intend to use them together, I might get 1 yard, but most often I buy 2. I usually buy fabric with intentions to use it together or for a specific project, but I rarely have an actual pattern in mind, therefore I rarely know how much I need of each fabric, and I've found a couple of times that I would much rather have too much than not enough. So far in my experience, having two yards of each fabric in my "plan" gives me plenty. Also, I don't often buy big print fabrics unless I'm buying for a specific project. I stick to blenders and neutrals for the most part and buy prints on an "as needed" basis.

    I usually use bed sheets (most often flannel) for backing, so I don't often buy yardage to back my quilts.

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