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Thread: Building up a stash from nothing

  1. #1
    Junior Member winterpromise31's Avatar
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    Hello! Newbie here. So far, I have only bought fabric on an "as needed" basis. As such, I have no stash! I've been looking through some of the pictures posted around the forums and admire the piles of fabric some of you have at home. :D

    How would I go about starting a stash? My hubby is actually encouraging me to buy extra fabric, the sweetheart. I am very lucky. How much should you buy if you don't know what you'll be doing with it? Fat quarters? A yard? More?

    Help! Such a dilemma to have! hehe

  2. #2
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    It really depends on what kind of quilts you plan to make. If scrappy then anything,but other types you need to have enough of what you will need because fabrics go out of print fast.

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I generally between 1 to 3 yard pieces depending on the price. If it is a must have then I might buy more.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I consider what I'm likely to use the fabric for. Great background? 4 yards. Great borders? 3 yards Filler fabric? 1 to 2 yards. Focus fabric? 3 to 4 yards. Those amounts are usually enough for most queen size patterns. You'll need less for smaller quilts of course.

  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I started with fat quarters and then bought some bigger pieces for backings if the fabric was on sale. I agree it all depends on what type of quilts you like to make. If you do not like scrappy quilts then fat quarters are probabaly not the way to go. Is there a reason why you feel you need a stash? We are all different and maybe for you buying only what you need is the right way.

  6. #6
    Junior Member winterpromise31's Avatar
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    Why a stash? Hmm... I guess because I've already experienced finding a fabric I like and then having it discontinued. Plus, since hubby offered... I don't mind buying fabric as I go, but sometimes there are great sales and I'm tempted to buy at the sale prices. Last weekend was a holiday sale and I bought a quilting book for 50% off but no fabric because I wasn't sure how much. If I buy it as needed, I'm missing out on the sale prices and I am kind of thrifty by nature.

    Sorry for the long response. Just thinking aloud here. Thanks for the suggestions!

  7. #7
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Normally no less than 3 unless just for acccient, what remains goes into stash, not close to a fab store, on hand is great to have!! :)

  8. #8
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Im a scrappy quilter so in the begining I bought 1/2 yard to a yard at a time.. NOW, for continuous stash building here's my motto...

    If I like it I buy 1 yard
    If I love it I buy 3-5 yards
    If I can't live with out it I buy the whole bolt..



    and when you have too much scraps to store I do this...

    I sort by the Size of the piece... I pretty much keep everything larger than 1in HST

    crumbs- In see thru bottom sterilite drawer
    Squares of - 2,3,4,5,6,plus all the half sizes - each in see thru drawers sorted only by size not by color
    5in or less strips - in see thru drawers
    6-10in strips - in see thru drawers
    10 to WOF strips -In See thru drawers- these are separated by colors in drawers - 2 colors per drawer*
    bins & baskets on cutting tables for scraps to be cut by accuquilt
    Each of the accuquilt die cut shapes have their own clear shoe box(es)
    Fat quarters in wall cd racks and large organizers/bookcase
    1/2y to 2 yrds get ruler folded on book cases
    3+yds are on bolts in bookcases and in walk in closet

    anything larger than 12x12 but less than a fq is in tall kitchen trash can to be cut up with the larger Go dies..


    Clear see-thru drawer to me means a medium and or large* sterilite 3 drawer rolling cart w/o the rollers on..

    I use Bonnies method- www.Quiltville.com

    Works the best for me..

    Hope this helped..

  9. #9
    Senior Member Quilting Angel's Avatar
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    I have only been quilting since October of last year, so I am just starting on my stash as well. I first started like you only buying what I need. I just placed a pretty big order on quiltinaday.com. Connecting threads and fabric shack are also good sites. I always choose fabrics I like that are on sale, and if I don't know what I'm going to do with it, I usually get 3 yards.

  10. #10
    Cyn
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    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
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    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 :)

  11. #11
    Junior Member dutchie's Avatar
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    Like you, I'm a newbie quilter so I had no stash of "quiltish" fabrics. I've been bitten by the Fat Quarter Bug and have been accumulating them left and right lately (15 today.) I've vowed now to slow down on just buying random FQ's and to begin organizing the fabrics, colors and patterns I've collected into projects I'd like to do.

    I come from a garment sewing background but in a really big way - medieval and Renaissance era costuming. This means that my existing stash is comprised of HUGE cuts of cloth. 10 yards of 60" slate gray cotton velveteen, 30 yards of cotton poplin, 7 yards of an exquisite sapphire blue silk ... you get the picture. I should have quilt backs enough for the next 47 years! I uncovered yet another hoarding spot of fabrics yesterday. It's all being dragged into the living room and stacked up in front of the fireplace for "review and disposition."

    So don't do what I've done. Try to stay reasonable about what you buy and how much of it you buy. Fabric is an obsession that can easily take over your world. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it IS a thing you should be aware of and might want to try to control. Be smart about your collecting.

    My .02 cents,

    Sue

  12. #12
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    Wow ladies, lol I might buy a yard from one of you once in awhile, maybe more seldom lol. I never buy in stores unless I need it.... well, can't really afford it either. When I do shop, I may buy 1/2 yard extra of iten on sale. I am building stash little by little and a couple of angels send me gift packages. (smile) So now I am having extra fun.

  13. #13
    Super Member AKDaffyodil's Avatar
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    Welcome from Alaska!!
    My stash grew slowly. I did like you do, buy as needed. But then I wanted to make some smaller projects and had no fabric. So I started buying fat quarters. But then I ran out of pieces I liked very fast. So now I get between 1 and 3 yards, dependin on how much I like the fabric. Good luck with your hunt!!

  14. #14
    Super Member AKDaffyodil's Avatar
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    . This means that my existing stash is comprised of HUGE cuts of cloth. 10 yards of 60" slate gray cotton velveteen, 30 yards of cotton poplin, 7 yards of an exquisite sapphire blue silk ...


    Sue[/quote]

    Sue, these fabrics sound like they would make a great crazy quilt!!

  15. #15
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Anytime this question is asked, I say stock up on basics first. When you can get these on sale stock up. I usually buy bolts of Kona white and natural muslin at least 108" wide, I have found I always need white and beige in something and its also good for a backing also. If you find a fabric you can't live without, absolutely HAVE to have can vision in quilt and borders 3-4, if just in quilt 2 and if you find something that you like, don't have any idea what you're going to do with it 1-2 yrds.

    I also love shopping the remanant bins! Great way to stock up on stash fabrics for scrappys.

  16. #16
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    I agree....buy what you fall in love with in at least 1 yard pieces. Tone on tones, blenders and solids.....the ones you find you use the most in almost all quilts, 2 to 3 yards. Fabric that might go on a backing ( good stuff but with a great sale price!! ) 6 to 9 yards will do for the largest quilt but it will be pieced if only 42 inches wide......3 yards if you find the w-i-d-e stuff!! FQ are great for a lot of color....think scrappy style quilts. Oh yea, if you find you ''run out'' of a color ( red for example ), that is the time to substitue a few other reds from your stash and enjoy the savings because you pulled from YOUR stash....like our Great great Grandmas would do!!

  17. #17
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    For stash building, I prefer to buy only solids and blenders (like marbles). That way, when you are out shopping and run across a fabulous print, you have a good chance of having fabrics to compliment it at home.

    I use to buy in 3 yard increments, but now I buy by the bolt... but only solids and marbles :)

  18. #18
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterpromise31
    Hello! Newbie here. So far, I have only bought fabric on an "as needed" basis. As such, I have no stash! I've been looking through some of the pictures posted around the forums and admire the piles of fabric some of you have at home. :D

    How would I go about starting a stash? My hubby is actually encouraging me to buy extra fabric, the sweetheart. I am very lucky. How much should you buy if you don't know what you'll be doing with it? Fat quarters? A yard? More?

    Help! Such a dilemma to have! hehe
    I agree with what the others are saying. It depends on what type of quilting you like to do. I am trying to use up some of my stash by making charity quilts, so I have been picking up blenders (marbles, tone on tone, bright colors for kids) when I find them at a good price. If it is something I would use for a backing I would get a multiple of 2 yards. I rarely buy less than 2 yards, and never buy fat quarters anymore, as I find I like a full width of fabric for most of what I do. And the only time I ever pay full price for a piece of fabric is if I need something very specific to finish a quilt. Sometimes you will find surprise packages of fabric; really fun to see what is in them. However you do it, just have fun! Enjoy :lol:

  19. #19
    Junior Member wyckedquilter's Avatar
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    Love the kitty! I'm slowly building my stash...and I just buy what ever catches my eye. If I see a FQ somewhere and I love it, I'll grab 3-5 of them. Yardage, anywhere from 1-4...

  20. #20
    community benefactor Renee110's Avatar
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    I am trying to build a small stash. NOTHING like what you see on here, but I want to have about a yard of different colors so when I have a block to make for someone else, I can make it without running to the store. I've been buying fabrics that are on sale. I have a color wheel and am trying to have 1 yard of each color.

  21. #21
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    I guess that i am more of a nonstasher. I buy for quilts at the time I am ready to sew and whatever is leftover goes to "stash". I think this is more thrifty because I don't have money tied up in fabric that I am not using. I am willing to even pay full price because I don't have thousands of dollars tied up in piles of stash. Different perspective.

  22. #22
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I like my quilts that have many patterns so I tend to buy 1/2 yard or a yard of fabric for the tops. I do buy 3-4 yards if I see a wonderful sale for backings. I also like to piece my backings to create interesting backings. I also found what I bought a few months ago no longer really appeals to me...but if cut into small pieces they will look fine. I do not want a huge stash...One closet full is plenty. There are always sales going on.

  23. #23
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjtinkle
    For stash building, I prefer to buy only solids and blenders (like marbles). That way, when you are out shopping and run across a fabulous print, you have a good chance of having fabrics to compliment it at home.
    I agree, you'll almost always use/need tone on tone, marbles, and blenders. The "Stonehenge" line is currently one that I drool over! If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and your not sure what to get, but you need to put that fire out (lest it never happen again ), then get 3-5 yards of these to start. If you see prints that make you go "Oooooo!!" - then get a few yards of that as well. Grab a few fat quarters.

    Naturally look for all the sales.

    Garage/estate sales & Craigs list are great places to stash build. Lots of them are family members selling "Moms" stash after Mom has passed. You may not like the whole stash, but get it all, cherry pick it, then sell the rest here on QB - or donate it to a group to do charity quilts.

    And don't forget QB here. Look at the sale posts. And (confession time) look at all the other posts as well. I recently saw a photo of someone's sewing room that they were organizing, in the photo was a rolled bolt of a print that I've been looking for for AGES. I wrote here to ask if she was interested in selling it and sure enough - she was.

    Also, if you buy 3 yards of something today, decide what you want to use it for a year from now but need 3.5 yards but the stores no longer carry it - ask the folks on here if they have it in their stash and are willing to part with it. I've only been here a few months and so far I've seen some pretty incredible "finds".

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Quote Originally Posted by cjtinkle
    For stash building, I prefer to buy only solids and blenders (like marbles). That way, when you are out shopping and run across a fabulous print, you have a good chance of having fabrics to compliment it at home.
    I agree, you'll almost always use/need tone on tone, marbles, and blenders. The "Stonehenge" line is currently one that I drool over! If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and your not sure what to get, but you need to put that fire out (lest it never happen again ), then get 3-5 yards of these to start. If you see prints that make you go "Oooooo!!" - then get a few yards of that as well. Grab a few fat quarters.

    Naturally look for all the sales.

    Garage/estate sales & Craigs list are great places to stash build. Lots of them are family members selling "Moms" stash after Mom has passed. You may not like the whole stash, but get it all, cherry pick it, then sell the rest here on QB - or donate it to a group to do charity quilts.

    And don't forget QB here. Look at the sale posts. And (confession time) look at all the other posts as well. I recently saw a photo of someone's sewing room that they were organizing, in the photo was a rolled bolt of a print that I've been looking for for AGES. I wrote here to ask if she was interested in selling it and sure enough - she was.

    Also, if you buy 3 yards of something today, decide what you want to use it for a year from now but need 3.5 yards but the stores no longer carry it - ask the folks on here if they have it in their stash and are willing to part with it. I've only been here a few months and so far I've seen some pretty incredible "finds".
    *****************
    *************************
    Normally I would ''never'' re-post an entire orgional message BUT this is some OUTSTANDING advice and is worth reading again!!

    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Ok, I am a fairly new quilter too, and don't have nearly as much stash as people here show, and I should add that I don't want to have that much stash, I am a bit of organization and neat freak, and I would feel uncomfortable with too much clutter.

    Now that being said, I did want to have some pieces that could be inspiration for me for the quilts I want to make and for some freedom to change things around. What I did to start with was buying bundles of FQ in fall colors and spring colors, then I would shop some sales and get a yard or two of fabrics I like, then I added some tonals and batiks in my favorite colors to help bridge some gaps in the color spectrum. Now when I am planning a quilt, I check out my stash and pick one or more fabrics then take them to the LQS to get more for that quilt. I love it!

    I should add that most of my quilts are smaller so that yard or two have been mostly enough. If I were into making large quilts, I would have gotten more like 3 or 4 yards.

    Good luck and have fun!

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