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Thread: How big for stash fabric?

  1. #1
    Member KarynneStorm's Avatar
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    Question How big for stash fabric?

    So I found a picture of someone's stash, and once I stopped drooling, a question popped up in my mind. I like to buy fabrics when they are on sale, or if I have a coupon, or they are having a special, as I am sure we all do.

    My question; If I am buying specifically for my stash, how big is a good size piece for strictly stash pieces? A yard, two yards? half yards?

    What say you, knowers of way more info than I?

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    Fabric choice can make all the difference. Be fearless.

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    I buy at least one yard, sometimes more depending on the price. The one yard lets me use the fabric in participating in FQ swaps and have some left for myself. I make mostly scrap or I-Spy quilts. If I really like it and it is a really good bargain, I'll buy 5 yards so I have enough for backing. I also buy from estate sales or garage sales or stash reduction sales, so from those I take what I can get. I wish mine was this organized. Good luck! Building stash can become an obsession.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I'm sure you will get many answers...but for me, if it's a larger print that I think will be good for a border, 2-3 yds. For anything else, I often only buy 1-2 yd. I have a bunch of FQs from when I first started building up my stash, but often want more than that. If it's a favorite color that you think you might use often, and a good deal comes along, you might want to stock up. I use a ton of blues/greens, so I don't mind getting a little more. Sometimes it goes in the top, sometimes in the back.

    I guess it may also depend on your style...if you like scrappy quilts, smaller amounts are fine. If you prefer a less scrappy quilt, try to get a couple of yards so you have enough for whatever pattern you may have thoughts about using it for.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i do have an extensive stash---i (generally) decide everything on a very individual basis---if it looks like it would make great borders- or is a border print i usually will pick up 3 yards so i can cut borders lengthwise=not have to piece them.
    if i love it & think it would make a great backing or background i will buy 6-10 yards (or the bolt)
    if i like it but really don't know what i would do with it- just want a piece of it that may come in handy i buy either a fq or 1/2 yard. when i look at any fabric that (catches my eye) i generally immediately start envisioning the possibilites---lots of blocks, appliques, borders, backgrounds, sashings, a blender that could be used over & over again in numerous projects....then i decide how much of it i think i should get. i very very seldom purchase pre-cuts or anything less than 1 yard-
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    I think after a while you get a sense of what you might use that fabric for someday..or it is the perfect addition to fabrics already in your stash..my general rule never less than a yard, more commonly 2 yds. thinking of borders or backings, and batiks if i really like them or they are not usually found other than online at least 3 yds..this is what i probably do most often when buying fabric for "piecing stash" backing stash is a whole other topic...lol

  6. #6
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    I do not have much of a stash, because the patterns in fabric change as do my thoughts. So I like to buy whats new on the market for my latest project. However, that being said I do keep tone on tones in my stash and when I do buy I like to get 2-3 yds so I have enought to work with when I do need it. "Blenders" are always a good choice, right now I am fixed on willow by Timeless treasure. Love that fabric.

  7. #7
    Super Member Minnesewta-sam's Avatar
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    I like to buy color coordinated fabrics that go together. Getting usually 1-3 yards of each depending on the fabric.
    Confirmed fabric-holic seeking 12 step treatment program or a storage building.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    If I think its going into a border .. 3 yards. If its just so pretty 2-3 yards if its to be the "show case fabric" . If its a great bargain like a nice cream on cream or white on white... the whole bolt or at least 6 yards. If its just a blender .. 1 yard.

  9. #9
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    I used to buy on speculation and started with smaller amounts. Then I started buying some 2-3 yard pieces. Now, we are facing downsizing and I am working on using up the stuff I like but don't love. The stuff I love is my retirement stash. I feel comforted by having a certain amount of stuff stashed away but am getting to the point where I feel like I really do have too much and knowing that we'll be moving from a house to a two bedroom condo makes using it a realistic plan.
    Oh, and I remember reading that Alex Anderson buys a third of a yard instead of a fat quarter. Considers that more useful.

  10. #10
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I buy fat quarter bundles or jelly rolls or layer cakes and usually 2 coordinating fabrics from the line that I love for sashing and borders and binding. I buy usually 2 yards and 3 yards. Then I find something for the backing at my LQS. I'm not good with matching colors yet. I've been quilting since 1992, but colors are hard for me to mix together. What I think matches, the gals at the LQS say don't match, so that's why I buy fabric lines unfortunately. Maybe someday I will understand color better. I buy kits a lot too so I don't have to select fabric.
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  11. #11
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Not big enough!!! LOL

  12. #12
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i used to buy 1 yards. but now i buy 3. no piece is too small for a stash. after all, we take small piece of fabric and turn them into beauty, right?
    Nancy in western NY
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  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I would say at lease 3 yards because most patterns call for over 2 yards. I would do 5 if I really like it I can use it for a border
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  14. #14
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    You stopped drooling? I'm still drooling over that stash. Oh my, I wish I had the resources to put something like that together. I'd say at least a yard but if its on sale and you like it, buy 3-4. I've bought over 10 yards of a fabric I like because I keep coming up with new ideas I want to try with that specific print. Also, you never know if you'll be able to get more later on.

  15. #15
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    wow can you please come to my house and organize me i would love to be able to find something once in awhile.
    although my hubby would think aliens stole his wife lol it would be awesome to be that organized.
    carla m

  16. #16
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    I always buy 2 yards. If I LOVE it I will buy more. Nothing like a year or two later you decide to use it and are short a little and can't find it anywhere.
    I love the stash you posted.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    It depends on price and what it is. If its tone on tones/blenders that I can see will be great background usually 5 or more.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting I mostly bought quarter yards. In a few years I found that I had lots of variety, but not very much of any one thing. Three years ago I made a decision. 2 yards at least, unless I am in love with it, in which case it could be 3 or 4.
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  19. #19
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    I was buying 1 yard, but when prices went up, I started getting half yards. Then I noticed that I had been buying mostly dark colors, so I started buying 2 yards of the lighter colors. Sometimes I get larger pieces. I see the wisdom in that for borders and backing.

  20. #20
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    I am a 2 - 3 yard person.... but as many of us have found out .... when searching in my stash ... the pattern calls for more then what I have. HUMPH Oh well, just another reason to find more fabric.
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  21. #21
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I like fat quarters to piece the top, 1/2 yards or 1 1/4 yard for borders, and 4 yards, 6 or 12 yards for backs, 1-1/2 yard for binding and 2 yards for sashing. I might also buy 3-4 yards of one color to tie all scraps together.
    Anna Quilts

  22. #22
    Member karen526's Avatar
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    I used to buy 2 yard, but graduated to 3

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I buy fat quarter bundles or jelly rolls or layer cakes and usually 2 coordinating fabrics from the line that I love for sashing and borders and binding. I buy usually 2 yards and 3 yards. Then I find something for the backing at my LQS. I'm not good with matching colors yet. I've been quilting since 1992, but colors are hard for me to mix together. What I think matches, the gals at the LQS say don't match, so that's why I buy fabric lines unfortunately. Maybe someday I will understand color better. I buy kits a lot too so I don't have to select

    fabric.
    The "gals at your local quilt shop" are not the quilt police. In fact they don't exist. Put together combinations that are pleasing to YOU!
    I had the same question early on and realized there is no quick simple answer and it depends on the type of fabric, color, print, and how you will use it. It starts to come in to focus a lot better the longer you are into quilting because you know what you like, what you are drawn to and how you use certain fabrics. I personally love me a striped binding on the bias. For that you need a little more to allow for the diagonal cutting. Basics and blenders probably 2 yd. Cutting borders the length wise way is an excellent idea. No stretching and wavy borders. What an eye opener for me! A friend taught me that at a retreat and I still thank her for that. Worth buying that extra fabric or seam them. Piece your backs - add orphan blocks left over from the front - they are doing that all over the blogs right now. Scrappy bindings!!! Love them. Currently I am switching over to a more "modern quilt" look so am adding to my stash all the time. There are a couple of fabrics that I wish I had more of that are out of print. If you think a fabric is one of those for you, buy extra. You won't be able to get it forever. But there are yummy great fabrics coming out all the time.
    Last edited by Bearpawquilter; 02-16-2013 at 12:20 PM. Reason: misspelled, punc.

  24. #24
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    If I know it will only be used in a top, I get 2 yards. If I think it may be used for a backing for a lap size quilt, I will get 4 or 5. If I REALLY like it and it is a good deal, I may get all they have.
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  25. #25
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Looking at my stash, most of my fabrics started out as at least 1 - 3 yard cuts, unless they were originally remnants. The only precuts I have purchased have been batik jelly rolls and a couple of interesting fat quarter bundles from the sale bin.
    I'm finding that the fabrics I most often need more of are the fabrics that will work well for backgrounds or for sashings or borders. I have lots of medium to dark value fabrics, lots of focus fabrics, but not as many lights or blenders, especially in the colors I use most often. So now I know what I need to keep in mind when I go shopping. What I'm most likely to come home with? Probably more focus fabrics. LOL!

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