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Thread: Lots of Stash Questions

  1. #1
    rayone's Avatar
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    Lots and lots of Stash questions, well maybe not lots but at least I couple I hope you lovely ladies can give me your opinions on. Thanks in advance.

    1. When you see a fabric in a store or online that just "speaks" to you and you just have to have it but you don't have a quilt in mind yet.... how much of that fabric do you buy?

    2. Storing your stash, what is the best way?

    3. Knowing how much you have? For example you bought a yard of fabric and only needed half a yard, how do you know a year from now how much you have? My thought was to make a little note and pin it to the fabric so I know how much fabric is there (as well as how much the fabric cost b/c i want to know how much the quilt cost me)....but will that ruin the fabric having a small pin hole in it for 3-6-12 months?

    Thanks in advance for you opinions!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    When I first started, I though I 'had' to have a stash. Storage got out of hand and now, I'm having problems using it up! I could probably make 20 to 30 quilts out of the stash. I now try to buy just what I need for a quilt that I have in mind. If I can, I pull out of my stash, but I really like new fabrics!!!

  3. #3
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    I'm a fan of scrappy type quilts, so I usually just end up buying fat quarters of fabrics I like, unless I have something in mind that I need more for.

  4. #4
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    If it's fabric that I fell in love with, I'll usually buy 2 yards.
    If there's not much left on the bolt, I'll buy the entire bolt.
    I've bought fabric, gone to use it later only to find out that I don't have enough and they don't sell the fabric ANYWHERE anymore.

    I have a container that I put my fat quarters in. I have a bin that holds scraps of all sizes...I usually have to dig in that to find something I want.
    Large pieces...over 2 yards are kept in one dresser and others, smaller one yard cuts are in another dresser.
    My Christmas fabric is on a shelf of it own, along with seasonal fabric.

    I tried to sort by color, but failed miserably at that, so I just stack it.

    Pinning to the fabric won't hurt it...I just pulled a piece of fabric the other day, and honest to God, the label on it was dated 2006 and it was pinned. Can't see where I pulled the pin out.

    Ok, now you are asking....why was the fabric in there so long? Did I forget about it? Yep! I forgot about it. Actually, it was in a bin off to the side that didn't get unpacked from our move.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    I'm a new quilter and one of the first things I learned is that a Fat Quarter doesn't go very far! Now when I see a fabric I like, I always buy at least a yard, and if I *really* like it, or it's on sale very cheap, or I have a specific project in mind that needs more than a yard, I buy two or three yards. I don't have a lot of money to spare, so though I'd dearly love to go on a stash-building frenzy, I simply can't afford to - so I trawl the remainder and discount racks of the fabric stores for my stash.

    As a result, my stash is so small that I can remember what I have. If I ever have trouble remembering, I think what I will do is take a digital photo of the fabric and make myself a computer file with the photo and how much of the fabric I have, that way I'll be able to see at a glance what I have, all in one place on my computer (but I'm a bit of a computer geek, anyway).

    I don't have a good storage solution (yet). I have a small plastic bin with my FQs and a large cardboard box with yardage and WIPs.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  6. #6
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    If I see something I really like, I buy at least 2 yards -- more if it's on sale or really inexpensive!!

    I store my fabric in those plastic see thru bins. The only problem I have with that is that due to back problems, I can no longer move the stacked ones around:cry: -- ticks me off to no end that I have to have somebody move my fabric boxes around just so I can pet it!!


  7. #7
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    I too am a fairly new quilter but have sewn for years.
    First off all my large pieces (1yard or more) are folded & on shelves above my cutting area. Smaller pieces are in tubs. Strips are in labeled small bins. All clear tubs so I can see at a glance what's inside.
    I've never pinned anything and if you should chose to be sure to use good pins that will not rust with time.
    I have another wall in my room that all the tools, rulers, accessories, embelishments, etc are hanging.
    Then under my work tables are the tubs of lace, ribbon, large serger spools and a two 2 drawer file cabinets for my patterns.
    On the floor I got 2 of the huge cutting mats - this makes it easier to lay out the back, batting and top for pinning & trimming and protects my carpet. I put velcro under them to keep them from sliding around.
    I'm a crafter and quilter using a nice size 10 x 13 room with southern exposure natural light plus a series of track lights. I work with 4 different sewing machines and when I enter my little haven I can do what I want and leave it as it is by simply closing the door behind me.
    Hope these suggestions help. We all eventually find what works best for us. Just find a way to make it fun! :lol:

  8. #8
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I never had a stash really, just odds and ends and leftovers. This year I started building one and I've made many fat quarter bundle purchases, one was 144 FQs on eBay. No, FQs alone don't go very far so unless I have the whole collection that can go together into a design then it will likely end up in a scrappy type quilt.

    I just ordered some fabric yesterday from Whittle's Fabric online and at $3.50 to $4.50 per yard it only came to $90-something for 22 yards. I don't have anything specific in mind for them so I bought 1 yard each of most of them. I usually will get a set of fabrics in a collection, ALL of them if I can. I bought 2 yards each of one collection that there were only 4 fabrics of since I figure a full or queen size quilt in a simple pattern would be at least 8 yards plus border. I also will buy more of the "background" fabric, 3 or 4 yards.

    Whittle's is just great, IMO. I placed the order yesterday morning and I got an email at 1:00 in the afternoon informing me that the order had shipped.

  9. #9
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    My approach to a stash is a little different. I "buy" only if it is a great deal I can't pass up or I "find" yardage at garage sales for practically nothing. I also buy (regular prices...) for a specific quilt I'm planning to make. Right now, I have fabric purchased for the next three quilts that are planned for differant people.

    Even so, though, (sigh.....) sometimes a fabric will speak to me and I will have to have it. I buy a couple of yards and take it home and enjoy petting it until it has a specific purpose.

    I sort by color but honestly the stash really needs some refolding and organizing. I use shoe holders that can be hung in a closet. It isn't working too well as the weight of the fabric is exceeding the capacity of the shoe holders.

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I buy one yard cuts and stack them by color in wire cubes in my closet.
    1/2 yds I have in a bin.
    Batiks in a bin of their own. Also marbles.
    I buy backings and they have a cube of their own.
    Christmas has its own cube. Special fabrics like panels I hang on pants hangers
    Fat quarters I store in plastic baskets by color that I get at the dollartree store. Then they go on a bookcase.
    I have a plastic drawer unit for special fabrics like red, white and blue for wounded warrior quilts our group makes.
    I hang my most used rulers on peg board along with rotar cutters, scisors etc. Some larger rulers and very small ones with no holes are in an inclined sorter.

  11. #11
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Most of my stash is sorted by color - well, the part of it that isn't laying all over the rest of the house that is. :oops:
    I rarely buy fat quarters - and then they're usually for a gift or an exchange at guild.
    Mostly I now buy 1 yard minimum & if one really calls to me & is on sale (I try to only listen to the ones on sale!), I'll buy multiple yards. I think it would be a great idea to mark your fabric as to how big each piece is, but for me, I just wing it. If I don't have enough of one, I either go scrappy or find something I have more of. :D

  12. #12
    k3n
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    Sue - I love that you try to only listen to the ones on sale! LOL But why do the expensive ones always shout louder!

    My stash - I have two little baskets of FQs, a drawer of charms and smaller than FQs and three little drawers of scraps - big enough for a seam and some fabric showing! The rest - half a yard and up are in baskets as well, sorted by theme. For eg I have one basket of blue and whites, one of oldy worldy florals and one for the rest. I buy mostly online as there are no fabric shops here so don't 'impulse buy' other than for example in a January sale; I buy for projects and always buy a bit more than I need to add to my stash.


  13. #13
    k3n
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    Here's a pic of my stash cupboard - it's more pretty than handy because it used to stand in the lounge. Now it's on the landing outside the door to my sewing room and I'm thinking of changing to clear plastic boxes so i can see what I've got!
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  14. #14
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    If you choose to pin (or staple) something - pin it in the selvage - so if it rusts or something - the only mark will be on the very edge. It probably is a good idea to keep track of how much you have and how much it cost.

    Some people keep notebooks (3-ring binder types)- they cut off a tiny scrap and staple it to a piece of notebook paper with relevant information. Where, when, how much, maybe why?

    Since I started buying quilting fabric, I've learned a few things:

    1) That they keep making new prints
    2) That they discontinue some prints - usually one I only bought a little of and wish I had bought more!

    If it is a print that you truly, truly, truly love, buy at least 3 yards of it. Even it it's kind of spendy at the time.

  15. #15
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    Boy, do I have answers for you!! I am in the process of re-doing my stash even as we speak, and this is a 20+ year collection. on the subject of yardage.. if it's a fabric that you might use for sashing or backing I buy a minimum of 3 yards... I have a few pieces that are 7-9 yards.. Usually my minimum cut is 1 yard. although I do have a "section" of 1/2 yard cuts.
    I am washing and pressing all of my fabric, folding it in a very specific way and then I am marking each piece with a little tag that tells me how much, be it yardage or in inches how large the piece is.
    I have a small closet in my room that is about a foot deep and about 5 feet wide and has shelves.. that is the beginning of stash storage. One shelf is 1/2 yard bits, one for 1 yard bits and one for large pieces.
    I am putting the smaller pieces in clear plastic boxes so they are easily seen.
    and will find or build an open shelving unit to store these in.
    As you use fabric, re-size leftovers and reshelve.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I start with how much I can afford to spend. Then I look to see what strikes me at that moment. If I have only one that I want I spend as much as I have on me at that time. If I want several then I make a choice as to which ones I can't live without. Sometimes I talk myself out of something that isn't as good as the one or two or so that I just have !!! to have. Something I have been looking for and couldn't find or something that fits exactly what I need etc.

    I store my fabric on shelves by color. I have floor to ceiling shelves behind my sewing machine. Yes it needs to be refolded and reorganized by value but I can still see what i have and overlook that it didn't get put back where it belongs! Oh well!

    I get fabric at yard sales buy clothes at good will for the fabric and look for large dresses and skirts especially as they are good fabric if they are cotton.

    You will find what works for you!
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  17. #17
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Being a scrap quilter, I love FQs, and have a LOT of them! :wink:

    I have started to buy larger pieces, 1 or 2 yards, but always feel funny when I do.

    I buy backing by the bolt, 108 in wide so it works for everything.

    I do not keep any fabric on shelves, but in chests. when I start a new quilt, I take it all out and spend hours getting just the right pieces. then I put it all away except what I am going to use. My grandmother always kept her material in a dark place, and I just do it the way she did, no other reason! :D


    Ninnie

  18. #18
    Kj05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    Being a scrap quilter, I love FQs, and have a LOT of them! :wink:

    I have started to buy larger pieces, 1 or 2 yards, but always feel funny when I do.

    Ninnie
    I completely know what you mean about feeling funny buying larger pieces.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chrys's Avatar
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    I mainly buy fat quarters, so I could have more of a selection. ;) But if it's something I really like, I'll do a half a yard. If it's something I love and adore then I'll get a yard.

  20. #20
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    i think i have a rather large stash. i've never counted but i would say its over 1000 yards.

    i store my stash in closet in my studio and i also have a bookshelf of fabric.

    i sort it

    1) if for a specific project - they all get stored together
    2) if from the same line - they all get stored together
    3) if from the same theme - they all get store together (japanese, batik)


    the amount of fabric you buy really depends on the type of quilter you are and what you plan to do with the fabric.

    i have a stack of japanese FQs and a stack of fossil fern FQs both for specific patterns - otherwise i never buy FQs because 1 FQ just isn't enough fabric for me - i'd rather have a half yard which is 2 FQs.

    if its a novelty print i'll buy anywhere from 1/2 - 2 yards depending on how much i love it and how i think i'll use it.

    if its a blender, tone on tone, solid batik, gradations, ombre or large scale print i'll buy 2 - 4 yards depending on how much i love it.

    then i buy PFD by the bolt - i don't consider this part of a stash since its just white fabric waiting for me to paint or dye to turn it into something i can work with.




  21. #21
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    What is PFD?

  22. #22
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    I attended an organizing seminar. Clear containers for sorting are best and the size depends on your shelves. I put a paper in the front with a summary of the contents and adjust as used. I prefer to sort by colors and sometimes by collections. My minimum buy is usually a yard. But it depends on the design and desire. I do by collections. When I moved to PA from GA I donated all of my stash to a group. They were very kind to send me pics of their work. Very nice. But here in PA and especially when I have gone to Lancaster Co. I could not resist starting anew. Good luck and have fun. :D

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    What is PFD?
    prepared for dye.

    its the foundation fabric that all handpainted fabric is prepared on.

    here's a link to the PFD that i use

    http://equilter.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi...04109121620.70

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kluedesigns
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    What is PFD?
    prepared for dye.

    its the foundation fabric that all handpainted fabric is prepared on.

    here's a link to the PFD that i use

    http://equilter.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi...04109121620.70
    thanks

  25. #25
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    You have gotten some great answers. I too rarely buy fat quarters unless it is a great sale or a fabric that I will not use again. I usually buy 1/2 yard minimums and if the pattern calls for FQ's I have 2. I like to buy a yard maybe a yard and a half. If I really like it, I'll get 3 yards and If I really really like it I'll get more, 5-6 or finish the bold.
    Like many others I store mine differently. All FQ's go into a couple rolling drawer units, everything 2 yards and under is folded one way and over 2 yards is folded another way. Pieces large enough for "backs" - over 6 yards are stored in a different place, though I will usually put a 1 yard piece of it with all my regular fabrics in case I want to use it in a quilt, I can see it.
    It is all arranged by type, such as florals, holiday, batiks, and by color and size. I have built in cabinets to store most of my fabrics (though I do have a dozen of those large rubbermaids in the garage (about 10 feet from my sewing area) for what does not fit in my cabinets.

    I have an addiction, I cannot stop buying fabrics. Tomorrow I will be going on the "Central Coast Quilt Run" with about 6 or 7 other of my friends and I will have to buy more fabrics, though I have no room to put them away. We will hit about 13 quilt shops in the next two days!!!!

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