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Thread: Starting a stash... what would you include?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Starting a stash... what would you include?

    If you were to start to build a stash from scratch, what fabrics would you recommend as being very important to include?

    And if you already have a stash, are there any fabrics that you thought were must-haves, but didn't turn out to be useful?

  2. #2
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    Good topic - I think the answer(s) will depend on what people like to make.

    I think a really good black is a 'must have' - I love the intensity of the Michael Miller black - I'm not so impressed with the fabric itself.

    Blenders/textures are useful to me.

    I would like the white-on-whites to be more 'substantial' - many of them seem so thin/flimsy on the 'plain' part of the fabric.

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    When I came back to quilting, I took a quilt "color" class and we looked at all kinds of fabric, too. I love geometric designs (bold and subtle), Kansas Troubles, prints that read solid, black, red, orange and almost all Blank Quilting. We were encouraged to use our color wheels in adding fabrics to our stash. I have a nice collection now. BUT I found that the Fairy Frost I got was a little flashy for me or maybe I just haven't found the right project. If it ends up not being right, I will take the rotary cutter to it and it will be in a scrap quilt.

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Black, 200 count muslin, various marbles, blenders or other tonal fabrics would be a good start, along with some various prints in the persons favorite colors or themes. Personally, I like bright and soft shades, along with batiks. I'm not into the civil war prints or much of Moda's muddy colors.

  5. #5
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I guess I am a bad stash builder..I just buy what I like when I want it...When there is a good sale, I buy even more..When I go to use some as focus fabric, I end up usually going out to buy the coordinating fabrics. Of course this leads to more stash!!

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    I'm not sure I would set out to 'buy a stash' as "Stash happens". In fact, if I had to start from scratch, I'm not sure I would know where to start.

    In the beginning, I was making two charm quilts -- one with blues (ended up with about 225 different fabrics) and one with music theme fabric (at least 170 different fabrics). Since I only needed a 6" square from each I ended up with plenty of both buying 1 FQ at a time (i still have 2 drawers full of music fabric). Another time, I collected bright FQs during a shop hop to make a couple of baby quilts. Again, plenty of extra fabric left over -- ended up making 230 Flying Geese plus the piano key border for a twin size quilt, gave a stack of squares to a friend, another baby quilt and STILL had fabric left over, although not as much.

    At one time I collected cat fabrics (FQs). I'm not positive what I was going to do with them. Still don't know, but I've at least cut into them. I also have a box of florals, which I'm not sure how I've accumulated. Others I've collected for samplers I'm working on -- 30's; red & white; black & white.

    I've used a whole bolt of a gorgeous purple and pink batik over the past 10 years; Kona Cotton Snow has gone into a couple of 30s samplers. 15 yards of Kona Cotton black has also been used. But these are fabrics I've purchased with specific plans for. I'm not sure I'll buy the black again -- I do dislike the lint it collects. I keep thinking I have enough of the Snow, but seem to run out and I have no idea what I would do with more of the batik.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i built my stash on colors that i enjoy. i found, though, that i loved making quilts for other people and needed to purchase colors that they loved. so, i would say, have a diversity of fabric colors.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Have beem quilting for ten years and never needed black until recentky! The only thing I would advise is neutrals - whies, creams, beiger, tan, etc.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    If I had to build a stash it would start with neutrals , tone on tone type fabrics. Then I would build in colors that I like to decorate, then some Chistmas or holiday ... as there is always a gift that needs to be made.

  10. #10
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    Blenders are always good. I just purchase more than I need for every project.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I tend to buy fabric lines. Like fat quarter bundles and then some yardage of a couple of the fabrics I like the most, so I will have enough to make a whole quilt. I have lots of Kona Cotton Snow. Lots. And use lots of it. I have one drawer of fat quarters that are all dots. I have one that's all stars. I have stacks of reds and stacks of greens and lots of off whites. I have 5 yards of black. I have finally bought batiks. Yards of it. Taking a class this coming weekend and I'm making a quilt that requires batiks, so I'm taking all my batiks and then buying some to be able to make this quilt. I know I'll need something that pops. I have lots of layer cakes with yardage that matches. I buy yardage with even charm packs. I have lots of fat quarters. I have so much left overs from all my quilts, too. Plus I started buying 5 1-yard fabrics for the pattern "It Takes 5" meaning it takes 5 1-yard of each fabric to make this pattern and it's a book. In fact, I think there are two books now. I like that idea. So, when I'm at a fabric store and find a piece of fabric, instead of buying 5 yards of it, I find 4 to match it and I'm set. I don't usually just buy one piece of fabric because I always think I won't have anything to match it and I've been in that situation before. Couldn't find anything! So I have this beautiful piece of fabric and it doesn't match any white or off white or any color I can find. So, it'll go in a scrap quilt, which I hate to do because it's so pretty. That's why I buy fabric lines or have a pattern in mind. Even my reds I have...I couldn't find the right color red I needed for an applique. I had to go to the quilt store and the owner had the right color in her purse. So, I can't just buy different pieces of fabric. I'm not good with color, I guess is what I'm saying. I like quilt kits. It's all figured out for you. The owner of my LQS will make me up a quilt kit if I show her a pattern and tell her what I'm wanting to do with it. She never disappoints.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    Black, 200 count muslin, various marbles, blenders or other tonal fabrics would be a good start, along with some various prints in the persons favorite colors or themes. Personally, I like bright and soft shades, along with batiks. I'm not into the civil war prints or much of Moda's muddy colors.
    Black is important to me for contrast, but not for everyone. When you buy, consider what you already have. What sorts of quilt do you especially like? I am not fond of 30's repro and the only pale colors I generally use are blue and green tonals. I make lots of quilts for kids in out of home placement, so I buy novelties and panels and things that go with them. I love strong batiks. After you figure out what sorts of things you like to make, stash building should be implied. Tonals in your favorite colors are always a good bet. Unless you have some idea of what you might want to do with it, "just because" is probably a poor choice. I had a lovely floral panel for 10 years before I figured it out. I go through a lot of moda muslin, as well. One thing to keep in mind is what size of quilt you are likely to make. If it is King sized, get 2-3 yard pieces. If it is table runners, 1/2- 3/4 yd is probably enough for anything you will want. Keep price in mind. Unless it is a major sale of really good stuff, cool it. While your tastes in colors may change somewhat over time, they probably won't change dramatically. I was a quilter for about 9 years before I bought all the fabrics for one quilt at one time. Unless you are buying a coordinating set, you probably won't find them together. Some people I know take tiny snips of all the stash fabrics with them when they shop.

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    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    All that and anything i can gst my hands on

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I have Moda marble swirls in every color except black, which I hadn't seen until recently so now I will add it. When I get below 1/2 yard of any color, I buy more - well, maybe not the pale lilac. Pale blue isn't a favorite, either.

    What do I buy I don't need right now - used to be florals, now it's batiks.

    What do I not buy - muddy colors, civil war prints, blues if I can help it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i accumulate stash in three ways. the first is that i buy stuff i like. if i want to make something out of it later, i can usually find cooridinates. the second is that i buy enough stuff to make a quilt even though i don't exactly know what i will need of each color. i may not even have a pattern in mind, but i will have all of the fabric if i do find a pattern. the third is just that stash happens. these would be pieces left over from other projects.

    i would say don't force what you choose as stash. start with the intention of making something using a pattern that you have. then, if you like something, pick it up. it all depends on how you decide to use it. this is the hardest part of building a stash since there is no pattern and nothing yet to go with it. don't force the process. you will fall into your own pattern of buying and using or buying and hoarding, just like the rest of us.

  16. #16
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    The only advice I would give is to love the fabric you're buying, not just like it. This applies even when it's cheap, on sale or 'too good to miss'
    If you love it when you buy it, chances are it won't end up in the bottom of the bin or in that scrappy quilt.
    You'll know you love it when the shop owner starts giving you odd looks while you're standing petting it, or worse, talking to it - ask me how I know
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  17. #17
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I wouldn't set out to buy a stash if I were just starting out. I would buy what I planned on making and then go from there. Through the years you have a stash. Can't imagine trying to buy up things you think you might need, and then not have any when you wanted it because you didn't think of that at the time. I had a lot of left over fabric stash from sewing and then my quilt stash grew from there. Now I buy what I want to when I see it, I rarely need anything as I have it now. I am older and it took me many years to get the stash I have.
    Sewbeadit
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Scraps's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness!! I can't imagine how much more fabric I would have, if I intentionally bought stash!! I have so much stash just from buying for special projects. I would rather go shopping for new fabric for a new project. Stash gets old LOL I have started doing applique wall/door hangings and that will help use up odd pieces and eventually I will try a scrappie quilt. I have also made some cute tote/travel bags with leftovers from the special projects. Have fun which ever way you do it!!

  19. #19
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I never thought of building a stash.... it just happened on its own. When I have fabric left over from a project (quilt or otherwise) it goes into my collection of fabrics (stash). At the beginning of my quilting (35-40 yrs ago), I looked at a beautiful antique quilt that had so many different fabrics and thought how expensive it would be to make that quilt. Add together the cost of 100's of fat quarters and the dollar value goes up. But now, I can make a quilt with 100's of different fabrics that I have pulled from my stash. And I didn't plan that stash.... it just took on a life of its own.

  20. #20
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    I started out to say that deliberately trying to build a stash is a good way to tie up money that might be more wisely spent (or invested/saved) elsewhere.

    However, I've also noticed that sometimes a certain color is almost impossible to find at times. It seems that some years almost all the manufacturers have similar colors in their lines - and other years some colors seem to be unavailable.

    Aqua being an example - I had shades of aqua from at least four lines - and they coordinated perfectly.

    I've noticed that the "Christmas Reds and Greens" have changed over the years from Crayola Red and Green to a darker yellowed green and the reds also seem to have darkened.

    So the colors that are popular and/or available do change over the years.

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    Tone on tones, pin dots, I prefer the shadow plays over the marbles, solids, I prefer Bella solids by Moda, and prints that are small, medium and large, and different prints that give you texture, all in differnt colors of course. I also love to use plaids and checks.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LisaGibbs's Avatar
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    If I had to start over I would buy more solids and blenders. I am finding I go for black a lot when looking at sashing or borders as I love the overall look. I also like white on white for backgrounds when doing applique. I guess what you are interested in quilting would be key to what you are looking for. Scrappy quilts are good for fat quarters and all the "pastry lines" (jelly rolls, cakes, etc.). I agree that scrap happens, and sometimes they are well intended quilts that just never make it to actual quilts. I separate my stash by color value so you can tell if you need more light, medium, or dark fabric.

    Mainly have fun with fabrics that catch your eye and eventually you will have fabric that you love and will all work together well just waiting for that pattern you can't wait to make. This site is great for stash building with the wonderful de-stashing that goes on to make room for more new stash!
    Lisa Gibbs

  23. #23
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    I think that is a person question that can be answered differently by every person you ask it of. For myself, I only like scrappy quilts and would never make a quilt with only a few coordinating fabrics so the more the better! I don't like batiks all that much so I don't buy those but I do buy lots of FQ's, layer cakes, jelly rolls and charms...and when i decide what I am going to make I then go out and buy solids or coordinating prints of similar colour for borders etc. The only fabric I would buy yardage of would be whites or tone on tone whites.

  24. #24
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    I think a lot depends on the type of quilts you make. And don't buy a lot of fabric at one time. Your taste and style of quilts will change over the years. Buying good quality fabric is probably most important. Solid fabrics, small prints, and a tone on tone for background fabrics are the basics.

  25. #25
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    What are your goals? What kind of quilts do you like? Blenders are your best choice. Too many of us have collections that require the purchase of even MORE fabric to use.

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