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Thread: Stash Question...

  1. #1
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    When starting a fabric stash what do you buy? I mean do you purchase fabrics by the yrd, fat quarters, what? I have been quilting less than a year and have only purchased fabrics needed for each top I have worked on. I would like to start collecting fabrics and start a stash...just not sure how to start.

    I have purchased a few jelly rolls, but not sure how usable they are going to be.

  2. #2
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Buy at least a yd. of each, if not 1 1/2. I started out trying to buy as many different fabrics as I could for my money.....which meant alot of 1/2 yd. cuts; and have found they are not enough when I want to use them in projects.
    It is so much fun!!!!

  3. #3
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Thanks, that is what I was worried about...not having enough of something when you decide to use it.

  4. #4
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    I buy 3-4 yards of each and then cut into fat quarters.

  5. #5
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    the minimum i buy is 3 yards and most of the time i buy bolts - but i'm not a "scrappy" type quilter.

  6. #6
    Super Member Ms Grace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsye
    I buy 3-4 yards of each and then cut into fat quarters.

    This is such a good idea. :D
    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    I would recommend only buying what you need when you need it.

    In the long run, you will probably save yourself a LOT of money - even if you pay "full price" for whatever you want at the time.

    (Says the lady that ran around to four WalMart stores today buying out their marked down Halloween fabrics)(one was sold out by the time I got there )

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I buy according to what I think the fabric might end up being used for. If it's a great border fabric get 3 yards. A great background fabric get at least 4 or 5. Anything that will be used for blocks, anywhere from fat quarters to yard cuts. If you are going to buy a great focus fabric and two or three fabrics to go with it for the blocks get at least two yards of the focus fabric.

    A queen size quilt averages around 10 yards for the top.

  9. #9
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I would recommend only buying what you need when you need it.

    In the long run, you will probably save yourself a LOT of money - even if you pay "full price" for whatever you want at the time.

    (Says the lady that ran around to four WalMart stores today buying out their marked down Halloween fabrics)(one was sold out by the time I got there )
    I don't intend to have a huge stash and for the most part this is what I will probably do, but there have been times that I have wished I had a small stash to create some blocks or to just create something quick...

  10. #10
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    As chief hoarder and most disorganized (my self-appointed voluntary position ) I can not imagine why anyone would want to do what you are setting out to do????
    My mother always said: If you create an appetite for something, the appetite will have to be fed ...
    and, buying more fabric than one could use in five lifetimes, just isn't practical, but I only started buying a yard here, a yard there ... oh, I could put that into a theme quilt I might make fifteen years from now, since I really don't have time to complete the 25 quilts that need to be quilted right now ....
    are you hearing me???? You are about to make a BIG mistake!
    Now ... having said all that, I did note that you said you liked to just make a block once in awhile, rather than a whole quilt ...
    well, by golly! Go buy some fat quarters and make some blocks! A sampler, I suppose is what you are thinking of ... and, you are probably wanting to try different techniques, and don't need a whole quilt to accomplish the feat.
    I get that ...
    I helped my sister in law build her stash by talking to her about the TONS of good fabric I have seen in thrift stores ... clothes that are barely worn .. men's shirts ... skirts ...
    garage sales ... you can't believe the sheet sets and fine fabric you can pick up less expensively that having to go buy brandy new fabric all of the time ...
    and, just start sharing your new interest among friends and family! You can't possibly imagine the people around you who have lots of fabric that they were waiting to share with someone because mom's fabric isn't what they wanted to own, anyway ... or Aunt Tilly just died, and we are cleaning out her house ... we just want it gone! Do you want it?
    Happens all the time .
    Proceed cautiously

  11. #11
    Senior Member adriansmom's Avatar
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    My only advice to you is if you do buy a stash, buy at least 1yd cuts and make sure you also get some coordinating fabric. My mom is my best example. She is the kind of person that buys any fabric that catches her fancy. It just calls to her. needless to say she has a huge amount of fabric. her problem was that when she wanted to use it, she never seemed to have a coordinating fabric to use in her project. Of course that meant a trip to the quilt shop (she didn't mind that) but it could get expensive in the long run and if you don't have a lot of rooom, storage becomes an issue. I myself usually only buy what I need when I need it, but that is because I have no room. I have been known to buy just for the heck of it though! I hope that helps. I am sure you will get some great advice on here.

  12. #12
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I have only been working on a stash for a couple of years. I have a mix of yardage and FQs. Here is what I have done and so far is working for me.

    Neutrals and Holidays fabric - I purchase 1-3 yards of stuff I like or that I think I would use such as white on white. beige, soft tonals and prints that "call" my name.

    I also have bought some FQs - but did that when the local shop had their FQ frenzy. I now have a small stash. I am using my FQs for applique right now but even at that I have had to go out and purchase specific fabric for items on the most recent project.

    Another way to get a neat assortment is to participate in a FQ exchange. When I do this, I purchase yardage and cut my own FQs - then I hold on to at least 1/2 to 1 yard of something that I might use as a background, staple or focus fabric and send off the rest.


  13. #13
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    I always buy yardage, very occasionally a fat quarter, no jelly rolls, layer cakes, etc., for me.LOL

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I buy lots of fat quarters and layer cakes for focus fabric. When I find a fabric that will be a great background fabric I buy at least 3 yards. For backing I buy at least 7 yards.

  15. #15
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I agree with just about all the comments here so far. Be very, very careful - it CAN be addicitive. It is rare that I leave a quilt store without purchasing something - even though I have gotten MUCH better - three times recently - no purchase!! :). Fat quarters are nice to have as fillers. 1 - 1 1/2 yards should be the minimum when the fabric just HAS to be purchased - there will be those times. I have had so much fabric donated to me and purchased that I was able to make four quilts without purchasing an inch of fabric - and I could probably do that again two more times at least - may be a bit sad... Now that I am not working I plan on asking for gift certificates for quilt stores/JoAnn's for any and all occassions. Why not? It will keep me from spending other times and still have a nice gift.

  16. #16
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Let me try this again
    I have a huge stash, some of it has been donated, some has been given from estate leftovers ... and most of it has come from my "checking out" what was new in the Local Quilt Store ...
    One of my friends says that when she goes out of town, as in shop hops, she buys the sales fabrics that are in the neutral range.
    Personally, the background fabric is the last thing I have ever thought of, consequently, my "stash" (which is more like a second fabric store - - I am NOT bragging - - I am admitting to be out of control!)
    my stash lacks two things - - neutrals and solids!
    Perhaps if I had had that one tip ... buy a coordinating fabric ... my stash would be more useful.
    On the other hand my scrap quilts most definitely reflect my frenetic buying habits ...
    I want you to enjoy quilting, and buying fabrics is part of the fun ... gets the creative joices flowing, but you are wise to have a plan as you start or you will have lots of fabric and STILL have need for more, as others have mentioned.
    The idea of joining swaps of either fabric or block swaps or any of the many swaps on this site will further grow your stash ... simply because the swaps give you a target to buy toward.
    And, don't forget that you have a quilting personality ... there are just some blocks or styles to which are you drawn ... there may be a holiday or celebration you participate in (mine is Fourth of July and Christmas) ... with those criteria in mind, you would purchase toward that color way.

  17. #17
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    I am like you in that I only buy fabric for a specific project at this point. I am really not good at calculating how much fabric I will need so I end up buying a lot more than I probably need and voila! stash! I think if I lived further from shops, I might be more likely to buy just because I like it but there are like 3 LQS, a Joanns, 2 Walmarts and a fabric outlet all within 10 miles of me. If one doesn't have something, one of the others will.

  18. #18
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I would recommend only buying what you need when you need it.

    In the long run, you will probably save yourself a LOT of money - even if you pay "full price" for whatever you want at the time.
    Actually I think you're a lot more likely to save money buying for stash. If you buy just for your current project what you need isn't likely to be on sale. If you're buying stash you can buy sale fabrics.

    It's a lot like buying a wardrobe, you want to get things that go with the things you already have. If you find a great floral on sale then look for the blenders and zingers on sale the next time you're shopping. Pretty soon you have enough fabric to make nearly any quilt from mostly sale fabric.


  19. #19
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I think they are all great answers. I will take them all into consideration :) I don't plan on creating a HUGE over the top stash, but there are time I see fabrics that I just LOVE and don't buy at the time (thinking I will come back when I have a project to do with them) only to come back and find that the fabric is gone...Those are the fabrics I would like to buy for my stash. I think the answers here have given me a pretty good idea how to do it...THANKS!

  20. #20
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    Some fabrics seem to have very limited runs - Alexander Henry and Michael Miller are two lines that come to mind.

    If you see one of them that you really love, by all means get it while it's available.

    You may or may not ever see it anywhere again.

    The suggestion to get a coordinating fabric with the one that's bewitching you is an excellent one.

    Fabrics "on sale" are my downfall. Full price LQS fabrics - I have LOTS of self control with them.


  21. #21
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Careful. That STASH can quickly turn into a storage problem. First consider how much room you have for your stash. Also, remember you may want to trade fabric with other quilters. My stash started with other quilters giving me material they had never used but put into their stash!
    How much money are you willing to spend on this. Remember you'll need that storage area or shelving.

    Also, over time your preferences may change. What colors and textures/prints you like to work with now may not be what you want to use next year.

    For me: now I only buy slightly more than I need for a project ... so I have enough in case I make an error. My stash is way too big as it is. I have enough for soooooo many charity quilts it isn't funny. Why charity quilts: because my stash has a lot I wouldn't want to use on the finer quilts as my taste had changed and my quilting has [hopefully] evolved to a higher level.

    Literally, this is a personal choice. Good luck.
    qfriend

  22. #22
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    I do this too!
    If I do ever walk in with a project, I always round up to the nearest yard, and if I happen to REALLY like the fabric, I will buy up to three yards, lately, have started buying ten yards at a time ... and, may start buying bolts ... just to use up all my other stuff!
    And, I always say the same thing: The leftover is seed for more fabric .. same with extra blocks... when I find a project, I will rarely make exactly the number of blocks needed. I don't know "make 4" ... I understand twelve or twenty five or a hundred! so, there are always extra blocks ... seed for more quilts of some kind.
    If I find a line that I like (as in there are many different textures) rather than calculate a quilt and have to stand there and figure something out, I will buy half a yard of each part of the line ... the jelly rolls are cool, but more expensive than just making your own ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MNQuilter
    I am like you in that I only buy fabric for a specific project at this point. I am really not good at calculating how much fabric I will need so I end up buying a lot more than I probably need and voila! stash! I think if I lived further from shops, I might be more likely to buy just because I like it but there are like 3 LQS, a Joanns, 2 Walmarts and a fabric outlet all within 10 miles of me. If one doesn't have something, one of the others will.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I buy online for sales that are 3 dollars a yd and buy 1 yd of all the ones I think I might use.
    I stock up on fats that are on sale and buy at least 2 of each pattern.
    Charms that are on sale under 5 dollars with at least 30 sqs. and buy 3 of them.
    For backing the cheapest sale price for a good color for a backing and buy at least 4 yrds for lap size and more for larger.
    I dont buy much except notions at Joanns but last week fats were on sale for 79 cents so bought alot of them.

  24. #24
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have learned if a fabric calls me it may not be there the next time I go shopping so if I can afford it I buy three yards or more. I have started buying solids and neutrals when they are on sale.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bob1414's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I'm a bit obsessive, but if I REALLY like a fabric, I'll buy 2-6 yards of it. I used to only buy 1 yard pieces but I usually ended up disappointed :-(. But, I do have over 2,200 yards of fabric (probably more than 3,000). If you find great fat quarters that catch your eye - they're fine too - they could be an accent fabric on corners or something. So, the moral of my story is buy based on how much you like a fabric or if you think there is a possible purpose for it!

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