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Thread: It is okay if you don't have a stash...

  1. #26
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    Personally, I think it is nuts to think you have to buy fabric and have a stash. Most of us have left over fabrics, particularly those who make their own designs. I suppose if you only use patterns you can buy EXACTLY what you need, but that has drawbacks also. I have two plastic drawer sets with smaller fabric pieces sorted by color and I use them all the time for accents or medium or small design elements (no way would I cut them into squares... I need them in too many shapes)! My one cupboard 8'x4'x20" is a little more than half full of yards of fabric. Sometimes I buy fabric that is sooo beautiful and know I'll find a use for it. Often I buy more than enough for a single quilt so that I can use the fabric pieces in another quilt also. I do a lot of applique and that uses up a lot of my stash. I never have gone out and bought fabric just so I can have a stash. Stash happens; if you have to shop for it you are going to end up with too much and the wrong colors.

    If you are new to quilting, don't buy to have it on hand; buy because the fabric calls to you, reminds you of your brother or grandchild, or..... because you absolutely love it. A quilting friend gave me some panels of a fabric which is the most beautiful that I've ever seen. I immediately used it and then realized it would also be perfect for another friend who is a part of our extended family, so I bought several yards before it became hard to get.

    Having rows and rows of shelves with fabrics is something I couldn't handle. I've only been quilting for 10 years and there are some fabrics that I bought for kiddie quilts (I have 13 grandchildren) and other fabrics that I don't really like anymore, and have very little use for now and find myself doing church drive quilts for children and older people. Tastes evolve. Stash happens. Don't work at it, let it evolve and try to keep some control over your buying impulses.

  2. #27
    Junior Member sewnut's Avatar
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    I don'thave a stash either, just small pieces. I also have a limited bugjet and only buy what I need. but some day hope to start building maybe a tiny stash.
    Love is the greatest gift. Jane

  3. #28
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I am with this one.
    Right now I have the space for stash and I have some. I buy a lot from other quilters selling off scraps or stash. It is the only way I can afford to quilt right now so I am grateful for the stash.
    If it cramps your house, makes you unhappy or you do not have the money for it then it is not the right thing. Else enjoy!



    Quote Originally Posted by mighty View Post
    I really agree, what ever works for you is the best!!! There are truly no rules!!!!
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 03-07-2013 at 01:13 PM.
    Anna Quilts

  4. #29
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    I do have a big stash and sometimes stash management can become a problem. About eight years ago, I stopped buying fabric "on speculation", buying fabric only to finish a quilt. However, I got forced into an early retirement three years ago and my husband lost his job this week. Even buying thread is hard now. I would not be able to quilt if I did not already have that stash. The way I figure it, I probably have at least another twenty years to sew and by then, the stash should be all used up.

    I do quilt a lot; I have finished four charity adult size quilts in the past week or so, and have two more that probably will be finished this week. Then I make my own quilts! My first pattern is all ready to go.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 03-07-2013 at 01:59 PM.

  5. #30
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    I'm sorry to hear about your DH, cricket. It must be very scary for you both.

  6. #31
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I do have a stash of fabrics and I love having it. When matching fabrics for a matchy, matchy quilt it is great to find the right fabric to go with others. Now I am in the process of trying to use as I can. I make anywhere from 16 to 18 quilts a year, while working full time and doing my home chores. I love making quilts and that is what I do. I don't want to have to run out and buy fabrics.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #32
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    You are prehaps the smarter by doing this, if things laying around bothers you. I am beginning to think like this also.So now I dont buy, I must use from stash and finish a project befor starting another one.And in this I find more peace for myself in my quilting. So to each her own.

  8. #33
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Through quilting I've evolved from a "project oriented" approach to a "love the process" approach. Right now I'm working on a challenge at the guild. I'm randomly cutting and sewing curvacious strips together. I'm definitely enjoying myself. A friend is here for the week and she's working on an art quilt also. We critique each others and sew on each others and laugh and just enjoy the time together. No quilting store sorees. I do have to take a break for PT tomorrow. Since I have the stash, I make do with what I have. "Necessity is the mother of invention" and making due with what I have makes me more creative.

    I think I need to find that "Quilters Will" though and make sure it's attached to my will.

  9. #34
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    you go girl, I'm just the other way. I love fabric, buy it every week and have it stocked piled. I'm planning on retiring next year and once on ss there isn't going to be money for fabric. My att phone bill has gone up $2.00 each month for the last 3 months, one of our local power co sent letters to their customers the rate is going up 25% and everyone has been to the grocery store, right? Gas here is south Mississippi is $3.589 a gallon.

  10. #35
    Junior Member scrapbeagle's Avatar
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    I agree that this is a very personal choice. When other quilters are talking, the question of "how big is your stash?" usually comes up. Since I am a scrapbooker as well, I quickly realized that buying 12 x 12 scrap paper for my "paper stash" was more easily managed than buying fabric everytime I saw something I liked. A very dear friend gave my sister and I a lot of Civil War fabric and we immediately put it to use, so that stash has dwindled quickly. This gift of fabric fueled our creative juices and as a result many beautiful projects were completed. I don't have a lot of storage and disorganized "stuff" makes me nervous so I try to make an effort to buy only what I need for specific quilt projects.

    I frequently sort through and give away fabric to the Thrift Store that I don't think I will use and no one to pass it too. This way, somewhere - someday, another quilter will get so excited that she found fabric at the Thrift store for her/his stash and that person will be very happy!!! Pay it forward!

  11. #36
    Senior Member asimplelife's Avatar
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    It's a personal thing... I stock up on fabrics I love during sales especially and sometimes I'll splurge at full price. Some I have a plan for, others I don't. I live in a rural area so my stash contains a lot of basics like backgrounds and blender fabrics. Is it more than than I need... yes. But I consider it an investment. If my tastes change I'll cut it up and make scrappy quilts or use it for backings. There are worse vices than fabric!

  12. #37
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    With me I did not start out ''gathering''a stash -it just happened. Fabric sales always led to more fabrics grabbing me begging to be adopted. So I adopted them. Now it takes 2 trips of double stacked totes in an extended bed pick-up truck to move all of it. So I've almost got myself convinced to start sorting and thinning it down to a more manageable amount. I've never held a yard sale but once the weather breaks I will be having one.And there will be lots of yardage on the tables looking for new homes. It won't be easy to part with but I will never live long enough to use it all. My brother says I should open my own Hancock's franchise. He's such a funny man----

  13. #38
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I have a small stash compared to what I have seen here - I keep mine in shoe box size containers (plastic) mostly by color - if I can't fit the lid on the box, it is time to make something from it. I happen to LOVE scrappy and very seldom buy fabric (for several years) to make a specific quilt - I only buy for borders and backs and that is only if I don't have something that will work - have been known to piece my backs to use up more scraps. I agree that there is only so much room and money and I would rather have the room than the stash - it is time to go through mine and make some contributions to some charity groups.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by reginalovesfabric View Post
    Gas here is south Mississippi is $3.589 a gallon.
    Gosh that sounds so cheap to me! It's been well over four bucks a gallon for awhile here in CA. But then again, everything is hideously expensive here!!

    I'm a stasher, for sure - I get pleasure out of going through it periodically and I find it to be inspiring as well. I don't stash JUST to stash, I use it all eventually.

    We all fall in a spectrum between "fabric collector" and "exact yardage only, please!" and nobody should feel obligated to be anything other than what fits their life - their taste, their budget, their space...

    If I had more space, I'd definitely have a bigger stash though, I must admit. I yearn for space to keep rolls of batting, for example...and so many gorgeous batiks in this world.... Of course I also yearn to be independently wealthy so I could spend all day playing in my fantasy quilting room, with my fantasy stash...where needles never get dull and thread never breaks and points are never lost...

  15. #40
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    I've quilted for thirty years. I had no intention of building a stash: it just happened!!! I cannot believe the amount of fabric, notions, etc. and at this point I cannot even remember when where or why I bought some of these things. I have made a few almost legendary scrap quilts though!!

  16. #41
    Senior Member Bneighbor's Avatar
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    Two weeks I started the long process of cleaning and re organizing my sewing room...I had reached a point awhile back were certain things in my life did not matter. I have taken control again and have decided to " clean my home, my health and clean my life". And I am excited.
    I did not start out to collect a stash, it happened over years of sewing. But it became overwhelming, and brought on depression. I had so many projects I wanted to do, but the mess just got in the way. I have not bought any "stash" fabric for almost 3 years. I only buy fabrics if I need something for a specific project AND 2/3 of the project fabrics HAVE to come from the stash.
    I have spent the last week, cleaning, honest de cluttering. I took bins and bags and marked them as keep, donate, trash. Yesterday I donated two 55 gallon trash bags of no-longer-loved fabrics to a local charity. It was scary but so satisfying. I know someone will love them again. They are scheduled for another pick up in two weeks, I plan on donating at least 2 to 3 more bags, if not more.
    As I am sorting, I am folding and organizing by color and style. This may change, but it is a start. Today I have wire shelving being set up and I will start putting my stash out. I want to see what I have...no more stuffed into boxes...that should be a constant reminder. Hubby has been so helpful and understanding. He did not understand how I was feeling, but joined me last evening by moving boxes for me. He said nothing about the amount, only that he hoped that what I give away become a joy of giving, and my new room should be inspiring.
    He took some measurements too, saying he had a surprise for me. Something to do with thread because he asked for an extra spool of embroidery thread and asked how many I had and how many more I needed to have the entire color line. !?!?!

  17. #42
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    I definitely have a stash. I am planning to shop from my stash until most of it is gone. I see really wonderful fabrics, etc., but I have decided not to buy unless I am working on a specific quilt and absolutely cannot find anything in my stash that will work. I am with some of the rest of you here, space is sometimes better than stash, for me, anyway.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Bneighbor's Avatar
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    What a difference a day makes! My room is half done. I worked last night until almost 11pm and I am exhausted. But it is really starting to look like a real sewing studio. I have a large cutting island being put in today. I did wire shelving last night. I started to fill the shelves, just to get some of the stuff moved. I drew up as sort of blue print of what goes where. I had to work in sections, because this was so overwhelming. I walked in this morning and just smiled. I feel accomplished, and it's not even finished!

  19. #44
    Senior Member fromzstore's Avatar
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    you are correct most of the time when you make a quilt what you need is not in your stash.

  20. #45
    Super Member fxsts93kf's Avatar
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    I have a stash and I love it! I fell in love with quilting because of all the beautiful fabrics and I love bringing them home! I am one of those that when I pick a project I love being able to go to my stash and pull out as many of the fabrics as I can. The thing I find is when you look at a fabric individually you might think you wouldn't have a use for it, but when you have a project picked out, all of a sudden you look at those fabrics in a whole new light!

    And I also haven't been working for the last 8 months and having a stash to pull from has been a godsend financially! I just wish I lived close enough to shop at the thrift stores that some of you gals are sending your fabrics too Lol!
    Kelly

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