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

  1. #1
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    It is okay if you don't have a stash...

    I have recently read many threads about people who are overwhelmed by their stash or others who feel they must invest in huge amounts of fabric to build a stash. Building a stash is not a requirement for quilting. Some people love having a stash and find it incredibly great for their quilting but for others it is an obstacle or headache and spend forever trying to store, rearrange, sell and donate fabric or try to use it up.

    I started building a stash with leftovers and found that having that much stuff just made me nervous. I am currently using up all that fabric (and it isn't even all that much) on scrap quilts and have decided to just buy what I need for each quilt. I always buy a bit more than I need just in case I mess up... And when that pile starts to build, I will make a quick scrappy quilt.

    Remember to do what works for you. Just a different point of view.

  2. #2
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    I went to a garage sale years ago and saw tables piled high - 3 foot high or higher - with double knit fabric. The entire garage was full of double knit fabric. Don't know what the inside of the house looked like or if it had a basement. But, I did hear the "lady" having the garage sale say to a customer or acquaintance: Daddy let Mother buy all of this fabric because it made her so happy.
    Nikki in MO

  3. #3
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    I agree you don't have to have a stash! However I do, it seems I just can't pass up a great deal. Most of my stash comes from sales, very little of it I paid full price for. With the price of fabric going up so much I figured it as an investment - course that only works if I use it! Luckily I made good choices and both my mom and I are able to pull our backs and most of the time 75% for our fronts from it. That said it is a lot of work, investment not only of time but also $. Kind of wish I just bought for each quilt as I go along

  4. #4
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    It is definitely ok to not have a stash. I have a small stash and it takes up way more room then I'm comfortable with. And it does keep me from buying more fabric. 1, I don't have anymore room to store it, 2, I don't NEED it, 3, and sometimes, it does keep me from creating. (Sometimes, just too many choices.) And, the worst, what I loved before, I don't love all of it now. My tastes have changed. But, I am not made of money so I will find a way to use it. And, I will probably fall back in love with it by the time I'm done. lol (Or, at least I hope so.)

    I have cleared out my stash twice before donating my unwanted fabrics and scraps to charity. And, I have only been sorry to have given up just a few pieces that I probably can use now. But, that's ok. I just think about all the good that the charity's are doing for other people and move on from that thought.

    Do what your comfortable with. And enjoy your the time you do spend creating.
    My little shinning stars. Brantley, Kaylynn, and Emmalee

  5. #5
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    I was trying to build a stash, but then most of the people I make quilts for have special color or pattern requests. Seems I have to buy, anyway. Also, I used to crochet and designed many of my own patterns and for a magazine. The arthritis in my hands makes it hard to do much crocheting anymore, but I have a large stash of yarn and thread. I think I had almost every color that Red Heart made. I've started giving some away, and some I'm trying to use up with a little crocheting here and there. If I had a large stash of fabric, I could end up in the same predicament with that. I think I'll start doing what "hopetoquilt" is doing. Just buy a little more of what I need, save the leftovers and then make a nice scrappy. I do like to buy remnants, tho. Makes me feel so thrifty! (lol)
    SittingPretty

  6. #6
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    You are absolutely right. I have a healthy amount of fabric but am trying to be reasonable about what I really need. We are hoping to downsize to a life between two smaller places in the coming years so this is an incentive to not go fabric crazy.

  7. #7
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    I have a large stash, which I consider to be both ours, but DH doesn't see it the same. Anyway, he is making his 1st quilt and says he doesn't want a stash, he only wants fabric for what he is working on. We love doing things together but we have different ways of doing some things. It works for us. So if you choose to have a large or no stash, it's personal choice. So do whatever you choose, it's your space, to do whatever works best for you. (DH has COD and I think that adds to he's not wanting a stash. He doesn't deal well with clutter)
    Country1
    Country 1

  8. #8
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting about this topic. I have a very limited budget when it comes to fabric. I have a small stash and it works for me. I have made some great quilts and plan to make more. I am quite shocked when I see the amount of fabric some people have. I suppose it's what you are comfortable with, personally I'd rather keep the stash down and use up what I have before getting more.

  9. #9
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Thank you for starting this. It's really important to find what works for you. I do art quilts that require a little piece of this and a little piece of that. And it's a minimum of 1/2 hr drive to a traditional quilt store. Making an art quilt requires a lot of auditioning. Most of my stash is 1/2 yd or less. So I'm glad to have my stash. And even though I'd not even come close to the winning of the competition (He who dies with the most-wins), it is pretty extensive.

  10. #10
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    No stash to speak of here either. I buy for each project. I'm not into scrappy. I do overbuy for each project so I have room for error (or sometimes I just miscalculate by a bunch!). If I need to do a block for a hug or a swap I can usually manage that out of what I have left over. Otherwise, I use up my scraps on some other, non-quilting project. I just don't have the room to accumulate lots of fabric. And I know, with respect to other aspects of my life, my tastes change over time so I'd look at a fabric down the road and it would fall into that 'what was I thinking' category!

  11. #11
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    It is okay to have a stash, but I too am starting to feel that I have way too much. I am trying to edit and use what I have before buying more. I have not been too successful in using much, but I have a lot to use too.
    Debbie
    When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.

  12. #12
    Super Member owlvamp's Avatar
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    I don't have much of a stash either. I usually buy as I go but have a little bit. I do a lot of charity quilts and I love to crochet. I don't keep a stash of yarn on hand either. Wish I did!! When I run out of fabric (I don't have a a lot of scraps) I go to crocheting. But used up most everything I had for hats, scarves and afghans. It's been a joy to do what I do. I will cut up bags and old sheets to crochet. I love using old jeans and clothes for quilting. I usually go to family for there good old jeans. I've just about at that point again. I've used up almost everything I have. But I did get some fabric in from a board member. Plus have some fabric for a certain quilt. I have the room just not the dollars.
    Sandra
    Treat people the way you want to be treated!!

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I agree, I buy what I need, and most people never end up using the stash they spent all that money on and it gets sold at estate sales. I intend to use what I buy. I have a tub and a half, enough projects for a few years, and I think I have too much honestly.
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

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    I'd say that's it a one sentence. I don't collect knit fabric but the new quilt fabrics are gorgeous and I can't pass them up. My husband is always asking when I intend to use it all and the poor man is right because when Mom died (1995) I inherited her stash too, so my stash is large but I do what others do and make scrap quilts for babies and seniors at church. Then I ass to my stash again.

  15. #15
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    I do not have a big stash at all and I intend to use it as I go along. I have been quilting for 6 or 7 years, on and off. I made one big quilt, I am handquilting my second one which is a lap quilt size and I just finished piecing my third one which is a large one, using leftovers and small pieces of fabrics I bought when I took a quilting class.
    I haven't bought fabrics for the last 2 years except to make the borders of the last quilt . That's just the way I was brought up, "do something with what you have"... and I really feel better that way.
    I read how some quilters get overwhelmed with bins of scraps and pieces of fabrics they own. I would be paralyzed by it. That's just me and I want to enjoy it, not get controlled by my fabrics. It forces me to get creative I guess!

  16. #16
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I'll be glad when mine is gone, I wish I'd never started stashing! But of course I never turn down free fabric. Its a love/hate relationship. I love having it when i need it, but I hate keeping it stored, takes up too much valuable space.

  17. #17
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    Senior Member CRO's Avatar
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    I buy for each project and have leftovers that I have no idea what to do with. I can't imagine having a stash. I know it would sit and I would just look at it still wondering what am I going to do with that!

  18. #18
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    I don't have a big stash either, and it's mostly left overs from finished projects or fabric bought for specific future projects. I love having SOME stash so I can always have something to work on. In a month when car or home repairs take my spending money, I can still go to my stash and put something together. It keeps me sane.
    Shirley in Arizona

  19. #19
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I am a stash quilter.. when the bug hits me to sew/quilt , I just want to get started, and not fuss about finding supplies. I know many quilters that are project quilters. They plan their projects, purchase supplies , sew/quilt and then repeat. Do what works for you and always feel like you can change as it suits you.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    I do not buy material just to have a stash. Most of my stash is what is leftover from a project. I would just love to buy something if I see it but have to watch my budget close. It is amazing how some people have sooo much fabric in their possession and will never use it. To me that is wasteful. I guess alot depends on the type of quilting you do too. My hubby is very supportive of my quilting and often suggests when we go somewher to pick up some fabric. I have a hard time doing this. I feel that when I do have a project and need something he know I don't go overboard. You have to do what you feel is best for you.
    Sharon

  21. #21
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I really agree, what ever works for you is the best!!! There are truly no rules!!!!

  22. #22
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    As for the "she who dies with the most fabric wins" idea....well, she's already won. I was at the Houston show several years ago and one booth had a quilt shop literally full of material ALL of it from one estate. It was hard to believe that all that material came from one house, and it was yardage, not pieces.
    No, you don't have to have a stash, but the slot is open for the next stasher.

  23. #23
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    It's a matter of personal choice, I think. I have a fairly modest stash, but I use things there frequently. Most of the time, I buy fabrics I see that I love - things that would be the focal point of a quilt, but that I don't have a specific use or reason for at the time. I learned a long time ago that for me, at least, it's best to buy those fabrics that grab your attention when you find them, because when you decide you want it in the future, it is unlikely to still be available. My mother, on the other hand, buys fabric for each project, but nothing for a "stash" per se.

    Neither way is wrong. It's all a matter of what works for your specific situation, financial constraint, or creative process.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Wardy74's Avatar
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    It is all about personal preference. I am lucky to have about five tubs of fabric and a large bag of scraps that I am in the process of cutting into squares , strips etc. I have however put myself on a fabric buying ban. I have enough fabric to keep me going for a good few years. On monday I cut up a huge box of jeans to make two good size denim quilts. I have a big pile of shirts that I have cut apart and they need cutting into squares , strips etc. I have started making kits up for the quilts I want to make from my stash. It is more satisfying than going to the shop to buy more fabric.
    ​Jan

  25. #25
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I know everyone is different, and I don't have a ridiculous amount of stash, but I am beginning to be overwhelmed by it. I found that in the last 4 years of quilting, my tastes have changed and I no longer care for some of the ones I really liked before. On the other hand, I have a couple of lines that I still REALLY love and I'm so glad I snapped them up while I could. I have been trying to use up what I have so that I have a little less to think about.

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