Friday, February 26, 2016

Virtue of a fabric stash...!

To stash or not to stash, that is the question?!

Being a quilt shop owner, you learn a lot about quilters. For instance, some have a stash and other's do not. For those that do not stash, I've come to learn that their left over fabrics are considered scraps.  Hum ... I wonder if it's not just a question of semantics! lol

And others, would you believe, do not keep any left over fabrics!! I have to admit, sometimes I fall into that category. If it's a novelty or the latest fabric trend, I also do away with it. I only tend to keep fabrics that are "timeless," you know those that can be used in another project without blatantly screaming "I don't belong with this group of fabrics!" I do keep a bag in my sewing studio for fabrics I discard. They are later donated to an organization that make quilts for the less privileged.

I stash anything that looks whole.  For me, a scrap is a piece of fabric that is cut into and is less than a 1/4 yard.

I'm a stasher. I like being able to look in my fabric cabinet and find the perfect colour I need for a quilt. For instance, I needed a binding for this quilt! The perfect green .... and a funky backing .... stash baby!

That green must be at least 15 years old! It's just what I needed! A stash keeps me productive by helping me get things done.

I also look at my stash as a tool for inspiration. Many of the fabrics speak to me, they wait patiently for the perfect project to come along! Sometimes, the perfect project comes along and I just don't want to cut into that fabric ... but that's another story! lol

I've come up with my own formula for stashing. The quantity I purchase is dependent on what I intend to do with it.

Borders - I'll get at least 1.5 to 2 yards (which will include binding also)

When I work with reproductions, the quilts tend to be scrappy, so I usually work with 1/3 of a yard. When I need a piece I cut parallel to the selvage and keep the width of the intact!

Blenders, depending on the colour, I'll usually get a yard. I'm not much of a blender gal, most of the blenders I have in my stash are bright and cheerful.

As for batiks, I always buy minimum 1/2 yard. Most batik quilts work with fat quarters. I can just cut the yardage in half!

Are you a stasher? What's your formula?

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you later! Cheers!


Thimbleanna said...

I am most definitely a stasher and it needs to have a giant purge -- I keep them all LOL. I've read about quilters that just buy the fabric they need for a quilt and then get rid of what's left as they move on to the next quilt. That would be so nice and tidy, but I just can't do it! Maybe I need an intervention!

(On another note -- did I ever answer your e-mail? I'm thinking not, but I'm so confused -- I can't keep track of anything this month. It's nice to finally get back to checking up on everyone!)

WoolenSails said...

I love having stash, but it always seems when I need something, I don't have it, lol.
I keep scraps, I keep them in a basket and the larger pieces in a box, today I grabbed from the box to make mini pillow backs, so it does come in handy. Now I need to decide on a final design, get it figured out, cut sew and make it for the shower in two weeks, ugh.


catsatararat said...

I stash BIG TIME - as you know (LOL) and I love the freedom it gives me to browse for the perfect pattern or colour. Nevertheless I usually end up buying more because there is always that "perfect" new fabric. I don't buy kits for quilts as I like to pick my own fabrics.

Plus side - when I was teaching I could enable new quilters in the joys of scrap quilting. Very little in my stash was "off limits" and they just kept track of how many inches WOF they used and paid me the replacement price for that amount of fabric. One student sewed with me for years and never had any fabric stashed at home. And even though I no longer teach I still get the occasional knock on the door and find a woebegone quilter clutching a tiny scrap of fabric crying "My friend said you might have some of this". It scares me that I can usually look at the scrap and say yes or no immediately.

Downside - space! I am lucky enough to have a BIG sewing room, LOTS of shelving and no one else to worry about at home, but my stash is out of control. I have started ruthlessly paring it down - giving to friends and donating to causes. I could not use all this fabric in two lifetimes, and now that I mostly hand piece my usage rate has plummeted even further.

And of course I need to decide what should happen to it all when I finally fall of my perch! I have no family so someone has to deal not only with the fabric stash but also with the enormous collection of books, magazines, patterns and tools. Wish you were not so far away! I could palm the problem off on you (LOL)

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