It seems to have been my week for things relating to packing up and clearing out, at work and at home.
On Monday morning, men arrived to move out the old office furniture in preparation for the planned built-ins. They started by unplugging my computer. Well, alright. I kept busy with anything that didn’t require a desk or computer.
I’m also waiting for the desk I’m going to use for my sewing machine to be delivered to my apartment. Because I had a deadline looming, I made do with a portable table. It worked well for the sewing part but not-so-much for the machine-quilting part as things kept vibrating off the edge of the table. That was kind of funny.
At work? As the office was being cleared out, I found a box with ½-yard cuts of several collections from Fall Market that were set aside for samples. While I teased about “finders, keepers”, the truth is that as gorgeous as the fabric is, I wasn’t tempted to keep any of it.
Okay, maybe just for a moment.
The reality is that I have been making changes with my “stash” the past year or so – down-sizing, re-thinking it and changing the “look” of it.
(This is a collage of wonderful “stash” pictures from Instagram – #showmeyourstash and a few extras that I love.)
Even before I moved, I had been giving fabric to friends and guilds that I knew I would probably never use. Moving just accelerated the process, partly because letting it go was preferable to moving it to a smaller apartment.
It isn’t that I didn’t still love every piece of my fabric – or almost every piece. But I had more than I needed – 4 yards when 1/2 yard would have been enough – and there were pieces that I hadn’t pulled off the shelf in several years. Even though it was pretty well-organized, there were times when the amount of it all was overwhelming. The irony is that there were instances when I didn’t have nearly enough of what I was looking for.
(This is some of Moda’s new Passport collection… I’m going to need some of this. Really.)
Just so we’re all on the same page, while the dictionary defines “stash” as a verb, most quilters generally use it as a noun. It’s what we call that collective of lovely fabric we’ve put away for safekeeping or a future use. It can be the subject of curiosity and envy, confusion and frustration. It’s also the question I’m asked most often – how do I know how much to buy of a fabric?
The answer is “it depends”.
The better answer is that it depends on at least seven things I can think of, and that was just in the time it took me to type that sentence. There isn’t a simple, one-size-fits-all formula.
If you love scrap quilts, have a lot of storage space, plenty of disposable income, lots of time to sew, make mostly big quilts that use little pieces, fat quarters and/or yardage and you like sewing with several different styles of fabric, then you’ll probably want – and need – a bigger “stash” than someone who makes four miniature quilts a year using only red and gold fabric.
If you’ll hang with me for the next couple of months, this is something I’d like to chat about. I’ll share some of the questions I ask myself when I’m trying to decide how much to buy of a fabric I really love, and I’ll tell you the kinds of fabrics I’m always looking to add to my “historical collection”.
I’d also like to know if you have a fabric stash. Is it big or small – and do you wish it were bigger or smaller? Are you happy with it? Is there something you wish you knew about buying for your stash?
Just so you know, I only buy fabric to keep it preserved for future quilt/fabric historians. It’s my sacred duty to assist future generations in this way.
In fact, in honor of National Local Quilt Shop Day, I am going to go to the quilt shop and buy some fabric.
Moda, of course.