Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fabric stash: Fact or fiction?

My fabric buffet, originally uploaded by *jenny b allsorts.

One thing that continues to perplex me as I read through all my favorite quilting blogs is this infamous and somehow mysterious "stash" everyone is always talking about. I'll be the first to admit that I am a type A control freak in most areas of my life. Quilting appeals to me because of the symmetry of the patterns, the balance of colors, and the ability to have something beautiful come out of a distinct set of precise instructions.

Every project I've made so far was entered into with purpose. A specific color pattern was chosen, a design selected, and materials purchased thusly. The few scraps I have in my studio are remnants from previous projects. I definitely don't have enough scraps to create something fresh and new out of the leftovers, yet. I suppose that will change over time.

But blogger after blogger refers to the ever-growing stash of fabric in her collection. I'm stumped! Are you actually buying fabric for the sake of buying fabric with no purposeful intent?! If so, how do you decide what to collect? Do you stick to general color palettes? Do you have future projects in mind? How much yardage do you allow yourself to purchase of any given piece?

This is a completely unsettling train of thought for me. I'm imagining my next trip to my favorite quilting store. Aisle after aisle of cottony goodness. I have enough trouble narrowing down selections when I have a purpose, what on earth would I do with free reign?? I'd be worse than a kid in a candy shop. I'd have the fabric equivalent of the most horrendous gut ache of all time.

I'd love some feedback here. How would you describe your fabric shopping habits? I'm thinking I need to be going at this an entirely different way and would love a little hand holding. Teach me, oh wise ones.


  1. I actually just started quilting but I have been sewing for a while.

    For the quilts I am only purchasing fabric IF I know what the project is going to be. I don't know enough about quilting and how much fabric to purchase if I don't even have a pattern in mind lol. I highly doubt I will start stashing fabric for sewing on the other hand not so much lol. If I see a pretty piece of fabric I WILL buy it lol. If I don't know what I will make out of it, I get 3 yards. That is enough to do a lot of stuff lol.

  2. I'm with you. This "stash" idea is completely foreign to me. I will say that I have leftover fabric, but most of it is because I'm bad at math and used to buy way more than I ever needed. Unfortunately, most of it ugly fabric that I don't want to make anything with.

    The stash concept exists in the yarn world, too. I will say that recently I've bought yarn without having a project in mind. But it's only been because I got a good deal. And yarn is easy to force into a project. But my husband would kill me if I had stashes of yarn like some of the knitters I know!

  3. I'm so glad I'm not the only one not shopping this way! It just seems so very dangerous. :)

  4. I think that is the point of the stash, is that no one truly knows how much there is or they would go crazy (aka: most husbands) but with knitting as with quilting, I am guessing, it is the challenge of what to do with the remnants - that is part of the fun.


I'm excited to hear what you have to say. Just remember the rules of the playground and play nice!