melody asked in her blog: how do you plan on building your stash? i know we've talked about this before, but i thought it is a good enough subject to revisit it.
how do you plan, or do you plan at all? my stash is pretty much a skyscraper, so i fill in holes. i'm not sure when i was building it that i gave as much thought to it as i do now. i'll hunt for a color and realize i'm low on blues or which ever, then when i'm shopping i know i'll be looking for blues
it will be interesting to know how many of us plan our stashes and how many get stash willy-nilly.
gini in north idaho
My stash started out with colors or prints I really liked and at least 2 fabrics that corresponded with the print. Then I got into buying what I really, really liked. Then I started to fill in the blanks for fabrics I needed to match other fabrics with. Now I try to buy just what I need for certain projects. But I have so much fabric now I'm trying not to buy much fabric and use what I have or donate some. Of course, I've been quilting now for about 15 years so it's grown over the years.
Diana in East Tn.
When I first started building my stash I didn't plan the same way I do now. I have my stash sorted according to color. When I notice that certain colors are getting low I try to buy in that color family. And I always buy 3 yd cuts so that no matter what quilt pattern I want to use it in I will have enough fabric.
Of course I also buy those fabrics that just sing to me even if I don't have anything in mind to use it for....LOL.
I rarely buy fat quarters anymore unless it is something that I think would be great for landscapes. I usually have more than enough scraps from previous projects to use for any applique that I want to do. I have enough scraps for all of us to do several applique projects....LOL>
I also try to make sure that I have lots of neutrals in my stash.... whites, creams, brown. blacks. I haven't always been good about buying neutrals because they didn't usually catch my eye when I was fabric shopping. No I make a definite effort to search out those fabrics because I never seem to have enough of those.
I mostly have fabrics that "sing" to me. So it's a great stash for fondling, but not necessarily for sewing. I mostly lack lights, which I look for these days. Most of my fabrics sing loud, and it's hard to see the beauty with all that chaos. I usually get 3 yards of those that sing to me, but I see now that I could really could use that kind of yardage in lights. But I am doing well now at trying to use what I have. It's become a challenge. Then I really like the same or very similar lights as the back ground fabric for scrap quilts.
I love fabric!!!!! I need fabric. I add as I find new. I occasionally purge a bit, donating to my local church sewing group. But as soon as I "purge" I seem to find the need for more I would hate to want to start a project and not be able to get to the fabric store... so I would say I am pretty well prepared for that occasion!
from northeast Pennsylvania
Oh my. What a great question.
My first projects I totally picked out the exact yardage for, well and a little extra in case of error. In between, I found myself collecting focal fabrics on sale that I really liked, figuring I could fill in the blanks if I had a pattern. Like Nana, three yard cuts were the norm. I don't sort my fabrics by color. If I buy from a collection I keep the collection together. Then I sort them by theme as in summer (jewel tones) spring (pastel tones) fall ( autumn, browned down tones ) and winter ( holiday fabric). And like Nana, and studying all of the quilt I have admired, I have realized the importance of neutrals and mixing a combination of large/small prints and adding wovens and blenders in the mix.
I have added a few fat quarter collections and charm packs along the way. It was a fat quarter collection that inspired my Dahlia quilt, charm packs used in Farmers Wife blocks, and since then the ones I have added are in varied shades of colors in hopes that someday they will become applique. If not, they will still be useful in patterns for Garden Patch Cats and others. Fabrics I think I'll never use have been used to practice FMQ, make stitch samplers, and do practice embroideries on. Nothing ever really needs to go to waste.
I won't go into the Fancy Fabrics for CQ, flannel or beautiful wool at this point. That would be way too much excitement to deal with.LOL. Don't tell my DH, but he no longer has any wool, linen, or silk (ties) clothing left in his closet. Do you think he'll notice that next falls Scarecrow is wearing the same print as his favorite flannel shirt? I won't tell if you don't.
I owe so much of my stash to people who have given me fabric that I have a willy nilly stash. Lately I have been trying to add some small prints and blenders to work with all the great prints I have been given. Just last week I bought a bunch of different small prints in flannels to go with a bunch of florals and kid prints I had in flannel. Since I have two big plastic totes full of Christmas fabrics - i need that like a hole in the head but I still can't help myself when I see new Christmas fabrics that (as Nana says) sing to me.
Sorry Quilt Daddy - my Christmas MUST stay with me. It sings to loudly for me to part with any of it. :o)
I will second, or third, the notion of buying neutrals. I check the sales racks for these at any quilt store I visit.
If I have to pay full price, I'll ususally be looking at fun patterned multicolor fabrics to build future projects around. Thanks for the tip, Diana, to consider buying at least one or two other fabrics in that same line that coordinate. It's that coordinating thing I usually struggle with when I'm trying to pull fabrics from my stash to use in a new project because my stash isn't big enough to have all the funky colors that I find in those great prints.
On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)
You are all way too organised i think i come under the heading its fabric buy, buy, buy. Dont know how i started building my stash but it grew used to buy fat quarters, now i nearly always buy metres of fabric i buy neutrals if they are on sale (i buy most things if they are on sale) i dont think i have ever paid full price for neutrals as i find they dont sing to me like other fabric, i buy the surprise bundles on equilter.com as that gets me different fabric that i would normally never buy (like the fireman fabric on the thread Marlenes tribute) but it tends to be if i like it i buy it.
lots of love
I found all the various methods interesting. Over the years I have used similar methods to a lot of others. Not sure where along the road of many moves I developed the "use it up theory" so I no longer have stash worth mentioning. I have quite a few bins of projects in waiting. I am finding my tastes are really switching rapidly so until I am ready to do a particular project I am not buying any fabric.
Over the years I can't say that fabrics sang to me but they would outright jump at me and force themselves to go through the till with me. I had the opportunity to run a fabric area in our retail operation and my stash lived on the store shelves though some forced its way home with me.
Agnes in NW Ontario
I purged my stash last year before we moved. I only buy what I need for a project and there is always scraps. I usually buy more than the pattern calls for just in case of a boo boo. I find I've built quite a stash this way.
Wow, you are all amazing. I usually buy as I need, for a certain project. I find that if I start collecting more than I can plan for, I get too anxious about having to think of how to use it. I think I may have potential hoarding issues, so I try to limit my stash. hehe