When you're buying fabric for the stash, how much do you buy? How do you know how much you will need when the day comes that you want to use the fabric for something? I hardly ever buy fat quarters because I know I will want more but should I buy 1 yd, 5 yds,,etc? Also, do you look for certain colors or things that jump out that you like?
North of Boston MA
I think you'll get a lot of differing answers on this one. As I've been building my stash, I started buying a minimum of one yard, two yards if I really liked it, and up to 3 yards if it was a large print that I thought might make a nice border. Sometimes I would buy fat quarters if they were on sale.
That hasn't proven to be the best strategy as I become a more experienced quilter. Take the first mystery quilt here at QCA, for instance. If I remember correctly, we needed 2.5 yards each of the two main contrasting colors. Well, I had mostly 2.0 yard cuts of the colors that I wanted to use, so I ended up having to do the scrappy version. When it comes to borders, it turns out my 3 yard pieces are usually not enough.
Oops, got to run. I'll add more to this later...
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Saturday now... I read a great column called "Paralyzed by the Stash" at http://quiltville.com/stashing.shtml that made me see that it makes more sense to let fabric "live at the store" until you have an actual project ready to go. Then you should purchase the main fabrics in the correct yardage. If you're lucky, your stash might have some supplemental coordinating fabrics to fill in with. Looked at that way, 1/8 to 1/2 yards cuts might be more reasonable for purchasing to build the stash.
I'm trying to hold back from stash purchases at this point. I love the look, feel, and smell of fabric, so it's been difficult, but I don't complete enough quilts in one year to justify what I've been spending on fabric. Maybe that will change once I'm retired, but now I'm finding that fabric styles and colors change so frequently, that to buy more of the same of a fabric in my stash or even other coordinating colors needed for sashing, bindings, etc can be difficult to do. Every season I fall in love with the new color families, and I go back and look at what's in my stash, and some of it seems so dated already.
On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)
Really good question, Diane, and the answers you'll get will vary. I think it's a matter of personal preference and factors like: storage space, how much you like the fabric, how much you need if it's for a specific project, is it for backing, is it a really good neutral you can use in a variety of projects, etc. I generally buy 2-3 yards of something I like a lot or think is a good neutral (or a color I use a lot). I might buy a yard if I like it but don't think I'll use it as a main fabric or in a big project. Sometimes I whish I bought more of a specific fabric and other times I later wonder why I bought so much! LOL
I usually buy mine in 3 yd cuts unless I pretty much already know what I will be using it for. If it is something that I think I may use for backing I will buy at least 9yds because I make several king size quilts. If it is a color that is more of a blender I may only buy a yd. but that is pretty rare.
So I guess I will stick with a minimum of 3yds and usually that is enough to do about anything you will want to use it for. Now as for fabrics .... I sometimes buy according to color if I know that I have used most all of a color out of my stash. Alot of times I will just see a fabric that I really love and will buy it and a couple coordinating fabrics to go with it.
If I see a large print that I think I may like to use for a stack n whack I will usually buy 5yds because it takes more fabric to get the repeats lined up. And I do still buy FQs....I like to have them on hand for applique or the quick little baby quilt . Also use them to make bags and Bible covers.
Your a new quilter are you Dianne?
Boy i could fun with this answer, but the utter sweetness and innocence of the context of your question tell me that you should, and will get right here, on this website for sure, sound good advice about such a dilemm., However, my personal experience has been that "the stash " is more of a state of constant equilibrium, (Wouldn't you say ladies ?) an ongoing condition kind of thing LOL
How much to buy? Honey, If i like it i buy it up! If I know its a "smart choice " because of color or pattern choice , I buy a yard.........then another yard then another yard. LOL
Trust me things will jump out at you plenty...Its just so nice to meet new quilters, i love it ..welcome aboard, I'll be interested in your upcoming adventures for sure :)
Diane, I usually buy 3 yds of fabric, sometimes 5. After I sorted all my fabric by color, I discovered I was really short in some areas. Lately I've been looking at those colors, yellow for instance, and trying to beef up my choices.
Of course, I'm on a crusade to save all the purples and greens of the fabric world because I heard a rumor they're becoming extinct! ROFLOL!
diane, this is a fun question. i buy tons of fat 1/4s and 1/8s, i like a lot of variety in my applique. if i really like a fabric and know it will be the main fabric in a quilt-6 yds. if i find something really interesting or odd that catches my eye, the rest of the bolt, i like interesting stuff on the back. muslin, by the bolt. kona black, by the bolt. if i know a fabric will not be a focus fabric, 1-4 yds. this doesn't sound like i have an out-of-control-when-around-fabric issue here does it?
i don't use up the bolts fast, but i know that i will use them up and it is cheaper to buy them that way.
i buy stuff i love, like a focus fabric and then get coordinates to go with. in my applique stash i buy for color, if i'm running low. or not, a person can never have too many colors of fabric. if i look around and see that i am running low on a color i may focus on that color if my limited attention span lets me. i'm taking pictures today i will show you some later gini
gini in north idaho
You are all the greatest! Now I'm not saying this to make you think I am looking for sympathy but to sort of make you understand why I ask so many questions. I've been sewing for ever (48 years or so) and I've been quilting more for the last 4 or 5 years. But I'm a lone quilter. It's me all by my widdle self. I don't have a human quilting buddy to go places with and take classes or quilt with. So I've learned by books and videos and have managed to take a couple of classes. So this is great to see the different ways that people do things and I can read about the latest tips and techniques and the show and tells. And I see your pictures so I think I am replying to humans. It's almost like being there. My husband goes shopping with me and he has more fun than I do. All the lady's at Joann's know him. I can't keep him out of the golden lame and sequin fabric! There's something wrong with that boy! :o} And please take everything I write in humor. Sometimes I even make me laugh.....there's something wrong with that girl, too!
Hi diane...I have to agree with Judy...I usually buy about 3 yds unless it is on sale then you get to get more fabric for the same price...my logic anyway...I also have quite an extensive stash..ssshh...haha...I buy fabric that I like most of the time but then there is also the need to build the stash...I have all my fabric sorted by colour and then I know where there are "holes" so to speak...I have a lot of mediums and I am trying to get my eye to see different colours when I'm buying fabric but it's hard....fat quarters are fun but there is nothing worse than not having enough fabric for a project htat you want to start NOW..when I'm making a quilt I "Shop" out of my stash...I don't go and buy more fabric...I make "my" fabric work...so 3yds is my magic number of fabric to buy...whew...long winded on that reply...enjoy your quilting for that is what it is about....enjoying yourself and sharing your enjoyment iwth others!!!
I usually buy 3 yds as well. If I really like it I get 4. I'm trying to round out my stash these days. I seldom buy reds and buy lots of blues.
diane - when I see a piece of fabric that I like I buy 3 yards of it... I never buy FQ anymore...
Yes Girls---3 yards or in our case metres
I have had a good teacher and her name is Helen.
I too buy three yard cuts. I have gotten stuck so many times with only 2 and not had enough for the project I was working on.
This is my story and I am sticking to it.
Thank you all for your answers. I think 3 yds. is the winner.
Whoppeee 3 yds - wonder if it had been 4 or 5 if I would have had to start buying larger cuts...teehee... I do sometimes buy a larger cut if I am thinking of using it as a border fabric. I hate to piece my borders so will sometimes buy a 3 1/2 yard cut - that measures out to 126" and that will be as long as I will need for a border piece... I sometimes use a small piece in the quilt itself so this gives me enough to be able to do that...
Most of my stripes or the pieces that have different prints the long ways - that look good as borders... I will buy this longer piece too in case I might decide to miter a border too... just a thought!
diane, here is an example of my buying the rest of the bolt. i fell in love with this not having a clue how i could use it. i think i got 8 yds. it wasn't enough to fit on the back of a quilt i found for it.so i had to piece a small corner. the quilt i found for it, i found in a quilt store going out of business. as soon as i qwas this quilt i know it would be perfect for this backing. i have no idea how old it is, but it has the most exquisite machine applique i've seen and i love the colors. it was 40$ after the 70%off. it is 104x104 inches. i had it basted at a LA and am going to hand quilt it gini
the last picture is the 24"x9" piece, i had to piece to have enough .