What Everybody Ought to Know About Building a STASH of Fabrics for Quilting

June 19, 2014

Let’s STASH those Fabrics For Quilting!  Or should I say, “What a STASH You Have”?  According to the Dictionary, the word “stash” is used as a Verb and is defined as follows:   “to store away in a secret place for future use”.  In our quilter vocabulary, “stash” is used as a Noun and refers to our supply of fabrics.  Quilters certainly do store fabrics for future use, but not all Quilters place their fabrics for quilting in a secret place.  I always knew Quilters were good at multi-tasking – in this case, using the word stash as both a Verb and Noun at the same time! [youtube]http://youtu.be/OKiiOH5oJfs[/youtube]Check out this video to learn about a few innovative places to store your stash. (I store my fabrics in more conventional areas.)   No matter what type of fabrics we have, we call our collection of fabrics for quilting a stash.  It helps a Quilter if his/her stash is somewhat organized into different categories.  We all have our own methods for storing fabrics, but I’ll share with you how I manage my stash of fabrics for quilting. The categories that I place my fabrics in are:  focus (multi-colored fabric that dictates what other colors will be used within a project); color family (different colors placed together, such as reds, blues, etc., from which I will pull to coordinate with my focus fabrics);  seasonal (Christmas, Fall, etc.); bundles (I take a focus fabric and pull from my stash the various coordinating fabrics that would go together); backings (these are large pieces with five or more yards that I do not cut for piecing, but save for backings); wools and flannels (I keep these separate from my quilting cottons); and crazy quilt (these are “fancy” fabrics such as velvet, satin, and silks that are put together on one shelf in one of my fabric cabinets - with the intention of making a crazy quilt some day). [caption id="attachment_2626" align="alignleft" width="225"] Tall, deep cabinets are great for storing your stash. This is one of my fabric cabinets where the top five shelves hold fabrics by color family, and the bottom shelf has large yardage pieces that have been set aside for backings. The depth of this cabinet is adequate to allow me to have five stacks of fabrics per shelf.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2627" align="alignright" width="300"] This shelf holds various greens and as you can see, there are two additional stacks in the back of this shelf. (My goodness, there is space for one more stack - perhaps I need to go fabric shopping after all.[/caption]                       I am trying to use some self-control.  I try to not purchase additional fabric until I have finished one unfinished project.  Buying more fabrics for quilting is my reward – a great reward to feed a person who has “A Great Habit” of quilting!  Living 45 minutes away from a quilt shop provides me with one good reason for building and maintaining a stash.  Sophie is fortunate to presently live in an area where quilt shops are fairly close by.  If she moves to Lake Gogebic, she will find the need more than ever to build a stash!  Keep checking www.QuiltAddict.com to see how Sophie progresses in her quilting journey.  How do you coordinate your fabrics for quilting, and where do you store your stash?  (Did the video give you some good ideas of where to stash your fabrics?                                                                   (see "leave a Reply" below) Pat, from our Lake Gogebic Community Quilters, approached me recently and asked how a person can determine how much fabric to purchase.  This topic will be covered in my next posting. There is one more thing I’d like to share with you before I wrap this up.  The following was discovered a few years ago and the author is unknown.  I took the liberty of modifying it just a little.  I hope you enjoy it.                                                                   Fabricholic’s Will  Being of sound mind and body, I                                                                do hereby record my last will and testament, knowing that                                             , my                                          , has no appreciation of, or in some instances knowledge of, my extensive fabric collection deposited through the house.  Knowing also that                                          will notify the local thrift store, should I precede him to the great fabric shop in the sky, to pick up and dispose of the aforementioned collection.  Therefore, I do will this collection, and all collections related to it, to my dear fabric preservationists                                                                                                                                .  It is my wish that they, upon hearing of my death and the inability to take it with me, come to my home and stack my entire collection in my studio.  They should then purchase refreshments for all my quilting friends, and they shall gather in that room and remember me, then peacefully divide the collection amongst themselves.  Be forewarned, I will be hovering over this process!  The rest of my worldly possessions (car, stocks, house, etc.) can go to those who do not understand this event.Signed                                                                            Date