|Barely a Quilter
||[Jan. 12th, 2008|01:37 pm]
So, two events came together this week and sparked this post. On Wednesday I went to lunch with my quilting bee buddies and somehow the talk got around to stashes (fabric bought and stored for later quilt making.) I mentioned that my stash fits in a cabinet. And they said: “No way!” And I said: “I will take a photo and bring it to bee for you.”
Later, I was reading another quilter’s blog (one of those surfing things, link to link to link and darned if I can find it again.) And she was talking about her stash. In 2007, she said, she bought a quilter’s estate with two other people. Her share was 1400 yards. Now, perhaps the stash wasn’t divided evenly among the three, but if it was, that’s 4200 yards of fabric. 4200! How would you ever expect to use that much fabric?
I am unhappy when the stash doesn’t fit in my cabinet (the doors don’t quite fully close at the moment), so I’m actively working this year to make projects from the stash. Much of the fabric in there is designated for specific projects; some folks would argue that those yards don’t count, that those are UFO’s (unfinished objects, another category that can build up in a sewing room.) Fabrics go in and out of style; I am careful to buy only what I really love, but even so in a recent purge I got rid of a few yards of “ugh, what was I thinking?” fabric.
My stash is absurdly small for most folks. Still, it’s many yards of fabric. Sometime when I have nothing better to do, maybe I will sit down and figure out how many yards. One thing that helps in having a small stash is that I like scrappy quilts and applique. It doesn’t have to be only a few fabrics in any given quilt; I’d rather use many different browns or reds or blues than one brown or red or blue. So a half-yard of fabric is plenty for the stash. That’s enough for quite a few strips or patchs in a given quilt, and appliqué takes mere inches, never yards, of fabric. Many people buy 2-3 yards or more of anything they like, to have “enough”. There’s always more fabric out there. When I have on occasion needed more of some type of fabric, a trip to the local quilt shop usually nets me a better choice than what I’d planned to use.
Just a small rant. To some people, my tiny stash disqualifies me from being a quilter. I retort that I am not a fabric collector. I intend to use every inch of what’s in that cabinet, and hope that when I pass on, there’s just enough left to prove that I was still enjoying it, and a stack of beautiful quilts instead of folded yardage.
Here's the proof:
In the interest of full disclosure, one of the bins at the bottom of the cabinet is full of backing material; the other is a work in progress.