Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting Smarter About Stashing

When I started sewing, I did a lot of bags and home-dec projects. (I still make a lot of bags and I am in denial about the home-dec projects I should be working on. It’s been seven window-treatment-less months in my family room now. Alas!)

Those projects were not conducive to establishing a stash because they often required at least a yard of a particular print. My selections at that time were haphazard. I bought what I liked and chose the amount to buy whimsically. I even invested in fat quarters, which were not particularly helpful for the projects I was making. I still find myself today using some of those fats that were purchased six, seven, eight years ago.

Now I’m a quilter and I’ve gotten smarter. Fats are appealing, but I try not to stash them; half-yards work better for me and my projects. And although my stash contains many designs purchased only because I like them, I try to focus on almost-solids. They have a longevity that the latest and greatest can’t always offer. (I’m convinced that in 10 years we’re going to look back at our owl-adorned quilts and sewing projects and think, “What the heck?!”) I’d argue that those sensible almost-solids can also transform a good quilt into a great one, offering a visual interest that even the best solid can’t.

I put my stashing instincts to the test at Sew Fresh Fabrics’ going-out-of-business sale.

First up: oranges, aquas, and teals. I have been obsessed with these colors lately. (Click here for a recent orange project, here for an aqua one, and here for a teal one.) From left to right, I scored selections from Comma by Zen Chic, Juggling Summer by Zen Chic, Acacia by Tula Pink, and Fox Field by Tula Pink. Actually, I like Tula’s scribbles so much that I got the hot-pink colorway, too.

My favorite is the fabric from Juggling Summer. Eep—I adore this and wish I had bought a full yard!

I also purchased Lizzy House’s butterflies in two different colorways, convinced that they’ll soon disappear from store shelves. Little did I know that Andover plans to release that design in a slew of new colorways next spring. Woo hoo! These two pretties will soon have some sisters.

How about you? What is your stashing strategy, or are you one of those disciplined quilters with a slim stash?

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  1. Love your fabrics. I too try to buy fabrics with longevity now. Sometimes, though, I just can't resist some of the latest and greatest. Thanks for the heads up about the Lizzy House butterflies. I love those.

  2. These are smart purchases. I bought the juggling summer print in gray and teal, they are both gone :(. When I find small scraps of them I get excited all over. And thanks for my scraps they are so beautiful :) Also nice new blog header ... super cute!

  3. Ooh, funness! I love everything. You know I love all of the Tula, and I love those butterflies, and I totally have that orange polka dot from Comma! Yay!

  4. Michelle, I am having to rethink the way I stash too and am learning to by more good classics. It is hard to resist a lto of the newest collections though!

  5. Great choices, and you are so right about stashing with almost-solids. I am discovering that same thing, although at fabric shops I still find myself drawn to that bold focus fabric that will work with only a select few others. I love the tone on tones that are out there, like sketch, and am trying to "stash" more of those than the fancy feature fabrics. You are right that I should be stashing half yards, but my budget often only allows fat quarters for now.

  6. Stunning stash additions, well done on having a strategy or at least being able to talk convincingly about it! I'm a FQ sort of stasher but sometimes go for half yards but then look at my stash and know that really I shouldn't!

  7. oh my gosh, my stash is enormous. I went from FQ to half to now yard pieces as the half wasn't enough to use and have some left! I collect pieces on sale, or close outs, people give me stuff, etc. I take it and it goes in the arsenal to use when needed. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  8. I am totally with you on the blender fabrics and 1/2 yard cuts. They are what I try to buy the most because they are what I use the most and fat quarters never seem to be enough.

  9. I love tone on tones! They were my first fabric purchases, and I see them like paint, so much fun to use. I agree with you on all the woodland motifs happening in fabric these days; it's going to be completely dated in ten years. Although, as long as people are happy with it now, more power to them! I'm using a lot of comma right now, and it has some great blenders, like you've discovered. Thanks for linking up!


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