Monday, July 11, 2011

How long would your stash last?

Main stash.
The stash can be a quilter's deepest, darkest secret. A couple of responders to my last post indicated that if they never bought fabric again, they wouldn't run out before they died. Whether it was said tongue-in-cheek or not, it got me thinking. My Mom is 81 and still quilting. If I follow her lead, I have almost 30 years yet to go. I really don't think my stash would make it that long.
Neutrals, a
few backings,
and some craft
(not quilt)
How about you? If you kept quilting at your current rate, never bought another piece of fabric, and lived an average lifespan, would you run out?
10 of the large bins and 6 small hold collections, scraps being
cut up, projects that are currently on hiatus, etc.
Above and below you see what I have--modest by many standards, and not very organized.                                                                                                             
These drawers hold my holiday fabrics and a
few current projects.
Scraps sorted by color. I am just starting to get things cut to
use in the "scrap savers system."
How does it stack up to your stash? Do you have twice as much, three times... ten times? Or can you not admit in public?

My "scrap bag" 9-patches are in the flimsy stage now...
... and the irregular 9-patches are shrinking into a very small quilt top. I have to cut them down to 3" unfinished to accommodate the smallest of them, and that means that the largest of them are going to have a center that is much larger than the corner blocks. I place a section of them onto a design board,    
I take the board to my sewing table where I square up the 9-patches and sew it all up.  

Then I place that section back on the design wall and load a board again. See how much it shrinks?
I finally got the brown border off of the tree of life. I'm not sure what kind of a border to use (I have to use something to make the center fit with the Ocean Waves blocks), so I am playing around with possibilities. The HST below are one of many options, but I don't think it will be my final choice. Any suggestions?                                                                                                                                        
Never found the matching corner fabric. I found something similar, but now I need to make the other four blocks and see if I am happy with that look--8 of the blocks have large triangles in one fabric and the last four are in a different fabric. I just am not sure if this quilt has enough of a "scrappy" look to get away with that. We'll see.

I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying the photos on other blogs of the Sisters, Oregon quilt show. Thanks to all who have shared the joy!!

Until next time, from the little mountain valley where the sagebrush grows,
Janet O.


  1. I love the projects you have going!! The 9-patch is so warm and rich! And the ocean waves, well that is just a favorite in about any form I've seen it, and I love yours with the medalion center! Have you tried red around that center tree? It may bounce off the golden in a better way than than the brown and green and pop the white of your ocean waves, too. My fabric stash? Obscene! I could quilt till I turn 181 and I don't think I'd run out!! I warn my family, call in my quilter friends when I die so this stuff doesn't go to waste!!
    Mary Lou

  2. I have decided I will have to live until I'm 125 to make all the quilts on my bucket list. Fortunately, my fabric stash should last that long, too! Friends, family and co-workers know that I quilt for charity, so I am the go-to gal for any fabric that anyone is getting rid of. I keep kitting it up into quilt kits for sewing bees, but the stash never seems to diminish. There is a Fabric Gnome, spinning fabric out of air while I sleep, I bet.

  3. I don't think mine would last until I die. I am going pretty strong right now, and I do have a lot of fabric, but would definitely need more for backings. I love scrappy, but love reproduction 1800s more and don't have too much of that. I just acquired a lot of fabric from my SIL. Her mother was a prolific quilter and she doesn't quilt. Most of it will be for donation quilts.

  4. I have a lot more of a fabric stash than you do and a lot more quilts in the works also. I would have to make fabric purchases to supplement my stash in the making of some quilts simply because I am bound to run low on certain colors. I changed from making mainly pieced quilts to now mainly applique quilts. The stash does not diminish as fast any more. And I would surely have to purchase fabric for backings eventually. I think quilters will always add to their stash simply because of the new fabrics and style changes that are bound to happen.
    Your Ocean Waves project is wonderful!

  5. Hmmm! I've often thought that I have more fabric than I could ever use. I think I have about the same as you do and I'm about the same age, but when you say 30 years and maybe more - well, maybe I wouldn't ;o)
    I'm thinking those hst in the border compete with all the other hst. Are you dead set against a plain border?

  6. Maybe my stash will last...until the end of time. Not really! But close...Hey, love your tree quilt!!

  7. Well I am almost ashamed to admit that my stash would not last very long. My entire stash fits into a travel suitcase with some room to spare. if you would like to see pictures I just posted them to my blog.

  8. I love what you have on your design wall!! All of them are my favorites!!

    My stash is pretty modest and no way would it last until I died.

  9. Magnet on my fridge says, "She who dies with the most fabric has happy relatives" My #2 son says that magnet LIES! He tells me to get stitching and use it up! Have you join the Stash contest at Accuquilt on Facebook? I think you could win. LOL Thanks for stopping to comment on the design wall fabric. My Pioneer ancestor made Ocean Waves quilts up to her dying day I'm told.

  10. Love your stash - I have a lot of fabric, buy a lot, use a lot, plans to change. It gives me great joy.

    Your projects are wonderful!

  11. You have such wonderful looking quilts in the works!

    My sad! LOL! I posted about my stash a few weeks ago. Hubby lost his job almost 2 years ago and I have been on a NO/LOW buy budget since then. I've added very little to my stash since then and I do have a small stash but not much to work with now. But I am very thankful that I had a stash to start with or I would have gone crazy these past 2 yrs!! LOL!

  12. How long would my stash last? That is a question that sends shivers down my spine and keeps me buying more fabric. I have a lot of fabric but I am convinced it would never last as long as I need it to. Besides, if all the quilt shops closed tomorrow I would surely be seized with the urge to make many, many quilts. Then I would run out for sure.

  13. I love your ocean waves project. I would suggest trying some pink or red in a pieced border there. Whatever you decide it is going to be lovely.
    Wow the 9 patches shrink a lot!! They look very cosy.
    My stash would not last me the rest of my life - I don't buy big pieces so I always need to shop for backing and setting fabric.

  14. I don't really have a fabric stash other than my reproductions. I would still years a long time with all the kits I have. I would say I could go about 5 years if didn't have a nickel to spend on sewing.

  15. I love my stash.I have a hard time cutting some of the fabric.Do you ever have that problem?Then I remind myself that my husband will get rid of it quickly when I die, so that helps motivate me to use it, don't save it. I have a long way to go before I run out. I love the ocean waves/tree of life quilt. I would suggest using crumbs for the border around the Tree of Life. Crumbs with very small pieces, and a good bit of red in them would be perfect. Be sure to show us what you end of doing! Sally in SC

  16. I have lots of fabric too (confession time). I think the problem lies with continuing to buy fabric at the same rate as I currently do. The fabric only gets better. More comes in than goes out. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only crazy collector.


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