Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Evaluating Stash

I'm going to admit right here and right now that I feel a stashing coming on.  Now I know that some of you are hoping to receive fabric for Christmas, but that's not likely round these parts.  I've started to feel the pinch when poking around my stash for the right orange, red, aqua and pink fabrics. Ok, pretty much everything but green and gray.  Case in point, these are all of my remaining orange fabrics!

Fabric - all Oranges

Liam's flying geese curtains are claiming just about every scrap I had of non-girly pure oranges.  I've been using up text fabrics left and right and hardly have any stripes left in my entire stash!!!  (Breathe, just breathe, Rachel).

So, this is a good thing.  I've been careful this year not to overspend on fabric, and to take a real critical eye to measure what I want against what I already have.  After a year packed with sewing, I actually have less fabric that I did when we got started (not counting solids, which I definitely increased since January last).  However, I wouldn't say I have the perfect balanced system or something.  No, I've been thinking it over and have noticed a "trouble spot" in my growing tower of multicolored fabrics...

Fabric - Multicolored tower

Almost all of my fabrics are purchased "for love", not with a particular project in mind.  This suits me well since I work best when I can grab inspiring fabrics with the idea fresh in mind and start sewing right away.  But, these multicolored prints just don't lend themselves to the visions I usually create.

Fabric - Rainbow multicolored

Now, don't get me wrong, I love them!  Here are some of the vibrant, rainbow-infused prints.  They whipster to me of childish projects to come.  But, that's the thing - I have to design a project around these prints to use them.  And I will...eventually.

Fabric - Rich multicolored

These are some of the richer multicolored prints in my stash.  Pretty!  I hate to see lovely fabric sitting around not being used.  But, I suppose the longest I've had any of these is one year, and they have been used some, just not used up.  Do you find yourself accumulating certain types of fabrics that you like but don't easily use?

Fabric - Pure pinks

What I so often use are "pure" color prints that pair a color with neutrals like white, gray or brown.  These are all of my pure pinks.  Noticeably lacking are some bright pinks (add that to the shopping list).  My personal favorite pure prints are tone on tone without too much white.  It gives a more saturated look to the finished project.   Over time I've seen that I avoid white background prints.  Nothing against them, of course, that's just my aesthetic.  Still, I'm really crushing on the Ruby Sundae Stripe.

It's a cross between a stripe and a dot!  Picture and fabric bundle by Pink Castle Fabrics.  The Sundae Stripe is also available at Fat Quarter Shop and the aqua only at Fabric Envy.

Fabric - Yellow with accents

In my pink stack I have many prints that are "pink + orange" or "pink +red".  Here are the "yellow + accent" prints currently in my stash. These colored prints with accents are slightly less handy than pure color prints.  However when the right project comes along, the "color +  accent" prints make my heart sing because they really nail down the intended color scheme.  I want to make an effort to buy more of these prints, particularly those that I don't have like "red + aqua", "aqua + green", "orange + red" and "orange + blue".   Here are a few I'm considering:

Bird Lattice from Meet the Gang

Ovals from Calypso
Dot from So Sophie
 I found the three above at Hawthorne Threads

Fabric - all Purples

These are all of my purples.  I thought I needed to buy more purples in general, but now I see that's not so.  I'll have to reevaluate my shopping cart!  I'd still like to have on hand a pure lavender print and more of a "crayon" purple.  Both are hard to find in modern designer fabrics.

So, after going through all that, I'm sure I'll make a sensible purchase, right?


Honestly, I'm currently crushing on this newly released Woodland by Natalie Lymer, available at Sew Modern, Hawthorne Threads and Fat Quarter Shop.  I'm not sure how "handy" they would be, but oh-so-cute for sure!

This is when I envy those who make baby quilts to sell.  The never-ended need for new cute, even multicolored fabric sounds quite nice!  Yes, the grass is always greener, isn't it?  Well, I'll just buy some Woodland for love and hope that it finds it's time to shine soon.

Yes, a stashing is a-coming.  Wishing you all much fabricy goodness in your holiday surprises!

p.s.  I was just notified that JAQS fabrics is closing.  Of course we wish Qiu the best!  Help her wrap up loose ends by checking out her offerings.  The entire store is 20% off with code "JAQSFabricClose".  


  1. Ha! I do the same thing... buy fabrics that I like with no idea how I will use them. Then, when I need something specific, I end up going shopping again.... and usually I screw up my list and still don't end up with what I need. :)

  2. The best thing about re-stashing is realizing that a little retail therapy is in order...

  3. I just started quilting last April so I am in stash mode but I've had family give me fabric, which is super sweet and I appreciate, but it is just not the same as buying what I want and what I know I will use.
    Good luck with your restashing.

  4. Bwahaha, love all the logical analysis followed by the 'buy for cuteness sake' :oD Once I have my storage sorted I can work out what I have versus what I need...

  5. Yeah, I buy fabrics I don't know how to use. I really have to watch myself around cutesy prints (like the woodland once you featured up there). I love them, but don't know what to work them into, seeing as I don't have kids.

  6. PS: It's almost been a whole year since I've bought any new print fabrics! (I've bought some solids but not many. And some vintage fabrics, but again, not many.)

  7. I'm the same. I buy what I love with no particular project in mind. A project idea usually comes from playing around with the fabric.

    What I also do is spend my sewing budget on new fabric not on any wadding or even backing fabric. One of the reasons I have a pile of quilt tops and not many finished quilts! Not good. :)

  8. Have fun with your shopping spree. I am sure you will find some great fabrics to inspire you.

  9. i buy fabric for "love" all of the time. i bought some peacock lane for love but when it came to my house, i didn't love it as much! it was a impulse half off sale. it gets me every time. i have taken a good look at my stash and know what i need... i will try to balance it with what i love...

  10. Girl, I have had fabrics for near on to 20 years. This October I made an apron with a fabric I bought for a little sundress for my daughter when she was 2. She turned 22 three weeks ago. Stash pickin's are great. And yet last fall I decided not to buy any more apron fabric until I had used up 95% of what I had specifically set aside for aprons. I did it and oh was the post-goal shopping fun.

  11. And I have bought some crazy "why?" stuff that I have been so glad about - even if it is years later. Yesterday, for example, my husband called to me in the fabric store and pointed out the $5.00 /yd purple velvet.... which now resides in my closet waiting for the perfect thing. (Wow, did I marry right or what?)

  12. Nice idea to evaluate one´s stash! I will do that, too! I buy fabric because I love a certain tone of color like light blue, dark blue, lime, creamy linen, cherry red and sunflower yellow. There is no orange and just a little pink in my stash. I think I have too many "basics" like stripes, stars, dots, gingham, some flowery prints that read solid from a distance. They are nice to combine but I have hardly any prints and I need to change that!

  13. Most of the time I buy for love, as well! I am also always drawn to those *cute* prints -- I just can't get enough of them!!

  14. I've been on a bit of a fabric buying binge the past two months or so. Who could resist Echo, Half Moon Modern and Reunion? Time for me to slow down :)

    Have fun rebuilding the stash :)

  15. Yes, a stashing is a coming. I love that! I do buy for love most of the time, but I've been better about purchasing good blenders late this year, which I was sorely in need of. And you're right, sometimes "for cuteness sakes" is all you need in terms of reasoning.

  16. this cracks me up. you thoughtfully go through what you have and what kinds of fabrics are your stash pitfalls....and then you admit you are powerless to the cute fabrics out there. thanks for putting it all out there so i don't think i'm the only one :)


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