an out of control fabric stash!

So, I’ve been reading a few of the posts on Sew Mama Sew about people’s stashes.. I wasn’t going to participate, but then I decided to go for it. I don’t think anyone will be impressed by the state of my stash, and I’m a bit embarrassed to show this, so hopefully you’ll be kind. I’m already aware that it’s not organized, certainly not neat, and definitely a bit out of control!

What do you usually sew?

Quilts, quilts, and more quilts. The people who know me will tell you I’m obsessed! On occasion I do branch out and sew a few other things, but mainly quilts.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)

For me, it typically depends on the deal. I’m a sucker for a sale, and if I think it’s a good deal, I’ll stock up. Otherwise, I try to stick to half yard cuts. Of course, let’s not discuss what happens when I find fabric I’ve been searching for that’s out of print. I’ve been known to buy it by the bolt if I can…

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?

See above – I usually buy when it’s on sale. I don’t usually have a specific project in mind, so usually I’m just buying for my stash. There are a lot of prints out there that I know I’ll always have a use for – smaller prints, polka dots, etc. and I don’t mind buying without a specific plan. It certainly won’t go to waste!

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?

Nope. I used to pre-wash everything, but now I don’t bother. I don’t really like ironing, and I always forget to take things out of the dryer, so pre-washing really wasn’t for me! I’ve never had a problem with anything running or shrinking.

Do you iron it?

Only if it’s absolutely necessary! I spend a lot of time ironing seams while quilting, so I try to avoid any extra!

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)

I think this photo can answer that… clearly I have a problem with organization. So many people out there have such beautifully organized stashes – I’m always jealous when I see them. I drag my fabrics out so often that sorting seems like a waste of time. You’d most often find it in stacks on any available surface!

The fabric that is semi-sorted is sorted by designer, and then others are sorted by particular projects.

Do you have any special folding techniques?

Again, check this photo – apparently not!

How do you store your fabric?

Those fabrics that are in constant use are typically out. I store my favorites, and those that I have trouble cutting into, in clear rubbermaid totes (apparently it’s time to buy a few more!). For now, they’re all stored in the closet in my office.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?

I love to buy scraps from people who make clothing. They seem to have a great variety of scraps, and usually the pieces are large enough to be used for quilting. I think it’s a great way to get a variety of fabrics. I also like the mystery aspect of it. Often I receive fabrics that I typically wouldn’t seek out, and they end up being a great addition.

When do you say enough is enough?

I think I’ve reached that point, though I’m not sure that will make me stop. I suppose the fact that Morgan couldn’t sit down on the couch the other night should give me an indication!

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?

Quilts, of course. I love a variety of prints in a quilt. I also use up smaller scraps by making potholders, kitchen towels, etc.

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it!

I have too many favorites to list…

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