Sew My Stash 2015 – Taking Inventory

I use Instagram A LOT for my quilty networking. Some people are just so much more organized and enthusiastic about setting up little challenges, and it’s a lot of fun to join in with other quilters to accomplish some task, be it for charity or just to help yourself.

Around the end of 2014, Project: Leasa started up a little something called Sew My Stash 2015 to encourage us fabric hoarders to use up some of our own stash. My stash is unfortunately some horrible by product of rabbit DNA manipulation, and I swear multiplies by itself while it sits in my craft room (cheesy innocent face here, accompanied by whistling), so I really need to do something to cull the fabric madness.

First thing’s first. I am officially off buying fabric. Mostly. Well, there is a collection coming out in March that I want, and another in May, but those are planned and will be budgeted! And just ignore that I might actually be waiting for some fabric coming in the mail this week. But it’s okay, though! Those are “investments”. Yes… See, they’ll go out of print, and if I don’t get to use them, I can sell them and maybe make my money back! Yeah?

Okay, my resolve is weak, but I really will try, for the sake of my pocketbook, marriage, world peace, and so I don’t end up on hoarders one day.

Now that I’ve admitted I have a problem, the next step is taking inventory. I can’t plan and create beautiful works of art without knowing what I have!

Here’s what I’ve got (cries):

These photos are all from an old CD and book shelf. This is the top half of one

The bottom half

The bookshelf part. This is where some of my backings, solids, and popular fabrics for my etsy shop are. The bottom of that shelf is where I keep my quilting books. It’s actually neat and tidy, so no picture.

This is my bin of shame. I only discovered the wonderful world of designer fabrics about a year ago, and so this bin is full of miscellaneous fabrics I was either given, or purchased from local big box stores. Not to say there is anything wrong with that AT ALL, and I’ve cleared out most of the really low quality stuff, but to be honest, my fabric tastes have changed a whole lot in the last few years. This is my main problem area, and where I would like to make the biggest dent in the stash. I need to find a way to fall in love with all of these fabrics again. I love looking at a designer’s collection and seeing how they all coordinate is so pleasing, and all the matching work has been done already, so it’s hard to see a lot of random fabrics and put something cohesive and beautiful together. I used to be better at this, before I started buying collections. I’m ashamed that I’ve fallen out of practice. These are all organized by color, and while the drawers aren’t opened, trust me when I say it’s quite an assortment.

Here are my scraps – bits of fabric smaller than a fat quarter. I have my scraps somewhat organized. All of the fabrics in the plastic zip bags are organized by color, and when they get small enough I cut them into 2.5″ squares. I don’t like to store anything smaller than 2.5″ because while I know someone, somewhere could make some use of them, I already have a problem and don’t need to take up space with some someday project I’ll never do. I’m extra bad, too. I just toss the scraps. I don’t even save them for pet beds or anything. The scraps in the little bin and paper bag need to be sorted. Sigh.

Nothing bad here – just backings for baby quilts.

Now this is really awful. Last June a good friend told me his mother was having an estate sale, and since she had quite a bit of fabric, he just gave me this. Free fabric is such a double edged sword. One one hand, it’s free! On the other, you always get too much. In these bins are large pieces, most over a yard, and some as much as three to five (I’m guessing). She had slightly different tastes than me, but I’ve been able to use some of it as backings and sashing and whatnot. Oh, and that black batik is the backing for a UFO I would like to finish this year and give to my dad. It’s for the Apocalypse bargello.

Now for the designer stuff.

Most of my precuts. I’m not going to name them all because you can probably see and recognize them. At the bottom are some Asian themed fabrics. I bought those because I was going to make some little wall hangings for one of our bathrooms, but I still haven’t done that yet. I think I may still make wall hangings with them, but for donation to a charity like Love Without Boundaries or something (see the button on the right)

This is the entire line of the first round of Downton Abbey fabrics. I think that includes Lady Mary, Edith, Sybil, and The Dowager Countess. In half yards. What was I thinking? I have since learned that when I quilt, I rarely use more than a fat quarter of a particular fabric, maybe even a fat eighth or layer cake. I like little tastes of fabric.

I’m not much for Christmas fabric. This is all I have. Obviously, I need to make a tree skirt, because I don’t have one. Maybe a table runner? These fabrics are the only ones of Kate Spain I can stand.

When I said that was all the Christmas fabric I had, I was mistaken. I have this Valori Wells collection set aside, all either half yard or full yard cuts. I love the designs, but they’re so big I have had a really hard time finding a pattern to show them off. And so they sit… Any ideas? (sorry for the terrible lighting. I had a toddler turning the lights on and off and only just saw how dark this was)

Various lines from various designers. I can see some Carolyn Friedlander (just got that! Well, I preordered it in Nov and it only just came into my possession), some Denyse Schmidt, AMH (?), the Arizona line from April Rhodes (I LOVE this one, but still haven’t found the perfect project), and I can’t recall the name or designer of the bottom right.

Here are some Bonnie and Camille and Kate and Birdie. I wrote about when I first got them here. Still haven’t used them. I’m in a swap and my partner said she liked Bonnie and Camille, so April Showers would probably work. Not that a mini will make much of a dent in what I have, but it’s a start. I have fat quarters and half yards.

My Tula Pink. Like I said before, I am fairly new to designer fabric, and I am not going to fight or pay $7 a fat quarter for out of print lines, so what I have is pretty new stuff, aside from a random piece here and there I was able to get a good deal on or someone just wanted to unload (yes, there are actually people who just “unload” Tula Pink. For free, or for less than what they paid. Those people are saints.) I don’t have that perfect project yet. I’m really torn about what to do with these, actually. Part of me feels like it’s cheating a bit, creatively, to use the designer’s fabric in a quilt that same person designed, but at the same time, at least with these fabrics, I think some of the quilts Tula Pink has designed really show off part of what I love about these quilts. Some frame the fabric designs beautifully, and some really showcase the gorgeous color saturation. I’ve thought of making the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Sampler, but just last night I was browsing and realized I am a  little afraid to cut into some of these, and I would have a hard time choosing which fabrics for which blocks, and so on. I know, silly problem. I’m going to have to cut them up eventually!

This last photo is a bin of fabric I am never going to use. Every once in a while I try to sell some of it with varying degree of success. After a while, I just donate it. This will slowly fill as I pull out more fabrics I just can’t even see myself using.

So that’s where I am. I have a lot to use up, and that’s AFTER I finish all my WIPs!

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10 thoughts on “Sew My Stash 2015 – Taking Inventory

  1. Wow, that’s quite a stash! But it looks like you’re pretty organized/sorted which is half the battle, right? I hear ya about the ease of using collections rather than making your own, I have that problem too. As for that last bin, I’d think the houndstooth and stripe would be good bindings or backings, maybe?

    • You know, I think you might be right about those fabrics. I automatically looked at them and didn’t think I’d use them, but they probably would make decent bindings. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That is a beautiful stash of Tula Pink fabric! I think your Salt Water fabrics are my favorite. I am getting better about cutting into my TP fabric. I can see them so much better in a quilt or bag rather than in a box or on a shelf. You really should try the 100 Modern Blocks. You don’t have to make all 100 blocks to have a quilt. The blocks can really showcase Tula’s amazing fabric. Have fun sewing your stash!

  3. Oh dear. At the beginning when I was just looking at the bookcase photos I was all like, “what is she talking about that’s not a lot of fabric…” And then the next photo came and then the next and then the next. Oh and then another one. Haha! I will agree that you should slow down! Spend the next months sewing instead of shopping and then you’ll feel reinvigorated! Thanks for linking up!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      And you’re sooooo right. I absolutely vow to slow down and start sewing! I’m already making progress. <3<3<3

  4. Hi ! I just discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about sewing your stash. I am a brand new blogger ( like 3 posts?!?) and need to get my blog organized and styled to look inviting – but I am not very techie so this will be a work in progress – along with all the WIP’s I’ve created in the past year of learning to quilt (self taught). The blog (hopefully) will help me document my journey and Sew My Stash also….I’ve acquired quite a bit of yummy stuff. Some of my fabric is no longer my taste either, and I plan to combine it tastefully and make some simple charity quilts with those cuts. Other stuff is just hopeless – what was I thinking???- and that will make quilt sandwiches to practice FMQ – which I am teaching myself right now. You have inspired me to document (in photos) all the stash I have and start thinking about plans for it. I prefer to make my own combinations of fabric for a quilt – not one designer line – so I have so many options to consider. Thanks for helping to motivate me!
    Pamela

    • Thank you so much for commenting! I completely recommend trying out a blog to help with motivation. I’m not very tech savie either, and I don’t update often, but I liked the idea of keeping a log or diary of what I’m working on, so that’s how this blog started. I will say, once I took pictures of a lot of my stash, it really hit me how much I have and need to work on!

  5. Here’s my unasked for advice. 1. Don’t be ashamed. LOL 2. If you don’t like something, give it away! There are lots of charities or people sewing for charities who would love to have what you don’t want. Get the guilt out of there!

    I can give away anything but scraps. LOL, it’s a terrible addiction I have to scraps. =)

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