Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 4 – Fabric!

This week on the Creative Spaces Blog hop, 16 of us are discussing how we deal with our fabric stashes. Scroll to the end of this post for links to everyone  on the hop.

For me, the first step in cleaning and organizing my fabric stash was going through it and deciding what I wanted to keep and what I didn’t. I’ve been quilting for nearly 25 years and as you can imagine, that’s a lot of fabric accumulation! My tastes have changed over the years and a few years ago, I finally decided it was ok to let go of things that no longer interested me.

My quilt Stash

This was my stash before my great studio cleanup of 2013-2014.

During my last big studio cleanup and what I called the great destash of 2013, I got rid of over half of my fabric stash. The image above is my “before” picture of my stash that filled two large shelving units.

In the image below, I invited a friend of mine who was just starting her quilting journey to come over and pick out as much fabric as she wanted to jump start her own stash. She took home enough to get her started on several quilts – and it barely made a dent in my stash!

Raiding the Stash

This was during the great destash of 2013

So then I decided it was time to either sell or donate as much fabric as I could. I stuffed big boxes full of prints I no longer wanted by colorway and offered them up for a very low price both on instagram and on my website. There’s a hashtag on instagram that most folks use – #thegreatfabricdestash – when wanting to get rid of unwanted fabric.

Whatever I didn’t sell was donated to a friend of mine who runs a chapter of Project Linus in her area. In fact she’s the mother- in-law of my friend above, and she’s my go-to person whenever my scraps and unwanted fabric accumulate beyond a reasonable amount. I like knowing that my fabric is finding a good home and being made into quilts that help comfort kids in need.

Fabric Destash

Getting rid of fabric I don’t use. My discards are someone else’s treasures!

Selling and donating tons of fabric helped immensely and I was now left with about half of my original stash, and stuff I actually wanted to use. I organized it by color and everything was able to fit into one shelving unit, behind closed doors. The second shelving unit now houses my notions and supplies, books and extra batting scraps.

My Quilting Stash after the big cleanup

My stash organized by color, with works in progress in buckets and bins.
You can definitely see I prefer bright colors, with a healthy dose of neutrals.

Although my stash is now tame and manageable, I’m starting to feel the need to cull it again. Now that I’m designing my own fabric, I’m not as interested in working with fabrics that aren’t mine. At first I kind of felt weird about it, and thought maybe I was losing my creative mojo, then I started noticing that a lot of designers only work exclusively with their own stuff. Whew! That makes me feel better!

When I released my first line of fabric, Modern Marks last fall, I took over one shelf for my own personal collection of the line. Of course I had to consolidate some of my other stash to make room for the new arrivals. I bought some comic book boards to wrap the unwashed yardage on and you can see some of the washed pile of Modern Marks peeking out to the left in the image below.

Christa's Fabric from Benartex Contempo Modern Marks and Fandangle

Modern Marks and Fandangle play very nicely together!

Now that my second collection – Fandangle – is out there in the world, I’m taking up nearly two shelves of my fabric storage area.

What I will probably do is keep most of my regular stash until the volume of fabric I designed takes over. I was really tempted to just buy a full bolt of each to keep, but I know that would quickly take over the house once I’ve got a few more collections under my belt, LOL!!

I’m curious – how do you manage YOUR stash? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 4

19 thoughts on “Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 4 – Fabric!

  1. Deborah Browning says:

    I have my fabric yardage folded onto comic book boards. The fat quarters are folded uniformly and sorted by color or theme. I have my projects in see through labeled containers. Everything is stored on bookshelves in a walk-in closet.

  2. Gemini Jen NZ says:

    My stash is organised mostly by colour, in plastic tubs with lids so I can stack them; some collections/precuts etc are kept together in another tub; have this weekend swapped my sewing room with our (average-sized) master bedroom so I have more room to move around – my husband’s idea!

  3. lindanelsonfilek says:

    Oh my I think you may have inspired me to do a Great Fabric Destash of my own. I have loved almost every piece of fabric I have bought but too much of it is not getting used. It’s time to move it on to someone who can use it!

  4. minibea12 says:

    I’m trying to organize my fabric stash. I found a “few” boxes that had been stashed away. Now to forge ahead and separate by colors.
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

  5. Jacqueline Nino says:

    My stash is sorted by color that are kept in clear bins. Scraps….well…I go in circles here…. I keep them tell myself that I know that I’m not going to do a scrap quilt…. then they go away.

  6. CONNIE LOGAN says:

    I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP YOU DIMINISH YOUR STASH. ONLY TO HELP YOU OUT, OF COURSE. LOL I USE DONATED FABRIC TO MAKE QUILTS FOR THE HOMELESS. I HAVE MADE OVER 200 QUILTS TO DATE.

    I REALLY DON’T BLAME YOU FOR WANTING TO WORK WITH THE FABRIC YOU DESIGNED TO MEET YOUR TASTES. IT IS VERY BEAUTIFUL. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. LET YOUR TALENT SHINE!
    CONNIE LOGAN

  7. Deborah Gallett says:

    I have been making charity quilts with my old stash. It is great to move it out so I can buy some new stuff. I really want to cut down on my stash so I have room for new more modern fabrics.

  8. Lj Meyers says:

    Christa, you are ruthless when it comes to your stash – I need to emulate you but darn…I love looking at what I have. 😦 Donating fabric…here’s a cute story… A friend was moving and cleaned out her fabric stash and donated it to Goodwill. A few days later, she’s talking with a fellow employee who is telling her that she was the luckiest person. She’s gone to the Goodwill store and found ALL this fabulous fabric at fabulous prices! Yep, it was the other person’s stash. The laughing was all in good fun.

  9. Hedy Hahn says:

    In the past few years I have sent fabrics away to the Indian Reservation in South Dakota and also to a lady who makes quiltsfor the homeless. I still have tons of fabric. I can understand why you would start using your own fabrics, they are so colorful. I enjoyed looking at others quilting rooms.

  10. Joey says:

    I have been destashing too, taking 3 boxes to a charity resale store today. I prefer them since they support the local food bank. Congrats on your Fandangle fabric being selected as the August stash on EQ! That is twice this year! I am finding that I really like the way you organized your Benatex fabric since that is the way I am reorganizing my stash for easy viewing.

  11. Susan says:

    I’ve been trying to destash now for several years, although I did make my first quilt in 1977 & been a fabroholic since I was a child, so really need help in offloading more. I don’t design fabric, but my own designs for quilts are now mainly done to use my stash. That’s fun in itself. I need to catch up with some of the other bloggers who are doing this Creative Spaces bloghop & see how they use their workrooms. Thanks & take care.

  12. Christi says:

    I’m impressed. I use all the fabric I don’t really want for pillowcases for children’s hospital. Then the rest is going into donation scrap quilts. I have a closet full but it’s time to clean it out.

  13. Rosalind Gutierrez says:

    I have taken over two closets and have shelves in them for fabric. I am trying to use it up but have a ways to go.

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