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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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!
Creative Spaces Blog Hop Participants
- Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream
- Kris Poor of Poor House Quilt Designs
- Jessica Caldwell of Desert Bloom Quilting