Sunday, January 11, 2015
A Stash by any Other Name...
The quilters stash...a place of mystery for most non-quilters! Every quilter worth their salt has what is commonly called a "stash." The word itself basically means something that you hide away and plan to come back to get later. Its a pretty good description and an accurate name-for most quilters. For me, though, its isn't quite right. I think of my stash more as a "collection."
You see, I do have a stash, but it is pretty small by most quilters standards. I very rarely buy fabric simply because I like it. If I do, I LOVE it! It is a piece that I simply can't see myself doing without. Here's my problem, I very rarely come back and use it later! It just sits in a container waiting for a magical "someday" that doesn't come. Hence, the word...collection. A collection by definition is something that you buy just for the love of it, and it really isn't expected to do anything or be used for anything else. Accurate, in my case. How about yours?
What I do, instead of building a stash, is I buy "projects." If I find a fabric that I like in the quilt shop, I think to myself, "what would I do with this?" If I don't know, which is usually the case, I look for a pattern right then and there to use that fabric. Then, I go ahead and buy whatever I need to go with it while I have the focus piece in my hand. I bring the project home, put it into a clear container, and place it on open book shelves in my sewing room. That way, I am ready to make a project when I have time to work on it. Its kind of like making my own kits for myself. If I end up changing my mind or run into something unexpected I will dig through my "collection" for a little help.
I generally do not make scrap quilts. That's why this system works for me. In fact, once a year, I give away most of my scraps and start the new year over with empty containers. My method definitely would not work for those out there that love to make scrappy quilts. I know that first hand from the times that I have tried to buy everything I needed to make a scrappy quilt! I ended up with way more than I needed for one quilt. Those occasions are where a stash would come in handy. Generally, my method works well for me, saves space, and probably saves me money in the long run. If you aren't a scrappy quilt person...you should try it:)