A year ago I gave my annual State of the Stash report, a long-standing tradition in the Stashbusters Yahoo group. The primary goal of the group is to encourage members to avoid unneeded fabric accumulation, and to use what they have. The stash report helps members be accountable for their progress toward their own goals. And it’s time to report again.
Usually my personal goals don’t include stash reduction, simply because I have a relatively small stash. However, over the past couple of years I’ve been transitioning my stash to brighter, happier colors. With that I’ve added some stash.
Most of my stash lives in the upper part of the armoire, sorted by color into plastic bins. A few pieces are in the lower right cupboard, including oddments like large pieces of light neutrals, a couple of over-sized pieces that might become backing, and a couple of themed sets of fabrics.
In the lower left of the armoire are other odd things, including some upholstery fabric and an old embroidery project.
I don’t keep track of how much I purchase or how much I use, as some Stashbusters do. But it will all fit in there, even with the additions from this year.
Besides the stash in the armoire, I have two drawer bins under my cutting table, and a smaller bin next to the table. They are the plastic units that have three drawers, which you can find at the big discount stores. They’re on wheels, making it easy to pull them out to find rulers dropped behind them, to vacuum or clean out the spider webbing, or UGH!! wash any mold off the walls… (That’s a task for the coming week.)
In the two larger bins are two drawers with scraps and one drawer with bags of various sizes. The other three drawers hold “current” projects. In fact I’m not working on those right now, but they are not abandoned. One project is simply a pieced table cloth for my dining room table, which I’m planning to quilt. Another is a medallion quilt with some special requirements, and one more holds a project to finish with my granddaughter. All three of those drawers are empty except for those items. In fact, they could all live in one drawer easily.
The small drawer bin also has three drawers. One of them has the arms for a 6-pointed star; one of them is overflowing with fabrics for an upcoming medallion or two; and one has fabric for another VA hospital quilt.
I am blessed with a lot of space, with my stash, books, the long-arm, and cutting table in one room. My sewing machine and ironing board live right outside the door in the family room. Here are a couple more pictures:
This is my sewing space when first installed. Right now I don’t have the bulletin board behind the machine, and I have a newer, nicer machine, also. The ironing board lives to the left of the surface, convenient for pressing while I sew. The Ott goose-neck desk lamp and the sconces on either side provide great work light. The boom box is moved, and in general my space is not as neat.
This photo shows the bookshelves, a total of about 48″ of shelf space. When I get a book (and usually they are NOT new, but new to me), I put my name inside the cover. Freebie address stickers that my insurance company or alma mater send work great for that.
My long-arm is a Nolting 24″ with stitch-regulator. Nolting is based a few miles from here, and I like knowing that if I need service, I can get it easily. They are wonderful people to work with. Some machines may be fancier — certainly some look fancier! — but I only quilt for myself, and I’ve been quite happy with it for my simple needs.
The photo is from 2011. The quilt currently on the frame is a small medallion in red and green, which I’ll give to one of my daughters.
Even though my stash has grown some in the past year, I feel like I control it, instead of it controlling me. I do give fabric (yardage and scraps) away from time to time, in order to cull things I don’t expect to use and to make room for those I really want. I manage my library and have few notions; I don’t have a bunch of patterns to track. My stash works for me pretty well most of the time.