Friday, November 6, 2009

Damn you, Stash Report!

I started quilting in January 2007. Almost three years ago. When I started quilting, I was never sure about my fabric choices, so I always looked at and purchased kits. It was just easy! A table runner here, a baby quilt there… Before you know it though, those kits start piling up waiting to be worked on and they add up to a lot of fabric purchased!


Once I started getting comfortable with picking my own fabrics for projects, I was in big trouble! I was buying fabric when it was on sale and without a specific project in mind! My spare bedroom was no longer the "spare" bedroom … it became the STASH room. I needed tubs to put kits in, shelves to store the tubs and the fabric, drawers to stuff smaller things in. I needed to start organizing my … gasp …. STASH!


I realized at the beginning of this year, that I needed to stop and take stock! I thought that the weekly Stash Reports and the support that comes with the reporting would be just the ticket. It worked for a couple of months. I did start the year off with a negative 6.75 yards, but I pulled that out and had a net busted number until March 8. Through March, I wobbled a little and I was doing pretty well until the quilt retreat weekend at the end of April. There was some shop hopping and I won some fabric at the quilt retreat and… Well, there was never a big chance of me having a net busted number for the rest of the year.


For the most part, reporting the stash every week has made me more conscious of what I am looking at in shops and whether I really need to buy any of it. I ask myself, "Do I really need this? Do I have a specific project in mind? Do I have something at home in the Stash Room that would work just as well?" Most of the time, I can admire the fabric from afar and make a mental note of it in case a project comes up that would fit the fabric.


I think that I have been doing well – using a fair amount of fabric and not buying everything in sight, but still buying for projects that I plan on working on in the near future.


Something happened this week, though, that brought back a memory from August and a new thought occurred to me. Are my stash busting efforts effecting the completion of current projects? Or even UFOs? Am I taking the stash busting mentality to a different extreme?


In August, I was putting the binding on the Milky Way quilt and, as I got to the third side, I kept thinking, "There doesn't seem to be enough binding." Sure enough, I only had about 5 inches when I finished the third side. And I know that I had used all of the binding fabric that I purchased in April. I remember calculating the yardage I would need myself. I was two strips short. Two strips!!!


At the time, I didn't worry too much about it. I just chalked it up to a miscalculation. Nothing more.




Wednesday night, I was sewing along on the dog quilt. I got to the last side and the strip was short! I ran out of border fabric! I have one side left to add a border to and I am one strip short!! I had a flashback to the Milky Way quilt and immediately thought of the stash reports. I think that this stash reporting is causing me to try and stretch fabric as far as I can and sometimes it's just not far enough!


It gets better! Last night, I ran to the shop and got the fabric that I needed to finish the top. I knew that I had batting in the basement and I had been saving it for this quilt so I was good on the batting, right? (Do you see where this is heading?)


After getting the fabric, I ran back to the house, threw the last border on, raced to the basement with thoughts of loading the quilt and making a few passes before dropping into bed exhausted. When I got to the basement and picked up the batting, I knew that I was in trouble. It was half the size that I needed. Thank God for Joann's and 40% off coupons!!!


Damn you, Stash Reports! I will no longer allow you to ruin my quilting plans!


Wait…. This sounds like a good chant!


Stash Reports be damned! Buy all the fabric you want!


Who's with me?


Regina said...

Oh ME ME ME!!!

My "studio" is chilly - I figure if I stack up enough fabric along the walls it will insulate things better!

Besides -time spent calculating is time not spent sewing... or shopping!

quiltin cntrygrl said...

Oh I think Keith would kill me!! He already threatened to send me to fabric buyers Anon!!

Brenda said...

Thanks for the laugh!! With you!! Not at you!!!!
Do not 'damn the stash report'!!! Just when you are shoppping, buy!! Then you won't run out and your report will show how smart you are!! "Look at me!! Got all these done from my stash, with *gasp* leftovers for making something else!!!!"
Keep up the post that make me not only think, but smile!! Thanks!!

Michelle said...

I figure you MUST have plenty. What if they discontinue the fabric and you like it??!!(EBay!!) What if you decided to make an accessory with the same fabrics? What if you want to make something sometime down the road and you 'really' liked 'that one fabric' you used in something else? Me, I LIKE FAT QUARTERS!!! You can alway make a couple fat quarters out of your left overs. There are a lot of quilt patterns using fat quarters, and other projects too. I say to HELL with stash busting. You never know when funds will be TOO tight to buy fabric. If you already HAVE a stash, you don't have to stop quilting! I'm all prepared with my 5846 pounds of 'stash'!!! LOL! All I can say is, it's a good thing it's all in the basement closet or the floors would cave in.

ALL my quilts come from my stash, so why would I want to bust it? With the wide variety of fabrics I have, I can always make it work.

Wow, just about couldn't shut me up, could you? Whew! I'm done now!
be blessed,

Anonymous said...

Stash? What stash? I don't have a stash..... I have no idea what you are talking about....LOL!!!

Ruthie said...

My favorite fabric store is having their 2nd anninversary sale tomorrow. You think I should go?

Gina said...

I try and stash bust but believe me it doesn't stop me buying more. When I start a new project I do look in my stash first and then I go to the fabric shop. I tend to buy a metre of something I like so it's never enough for a quilt on it's own but it's a good start as a focus fabric. I'm feeling quite proud of myself thios year as I've been concentrating on quilting up some tops and finisheing some UFO's. I haven't needed to buy that much fabric. I've also made quite a few small quilts which I've been able to use my stash for.
Why deny yourself the pleasure of buying fabric. If you see it, buy it. Who knows it might not be there when you decide you can't do without it.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Zarina said...

Here, I have problem getting good quality cotton that does not bust my budget (quilting quality cost too much and the shops here carry designs that I generally would not like). So far in my stash for ten months, I have ten 2-yds each but none in green. But I have heard from a craft friend which I met earlier today, that both of our local fabric store (similar to JoAnn but do NOT sell batting) branches near my home is one of the biggest AND they are situated in the same area where we shop for grocery weekly. Uuuh - told mom that we go early so I can stop at one where we usually buy eggs at a lower price.

But first, a 1 1/2yo little people is staying the night because she did not want to follow her mama home.

InfinityQuilter/Knitter said...

That certainly is a bummer to be short. I still buy a little extra regardless of having to report it. Stashbusting isn't to keep you from buying fabric, but more to use what you have (or as Judy would say, to rotate your fabrics..use the old up)! Hopefully you'll have plenty of fabric left for any future projects. Next year you'll do better!

Linda and Piwacket said...

LOL! Did you email a copy of this post to Judy L? She'd probably have a good laugh about it, too.

Shellie said...

Stash reports should stay in the head. Too much guilt if you write $$$ down.
maybe a project organization report is needed to check off lol