I need your help guys! I have a sorry stash. I apologise to my stash for being so poor, so depleted, so not me any more! Take a look. This is it:
Why do I need your help? Well, no, I don’t want the key to your neighbour’s stash whilst she’s away on holiday and I promise not to raid yours while you’re not looking either (I promise!), but I could really do with some advice as to how to begin the rebuild, the new design. Here’s what I’ve already got: the few pieces on this shelf are the largest pieces I have, the smallest piece is probably about 15″ square, the largest maybe a metre and a half or so, most of them are fat quarters with bits cut out of them! I’ve also got a few shoe box size boxes of scraps (i.e. teeny tiny bits!)
The fabrics in the picture above are the paltry remainder of some of my favourite fabrics – the bottom 5 are ones that I’ve chosen (I have an unhealthy attraction to Kaffe fabrics) and the Valerie Wells row above are from a stack of fat quarters I won at Hopeful Threads (great blog if you haven’t seen it), and although I love the prints they’re not all in colour ways I would necessarily pick myself.
Below are a selection of fabrics I’ve acquired mainly through very generous friends, although I’ve bought a couple of them for specific projects: a tiny mix of kids’ and novelty fabrics and a few with metallic overprinting, which is something I really don’t like. I wouldn’t want to use any of these as ‘feature’ fabrics (not at the moment anyway!), but I’d be happy to use them as ‘fillers’ – quite a lot of orange though isn’t there, hmmm…
And here are my remaining sorry looking florals. I love the one on the top left, a vintage 40′s fat quarter that I bought at a craft fair, the others I can take or leave, although three of them in the left stack are actually needle cord and feel fantastic! Again, all good fillers.
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, this is my teeny selection of plains and nearish plains, the only large piece is the red (left overs from this project). Obviously the two on the top right aren’t really plain and they have the dreaded silver over print, but they’re in colours I like.
“Why are you asking me how to build a stash? You’ve been doing it long enough to know what you like!”, you might be asking yourself. Well, this is true. My favourite quilts I’ve worked on recently are the hexie grandma’s flower garden, bold, bright, lots of Kaffe Fassett and modern designers; and two quieter ‘natural’ designs Found and the Peru inspired quilt I’m still working on. I kind of vacillate between the two extremes.
So how can you help? Well, a lot of my US quilty friends (that’s you!) have great stashes, I think because the cost of fabric is sooo much less than it is here in the UK, so I’d love to know what you find most ‘useful’ in your stash? Do you have something that you go to again and again, so it’s worth investing in (plains maybe or a particular style of print)? Do you buy, say, fat quarters to get a wide variety of prints, or is it better to buy fewer but in metre/yard cuts? (I tend to have a lot of scrappy style quilts because I haven’t been able to invest in larger pieces – or have used them up pdq!) The trouble is, buying fabric is a. expensive (and I’m financially poor!), b. it’s not like buying a few paints and being able to mix a thousand colours! (I could dye my own, but that would be a fair investment in dyes, sigh!).
So my BIG question to you is:
If you had to chuck out all but 10m of fabric, which ones would you hold on to with a vice like grip?!
It’s ok, you can breathe now, and put the phone down to the paramedics: it’s just a hypothetical question after all! But it might give me an insight into where to start my rebuild, I hope! So I hope you’ll forgive my shock to your system (do let me know how I can make it up to you!)
Next post I plan to come back with a roundup of some fabric sales I’ve seen, so stay tuned for that – and THANK YOU, dearest friends in anticipation of your much needed advice!