In the Studio

A Good Working Stash

When I first started quilting I only had a few fabrics and I mostly only bought fabrics when I was working on a project.  In the past couple of years as I’ve done a few more projects and needed colors I’ve added to the collection.


I once read a quilting contest entry that classified scrap quilts as having no less than 70 different fabrics!  Wow! I remember thinking at the time who would have 70 different fabrics?! As scrap!  Huh!  It took about 15 years but I think I could pull 70 different fabrics together if I wanted to…and that’s with my fairly modest little quilt fabric stash here!

How big is your stash?  And just how much fabric would you consider to be a good working stash? How much is enough?

These are good questions and I don’t necessarily want to tell you that you may or may not be way out of control with your own stash….but.  Friends.  I have to share with you a post I recently came across from Teresa of Fabric Therapy and I’m having an anxiety attack just thinking of all that fabric!  And the bins!  Wow!

Anyhoo…I spent about a half hour this evening pulling out of my string basket some pieces that were wider than 2” wide.  I wanted to cut them down into 2 inch squares.  DSCF7841 DSCF7842 Which I did.  I also found a stack of paper pieced strips.  These were sort of a side leftover from when I was paper piecing some of my half square triangles on the Carolina Christmas Mystery Quilt.DSCF7845 Cut into 2 inch width’s these will end up as half of a 4 patch.  My goal, and thinking here, is to keep a little basket of 2” square pieces next to the machine that I can just run through every now and then to build up some 4 patches.

I really liked the way those 2” squares came together for the border on the Little Wheels Quilt project and think eventually by doing this I’ll have reduced my stash and have another 4 patch border to attach to some future quilt sometime.  Completely workable.

So think about your stash.  How do you organize it?  How do you use it?  And how much do you think is enough?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


6 thoughts on “A Good Working Stash”

  1. Your post is timely. I spent a good hour (okay…maybe a little longer) sorting through my scrap fabric basket last night. Uh-huh…it is a big basket. I was frustrated because it had become so difficult to pull out a color range (perhaps red…whatever) from the years old jumbled and tumbled mess. So…now all those scraps are sorted into plastic bags by color range. The next step is to get them into neatly labeled containers, or perhaps drawers. Then I can think about four patches, etc. And now, I can move piecefully on to Step 2 of Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay mystery quilt. :O)


    1. Sort, sort, sort! Nice work Laura. I love having my room back to organized, it makes things go so much smoother! Ooooh! Gotta check the next mystery clue…even though I’m not in on the mystery I still think it is fun to watch.


  2. That wall ‘o bins you linked to was mind-boggling. Does anyone really need that much stuff in their lives?


    1. No, but maybe they live in an area that does not have the resources, and having this much serves them well. I did not want to judge, only let you all know that for me…I would be having an anxiety attack!


  3. Hi! Very nice collection of fabrics! 🙂
    I’m in this moment as you were years ago… just starting and dreaming I’ll have one day fabrics in this quantity. I’m thinking now is impossible 😀
    In Poland still problem with beautifull printed cotton, so I’m using form my quilt (still in progress) old man’s shirts. Cutting into squars… and collecting at the moment.
    We will see in future what will come out 🙂


    1. I wonder if you could go to Germany sometime and pick up some fabulous fabrics!
      Even though I live in Chicago area it is still hard to find fashion fabrics here. My dream would be to fly to NY and spend 3 days just shopping for fabric in the fashion district!


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