Friday, January 23, 2015

The Fabric Stash

Seems like this is the time of the year when everyone is discussing their fabric stash...  admit it, the Christmas holidays are over, there's not much in the way of entertainment in the cold Midwest in January, so it's probably timely.
I've shown you some of mine before...  I have a sewing room in my basement.  I used to put things out on shelves and in baskets.  But then I was invaded by a family of field mice who chewed a couple dozen holes in a piece of silk and linen that rendered a yard and half completely unusable except as patchwork.
I hate mice.  Even when I don't see an actual mouse, I hate coming across their leavings.  You see tiny specks of things that weren't there yesterday and you wonder what it is.  Aaagh!! Don't touch it!
Enter the bins.  And a hubby with traps filled with peanut butter.  Get them OUT!!

Now I have so many bins, and they take up a lot of space.  At first I tried to organize by fabric type for garment fabrics... all the cotton/poly knits together.  Sometimes that worked.  I've also put groups together for what would work for an outfit, or all the pants weight fabric together.  It's kind of a mishmash, admittedly a work in process.  It helps to label the bins.  I've taken packaging tape and a small square of cardboard and placed a tag on the outside of each bin.  Portable and easy to change.
If I don't do that I have no idea what I have where.
OK I KNOW it's too much.  But it's my only vice.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 Quilting fabric at first was just a small problem issue...

I could group things, tie them nicely and put them in a bin for a future project.

But the stash just started to grow on its own, I swear, while I wasn't looking!

It did help when I was planning a project.  I organized by fabric length.  Over a yard, a yard, half yards, fat quarters, etc.  Then I organized by color, a bin of blue, a bin of red, all the browns from cream to chocolate.  That led to bins of Christmas and a bin of batik, plus a bin of plaid and a bin of dot.  And just for fun, a bin full of miscellaneous pieces that could be cut up for scrap quilts.

The current box of stuff to be cut up into usable bits...
I got the Scrap Insanity book, did the recommended 2 inch, 3.5 inch and 5 inch squares.  I branched out to strips too.  2 inch, 2.5 inch and 3 inch width of fabric strips had bins of their own.  I made my own jelly roll bundles.  Those are very convenient when you want to actually sew, not figure out what you WANT to sew.

One day I took out the bin of 2 inch squares and went wild...

The right side of my design wall looked like this.

I have a box of projects that are not quite finished, and quilt blocks left over from either testing a pattern or where I made too many or maybe just made some because I could.  Some day there will be a whole rash of finishes!  Really, it IS possible!
a box of UFOs and orphan squares.
 Not only do I have responsibility for my personal stash... but I have to help Suzi manage the church group's stash!  This is how it looked after we spent a little time working on it in November.

It doesn't look that good right now, but we have about a dozen quilts in various stages of completion and there are kits galore for the ladies who want to sew tops.  I think messy and working is much better than neat and organized but nothing's happening anyway, don't you?

I have taken to calling this a personal collection instead of a stash.  After all, does your husband have a beer can collection because he's going to USE them all???  Ha!  I'm stocking up against inflation.  Or a snow day.  Or my retirement.  Whatever --  I love my collection.  Every single inch of it.

If I have to use up everything I have, I am going to freakin' live forever!

Sew on...