Monday, August 25, 2008


They're Ripe

How pitiful is this?
But bigger ones are coming. Yey!

Quilting Stash

Recently I've been reading blogs about whether to keep a stash or not. I am definitely a stash keeper. Actually my stash came before I started quilting. I started sewing as a teenager. My mother sewed but she also worked full time so didn't have a lot of time or patience to teach me. My grandma did. I also took home economics classes and by high school, I was sewing many of my clothes. I continued to sew after I was married and and babies. Eventually I took more classes and even made coats for my DDs and my a pair of pants for my DH. Notice that I said "a" pair of pants. That was never repeated. Anyway, I always had some fabric around.

Stash keeping comes naturally to me. I'm a pack rat. I have a strong desire to keep lots of things, especially old things that belonged to my family. I also have some old fabric.

I like fabric. I like to look at it and think about what I might create with it. Sometimes I don't know why but I just know that a fabric has to come home and be in my stash. I like all kinds of fabric but am especially drawn to bright colors and bold patterns. I also like to put fabrics together in different ways.

I am amazed that some people make quilts like I would clothing - by finding a pattern and then buying the amount of fabric needed to make it. Sometimes I have a pattern in my mind but for the next step I often just select some fabrics, start sewing and then add as I go. I haven't been very good at seeing in my mind what it will look like, but I think I'm trusting my insticts and am better at that now. Maybe I just feel freer to jump in and see where the jouney takes me. I have made a couple mystery quilts at my LQS where I had to have some preparation done. I had to have so much of a light medium and dark. I watched other quilters shop with the advice of the staff. I did this once and never finished the quilt. I'm not sure why. I liked the fabric but maybe not the pattern. Maybe just not together. I'm not sure. For the other mystery quilts that I made at the LQS, I looked through my stash and occasionally purchased an additional fabric. Once I made a small round-the-world quilt and it had to be preplanned. But the selection of fabrics to flow together was the fun of doing it.

Another thing I've done was buy fabric from places where I traveled. The quilts made from this fabric remind me of my visits there. The Williamsburg, Virginia, fabric went into my DGS's quilt and I used the Hawaiian fabric for one that I keep by my TV/hand sewing chair.

At one time, I'd finish my quilt and only than look for backing fabric. I never had a piece large enough in my stash and had problems finding reasonably priced fabric that I liked. So for a while I kept my eye open and whenever I saw a potential backing fabric, I bought it. Now I have a backing section in my stash. I'd never cut into those pieces but for the current duck quilt I'm working on, I did. I'll have enough for the backing too.

I also keep leftover and bits of fabric. I have thought maybe I'd make a quilt using these bit s but I don't know if I ever will.

Only lately have I thought I needed more fabric choices in areas of my stash. This is all the yellow I have? I've also become more aware of trends of the time. Why aren't there any forest green fabrics now? I like various colors with yellow, red and blue coming to my mind just now.

Lately I been facinated with making 4 patch posy quilts and keep my eye open for potential fabric. When I find them, they go into the stash. I also aplique and keep bits and pieces for that. Sometimes I get an idea for a theme and gather stash for it. For a while now, I've been collecting B&W fabrics.

I also have a secondard stash in FL. It is much smaller than the one here in MI. When I think about my migration trip in the fall, I think about projects I might want to take with me. I have been taking one suitcase filled with sewing goodies, incluidng some fabric and books, down each fall but this year, with the extra charges for this suitcase, I'll have to think more carefully.

Of course blogger's spell checker isn't working today. Also sorry about the glare in the pic. There are mirrows in the back of these china cabinets. Not sorry about the mess - just a working room.

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5 comments:

Joyce said...

I buy fabric when I travel too, esp to US because it's much cheaper there. I also build quilts as I go usually, although the one I am working on non is an exception. I want a much bigger stash but first I have to figure out some sort of better storage so I can see what I have.

Libby said...

I'm a stash keeper, too. When I first began quilting I feared I would never have enough to make a scrap quilt. Now I'm working almost exclusively from my scraps . . . oh, what a happy girl I am *s*
Yippee for the tomatoes. I'm hoping for some ripe ones soon. I had a couple early on, but then picked every green tomato off the vines to discourage the squirrels who were taking far too many liberties.
Now the blossoms have turned into green tomatoes once again and Harper is free to patrol the yard bringing those squirrels into check.

Lindah said...

Katie, your stash thoughts and working style are much like mine. Sometimes I "just begin" and the quilt and inspiration "just grow." Like you, I can't identify with buying a pattern and fabric as I did with garment sewing. And even with garment sewing, I sometimes re-made the pattern until it didn't resemble the way it started out. My younger brothers say I'm pretty independent. --Maybe that's it, Katie! Maybe we are independent thinkers in our quiltmaking, hmmm? LOL
Enjoy those tomatoes...old man winter is just around the bend.

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I could not imagine not having a stash of material. There is no way I could get any thing made without it. Have a great weekend, blessings, Kathleen

Finn said...

Hurray for ripening tomatoes! They look delish! In fact I had a tomato sandwich for lunch today with a tomato from a friends garden *VBS* Just can't beat home grown.
I love that you posted about fabric. I'd say you definitely have been bitten hard by the fabic love bug! Personally I think you can never have toooo much fabric. It doesn't spend like money, but it sure makes you happy. Watch out for that storm coming across. It was a nasty one here last night. Hugs, Finn