Friday, 27 January 2017

Another thought on why I build up a stash

I am using some stash fabric in making a new quilt, that is the patchwork for its top. I don't intend to get this done any time soon, I just wanted to see what the blocks look like.

I saw this intriguing tutorial about sewing four strips together and cutting four triangles from each square. It does make a lovely pattern:

The busy looking navy is a cheap fabric I got from a Shephard's Bush shop several years ago for the purpose of mixing it with other navy fabrics for quilts. The assembly of this pattern was intriguing, I wanted to see for myself how this would turn out. I literally started without a plan. Can always make a baby quilt, right?

So of course I like this so much that I would love to make this into a big quilt and of course I am running out of these fabrics! That was kind of obvious, wasn'n it?  I like this patterned blue fabric so much that I want to run back to Shephard's Bush to check if there's more and then buy loads!

I think I may have had another insight on why I build up a stash and then have huge trouble to dip into it and use stuff up: when I sew with a fabric like this one, that I had been looking forward to using, only I had no idea on what yet... means that I need to let go of something that seemed to have a lot of promise. I could maybe even make a top with it if the mood strikes! I'll make lovely quilts! I'll do this, I'll do that!

I am finding it so hard to use stash material because I might 'waste' it on something that won't look great (like it does in my head when I think about the potential) - it's like some fabrics are my favourites and it feels painful to see them graduate (to become part of a project), grow up (move from 'possibility' to 'actually being used') and then leave home (i.e. leave my stash).

I bought a great FQ once at Alexandra Palace (I used some of it for my Steampunk vibe skirt) - the seller said something like she was letting one of her kids go: because it was the last one of this pattern, and that she knows all her fat quarters so well that it feels like a loss when she sells some of them.

I finally know what she meant because I am experiencing it, just by putting the darn thing to the use it is intended for. I had some fabrics so long, they feel like part of the family now! Ach...

I really need to get over this. If I want to keep admiring fabrics then I should hang them on the wall like it's artwork. But I can't just keep them around in case I want to pull something out and sigh over it! I mean, come on!? That's beyond silly.

The issue with this specific fabric is also that it felt like a very versatile fabric: the pattern can be mixed with anything: similar navy shades or contrast colours. I feel a bit desolate that I narrowed it down to this one choice, and therefore it is 'versatile' no longer.

So looking at the whole thing from another angle: does that mean that most of my fabrics are not versatile enough to be easily applied to a pattern? Did I buy a lot of fabrics only because I liked them but they may be too difficult to use?  Is that another reason why I have so much stash?

I do find that it can be really difficult to try and find a suitable fabric when I want to start a project. I often wish I could go and buy new so I get to pick weight, colour, pattern and fibre in special dedication to the particular item. But when I did try and buy new for e.g. my waterfall collar jacket [I'll insert a link once I do post about it] I couldn't find a single thing I really liked - "making do" with something from my stash did then let me go ahead and start.

I may have to let some of my old fabrics go. To lighten the load. Or start with a fabric and decide on a project, that might work better. Oh crikey...

Sneak peak of the waterfall jacket (it needs a lot of fitting and adjustment work):


  1. Wow, that is stunning I absolutely love the striking colours you've chosen - It is going to be gorgeous!

  2. Thank you Josie, that's very kind!
    I now have a big square of nine blocks and need to decide where to from there. I've run out of fabric except for the bright pink and I have another navy I could use. I should have tried to calculate yardage, but hey. At least I used those fabrics up which is the main thing!