Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cutting the Stash!

This is a photo of my cutting project which I started last week.

What you see here are 83 fabrics from stash. Actually, it is almost my entire stash except for some white/small flower prints, beige/tans, greens (very little), novelty, a small bin of blue strips - already cut, and very little yardage of slightly larger pieces, oh and that scrap bin that my son so loves dumping out all over the place. And, I've had these fabrics for at least 4 years, but some of them as long as maybe 6? years It is dated fabric, no where near as exciting as some of the fabrics you guys are buying/working with. Worse still, I feel like they don't "play" nicely with some of the newer designs out, so I want to use them - all by themselves - in quilts. As much as I would like to just start over with brand new and exciting to me fabrics - well, these are MY fabrics and I do own them without having to go on a roadtrip to get to a store. Honestly, I would rather spend my sewng money on long-arm quilting services than loading my shelves with more fabric. Oh, but once this fabric is gone - you better believe I will be buying some new ones!
And, as boring as each one seems individually, I happen to know that these fabrics do make up into very lovely quilts. I just have to ignore the beginning boring parts and plow on through to get to the quilt part. And for me, it is very exciting to have quilts around - completely finished to snuggle under. Did I just say snuggle? Oops - I meant to spread out all over the couch and anchor onto the coffee table to make tents and tunnels and secret openings. Well, at least they aren't getting fold lines from being folded up in a closet!
And, surprise! The stash is getting smaller and smaller! Not sure how that happened as most of you have ever growing stashes; mine must be defective because it doesn't seem to grow in dark closets all by itself. Whaaa!


So, I am cutting. ALL of it. Yup. I needed 3 1" strips from 83 different fabrics for a lattern pattern and why stop there? I asked DH to pick up a new iron (the old one was luke-warm) and some clear containers at the hardware store, I have them all labeled (1", 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3.5"). Each tote also has a list of patterns I can make with that size strip - and since I have more 2" patterns than any other size, I cut a few extra 2". I also need about 10 fabrics at 6" so I've cut those too. AND, I needed 2.25" strips to finish another project, so I've got those cut too. Slice, slice, slice - feeding those bins. Some of the fabrics had very little yardage, and others had a full yard. I have about 1/2 of them cut now. All ready for sewing. I MUST remember to get some neutral sewing thread, because can you believe I am almost out of thread? Dire, I know. But please don't laugh - remember, I live hours and hours away from shopping so running out of thread can be a problem! Unless I mail order. And since I'm in Canada - well that can be a bit expensive for just thread. Much better just to remember when I am near the stores.


A funny thing about my cutting plan though - after about 10 fabrics I was hit with a moment of panic - but what if I NEEDED one of these fabrics and I had it all sliced into smaller pieces? LOL, like fabric stores don't sell fabric!!! I must admit though - I was a little surprised to see how small my stash is - it will seem very strange indeed to have the bulk of it cut into strips. I definately have done a good job of using it! I've made lots of quilts over the past 4 years - kind of scarry to think that most of the quilts I made came out of my stash - oh sure, I've added some fat quarters here and there, bought yardage for borders and backings... but most of the tops were made from stash. Except - I haven't used my stash exclusively either because sometimes I buy fabric 'specially for a quilt. I mean, a girl just has to try out some of the newer designs once in awhile, right? But still, my stash is diminishing!


Oh -and can you see the wall behind my fabrics? It is green linoleum. Yup - the kind of stuff that you are supposed to put on the FLOOR, not the wall. This is my laundry room - the green walls are growing on me. But the green astroturf carpeting? Hummm. Obviously redoing the laundry hasn't been high on my list of priorities! Oh, well I did have the carpenter raise up the BIG folding area to the perfect height for cutting fabrics. Smart. Guess I do have priorities. The green astroturf carpeting can stay.


loulee1 said...

Well it seems to me you've got it all sorted and we should be watching closely cause you're about to start making quilts at 100 miles an hour! LOL Watch out little boy, you may get buried beneath them all.

Screen Door said...

I love the fabrics --- looks like a candy store. I bet it will be a beautiful quilt. I know the feeling, we get sentimentally attached to the fabric just by looking at it without ever sewing a stitch. Have fun--- keep us posted.

The Calico Cat said...

lattern pattern

Was that a typo? at any rate - what pattern is that?

Courthouse steps look great with tiny strips... Especially when you pay attention to the fabric placement and make squares where the blocks come together.

I find 2.5 to be a very useful size.

I think you will have no problem getting those used up, you have a nice selection of lights and darks & they all seem to "go" with each other, based on the photo.

Mama Koch said...

Looks like you're getting somewhere taming that stash. I need to do the same.

Dawn said...

Just stopping in to say hi and catch up! Little Boy is getting so big! He is such a sweetie!

Laurie Ann said...

Ah, sounds fun. I mean really! My favorite part is the ironing and cutting. And yes, I like the snuggling and using of all these great quilts we make. I loved it when we had our Japanese girls here and I would go into their rooms in the morning to wake them up and I would just see these cozy mounds of quilts that I had made.

Laurie said...

gosh evelyn, i wish i had the desire to do that. i just seem to keep buying and buying and buying! YIKES!!! Someone take my credit card away from me! LOLOL

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Nothing like the feeling of purging the stash, great job! I can't wait to see your next creation, it will be stupendous!

Jeanne said...

What a brave woman! You know what happens if you need a fabric like one you've cut, you can go and buy NEW stuff!

cher said...

fantastic! 83 fabrics and so much cutting and then...lots and lots of wonderful sewing with many wonderful quilts as a result-sounds heavenly to me! way to come up with a plan to put your stash to your best use and then...well, goodness, what's a quilter to do when they use up all their stash? you will I know, rise to that challenge.

Shelina said...

Oh sorry don't mind me, I'm still drooling over the cake on the last post, looking in my mailbox for my invitation to tea.
I think it is very smart to not have a stash. That way you buy current fabric rather than having to use ones you no longer are excited about. That set of fabric though looks great and will create a wonderful quilt.
I don't have a big stash either, and am trying to reduce it down from there, but I do have to admit to buying fabric this year.

Susan said...

That's going to make some wonderful scrappy quilts. I'm proud of you for using so much stash! Now, would you like some of mine? =)

I'm going to give away lots of it. It just sits at my friend's house and does nothing at all! What a waste. If she has to move, she has enough of her own stash without moving mine, too.

Hanne said...

I am looking forward to see what you will make with your strips :-)
I have sewn from fabric collection a lot over the last years and it is not growing anymore. I love to see it shrink.