The flannel cupboard.


Hey everyone! Welcome to another Technique Tuesday.

Today we are talking about building a stash.  I am often asked the age old question, “How big is your stash?”, and my answer is usually “too big to use in my lifetime!” especially if I keep adding to it.  As most quilters know it is hard to resist buying fabric and I am no exception.

When I first started out quilting I only bought for the project that I was working on or the class I was going to take.  Then, as time progressed I was soon buying because I liked the fabric but, of course, did not have a use for it at the time.  Sometimes I would buy coordinating fabric to go with a certain fabric but most times I just bought what I liked planning to use it in a future project.  Really though, at the beginning there was no rhyme or reason to what I bought, hence I now have a lot of fabric in my stash that I wonder “Why did I ever buy that?”

What have I learned over the years about fabric shopping? – Well…….

1.  Make sure to have a good variety of light, medium and dark valued fabrics in your stash.  The easiest to find at the quilt shop are the medium valued fabrics as they are what most of us are drawn to and make up about 80% of a quilt shops fabric inventory.  It is a good idea to consciously look for light valued fabrics and try to buy one each time you are fabric shopping.  More times than not it is the light value I am missing when I go to make a project.

2.  Fat quarters are a great way to build up your stash but they are limiting in that they are small.

3.  Meterage to buy – I tend to go for a minimum of one metre cuts and if I like it will take two metres.  There is nothing worse than down the road running out of the fabric and not being able to get more.  Trust me I know this first hand.

4.  Directional fabrics – I will buy at least 2 metres or more especially if there is no project in mind.  If the fabric is to be used in a border then I buy a minimum 3 metres as it will have to be cut in one long piece.

5.  I have found lately that it is good to have fabrics that can be used as backing on hand.  This means buying 3-5 metres of a fabric.  Often times backing fabric can be bought at the discount section of the store.

6.  Along with prints I also liked to have a good variety of basics (like Freckles, Moda, Marble, etc) in my stash in a wide variety of colours – once again I tend to go with metre cuts but half metre cuts will work as well.

7.  If you come across a fabric you just love then buy as much as you like!

As a designer of quilts I do have quite an extensive stash with a wide variety of fabrics – geometric prints, florals, solids, brights, kids fabric, flannels, contemporary prints and so on.  Do my tastes change season after season? They sure do and so I keep on adding to the stash.


My fabric stash!


Until next week, happy quilting.