Stash Love

I have a love/hate relationship with the Sew, Mama, Sew! Flickr group. I love all the cool and creative stuff I see there as it pops up in my Google Reader. I hate the huge quantity of pictures that are posted daily. Like, over a hundred usually. It’s hard to keep up. At any rate, over at the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog [link removed], they’re talking about fabric stashes, and I thought since I hadn’t yet posted a picture of my recently-reorganized stash, I’d play along too.

What do you usually sew?

Whatever I need, whatever I want, whatever makes me happy, whatever I’ve signed up to swap…. So that’s basically clothes and some quilts, but I’ve got a messenger bag pattern waiting for me right now.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)

I’m a sucker for remnants and “short cuts” in any form, so most of my stash is in the 18″ – 35″ range. If I’m buying at a bricks-and-mortar store, then usually a yard, unless it’s really expensive, and then I’ll buy a half. If it’s for clothes specifically, then I buy whatever the pattern says.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?

Um, yes. Most of my stash is impulse (internet impulse, no less!), but I do have times when I need something and go out and buy it.

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it? Do you iron it?

Absolutely, I pre-wash and iron everything. OK, not everything, because charm packs and jelly rolls are killing me in that I can’t pre-wash. I don’t know what to do about that. But everything else is washed usually within 24 hours of bringing it home.

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)

Color. Beautiful, pretty, colors. It makes “shopping” for the right fabric to use in a project easier.

Do you have any special folding techniques?

Several other people do this, and I just copied them: I use my 6×12 ruler to make nice little folded stacks, kind of like if I worked at the Gap.

How do you store your fabric?

There’s a new shelving unit we put in the spare bedroom that houses my computer and sits right next to the sewing machine. The bottom part has doors on it, so the fabric is stored in there.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?

I just buy what makes me happy. I don’t know if it’s well-rounded, but it makes me smile when I look at it.

When do you say enough is enough?

When it no longer fits in the place I have designated. Then it’s time to get to work, or stop buying fabric, or both.

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?

Quilting. I think baby clothes or items would be great too, but I haven’t made any.

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it! [pic removed]

I’ve bought it at least twice.

What’s your definition of the perfect stash? (Consider sharing a picture or two of your stash & storage, or direct us to a pic on Flickr!)

The right side of the cabinet
The left side of the cabinet