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Are You A Quilt Fabric Stash Queen?

Updated on July 27, 2016

"Stash Queen"

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Whether you are a machine quilter or hand quilter, you undoubtedly have been collecting fabrics and creating "the stash".

If you are just starting to quilt, and don't really have a "stash" yet, you will soon. It's every quilter's dirty little secret. Scraps, fat quarters, and yards of fabric squirreled away for a rainy day or a quilt yet to be conceived. You never know what you might need and when. Most quilters just can resist collecting beautiful fabrics!

I knew that I had truly become a fabric addict and well on my to becoming a stash queen as I cleaned out my closet recently and found fat quarters that I don't recall ever buying. Ladies (and gents), if you quilt, you've been there - right?

I love scrap quilts, so over the years, I've collected countless fat quarters and scraps from fellow quilters around the country.

The sources of "THE STASH" for any queen can be wide and varied...


Creating a Fabric Stash - Anyone Can Do It!

How does this lovely addiction start?

Fabric Stores: Perhaps it first starts with a trip to the fabric store (that's where my obsession began) - you might be looking for something else but the oodles and oodles of beautiful fabrics can't be resisted. You end up walking out with fat quarters and/or discounted yardage you just know someday you might need.

Quilting Exhibitions and Conventions: Exhibitions are like a quilter's "candy" store. Amazing quilts on display, ideas abound and "cream of the crop" fabrics enough to tantalize any quilter. Most quilters cannot leave an exhibition without buying something in the vending area! I dare any quilter to go to a show and not come away with something to add to the stash.

Local Quilters' Bee or Guild Fabric Swaps: These are excellent places to swap and build variety in one's stash. If you love to make scrap quilts, fellow quilters will be more than happy to give towards your stash! This is also a great place to donate fabric scraps. Even pieces as small as an inch wide can be used by quilters who like to make scrap quilts.

Online Quilting Bees: This is one of the best kept secrets for starting or adding to a stash. I first ran across on online quilting bee about 14 years ago. I couldn't make our local monthly quilt guild meetings so this was the next best thing! It's ideal for those that don't have access or the time to go to a local guild or a quilting bee. Being a part of an online bee can be an amazing experience. It's a great way to meet those with similar interests, participate in fat quarter swaps, block swaps, challenges, and online community quilts for charity or those in need - all on your own time and schedule.


Need a stash fix?

Here are just SMALL random sampling of links to explore for upcoming conventions, online quilting bees, and more!

Annual Indiana Heritage Quilt Show - one of my favorites in Bloomington, IN.

American Quilter's Society

National Quilting Association


Another article of interest:

A Kaleidoscope of Color: The Indiana Heritage Quilt Show


Vote for your favorite stash source

What's you favorite way to build your stash?

See results

"Where Did I Hide My Stash?"

I'll end this hub with a fun little ditty. The title of the song says it all - if you are a quilter or stash collector, you will love this and will most certainly identify with it!

Where Did I Hide My Stash?

Words by Bob & Heather Purcell
Music & Recording by Todd Purcell
© 2008

I just got back from the quilt shop,
Now I gotta hide my stash.
Don't want hubby to find it,
It's worth far more than cash....

Click here to see the rest of the lyrics and listen this little ditty!

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    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      @grandmapearl - we had someone do that here when she moved into an assisted care facility. There were two truckloads of fabric she donated to the quilting guild. The guild put it to good use for making quilts for homeless vets and baby quilts for our pregnancy shelter. We quilters can always find a good home for our fabrics!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I know exactly what you mean Kris. But I figure I can always donate what I don't use to an organization that makes quilts for kids in hospitals, or some other worthy cause. That way I don't feel quite so guilty about all the fabric I have accumulated!

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      @grandmapearl - reversible quilts are wonderful. Good luck with your challenge! Our local quilt store is closing it's doors and so far I've been a good girl and resisted the temptation to buy! I have more than I could ever possible use in a lifetime:)

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      You know when they started packaging layer cakes and jelly rolls I had to finally call a halt to adding more to my huge stash, much as I hated to. My vow now is to never buy any more fabric unless I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, to make and finish a quilt, which I do professionally. I enjoy piecing the backs to make a second quilt, so each quilt is reversible. I even do this with wall hangings. I don't know how long I can live up to my own challenge, but it has been almost a year now, and I still haven't bought any more fabric! Loved this hub. Thanks for sharing, and it's nice to meet a fellow-stasher!

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      @ladydee - that's a great question! It might be fun to poll my quilting bee group to see the varying answers I get.

      For me, I knew I had one when I had way more fabric than I'd every use in a lifetime:)

    • profile image

      ladydee 

      6 years ago

      How do you know when you have a stash?

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      @2patricias - it's definitely an addiction! I used to buy fabrics just because they were so pretty with no idea what I'd use them for. Now I stick to just making scrap quilts - less cost and I can still enjoy thousands of beautiful little pieces of fabrics!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      A few months ago my daughter told me that she was making a quilt for her step-son, and asked me to buy her some fat quarters. I had never heard of such a thing before, but a friend gave me the address of a fabric shop about 10 miles from my home.

      This opened a new world! So many beautiful fabrics - and so little money to spend. I don't really want to take up quilting myself, mostly because I can see how quickly I would get addicted to buying fabric.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      6 years ago from trailer in the country

      I think it is all of the colors of the fabrics...an art therapist might have a comment on that...I am not a art therapist, but my daughter is. Colors bless you, and heal you...and inspire you. They are life. Or at least a part of life.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 

      6 years ago from West of England

      Because I'm not a "finisher" if the project is too big, I've managed to find good homes for my tapestry and embroidery threads, but still have a little fabric stash! Planning to give it away to someone who makes fabric landscapes. My craft paper stash is pretty impressive though - but I do use that fairly regularly, so don't have the same guilt about it! The great thing about these stashes is that if they become too much, and you can bear to part with them, there's always someone who will gladly take them off you. Nice hub, voted up!

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      @randomcreative - I could easily get into collecting beads too or buttons! You're right - it starts so innocently:)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I don't have a fabric addiction, but I do have a bead addiction so I know exactly how this goes. :) It all starts so innocently...

    • bluewaterbay profile image

      bluewaterbay 

      6 years ago

      Fabric is kind of addictive. I've been known to buy a piece just because I think it is pretty and I have no idea what I'm going to use it for... yet. Voted up and thanks for sharing!

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Dear Kenneth - I'm so happy this brought you a good memory of your mom. My grandmother pieced and quilted by hand and I have some wonderful quilts that she made. I was too young at the time to learn from her before she passed away, I later taught myself how to quilt and now every time I quilt, I take moment to think of her.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      11/21

      Dear Kris, GREAT read! INFORMATIVE and a LOT of Fun to read. Voted up and away. I admire your writing talent. I am not a stash queen, but my late mom, she loved to keep scraps, patterns, designs tucked away everywhere. I miss her and that one of her many character points. Thanks for allowing me to remember her. Sincerely, KENNETH

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Moonlake - I agree, it's so hard to make that first cut on something so pretty!

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 

      6 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Thank you for a nicely written Hub with some very useful and interesting information about quilting and holding onto fabrics. At least I am not the only one. Have a wonderful day !

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      I have a stash and I need to get started using it up but it is so hard to cut into that pretty fabric. Enjoyed your hub.

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      jloeding - I could see myself easily stashing buttons and lace if I got started! I just heard at our guild meeting this month that there is an Indianapolis "button club"

    • profile image

      4youreyes 

      6 years ago

      Kris,

      Love the hub, I just happen to be putting together my first quilt. I've done the the cheater panels that are used for wall hangings and have done other sewing projects. My favorite place to visit is the Amish fabric/quilt shop. They have all kins of material, supplies, and things they have made. I'm just stating my stash, it's fun .

      Have A Good Evening !

    • jloeding profile image

      jloeding 

      6 years ago from Lafayette, LA

      I have crocheted more than quilted, and I certainly do understand the hoarding or 'stashing"of yarn. All colors and types. I also have a stash of buttons and lace.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'm not a quilter...although I did make one sewing machine one in my life. However I create art and have all different types of art materials in closets, drawers, cupboards, etc. I understand the stashing part! :)

    • kellymom1970 profile image

      kellymom1970 

      6 years ago

      Kris, My mom is a Quilter and she malerial everywhere. I think so buys it and hides it in her sleep,Lol Love the hub! Thanks You

    • Kris Heeter profile imageAUTHOR

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Millionaire Tips - that's a great way to look at it...an investment! Now if we can just earn some interest on it:)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      You have to have a stash! I am told it is an investment, and necessary, like paint for a painter. That said, I am working on using the fabric I buy instead of storing it away.

    working

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