10 Reasons to Have a Good Stash

Fabrics in storage cabinet

Inside one storage cabinet–lots of stash!

We often read that a quilter’s stash of fabric has expanded past the bounds of the studio, taking over kitchen cabinets, the linen closet, and even bins in the garage.  (We ALREADY KNEW stash was stored under the beds.)  Next week I’m going to discuss the possible need to get rid of some stash, but for now I’m listing 10 good reasons to have plenty of available fabric.

  1. Stash saves trips to the store.  Often you need “just a little” fabric to finish a project.  Pulling from your stash rather than making a trip to the store saves both time and money.
  2. Binding:  If you live at a distance from shopping, stash may be a necessity.  I live an hour from the nearest quilt shop and depend on my stash to provide binding fabric for most of my quilts.

    fabric stash

    The solids drawer; one of the batik drawers

  3. Comfort quilts:  Many guilds ask each member to make a single block for a “comfort quilt” to be given to a sick guild member.  If you can pull from stash for this, you can get it done quickly and turned in on time.

    Drawers, fabric

    Fabric in storage drawers

  4. Audition options:  You may decide to add sashing or borders to a set of blocks, and having several fabric options available allows you to lay the blocks out and “try” various fabrics, then get started at once when you find the right one.

    nickel squares in bins

    5 inch squares–two bins!

  5. Instant gratification:  If you have adequate stash, you can start IMMEDIATELY on the wonderful quilt in the magazine that came today!  I’ve done this more than once, pulling all I need for a project from my stash, and it’s VERY satisfying!
  6. Last minute projects:  Who hasn’t been faced with a baby shower, housewarming, or other occasion with little time to make the appropriate gift?  Having the fabric you need on hand can give you a good head start.
  7. Thrift:  By purchasing fabric when it’s on sale and keeping it on hand, you can minimize the amount of full-priced fabric needed for a project.

    Blue fabric

    The blue drawer! But not even close to all the blue fabric…

  8. Try-outs:  Stash can be used to test a block pattern before deciding whether to buy fabric for a whole quilt.
  9. Backing:  Stash can be used to piece the back for a quilt, incorporating scraps or extra blocks from the front.  This provides more visual interest than one large piece of backing fabric.

    Closet fabric storage

    And a closet full of projects, and fabric, and…

  10. Usefulness and beauty:  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  ― William Morris     We have lots of stash because fabric is beautiful as well as useful.
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