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Large Stash, Small Stash – Which One is Right for You?

Posted by Jen Lopez on Sep 16th 2020

Due to an impending move, I recently had to put my whole quilting fabric stash in storage. I have to say that even I was surprised at how may boxes it took. Feeling quite guilty about my abundance of riches, I took to my Facebook page to ask friends about their stashes, specifically, was it better to have a smaller stash? There were mixed reviews.

Many folks thought a smaller stash was better because:

  • There is less money tied up in it. With most quilting cottons costing $10-12 per yard, this makes total sense.
  • It’s easier to “curate”, not only in terms of sorting and storing it but also with respect to finding something you need. Many folks cited they often knew they had something in particular in there somewhere, but could not find it. Some even claimed to have went out and bought the very same thing just because they could not find it in their epic stash.
  • Takes up less space. Smaller stashes are obviously more suitable for a smaller living space.
  • “Making do” – Many folks cited that “making do” with what you have encourages one to be more creative. I can certainly attest to that. As a kid, the only fabrics I had were leftovers from my Mom’s sewing projects. I made many wonderfully creative projects from those scraps and it really forced me to think, “what can I make out of this”? 

The majority of folks sided with the larger stash theory:

  • Many argued “buying fabric and using fabric are two different hobbies”. This is certainly true of other collection-style hobbies, such as stamp collecting, coin collecting, comic books, baseball cards, etc. so why not fabric?
  • You can be more specific about projects. Have a hankering for a kiwi-themed apron (true story, actually)? Well, you just might have kiwi fabric in there someplace.
  • No need to go to the store. In times like these when many folks are opting to just stay home, a large stash can keep your sewing machine humming for months or even years.
  • Lots to share and lots to spare. I have so much fabric that I can afford to share generously with others, whether it be a donation to a charity making quilts for various causes, or a helping a local school ramp up a Home Ec sewing class. I have done both of those and more. I feel that sharing my stash helps other and makes me feel good in the process.

In the end, after the move is through, I believe I’ll split the difference: I’ll give away a lot of my stash to charity sewing projects, and whatever is left, I’ll see what new and clever things I can make with it.

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