Have you noticed that stashbusting in 2010 is going to be a huge commitment for me. I’m excited about it. I’m not feeling like it’s something I have to do .. can’t buy fabric . . poor Judy! NO! I’m feeling empowered and energized . . knowing that I’ve committed to doing something and I’m going to do it! Stashbusting has been a goal or resolution for years but this is the first year I feel like I’m going to do it and do it right. I’m not advocating that everyone else do exactly what I’m doing. But, you each know what YOU need to do and what will work for YOU!
Keeping track of what’s added and what’s used may sound like a lot of trouble but it has helped me tremendously. Knowing that what comes in is going to have to be reported has helped me tremendously . . helped me to think twice before making those purchases.
- I have a goal for the net amount of yardage I want to use in 2010. It’s a goal I probably cannot reach but it will keep me pushing my limits and trying. I know how I operate and if i set a goal I know I can reach, I won’t be 100% committed to using the stash, pushing to get more quilts made and will have a whole different attitude about buying fabric.
- I have a plan as to how many quilts I need to make to reach my yardage goals. This can include quilts, pillowcases, aprons — anything quilt related. Again, it’s probably a number I cannot reach but I’ll never know if I don’t try.
- If I need fabric, I will buy it! I’m not saying I won’t buy anything! If I need background fabric, or red or yellow . . I’ll buy it. My quilting efforts are not going to be thwarted because I don’t have what I need to work. I will shop the stash first and see if I can make any changes in my quilt plans in order to use what I have.
Questions Often Asked about the stash reporting:
- How do you count all your yardage? I don’t! How much I have on hand at this point doesn’t matter. How much is here and how it got here is history. What matters to me is how much I use.
- How do you know how much you’ve used? All my quilts are drawn out in Electric Quilt before I start sewing. I take the yardage requirements given by EQ as the amount used for that project. It’s pretty accurate. Yesterday I was working on a quilt and when I checked the EQ yardage, it indicated the quilt took 14 yards. I knew that wasn’t correct. It was a scrappy quilt and for every 4″ square I used, EQ calculated 1/8 yard. I went back and colored a bunch of squares the same and it brought it down to 7 yards. That was more accurate. There are no stashbusting police out there (I hope), so do your best. If you don’t use EQ and you’re using a quilt with a bunch of 4″ squares, you know you can get 10 – 4″ squares across the width of the fabric. If you need 100 – 4″ squares, then you’re going to need 10 – 4″ strips . . or 40″ of fabric. If that’s too much math for you . . figure out a way to do it that works for you. Get close! You may decide that it takes 7 yards to make a 60″ x 80″ quilt, or 10 yards to make a 100″ x 100″ quilt and just use those figures without any calculations each time. Do what works for you.
- What if I don’t want to commit to weekly reporting? Fine. Report once a month, once a year; whatever works for you. Some will start off every week for a couple of months, then go to once a month and then disappear completely. I’m not taking names. This is for fun!
- When do you count it as used? Some count the yardage when the whole quilt is finished. I count it when I pull it from the stash and start the project. At that point, it’s no longer in the stash and available for other projects. I keep a spreadsheet and describe which fabrics have been counted for which projects so if I forget if I’ve already counted something, I can go back and check.
- What about gifts or donated fabric you receive? It’s totally up to you. I count what comes in because I want to count what goes out. If fabric goes onto my shelves, it is added to the stash numbers. Last week I ordered a good bit of fabric to donate to a group that makes donation quilts. The fabric will arrive, and be sent right out to its new owner so I will not count that as coming in or going out. I don’t have a problem with adding it and then subtracting it but I prefer for my “out” numbers to represent what I’ve actually used. Do what works for you!
- Can you count fabric you give away? It’s up to you. I don’t give away much of my fabric. If I want to make a donation or a gift, I usually buy something new and send it out and don’t count it as in or out. If someone is looking for a specific fabric to finish a project and I have it, then I send it to them and I do count that in my used figures.
- This all seems like too much trouble! I just want to quilt and not keep track of anything! Then do just that. It’s ok. There are 20 or 30 or sometimes 40 of us doing stash reports. There are definitely more quilters not doing them than are doing them. Do whatever works for you!
- I started out great but have done horrible. What now? It’s up to you. Keep tracking what you’re using and adding and hope to stay on track the rest of the year or throw in the towel and pretend you never planned to stashbust in 2010.
If there are other questions, please let me know.