Stash Management 2015

Real talk: that above picture is my stash, in all its disorganized glory.  And by the way, that is a standard closet; my sewing room is a 9'x10' bedroom formerly used by children, so this isn't some kind of trickery.  My stash truly takes up that much space and still can't be contained.

First, let's discuss shaming.  There's a lot of talk out there about the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is great.  People should definitely clean up and clean out.  I love cleaning out closets, donating old toys, filling up garbage bags.  But underneath that talk, there's been an underlying thread of elitism: I own less, therefore I am better.  And to that I say, why?  Why does everything have to be a competition in this world?  I'm not a competitive person by nature, so this line of thinking baffles me.  And because I have some teenage rebellion still coursing through my veins, it makes me want to order five more FQ bundles just to shove them in your face and show you what I think of your high horse.  Please don't think I support hoarding or irrational emotional attachments to objects; obviously there is nothing more important to me than my family, my pets, our health and wellbeing.  But goddamn, if I want to own fabric and yarn and buy more while I'm at it, just because it makes me happy, then I'm going to do it and you can take your weird book elsewhere.

Okay, that's out of my system.  So this post is pretty much to say I have a lot of fabric.  A lot.  And I know I do, because I see it everyday.  I see it come in, I see it go on the shelf, I see it stay on the shelf.  And I want to use it.  I'm obviously not going to stop buying it (see above), so why not use it?  Cutting into my precious Heather Ross stash made me realize it's just fabric.  It's meant to be loved and made into something.  It isn't meant to collect dust on a shelf.

I've tried buying less and curating a collection of only fabrics I love.  The problem is I love everything.  Give me Tula, Heather Ross, low-volume, solids, alternative substrates.  They're all welcome here.  Shit, I even love some repro prints and batiks (please don't stop being my friend).  It's all welcome here.  And if you go through my stash deep enough, you'll find Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler I bought in college(!), and flannel with purple kitties on it.  So buying less/only buying what I love is out of the question.

I have no other choice but to cut.  Quilts need to be made.  It's time.  But seeing as how there's been an HST quilt sitting on my project table since Memorial Day, I'm obviously still easing into this nonsense.  So while I'll still work on big quilts--quilts that will keep us warm in this 100-degree heat--small projects need to happen too.  Such as mini quilts (duh).

I recently redecorated my sewing room (still need two carts from Ikea) which left me with a ton of wall space.  Mini quilts are the perfect solution, as every blogger out there has a mini wall these days and they all look prettier than my plain walls (though the pink I chose is seriously my favorite color ever).  This morning I saw Megan advertise her next round of Fresh Mini Quilt Club on Instagram and the lightbulb went off.  I can totally do a mini each month.  That's just a few hours, a Saturday at the most.  And it'll cut down on stash because not only can I piece with what I have, but I can back with FQ cuts pieced together.  

So I signed up.

That's the first step in the right direction, I think.  But I'm not satisfied stopping there.  It's difficult to find resources on stash management--there's a million ideas out there for scrap management and scrap busting, but what do you do for a stash?  So I'm going to keep looking, keep thinking of ideas, keep researching new methods.  And I'll update you here.  Because I'm sure just as many of you are like me, watching these folks destash while reading their magical books, and thinking, "they'll never take my fabric."