Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Year of the Stash - The Manifesto

I'm sure that those of you who really know me probably spit out your coffee when you read the title of this blog post. Sewing from my stash...we all know I'm a fabric collector at heart and manifesto is a word I don't use in my life. Well strap on you boots and get ready for 2016 ride that I call life. I've made some decisions and I'm making some changes. Now to be honest I wouldn't have picked the word "manifesto", I got that from Jenn @ A Quarter Inch From The Edge, but it is a perfect word to use.  Here is the definition

Now Jenn has a wonderfully written manifesto and I could basically copy most of it word for word and it would work for me, but I wanted to put my own touches on it. And since we all know I'm a big time list maker, I'm doing mine in the form a of list.

1.  Organize Projects - I will document all existing fabric that I have purchased for specific projects and put all the fabric I have for that project into a bin. I will make a list of the projects, noting the bin where it is stored, the pattern I've picked to use (if I have one) and if the project is mine or Sharla's. Now to be honest Sharla and I have been working on this since Christmas and have most of our projects all organized. We have a couple of projects we know we bought but haven't found yet (which means we put them somewhere for safe keeping).  Here is a sample of part of my list.

2 . Organize Fabrics - The second part to the organize process is group the left over fabrics by color or type. I already have bins for fat quarters, but where I have yardage it has been just randomly stored with the above projects. By removing them from my storage cabinet I've freed enough space to sort by color groups, and I also have one shelf for pre-cuts that haven't been assigned to a project and another for batiks. At this point I don't plan on purging anything, but if I find things that are no longer what I like, I will destash it. I am also going to organize my scraps, which right now is just one big bin. I am going to sort it, if it is a decent size it will go into the FQ bins, if it is too small for that, I will cut it into squares (2 1/2") and if it is too small for that it goes into the dog bed scraps. I'm saving tiny bits to stuff beds for my dogs. 

3. Buy Less Fabric - I know I should say buy no fabric, but I'm realistic and that isn't going to happen, Can I resist for an entire year, probably not. But my goal is to buy mostly to complete projects. I know I have projects where I still need to buy sashing, backing and/or binding, so those are allowed without question if I am working on the project. New fabric for the sake of new fabric is to be limited as much as possible. I am also allowed to purchase fat quarters for bee blocks, if necessary. Since a total lock out on buying is not reasonable, my goal is to use more fabric than I buy. I plan to track all fabric used (and it isn't used until it is quilted and bound), this will be estimates based on the pattern or my best guess and I will track all fabric purchased, and my hope is at the end of the year the used will far outweigh the bought. I will track with a simple spreadsheet and update it at least monthly so that ya'll can hold me accountable. I probably should make a rule that Tula Pink fabric doesn't count, because we know I can't resist it, but I'm going to try and be strong.

4.  Cut My Fabric -  I need to learn not to be scared to use my fabric. I have some lovely fabric and as we were organizing it over the last week, I fell in love with several of the bundles all over again. And because I love it I'm often afraid to cut into it, but no more. I know I will enjoy the finished quilt even more than the pretty bundle of fabric. Sometimes I think I want to wait for the perfect pattern to come along, but that is just my fear talking. So when I am ready to start a new project I need to look first at my stash and pick from it. I have fabric that I have had for 3+ years, like Marmalade that I adore, so I need to get brave and start cutting.

5. Be Happy - If I use only fabric from my stash or if I go hog wild and buy a quilt store, I want to be happy with my decisions. So I won't beat myself up if I buy fabric and I will celebrate when I used from my stash. I want quilting to be fun and joyful, not something I dread. Overall I want to use my stash more this year than ever before, and I will.

Ok that is my manifesto, with it and five dollars you can get a cup of coffee. I'm going to link up with Jenn @ A Quarter Inch From The Edge, and you can write your own manifesto and do the same if you would like.
                                                 A Quarter Inch from the Edge


  1. A fine manifesto! Thank you for spreading the word about The Year of The Stash. I love how you've embraced the attitude of it all... it's not about depriving yourself, it's about enjoying the adventure.

    P.S. That stack of Tula Pink makes me a little weak. :)

  2. I love this manifesto. I especially love be happy! Like you I'm not restricting myself too much , just trying to use more than I buy.

  3. What a fantastic manifesto, Sharla. And congratulations for already having a big head start on your project organization. I hope it really helps you to work toward completing some fun quilts this year. :)

  4. Good job! I always quilt my stash, so this is a no brainer for me. I have been trying to buy only fabric to finish things up, but checking my stash first and usually I can find something that will work. I also have some Marmalade in my stash and lots of other Bonnie and Camille fabrics that I covet--I am not religious, but I think coveting is a sin. I guess we should not sin and use it up. Happy New Year!

  5. Great manifesto!! I need to get organized as well.

  6. These are great goals, I need to be sewing more from the fabric I already have too.

  7. I just cut into my Marmalade bundle before Christmas. I saw a pattern in a book, thought it would suit the fabric I had been hoarding and started cutting the test block the same day. The top is now almost finished. If I can do it, you can too! I will be cheering you on from the sidelines.

  8. I especially like #5. We bought it because it made us happy. We should celebrate it! And I'm with you on making myself cut and use the pretty stuff. I don't know why I won't... afraid it will be wasted on whatever project I guess. LeeAnna at not afraid of color


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