State of the Stash 2016

Today is my 65th birthday. My mother had to take to her bed, horrified at the thought that she is old enough to have a child my age. I belong to the Yahoo! group Stashbuster. Every year during our birthday month, we’re encouraged to write about the state of our stash.

The last two years I claimed that I was going to start tracking yardage in and out but that didn’t last long. I’m going to make another stab at it this year, hoping the third time is the charm.

I’ve definitely bought less fabric locally since my home quilt shop closed in 2014. I have monthly meetings at two area quilt shops but hardly ever visit the very small shop a couple of miles from my house. But, the Row by Row experience made up for less local shopping. In 2015 the Row by Row frenzy found me visiting at least 53 shops in 7 states. Of course I had to buy something at each shop to support them. I wish I could say that I haven’t bought any fabric so far in 2016 but that would be a lie.

I fell off the wagon pretty quickly and bought these Doctor Who prints online from Missouri Star Quilt Company. That’s 2.5 yards plus a panel. JoAnn’s had some different prints. I don’t often buy fabric from JoAnn’s any more but the Doctor Who prints are enticing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.


I bought 4 yards of background fabric for the Jinny Beyer 2016 BOM. Nothing in my stash went with the focus border print I’m using so Jinny picked out this pale green print to go with it.


My team bought 7 yards of fabric to make kits for our bird for Mimi’s grad school BOM but since that most of that doesn’t go into my stash, it doesn’t count. Yeah!

On the outgoing side, I’ve been more prolific since I retired than before. My quilter returned 5 quilts last year. Although I didn’t get around to binding them until this year, I’m not counting them as outgoing stash for this year. I suppose I could count the bindings that hadn’t already been made as being used this year. Then there are labels and hanging sleeves to make.

That’s why I have so much trouble accounting for things. What counts, what doesn’t, how do you count it, etc. If I weigh it, what conversion equivalent should I use – 4 yards per pound, 3 yards per pound, split the difference? It’s hard to believe that a 5 pound bag of trimmings that fits in a plastic grocery bag is 20 yards of fabric. What about kits that I’ve added fabric to? It’s very easy to forget to include the stuff off the freebie table at guild.

I hope to complete more projects this year. I’ve been spinning my wheels. Is it because it’s winter or because I have things I have to work on instead of the things I want to work on?



7 Responses to “State of the Stash 2016”

  1. stitchinggrandma Says:

    I am still laughing!!!!! I keep trying to explain the Row-by-Row “frenzy” to my husband. It was well defined by your post and he now understands what a great marketing scheme it is, to get quilters all worked up and out on the road into the quilt shops!! I too have fallen off the wagon already, big time. I am working on a mystery quilt with FROM MY CAROLINA HOME . and it is a scrap buster….except…I needed neutrals….lots of them. Like 6 yards! And how boring is it to shop for neutrals, so of course I had to buy something else! Go sew, have fun, play with your fabrics and tackle those bindings without guilt. Retirement usually means less money to play with, so I am glad you have a STASH to work with, and the resources to pick up a few bits and pieces, here and there!

  2. stitchinggrandma Says:

    Linked back to your post in a “piggy back” post! 🙂

  3. Sue J Says:

    You’ve worked for your fabric! Enjoy it in your retirement. I had a chuckle over the row by row. Whenever I go into a quilt shop, I always end up with more than I intended to buy!

    • Barbara Says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I do enjoy my fabric. I just have more of it than I have room for but I’m not ready to downsize it just yet. I need a bigger house. I am much more selective in my purchases now than I was years ago. Barbara Bennett, Columbia, MD

      From: Stash Overflow To: Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2016 5:16 AM Subject: [Stash Overflow] Comment: “State of the Stash 2016” #yiv5344521544 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5344521544 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5344521544 a.yiv5344521544primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5344521544 a.yiv5344521544primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5344521544 a.yiv5344521544primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5344521544 a.yiv5344521544primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5344521544 | | |

  4. Nann Says:

    Happy birthday! I think you need determine your own system for tracking quilting expenses, fabric used, etc. For example, I calculate square inches and my “standard” for a yard is 1512, or 36 x 42. Some fabric is wider and some is narrower. I don’t bother. Other quilters weigh several sample batches, figure the average, and use that as their standard. I only count expense for fabric. I don’t count thread, batting, books, magazines, pattern. I probably ought to, but I don’t, and I can live with that!

  5. Carole @ From My Carolina Home Says:

    Happy Birthday! Come join in the mystery quilt Scrap Dance Tango to use up some bits! Found you at Stitching Grandma. Yes, you should count binding as stash out!

  6. Lynette Caulkins Says:

    Hey! Happy Birthday a little bit late. It would be a nightmare for me to figure out how much yardage I use up for stash counting. I’m pretty good at shopping my stash, and so often take bits here and there. Like the Allietare top – I pulled lots and lots of pieces from stash for that, most of which already had bits taken away from them. I haven’t the slightest clue how much was used, but I do know the piles were dramatically reduced by top’s end, which made me happy. Now I just need to [still!!] put all my stash bins back in order so my storage room will quit being a serious fire and injury hazard. . . By the way – I absolutely LOVE your Allietare colorway!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s