Taming The Fabric Baskets!

For the last two weeks social media has been a buzz with new year resolutions, and sitting on everyone's list right behind more family time/ less screen time, is reducing the fabric stash in 2019.  I get it - at times it feels like there's more fabric coming into the sewing room than what's actually being sewn into projects.
Its a constant battle of trying to sew what we have, while the fabric companies are tempting us with lush new fabric lines that are irresistible! Its torture, I tell ya and a battle rarely won!

People are ingenious in their efforts to fabric control their stash. There are those who vigilantly calculate (using spreadsheets) how much fabric they buy and how much fabric they use, keeping the ratio in favor of the latter. There are those who abstain from purchasing fabric for set periods of time (fabric diet), and those who de-stash their fabrics so they can have a guilt free shopping spree.  I say, just do whatever works best for you!

Because I'm a total control freak and because I just love fabric, I have to be vigilant and make sure my stash is working the best it can for me.
At the start of every year I pull out all of my fabric baskets and realistically sort through them - and by realistically I mean, if a fabric has been there for a few years I'm either going to donate it or use it in a pieced backing etc. otherwise its destined to live in the bottom of my fabric basket forever.
Some fabrics are hard to part with so I ear mark them for upcoming projects but there's always some of those what was I thinking fabrics that are donated to charity projects.

I'm happy to report that this year my fabric stash felt a lot more cohesive and under control. There was very little culling to be done...YAY! I did clear out a lot of old fabrics in my Little Blue Lake Quilt but I think it has more to do with how I purchase my fabrics.
A few years ago I set this rule in place - I must have a project in mind before I buy, and the fabrics must come from one of my top ten favorite fabric designers.
Let's take Bonnie and Camille as an example - their fabric ranges work so well together, and sometimes a few fat quarters or a little meterage can boost the stash and give it a fresh new perspective. I'm excited to sew with the fabrics because I'm blending the old and the new ranges, and creating something gorgeous.

This self imposed rule reduces my scraps faster, and I've found that I'm now organising my fabric baskets by designer instead of colour. It also makes it easier to shop my stash as I only have to pull out one basket and select my fabrics from a variety of ranges by the same designer.
Of course I break my own rules every now and then and purchase fabrics from a random designer, and that's OK too because sometimes their just too darn pretty not too.  I'm no saint ;)

My stash isn't huge and I prefer to keep it that way - I like it controlled and cohesive, and I've found that I buy less fabric because the new additions make me fall in love with the older fabrics all over again.
Do you have any plans for reducing your fabric stash during 2019? What's your best tip for taming those fabric baskets?
I wrote an article for All Free Sewing back in 2017 which includes my tips for Quilting On A Budget and shopping your stash. I also look at projects designed to reduce your fabrics - scrappy quilts, sampler quilts etc. and also scrappy backing and bindings to save money and give those fabrics a forever home. :) There might be some tips there to help you reach your 2019 resolutions.
Happy stash busting :)

No comments

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog. I love hearing from you so thank you for taking the time to leave me a message. 😊