Posts Tagged ‘stash busting’

This week I’ve been sewing 18 pillowcases for Christmas gifts for family members — everyone is getting two pillowcases each because I had lots of fabric!

I used two of my all-time favourite fabrics, which I have been saving for a “worthy purpose” like this.    🙂


and Cute Chairs…

I’m not sure where I bought these fabrics, but they came with me from America when I moved to England in 1997!  Vintage, I call that.   😉

Here are my two favourite pillowcase patterns:

1.  Mary Johnson’s great pattern with a step-by-step tutorial, which has all enclosed seams and is very good when you have larger pieces of fabric;  and

2. Mary Lou Weidman’s pattern at the Benartex website, Bee Happy Pillowcases, which works well with smaller pieces of fabric and looks fine with overcast or serged seams.

Here’s my stash report for Week 50:

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  20.25
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  149.875
Net Used: 125

Is this naughty?  I’m thinking that since I’ve reached my goal and exceeded it a little bit, I could even buy some new fabric before the end of the year without getting myself in too much trouble.  My stash of neutrals and backgrounds could use a boost.

To see how others are progressing with Stashbusting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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This week I have been sewing more shopping bags for the Christmas fair at my daughter’s school.

This is a great stash-busting project!  I am only using new fabric from my stash, and I’m absolutely flying through the yardage!  What fun!  And I have discovered that my “what was I thinking when I bought that” fabrics are making the very cutest bags!  🙂

I’ve been trying out some different patterns for variety, but my favourite for “quick and easy” sewing is this free pattern from Morsbags.  Tipnut blog also has a list of 35 free bag patterns.

Stash Report for Week 48

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  28.125
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  120.5
Net Used:  95.625

Please visit Judy’s blog to see how others are getting along with their stash busting this week.

Happy Quilting!

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What a shock when I realised this morning that there are only 8 weeks of Stash Reports left this year.  There are still so many unfinished projects on my To Do list for 2009!  I felt a surge of panic — because, silly me, I am always setting unrealistic goals for myself.

Then I took a deep breath and remembered that it’s not The End Of The World if I don’t get every single thing finished.  I’ll just do the best I can and try to remember that quilting is a hobby for me, and it’s supposed to be fun!

This week I have continued to work on “Freeze Frame,” Judy Laquidara’s Quilt for an Hour project.  I am about halfway through Hour 11.  The last step is Hour 12, so the finish line is in sight!  🙂

Freeze Frame 11

I haven’t finished anything this week, and I haven’t bought any fabric this week, so my totals remain:

  • Bought this week:  0
  • Used this week:  0
  • Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
  • Used Year-to-Date:  85.375
  • Net Used:  60.5 yards

Please visit Judy’s blog to see how others are doing with their Stashbusting this week.

Happy Sewing!

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This week I’ve been making cloth shopping bags for the Christmas Fair at my daughter’s school, using fabrics from my stash.

Shopping bags

These bags are made using the free pattern at the Morsbags website and take a little less than 5/8 yard each to make.  They go together quickly and easily, and when I took some samples to show at the PTA meeting, everyone liked them very much.

I have found some other cute free patterns on the Internet, too.  This design by Silver Seams is for a cloth bag in the same shape as a plastic shopping bag.  I like the way the handles and the bag are cut in one piece.

This roomy bag designed by Nanette is recommended for denim or canvas to be super sturdy.  This pattern will be perfect to recycle an old denim skirt that I’ve been saving for just the right project.

I also like the look of this free grocery bag pattern from The Creative Thimble.  I think this would make a great tote bag, as well — perhaps with a heavier-weight home decor fabric.

My Stash Report for Week 42 is:

  • Bought:  0 yards
  • Fabric used this week for bags:  3.125 yards
  • Year to Date Bought:  24.875 yards
  • Year to Date Used:  84.875 yards
  • Net used:  60 yards

To see how others are progressing with Stash Busting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Sewing!

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I have four Quilts of Valor tops ready for donation on Monday.

These two are going to the QOV-UK group.



The UK coordinator lives hundreds of miles away in another part of the United Kingdom, but she is going to be in my area tomorrow visiting relatives so we have arranged to meet for coffee and (more…)

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I originally thought I would only count fabric cut for new projects finished in 2009 for my Stash Buster report.  But, my husband asked me last night, how would I count fabric used in 2009 for UFO’s started in 2008 or earlier?  If I don’t count that fabric now, doesn’t that leave my large stack of UFO’s in a sort of Stash Limbo, neither counted nor discounted?

I’ve decided to change my method and will now count all my projects that are finished in 2009.  The fabric won’t have been counted before, as this is my first year to participate in this project.  By “finished”, I mean quilted, bound, labelled and ready to use or give away (except for charity quilts where I am only supposed to make a top) .

So…my revised Stash Buster report for 2009 is this:

Fabric used:

  • 20.5 yards for large quilt and 4 pillowcases for teenage daughter, finished Jan 2009;
  • 6 yards for QOV quilt top;  and
  • 2 yards for UFO cushion cover.

Total stash used to date in 2009:  28.5 yards.

  • New fabric bought year-to-date:  Still  0 Correction: Ooops, I forgot, I bought 6 yards of backing fabric for that black and red quilt.

Just out of curiousity, I thought I would try to remember how much fabric  from stash I used in 2008.

  • 13.5 yards for twin size quilt for younger daughter;
  • 16 yards for QOV pillowcases;
  • 1.5 yards for a wallhanging; and
  • 8.5 yards for Christmas stockings.

That makes a total of 39.5 yards used during the year for a few projects that come to mind at the moment.  Just goes to show how quickly the fabric gets used up even when you’re not being careful about counting!  I only bought fabric on two holidays in Northumberland and Surrey, and that was about 20 yards total, including two recycled 100% cotton duvet covers from charity shops that I have cut up to use as yard goods.

I’m really glad I have a blog now to use as my quilt journal.  I’ve never been so organised, ever.

Happy Sewing!

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This morning I finished my first HeartStrings Quilt top, using scraps left over from the Quilts of Valor pillowcases made during November’s Pillowcase Party.  This is going to be posted to Alycia, who is working on a mighty QOV project to personally deliver 400 quilts to the project in May 2009.   She will finish it into a proper quilt with batting, backing and binding.


We went outside to take advantage of the lovely January sunshine, and my husband and teenage daughter held the quilt up for me to photograph.

I used 6 yards of fabric for this quilt top.  The centre lattice strips are blue Kona cotton purchased on our last trip to America a few years ago, and all the strips are pieced onto muslin squares.


When you make a scrap quilt, do you ever have a favourite block?  This is my favourite from this project.  It just looked so “right” to me that I had to take a picture!  😉


Stash Buster Report for Week 3:

  • Fabric purchased:  0
  • Fabric used:  6 yards.
  • Year-to-date purchased:  0
  • Year-to-date used:  6.75 yards.

Now I can’t wait to get started on something new!

Happy Sewing!

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I’ve finished piecing the 30 red and black blocks.  They are laid out on the floor, and I’ve been moving them around for over an hour trying to find the right combination.  The only problem is that every time I move one block, I have to move three others as well.  I’m tired now, so I think this arrangement will do nicely.   The placement is supposed to be random anyway.  I have 36 hours to finish this quilt before Pumpkin gets here on Christmas Eve.  Zoom, zoom!  I do love a challenge!  🙂

Happy sewing!30-blocks-finished

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People of a certain age will recall that young adults in the 1980’s were called the “Me Generation.”  As in, “I want it, so I’m going to have it.  I only care about me and my desires.  Me, me, me…”  I can remember a dear friend, a really sensible and compassionate clergyman even, who had a sign on his desk that said, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.”  I thought it was witty and clever.

When I started quilting in 1993, I started seeing that slogan applied to fabric.  A sign in a quilt shop said, “Whoever dies with the most fabric wins.”  I thought that was funny, too.

Now that I’m older, I have changed.  A lot.  I am feeling over-burdened with the weight of too many possessions.  And way too much fabric.   I often wonder why I ever thought I needed to have that much fabric in my house.  My brother, whose field of expertise is sales and marketing, once said to me, “you shouldn’t have all your money tied up in inventory.”  I thought it was an odd comment and that he was criticizing me because he didn’t understand my “art.”  Now I realise that he was really just trying to give me good advice.  If you’re reading this, Bubba, I get it now.

So, in 2009, I really am going to change my ways.  I am going on a non-buying, “shop from my stash” discipline, and I am going to finish as many UFOs as I can during the year, while still having fun with my sewing and not feeling any great pressures about finishing on a deadline.  Slow and steady and — productive!

I plan on doing all these wonderful things with the help and support of fellow quilters who have found themselves in a similar predicament.  I have signed the Stash Buster’s Pledge for 2009 at Judy Laquidara’s excellent site, Patchwork Times.  I have joined the UFO Challenge at the Stashbuster group and will also be signing up for that group’s No Buy Challenge for fabrics.  At the end of the year, I hope to have a fat savings account, lots more storage space in my sewing cupboard, and a big stack of lovely completed projects that my family can enjoy, or that I can give away as gifts to other loved ones or to charities.

And to my quilting sisters who love their large fabric stashes and have the space to keep them and the patience to manage them — please know that I am not judging you.  This is all about finding the right balance in my life.  I don’t want to change you — just me.  Me, me, me….  😉  Perhaps I have come around full circle.  But this time, with another destination in mind.

Happy sewing!

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