Tuesday, January 05, 2016

How to Write a Stash Manifesto in Five Easy Steps

Planning a stash revolution and want to ensure its success? Time to draft a manifesto! I can't offer you much direction on how to overthrow a government, but I've been thinking a lot about how to stick to the goal of using one's stash. All joking aside, working from one's stash is a challenge for many quilters and appears in tonnes of annual goal posts. Here's what I came up with for my Manifesto.
Are you struggling with your own guidelines for The Year of The Stash? Never fear. Here are some ideas to help you get to the root of your fabric hoarding  collecting and start using that fabric loveliness! Feel free to pick and choose the ideas that suit you best.

Article 1 - Organization & Editing
Is there an organizational reason why you're not using your stash?
  • Touch all the fabric. How else will you even know what's in there?
  • If you stack your fabric, rotate your the piles - putting top fabrics to the middle or bottom.
  • Remove fabric you don't love anymore. Sell it, swap it, donate it.
  • Break up FQ bundles or fabric pulls you've made and not used. 
  • Consolidate. If your stash is all over the house/neighbourhood, it's tough to know what you've got.
  • Keep it visible. While it's not good to store one's fabric in direct sunlight, it's easy to forget about fabric loveliness that's jammed in a box or at the back of a cupboard.

Article 2 - Swaps/Bees/BOMs
If you've taken on the challenge of a swap, bee, or BOM, there might very well be fabric needed that you don't have.
  • Check your stash for appropriate fabric before buying.
  • Buy only what you need to fulfill requirements. No extra bits.
Article 3 - New Projects
We can't limit ourselves to WIPs all year. It's just too dull for words. New projects are a tricky business.
  • Check your stash before starting anything.  
  •  Start with the stash in mind. Ask yourself "What can I make with this?"
Article 4 - Adding to the Stash
If we didn't love fabric, we wouldn't be quilters. 
  • Buy nothing for a set amount of time (a month, until your birthday, the entire year).
  • Give yourself permission to buy something - prints from your favourite designer's new line, treasures found at a quilt shop while on vacation, only items that are on sale
  • If finances are part of the reason you're sewing from your stash, set a monthly budget. Fabric allowance, anyone?
  • Are you tempted by the shiny new things? If Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/blog posts from fabric shops are a constant source of temptation, it might be time to edit your feed.
  • Do you buy fabric when you're sad/happy/bored? Spend time in your stash instead of on-line fabric shopping or visiting your LQS.
  • Give yourself 20$ a month (or whatever amount works for you) that carries to the next month if you don't use it. Buy the time the January 2017 sales are upon us, you'll have 240$ to spend!
Article 5 - Celebrating
  • Keep a tally of projects made with your stash
  • Schedule posts and link-up them up to stash celebrating
  • Set a stash goal each month and toot your own horn when you achieve them
Phew! A veritable buffet of suggestions to get excited about stash sewing. Feel free to choose what speaks to you. Only you know what will work best to reach your goal of sewing your stash this year! And when you've polished up your manifesto, don't forget to link up and grab a button from my side bar!

I'm linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night Quilter. I mean, can't we all use a tip or two on how to get our stash under control?
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    1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm on the fence with this but falling to the use my stash side.

    2. Oh my, that is quite complicated and wordy. I'll just keep doing my usual thing, lol.

    3. Great suggestions - I fell off the sew your stash wagon big time before Christmas and need this so badly this year!

    4. I like the $20 a month idea as well....and the splitting up unused fabric pulls.

    5. Since I sealed my pocket money away in an envelope with packing tape until Easter, I have developed a renewed interest in my stash and scrap box. The treasures I have found there! Sadly, the more I dig, the more inspiration hits and the more projects I want to start. I might not be buying much, but the WIP pile isn't shrinking!

    6. So well written Jenn! I need to borrow a few of these and actually put it into action! Soon, very soon! I was out shopping yesterday and saw the perfect shelf with bins. I was so tempted to buy it and use it for my stash's rebirth. I will get to this...I will!

    7. How did one so young become so wise? LOL, really this is all so thought provoking Jenn and the greatest advice! Many of your points in your "articles" are just what I need to do. Very timely help too, because I'm reorganizing and trying to turn over a new leaf.

    8. I just sorted and purged my stash at the end of 2015 and am now committing to using it in 2016 so this post was great. I just might write my own manifesto. It's a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.


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