Some people might look at my fabric stash and call me a hoarder, but I prefer the term ‘fabric curator’. Sure, it’s a fine line, but I’m a fan of line dancing. I’ll be the first to admit that I have an extensive stash of fabric. In fact, I’ve been known to blush at the thought of just how big my fabric stash is when in polite company.
When I first started quilting, I just bought what appealed to me (hello, novelty prints!). I didn’t have much experience in what to buy and I treated entering a fabric store like a kid being let loose in a candy store.
My fabric stash got a bit more organised as my sewing experience grew and I started to learn more about composition and ways of making the best use of prints, solids and blenders.
I spent months tracking down the perfect shades of yellow to help balance my stash. It was like a treasure hunt and I celebrated each yellow fabric acquisition like someone on Bargain Hunt finding a William Morris tapestry for a steal!
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was moving away from buying for the sake of buying and selecting my fabrics with intent. I had become a strategic fabric purchaser: a curator.
Gone was the reckless abandonment of buying everything and anything – now it was all about the thrill of the hunt. I found myself walking into fabric stores and hunting through the bolts and remnant bins for something special, something worthy of joining my fabric collection.
Something I could actually use.
And that’s the key word: use. I don’t think of myself as a fabric hoarder because I intend to (and do) use all of those fabrics in my collection.
I know that the chances of me actually using every piece of fabric I own are pretty slim, but I audition every fabric in my collection when I think about the project I’m working on. Nothing is sacred (except the fat quarter of Heather Ross gnomes!). A well-stocked stash is like a well-stocked larder – you can do so much more when you’ve paid attention to your ingredients and you’ve got a good mix of staples and stars. You don’t have to spend a lot to achieve that. You just have to adjust your attitude and think of yourself as a curator adding to a collection of fabrics that you’ll use one day!
Please Note: This article first appeared in Love Patchwork & Quilting in Issue 26. Angie is the back page columnist for Love Patchwork & Quilting. If you would like to read more of her articles then be sure to subscribe to Love Patchwork & Quilting.