When I mentioned in my end-of-the-year roundup post that I wanted to stop amassing fabric, Andrea of Stitch Parade was kind enough to let me know that she and her friend Gail of Today’s Agenda were hosting a challenge called Stash Diet: 2014 whose aim is, as is pretty clear by the name, to buy less fabric and use fabric from your stash instead.
I immediately jumped at the chance and joined Stash Diet: 2014 as I felt sharing with more people in the same situation would be of great help in attaining my goal. Everyone has to lay down their own rules, so here are mine, well here is mine, which is pretty simple:
I am allowed to buy one piece of fabric every five projects that use fabric from my stash.
This excludes: lining, interfacing and other notions needed for the projects. If a project absolutely requires a contrast fabric of some sort, I can buy said contrast fabric, but only on a project-by-project basis. This means I can’t buy it unless I’m starting the project right away.
Of course, I don’t have to buy a piece of fabric every five projects. If I don’t buy a piece of fabric after five projects, this means I can buy two pieces after ten projects, three pieces after fifteen projects, and so on… (yeah, like I’m gonna be strong enough to wait for so long before getting my fix!).
By the way, you may have noticed I didn’t mention anything about patterns. I’m focussing on fabric, and not patterns, because
I’m still in denial of my pattern addiction I don’t think my pattern stash is problematic (yet) as all of my patterns (excluding books and magazines of course) still fit in two shoeboxes. Though I must admit I haven’t used most of those patterns yet.
Now, regarding the fabric, it may seem like having to wait for five finished projects before being allowed to buy one piece of fabric is quite strict, but let me just tell you about the extent of the damage…
My friend Mimolette and I recently decided, in accordance with our resolution to use fabric from our stash, to organise our stash in a way that made it easier for us to know exactly which fabrics and how much fabric we owned. I personally stash my fabric in plastic boxes I store in this very weird 1,60 m deep / 0,75 m wide / 1,20 m high under-the-rafters cupboard, so it’s not easy checking how much yardage I own of a particular fabric, or how two pieces of fabric would match, and so on. So we thought it would be really neat to cut a swatch of each fabric and paste them in a notebook with information such as yardage, composition, place of purchase, planned project(s)… And so we went to work.
“It is a crag! … a peak! … a promontory! … A promontory, did I say? … It is a peninsula!”
I decided to use Bristol board cards and to place them in a photo album. Very soon I realised the pocket-sized album I had bought was way too small to contain all the cards I had already completed, so I bought a much bigger one, which allowed me to place all of my cards once I had completed them. Then I counted the cards. I’m kind of ashamed, to say the least. Do you want to know how much fabric I own? Okay, I’m just gonna say it: I own exactly 160 pieces of fabric. 160. One hundred and sixty.
I can’t believe it. How did I buy and not use 160 pieces of fabric? My name is Tassadit and I’m a fabricaholic. One piece of fabric every five projects doesn’t seem so strict anymore, does it? I should even stop buying fabric altogether, shouldn’t I?
More seriously, even though counting my fabric was scary, I’m really glad I did it because it not only truly helped me gain some perspective on the extent of my stash, but it also simply reminded me which fabrics I own, which will make it easier for me to reach for them instead of buying some more for my future projects. And with my fabric swatch album, I feel like I can browse the catalog of a shop that would sell only fabric I love, for free, with instant delivery! This will be the greatest tool in this challenge!
I haven’t filled in the pattern suggestions yet, but I did take the time to classify the swatches first by weight, then by colour and theme!
Are any of you participating in the Stash Diet: 2014 initiative or any other similar challenge? And, more importantly, does anyone own 160 pieces of fabric or, even better, more than 160 pieces of fabric?