Use It or Destash That Fabric Stash


I love fabric as much as the next quilter!  But, I’ve resolved that I will NOT just hold on to that precious, precious, wonderful, absolutely special fabric anymore.  We call it collecting, but really it’s hoarding.

I Resolve to Use It or Destash the Fabric Stash!

And, here’s why I will no longer hoard, ummm, collect fabric:

  1. I bought the fabric because I loved it and I had a glimmer of an idea about using it to make an even more wonderful quilt.
  2. Fabric has a soul–it’s made from cotton which is a living thing.  Fabric sitting in the dark, in a closet, in a box is sad fabric.  Fabric cut and sewn into a quilt is happy fabric because it is fulfilling its destiny.  If you don’t believe me, pull out that big pile of special fabric.  Put it on the cutting table.  Listen closely and you will hear….”Please, please use me”…..
  3. Fabric is not an investment. Sure, I know there are rare special collections that do increase in value.  But even if I had some of that in my  stash, I know that I am never getting around to listing it for sale…..I ADMIT IT!
  4.  If I put it away for too long, I am going to forget that I own it.  Then when it falls out of the bottom of the closet, will I still have that wonderful idea or will it continue to sit in the Someday pile?
  5. When I can no longer make quilts, I don’t want my heart full of regrets about that special fabric that I really wish I had used in quilts I made for my family and friends.
  6. Tomorrow is not promised to us.  Make the quilts NOW.  The quilts I hope to make in Quilt Heaven will not magically appear on beds on Earth.


She who dies with the most fabric doesn’t win.

She lost the opportunity to make herself AND a lot of other people happy

by making and giving them a quilt.

modern quilt

One of the patterns I’m working on that will use some of that wonderful fabric I’ve collected.

Terrible Excuses I have said and heard for HOARDING fabric:

  • I’m waiting for a special pattern
  • I’m waiting to use it in a project for a special person
  • And worst excuse of all….I’m afraid to cut it because I might mess it up….or it’s now out of print and they won’t make any more…..

OK, my rant is over.

Destash the Fabric Stash–my first steps

So, I need to dig into my stack of Project boxes….such as this one with some fabrics and notes in it.

A Someday Box–one of way too many in my studio. I use 12 x 12 inch scrapbooking boxes for projects.  Pattern, notes and fabrics go into the box.

And, also visit my fabric stash….Here’s some of my Someday fabrics that will get used in 2018!

I think these are very old Kaffe Fasset stripes


Me+You Batiks

An assortment! More batiks on the right. Special prints on the left.



And, I’ve already started planning with one of the very special prints I bought this year. Pairing with Moda Grunge right now but I also have some hand dyes..hmmmmm……..

Destash the Fabric Stash!

And finally—-these options are for fabric that I do not plan to use in next 18–24 months.

I’ll look at fabric that I’ve owned for months or years.   I’ll be on the lookout for the ‘maybe fabric’ that I keep thinking I’ll get around to using. But, truth is I really don’t think some of this fabric will be useful in any of my upcoming projects–even as pieced backings.

Here’s how I’ll make my choices:

  • Give It Away:  Destashing to my Guild to sell at our quilt exhibit in February. Funds go into our Charity projects. I’ve started a bag.
  • Use it for Quick Charity Quilts:  There’s a box of fabrics I will use for our children’s charity quilts for tops and backings. I donated 4 this year and plan to make at least 4 more in 2018.
  • Give to Guild Friends on the Free Table.
  • Give fabric to a Junior MQG here in Florida–this probably is the best giveaway of all! I’m starting a new box for them as well.

Charity Quilt

Charity Quilt

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4 Responses to Use It or Destash That Fabric Stash

  1. Jackie Laba December 10, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    So many great ideas! Although my stash is not that large, I know that I should use what I have rather than”collecting” more—thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Brenda Ackerman January 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this post. One of my goals for next year is to go through all of my fabrics and get rid of in one way or another. My fabric stash room is such a disaster, I can not find much fabric to begin wstith. LOL. I was able to begin my task just this past week and was able to get rid of two large totes of fabrics that I have had for years and just knew I would use it, well now someone else can use it! Thanks for the encouraging post and good luck on your destashing also!

  3. Mada Galloway February 15, 2018 at 6:51 am #

    My stash has its own zip code so I needed to make some changes. I’ve been culling Fabrics that don’t spark joy and giving them to friends. I’ve bundled fabrics into pleasing color palettes and dropped them off at the Red,White,and Blue. (They go very quickly!) I’ve also placed myself on a 90 day fabric diet, which has forced me to use my stash. I’m beginning to see the light at the end of my cutting table. Thank you for the additional inspiration.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 17, 2018 at 8:22 am #

      That is wonderful Mada! I also use my ‘someday’ fabrics in the quilts my guild makes for a children’s shelter.

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