Friday, August 26, 2011

How to reduce my fabric stash by one-third

"My stash is smaller, the fabric will be used for good causes, and I got to meet a fellow quilter."

How I did it:
A few weeks ago I decided to do a major decluttering of my stash. I decided to give away a third of my fabric--just a number that popped into my head. I emailed fellow Stashbuster Marilyn L. in Vacaville, who lives about an hour and a half from me and is a coordinator for Binky Patrol. I enjoy making charity quilts myself, and I knew that Marilyn and her group would do good things with my extra fabric. 

We arranged a time for me to bring the fabric. I could have shipped the fabric to Marilyn, but I was going to Sacramento (about an hour and a half from me and 40 minutes from Vacaville), anyway.  I enjoy traveling but I'm kind of a chicken when it comes to driving. However GPS on my Smartphone gives me courage to drive to places I wouldn't have dared to drive to previously. So it was also kind of an adventure.

Meanwhile, I went through my stash, bag by bag and stack by stack, setting aside one third of the contents of each one. When I was finished I had two very large zip-loc bags half full. Together they weighed 25 pounds.

This past Tuesday I drove to Vacaville, delivered the fabric and got the pleasure of meeting Marilyn. We spent about half an hour chatting together before I hit the road again. My stash is smaller and the fabric will go to good use.

Typical one-gallon zip-loc bag of fabrics. (I organize my fabric by color.)

Contents of the bag divided into three equal piles.  I deal them like cards.

One of the piles - there are four fabrics.  So I need to go through all three of the piles and choose four fabrics to give away.

Here are the four fabrics from the piles that I've chosen to give away.  The remaining fabrics will go back into the zip-loc bag.

The give-away fabrics join the growing stack.

Here are all of the fabrics to be given away -- one-third of my stash.

Lessons & tips: Most of my fabric is stored in gallon zip-loc bags.  I emptied one bag at a time, putting fabric into three piles, much like dealing cards. Then I counted one of the piles. If there were 4 fabrics in that pile, I needed to choose 4 from the among all three of the piles; those were set aside and the remaining fabrics were placed back in the bag. This method easily helped me downsize by one-third.

Resources: Email
GPS on my Smartphone for the trip

It took me 1 day.

It made me Happy


  1. lol i see fabrics in there that someone recently gave me as they were decluttering their stash!

  2. Great way to spend your day - how nice to be able to give away to a project that will use the stash.

    Do you think you will buy new fabric now or just as needed?

    I have friend who organizes the charity collections for her guild - she is very fussy though about the fabrics she keeps. If she thinks it not pure cotton or if it's ugly in her mind I think she dumps it before stacking it up for the guild....

    I'm interesting in hearing about the workshop you attended on creativity - will come back later to see if you post your impressions of that.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for your comments, June. My response got very lengthy, so I posted it as a follow-up.


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