Stash Busting Report #9

How do you decide what to count?

  • Do you count it when you cut it?
  • Do you count it when you use it?
  • Do you count it when you finish the project?
  • What about UFO’s?  When you find a UFO and the fabric was cut years ago but the whole thing is sitting in the UFO pile, when you finish the quilt, do you count ALL the fabric that you used in the whole quilt?

I suppose there’s no real “right” answer so long as we’re not counting it when we cut it and again when we use it and again when we finish it.

Here’s what I’m going to do – when I think of my stash, I think of the fabric sitting on the shelves waiting to be used.  Once the fabric comes off the shelf and is cut to go into a project, that’s when I’m counting it.  I could pull 10 yards today and cut it to go into a quilt.  I would count that fabric in the current report.  Then I might spend the next two weeks working on that quilt and though I’m working my fingers to the bone, I wouldn’t have any more stash being used as far as my report goes.  Make sense?

Again, there’s no right or wrong way.  The whole purpose is to use the stash.  If we get too technical, then it’s no fun and . . why would a quilter do something that’s not fun?

The fabric I used were for the quilt I finished this weekend, including the backing and binding fabric.

Fabric Added This Week – 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date – 41 yards

Fabric Used This Week – 12 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date – 57.00 yards

Net year to date: 16 yards used


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    I’m not counting the yardage in the tops of all those quilts for which I recently pieced the backs. That wasn’t fabric sitting on my shelves. The backing and binding, yes. I’ve got a couple of old UFOs that are nearly finished. That yardage won’t be counted either when I finish the assembly. The backings and bindings will.

    I was just thinking about the applique BOM, All Things Christmas, that I hope to finish up in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to count that yardage either, but just the borders, backing and binding.

    I think I have to be real honest with myself about what I’ve busted since the first of the year, and what I’ve just merely finished making. My criteria is if it’s cut, then it’s not newly busted.

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    I’ve only been keeping track of my stashbusting efforts for a month, but I’ve been counting stash as busted once I have pieces cut and start building a top with them. I might have counted binding strips cut but not yet used a couple of times in my totals, because I know those strips won’t go back into the stash. But it’s easier for me to count it as I use it.

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    In my stashbusting reports, I usually discuss which projects I’ve worked on during the week that have stash fabric in them. So I might mention blocks or a quilt in progress more than once.

    But, in my sidebar where I actually count stash used in yards – fabric is ONLY counted when the project is finished. That’s my current YTD total.

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    Sandra :) says

    If the fabric is just rearranged – i.e. it’s gone from a shelf to a cutting table or from a cutting table to the sewing machine table, it isn’t really “used”. I’m with Mary – I would count it used when the project is finished.

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    I’m still stash building…since I’ve just started quilting again. I love the quilt-a-thon idea. I am so in for March 18th!

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    I have been reading Vicky’s blog, Field Trips in Fiber, and saw your “fabric in-fabric out” postings. I think this is a great idea for me as a quilter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, quilting and other wise.

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    Lori says

    I count it as I finish it, as my projects can lay their in the “cut” state forever!! Thinking about what I’ve already bought, and how much I’ve FINISHED has really helped use up those fabrics that have been here forever.