How Long Would You Last?

These are all old pictures . . you’ve seen them here before.

Do you ever think about what would happen if you couldn’t get the “stuff” you need any more?  What if there just wasn’t any available?  That’s not going to happen . . I don’t think.  But, what if . . let’s just say there was a recession.  Oh, wait . . that is happening!

Really, what if for some reason you couldn’t buy quilting supplies or you made a decision not to buy anything else?  Most of us are working hard at stashbusting but I think we’re primarily focused on fabric.  What about thread?

During 2006, I tossed all my empty spools and throw away bobbins into a bag.  Here’s what I had at the end of the year.  I was doing a lot more machine quilting then than I am now so I don’t go through thread like I did then.

For piecing, I use Superior Masterpiece on the 3,000 yard cone.  The last time I opened a new cone, I dated it – October 8.  I finished it on December 6.   I’m piecing more now that I usually do but I figured if I base my usage on 1,500 yards of thread per month, I could get a fairly accurate guess as to how much thread I need to have for any given time period.  Thread gets used a lot more quickly on the longarm.  No matter what, there’s no danger of running out of thread around here.

What about batting?

The movers swore to me (or was that at me?) that they loaded 31 rolls of batting.  I know that isn’t true but just in case it was, they weren’t all full rolls.  From a full roll of batting, I figure I can get at least 13 quilts.  Let’s just say for the sake of argument that there are 10 rolls here.  That’s 130 quilts I can quilt without running out of batting.  That’s a conservative number! 🙁

There are several quilt shop owners who read my blog.  I’m not trying to hurt business for anyone.  If I buy anything in 2009, it will be fabric so don’t go getting angry with me.  OK?  Say it . . tell me you’re not going to be angry with me and when I see you, you’re not going to say “You’re hurting our business!”  I’m waiting!

OK . . I guess they’re not going to say it but my plan for 2009 is to buy NOTHING without first being sure there’s not something here I can use.  So, I want ecru thread for piecing.  Maybe I’ll have to use light gray.  Maybe I’ll  have to use pale yellow.

If I can just get my husband on board with this plan, we might make a dent in some of this stuff!


  1. 2

    Donna says

    With thread and fabric I have enough to last me over ten years at the rate I sew. This is why I’m stashbusting! I used the last of my roll of batting in October. I have a few packaged batts in different sizes, but I doubt it would last me more than a year. If batting became “unavailable” I’d have to trade some of that fabric for batting.

  2. 3


    Where do you get the rolls of batting?? Every time I think I’ll buy one it is to expensive. I’d love to get a roll. 🙂

  3. 4

    pdudgeon says

    i’ll definitely need thread, batting, needles, and cutting blades next year, and most likely another bolt of ecru muslin as well.

  4. 5


    Gosh…if I run out of “stuff”, I think I will have to go shopping at the houses of you girls who have so much surplus!!! LOL

  5. 6


    Please share where you get your batting. I would love to have huge rolls like that, but it is very expensive. Maybe I will take over for the money you are spending at the quilt shop. Also, you need to use up that thread, or it will go bad and not be useful anymore. I think you should stop sleeping and just sew, sew, sew. No more cleaning the house either. Make the boys do that.

    I also feel bad not stimulating the economy and helping out the local quilt shop, but then I decided to teach new people to quilt this past year and got quite a few people hooked on the hobby. Those new people don’t have anything and so are spending their money at the shop to stock up. That’s where you can help your local shop, offer to teach a class or two and get newbies addicted, er, started in this wonderful obsession, er, past-time. 🙂

  6. 7


    I don’t have anything close to your stash but I’ve likely got plenty of everything to last me at least through next year at the rate I go. After taking a good look at what I have versus the time I have to use it, I’ve really cut back on my buying this year. I’ll probably end up joining you in the no buying in 2009, unless, of course, days suddenly become longer.

    Btw, I love the sunset pictures.

  7. 8


    I’m set on thread and fabric, lots of books and patterns, a stash of rulers and templates, and the most wonderful longarmer in the world. So what’s my problem? Time! Seriously, the things I need to stockpile are sewing machine needles and rotary blades. But those aren’t FUN to buy! LOL

  8. 9


    I’m stashbusting, too, Judy. I think the only thing I need in the near future is thread. For some reason, I don’t stock up on it and frankly the price of thread is insane, in my not so humble opinion. I’ve been using up “stuff” and not replacing it and it does feel good.

  9. 10


    Good food for thought! I am definitely buying some thread for piecing while I’m out today. I’m more than good in every other department!

  10. 11

    Tina C. says

    I probably have enough thread and batting in packages to last a year. I don’t have that much fabric. I know what I’ll do…I’ll just move in with you, Judy! You have enough to share!!!! I’ll bring my thread.

  11. 13

    Dawn says

    I read your blog almost daily, but rarely post a comment 🙂 I get alot of inspiration and great tips from your blog.

    I have a question about fabric bleeding. Do you use anything special when washing your fabrics or finished quilts to keep the colors in place?


  12. 14


    Gee what a question. How long would I last? I could probably get through 2009 on batting and fabrics. I would more than likely have to buy thread. I am trying to kit up quilts and other projects from stash and will also try to use patterns I already own. I still will need that latest gadget though!

  13. 15


    Gee what a question. How long would I last? I could probably get through 2009 on batting and fabrics. I would more than likely have to buy thread. I am trying to kit up quilts and other projects from stash and will also try to use patterns I already own. I still will need that latest gadget though!

  14. 16


    I think the only things I would need to buy are needles and blades and maybe some more batting. I have always said I have enough ideas to keep me busy for 20 years and enough stuff to do them for 10 years! Sure makes me think though.

  15. 17

    Linda says

    I look at your shelves of fabric and rack of thread & start suffering stash envy. Not that I’m a slouch at collecting fabric, mind you, and I love every inch of it!! :o)

    Beautiful sunset indeed in your previous post. I can picture you hopping around in bare feet to find the best angle 🙂

  16. 18


    Wow, you really are well supplied. It must be comforting to know that you could settle in a quilt for years without running out of anything. It makes me feel much better about my own small stash.

  17. 19


    I COULD get through next year without buying anything, but then I’d run out of thread and batting. Love your stash and thread pictures.

  18. 20

    Eileen C says

    What a good question for sure .. gets ya thinking more about what you really need over what you want. I know I have enough fabric to sew for awhile but not thread or blades. I would only have to buy those and that wouldn’t be too much expense. I have cut out most of the extras for awhile and have been buying only what I am out of. Money is tight here so I am in a use it up mode and the do without mode and I am finding I don’t miss alot of the extra ‘stuff’ I was buying and doing.

  19. 21


    I have enough batting for 3 quilts. I just bought extra thread, and I could make a lot of batting-less quilts, I guess, but I wouldn’t last as long as you!

  20. 22

    Evelyn says

    I would need another few spools of thread, background fabrics, sashing/border fabrics and backings. I think I have everything else I need for the entire coming year unless I make a few special baby quilts for family. After a few years of dedicated stash busting – a funny thing has happened. My shelves are full of finished quilts instead of fabric!!!

  21. 23

    CJ says

    Unlike most folks who seem to be stash busting these days, I’ve been stocking up on sewing goods like crazy. I easily have enough fabric, batting, thread, stabilizers, needles, rotary blades, etc to last me a couple of years. I may not be able to afford them in a year from now at the rate things are going!

  22. 24


    Well, I’m not going to be officially stashbusting, but I did post pictures of most of my stash on my blog. I am going to try to use my stash whenever possible, but since I work in a quilt shop, it’s almost impossible NOT to buy fabric! At least my goal is to only buy what I NEED, not want 🙂

  23. 25


    I think I could easily last a year without shopping, maybe up to five, if I wasn’t very selective at what I used, and /or took my time making things instead of trying to make quick quilts. But then again, I am not anywhere as productive as you are, and for you, a lot of that can be counted as business expense!