Stashbusting Thoughts

There’s not much time left in 2008.  Not much time til a new stash busting year begins.  Don’t forget to add your link to show your stash busting plans for 2009.

Another quilter and I were chatting earlier this week and some people think stashbusting means you cannot buy any fabric.  NO!  That isn’t what stashbusting means to me!  If I need fabric, I’ll buy it.  When I have a project I want to make and nothing in my stash works, I will buy fabric.  If I’m getting low on backgrounds, I’ll buy a bunch of it . . not just one piece at a time. I will not spend hours trying to make something work that isn’t working just because I’m insisting on using the stash.  I will not run low on something and feel stymied due to not having what I want to work with.

What I will do is try my best to use what I have here.  There have been occasions when I’ve started out wanting to use a blue accent fabric and despite pulling dozens of fabric, nothing worked.  I might’ve switched to a red accent fabric and still couldn’t pull it together; and then switched to brown and it all fell into place.  That’s the kind of things I will try to do in 2009.

What does stashbusting mean to you?  How far will you go to make it work from the stash without buying more fabric?

And, the biggest question of all:  How long do you think you will last with your stashbusting efforts?  We’re all fired up about our commitment now but what about when we’re at the quilt show in Paducah and Eleanor Burns has fabric for $4/yard?  How will I do then?  Ughh!  That’s a scary thought.  Guess we’ll just have to wait til April to see how well I do, huh?

Don’t forget . . just a few days til the Great Stash Bust of 2009 begins!


  1. 1


    I have been hesitant to join the list of committed stashbusters because I just wasn’t sure how I could possibly succeed. It’s not that I don’t shop my stash first. I always do. And it’s not because I buy fabric every chance I get because I buy very little. Well, very little compared to many other quilters! Rather it is because my stash is pitiful. Not only is it fairly small but it is almost all old, dated looking, and no longer appealing to me. I used to by mostly fat quarters so there isn’t enough for anything but scap quilts. My goal for 2009 is to use up my OLD stash so that I can build a NEW one. If that is still considered “stashbusting” then I’ll sign-up.

  2. 2


    I think stashbusting is a good idea but like you said above, Judy, sometimes you just have to buy fabric to finish what you are making. When I first started quilting I bought madly – all colors that appealed to me. Then I stopped quilting for many years – needless to say, when I got back to it, I found that I had no blenders, no backgrounds … nothing to go “with”.

    So, now I look at what quilt I want to make and cruise thru my stash first. I try to use something there, but I don’t feel guilty if I need to get something to make my projected quilt to work.

    But, I will say, I have stopped buying fabric in the last few months? Being nervous about having a job in the future has stopped me dead in my tracks. Nothing new. Does it kill me? Yes. Do I see all the beautiful fabric out there that I would just kill to have? Yes. But reality is reality.

    Hopefully, someday I will have extra moolah to go to the quilt store or hit the online shops again, but I think I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. I’ve learned that I bought fabric to just “have” it. To oohhh and ahhh over it. No plan for it.

    And, now I think, that’s not a good way to go – even though it’s screamingly fun 🙂

  3. 3

    pdudgeon says

    “And, the biggest question of all: How long do you think you will last with your stashbusting efforts? ”

    Hopefully most of the next year! The one thing that has stopped me from pushing the buttons lately (oooh that was hard!) was
    1. having my plan (not just goals this time) in place for what i wanted to do this next year,
    2.reminding myself what i wanted to accomplish, and
    3.being determined to stick to it.

    it’s like running a marathon race–keep your eyes on the prize and don’t be distracted by things along the way, loose your focus, and drop out.

    i still have lots of other quilts that i want to make, but it’s not gonna kill me to put them off for a while.

  4. 4


    I’m with you again, and I know I will be more successful this year. One the main problems with using my stash, and I almost hate to admit this, is that things aren’t handy for me in the stash room. I’m going to be doing a major overhaul in there in January, and then hopefully it will be more user friendly. I agree with you — if I need it, I’ll buy it. But I hope to cut down on a lot of “speculation” purchases this year. We can do it, O Fearless Leader!!

  5. 6


    Judy, I’ve publicly taken the Stashbusting pledge. I know I will buy in 2009 but I won’t buy for any new project without shopping my stash first. But I mostly took the pledge so that I will get serious about planning a project around the fabric that I really don’t want in my stash anymore. See my blog for more about that.

    I love following your blog. Good luck to all of us in 2009!

  6. 7


    I am definitely in for 2009! I haven’t filled out a pledge sheet, because I don’t have a specific goal. I just want to be inspired to use some of the beauties laying around in my stash closet! I had a lot of fun participating in 2008 and I expect 2009 will be just as enjoyable.

  7. 8


    I’ve been thinking about joining and filling out the pledge sheet. But somehow I think that filling out the pledge sheet is making too much of a commitment and setting myself up to fail.

    I have already been doing some stashbusting on my own. Using up my fabric and only buying what I need to finish a top.

    Maybe I need some incentive, but my incentive would be fabric and that would defeat the point. Oh the quandary…

  8. 9


    I haven’t committed to the Stashbusting thing yet. You may have to come over here and sit with me and clam me down about this. I put it on my blog and got a hilarious response from my friend Melissa who owns Sweet Home Quilt Shop…

    The trash can thing is problamatic…but personally I have a THING ABOUT OPEN CLOSET DOORS, OVER HEAD LIGHTS….AND A HUGE MAJOR THING about PLASTIC….


  9. 10


    I did stash busting all last year and I plan to do it all this year. I am buying when necessary. I consider myself a scrap quilter but it is hard to use up the fabric pieces I have before buying more. I have my pledge on the blog and I have been gearing up for the new year.

  10. 11


    1. To me, stashbusting means;
    a) looking to my stash first for fabrics,
    b) looking for color inspiration from my fabric stash and working with this color pallette rather than using a scheme for which I have few fabrics,
    c) signficantly reducing ad hoc purchases, and
    d) tracking the dollar value of purchases.

    2. I will go as far as I can without sacrificing the look of a project.

    3. I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to my goals in my first stashbusting year.

  11. 12


    QUESTION when does fabric become “stash busted” ? Is it when it is cut ? sewn into a top ? quilted ? edges bound ? or on the bed !

    Happy Room Diana in cold England

  12. 14


    For me stashbusting is going to be:

    shopping my stash first
    no impulse buys
    using up my boxes and boxes of scraps

    I can’t wait to get started!

  13. 15


    Judy I joined your stash busting group yesterday, but didn’t leave a message. I was just too tired to figure out how to do that on the page I linked to last night. I do hope this commitment will get me motivated to get things done.

  14. 16


    Just like regular diets – I’ve given up on stashbusting diets. And “no buy” pledges. They just don’t work for me. I get too much pleasure from bringing new fabric into the house – whether from a trip to the quilt shop or from an online buying spree. St stashbusting to me means one simple thing – that I finish the year with less fabric than when I started. The more I use the more I can allow myself to buy. Why not? We have what we need – shelter, clothes, heat and food – why shouldn’t I buy some fabric if I don’t want to?

    Seems to me the whole idea of stashbusting is to shop one’s stash first. No problem – I’m ALWAYS shopping my stash. I very rarely buy fabric for a specific quilt. My stash is there specifically so I CAN shop it whenever I want to – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    And that’s what Stashbusting means to me.

  15. 17


    Okay! I’m in!! I added my post to Mr. Linky — the first time I’ve done that so I hope I did it right. Hopefully actually writing it out on my blog will help me get it done this year. I’ve already made a wall hanging using mostly stash. Borders don’t count, right? 🙂

  16. 18


    I got bogged down with the measuring thing last year. To me, this year, stashbusting is going to mean plain ole” use it! I have an intense desire to use my patterns. I would love to join your stashbusting challenge. I just need to adapt it to my form of busting! You are a great stashbusting cheerleader. Keep it up in 2009!