Speaking of the Stash

When we were moving from KY to MO, I was talking to my editor about packing quilts.  She said that someone had told her that if you wrote “feminine products” on the boxes, there was less chance of them getting “lost” than if you wrote “quilts” or “jewelry”.  I told her that if I wrote “feminine products”, the movers would look at me and think whatever was in the box must be antiques and therefore, very valuable!

One thing I did learn with this move is to never write “fabric” on all the boxes that contain fabric.  Not only did the packers and the loaders and the unloaders want to know why anyone would have so much fabric but Vince . . oh, my goodness . . he will never hush about how much fabric I have.  He doesn’t understand that all quilters have this much fabric.  Right, Vicky?  🙂

He’s Sicilian so I’m not going to use all the words he used.  Embellish these statements with bad words and you’ll know what I’ve been hearing for the past three weeks!

  • You’ll never use all this fabric in your lifetime!
  • No wonder I have to work so hard . .  you spend all the money on fabric!
  • Why does any one human need this much fabric?
  • How much do you think you’ve spent on fabric?
  • Do you even know how much fabric you have?

So as not to be proven wrong, I intend to use every crumb of fabric in this house . . sooner rather than later.  Not when we move out of this house but if we ever move again, he will be real surprised at how little fabric I have!  For now, my stash looks way more overwhelming than it really is.  I understand his concern but once it’s all neatly folded on shelves, it won’t look nearly so out of control; especially since it stacks two layers deep on those shelves and he can’t see the second layer!  🙂

The closet in the longarm room.  There’s a a bit of batting and a bit of fabric.  I’m not unpacking everything here but I have had to dig through some boxes to find some fabrics.  Thank goodness I packed the fabric in an organized fashion.

I use the bathroom off the longarm room because I do not like the master bathroom upstairs.  There’s a little bit of overflow into the bathroom.

The longarm room.  There’s a slim chance the longarm will ever be set up in this room but you can see, I’ve had to dig through a few boxes here too.  The fabric for Bears in the Farmhouse was not all packed with it and I still can’t believe I found it all — the red check, the red for the binding, the stripe for the border.  I amaze myself sometimes.

There’s no fabric in these boxes.  Some empty jars, some full jars, some wine bottles.  Oh, wait . . there are a few fabric boxes.  Those boxes stacked tall against the tan wall — I think there are 3 or 4 boxes that say fabric.  But, I’m showing this picture so you can see the progress we’ve made.  We have a path!  It’s kinda like going to the library — there’s lots of stuff in here but we can walk around and see what’s on the boxes and we’ve convinced ourselves that we could actually find something if the need arose to find something.

It doesn’t seem nearly as frustrating as it did last week!


  1. 1


    Mark, my husband, would use the same colorful language as Vince! Except he has know idea how much fabric I have. So I guess you made up my mind for me I’m never going to move …mostly because I just don’t want to listen to it. :^)

  2. 2

    SarahB says

    I have been quilting for, maybe, 5 years and I have roughly 12 large tubs (about the size of your moving boxes) and roughly 12 tubs with UFOs in them. When I had to organize in anticipation of moving I couldn’t believe how much fabric I had!! My husband won’t say a word as long as I am producing quilts but as soon as I take a break (like I did the last couple months) he askes when I am getting rid of the fabric!?!? Are you crazy! It took me 5 years to accumulate enough that I don’t have to run to the store each and every time I start a quilt; why in heavens name would I get rid of it?!? Judy, by the way, you inspired me to get back out the UFOs and start in again. Even though we are still listed to sell and still have showings I am tired of not quilting because I am afraid it will look messy…. I am going to keep my sanity and QUILT… *sigh* it sounds good just typing it!

  3. 3


    I seem to recall posts describing how many printers or green t-shirts that you’ve found. It seems that Vince has a few things hidden, doesn’t he?

  4. 4

    pat says

    I hear that all the time too.
    What are you going to do with all of that You will never use that in your life time.
    And you need more.

  5. 5

    Patty says

    I guess I am lucky. My husband has never once mentioned the amount of fabric I have. The one complaint he has is that he would like the sewing room to be more organized. He just does’nt understand.

  6. 6


    I have a LOT more fabtric than you do!!!!!!!
    This is just half of my 30 foot wall of fabric.
    Show him this picture and impress on him that is only half of the space as I can only opene two 8 foot doors at a time!
    If that doesn’t make him understand tell him about my store room full of fabric that is 14 x 18 feet and the fabric is in Xerox paper boxes 2 deep on one side and one deep on other side.
    then there is mid arm room with a wall of fabric yet on bolts – 8 feet high and 7 feet long, and another shorter wall.
    Of course there is more somewhere – can’t quite remember where right now.

  7. 8

    Toni in TN says

    You are really making great progress! We had one move where the packers labeled the fabric boxes as rags! I nearly had heart failure. Finally convinced them to relabel them as craft supplies. Can you imagine how little I would haved received if those boxes had been lost.

  8. 9

    Laurel from Iowa says

    My husband never says a word about my fabric, either. Probably because he doesn’t know where it’s all stashed . . . . If he ever goes nuts and says one complaining word, I’ll just point to his gun safe. ‘Nuff said!

    • 9.1

      Patty says


      The gun safe here might be the reason he is quiet about it too. That and the Corvette collection and the guitar collection. As a matter of fact if I wasn’t on crutches I think i would go fabric shopping.

  9. 10


    I am turning green with a serious case of stash envy! I have been shocked that I’ve added over 80 yards this year (stash has more than tripled with that addition) but the husband doesn’t complain as long as I either buy it myself or, if it comes from our joint money, it has to have an immediate purchase. Batting is usually from the joint money, but fun fabrics that I love and am pining for is from my money. And 50 yards of that were an anniversary gift…be jealous, ladies!

  10. 11


    LOL – last time we moved, I was just getting in to quilting, so my fabric stash was small. However, I used plastic shoe boxes to store all my supplies for my other crafts – cross stitch, rubber stamping, stenciling, etc…. – when my BIL helped us unload the truck (in the dark) he was ribbing me about all my pairs of shoes (he could not see what was in the boxes) and my nickname became Imelda for a while. He still wants to know what I did with all those shoes!

  11. 12

    NancyB in AZ says

    Judy, is the pattern Bears in the Farmhouse available to purchase? Is it in one of your books? I think I would like to make it. I’m glad you are seeing progress with organizing/unpacking. BTW, my husband has no idea how much fabric I have…..even though he thinks what he sees is way too much. LOL

  12. 13

    Glen in louisiana says

    Frank is not Sicilian, I am. But I hear those same words and questions about my fabrics.

    But mostly he just complains about me being disorganized!


  13. 14


    I think you need to bring up Weed Wackers whenever he mentions your fabric. And to “How much do you think you’ve spent on fabric?”, my response would be, “Not as much as you spent on that Highlander that sits in the garage looking pretty!” (Although we all know that you probably did spend more than the Highlander on fabric but that’s a secret no quilter will ever divulge.)

  14. 15


    No complaints on my stash, as I pay for it out of my money. He likes that I have a hobby that keeps me home most of the time, says it’s keeps me out of trouble. So I count myself very lucky!

  15. 16


    That’s a lot of boxes. My friend moved 15 years ago and she still has some boxes that were never unpacked. I say it must not be something worth keeping and they should just toss it. My sister moved 23 years ago and she still has unpacked boxes. Once again, time to get rid of it. Oh yeah, I moved 25 years ago and the only boxes not unpacked are the wine glasses. We never use them. Maybe I should just get rid of them.

  16. 17

    Diana says

    We saw Fons & Porter at a local event years ago and one of them – forget which one – said her dh had recently ventured into her basement sewing room, he looked around and said something like, boy, you must have $100 worth of fabric here (he was clueless) she said she thought to herself yeah, in that bag in the corner – always thought that was funny. BTW – would an artist be condemned for having too much paint?

  17. 18


    Fortunately my husband doesn’t question me about my fabric purchases. The only time he said anything was when he opened the trunk of my car full of fabric. But it’s wasn’t mine — it was from my mom’s stash and it was headed to the sewing guild. I think dealing with Mom’s stash both when she moved and then after she died is what is keeping my stash under control.

  18. 19


    You should show Vince your STASH Report and he will see that You have only bought 10 yards this year! That should quiet him for a bit. I moved 7 years ago and there are a few boxes marked fabric in the Garage that my Hubby keeps asking if he needs to bring inside for me to sort through…They are Polyester fabrics that I ‘m not using, I tell him. There is no room for more in my basement right now anyway! I’ve never had a mover help us pack, so I can’t relate to that part. I’m hoping I never have to move EVER again. My kids are too.

  19. 20


    I have a feeling I read this for a reason. We are planning on moving sometime in the next two years and I think I had better get sewing and using up some of my fabric…I know for certain boxes that say quilts on them are going to go a lot better than that many that say fabric. 🙂 Thanks for the warning! 🙂

  20. 21


    Sorry Judy but I almost fell off my chair laughing! I think it’s a man thing. 😉 Around here we don’t argue over the stuff because I would win in the guns vs. yarn/fabric argument. We call the guns the 401G retirement plan. 🙂

  21. 22

    Cindy in NC says

    Explain to Vince that, should he outlive you (and I sense the odds of that decreasing with every complaint he makes abut your stash), he’ll be sitting on a fortune in fabric. Not only are cotton prices increasing in general, but I think a lot of quilters would pay a premium to own a piece of Judy fabric. He could auction it off and make a ton of money. And if you don’t know any Cajun “embellishments” to say in response to Vince’s Sicilian ones, I can teach you a few.

    • 22.1

      Judy Laquidara says

      At one point when he was totally frustrated with me and my fabric, he said “Why don’t you just auction all this off and start over?” I told him that I would buy all the same fabrics again at probably double what I paid for most of them so . . why? Knowing Vince, he would think if new fabric is $10/yard, “aged” fabric should be worth $20/yard so if he outlives me, there’s no telling what will happen to my fabric but one thing is for sure . . whatever happens to it won’t matter to me one bit at that point! 🙂

  22. 23


    you are making progress on your boxes that is good. One day the fabric or at least some of it will be used 🙂 I don’t have near what you have but I could fill 3 or 4 boxes I am sure.

  23. 24

    Sandy says

    When I was getting ready to move to another state some people (not quilters, you understand) wanted to know what I was going to do with ALL my fabric. They thought I was crazy when I replied, “Take it with me, of course!” I’m a quilter. I have a huge stash. What did they think I was going to do? The fabric I bought 20+ years ago is still good today!

  24. 25


    I’m so glad to see the progress you’re making on unpacking. It’s a job that seems never ending. We’re thinking of moving too someday and I’ve been trying to finish UFOs and use up as much stash as possible as I know we will move to a smaller house. I’ve pretty much gotten rid of all the fabric I don’t like and I still have a ton!

  25. 26

    Sandi P. says

    When we moved in January my husband was the same way. I think the movers just marked everything in the basement of the old house “craft stuff” It seemed like 2 of every 3 boxes they brought in said that – LOL Between my quilting, scrapbooking and jewelry making I did have a lot, but I got to where anytime I found something that wasn’t actually craft stuff in one of those boxes I made a big deal out of it “See it wasn’t ALL craft stuff” LOL

  26. 27


    LOL – I love your comment about the antiques! sigh I guess we can’t get away with that anymore. Just tell Vince that you no longer have a stash, you have a StaBLE. Stash Beyond Life Expectancy. I think that most of us quilters have these. I know when I cleaned my studio, I realized I definitely do. I’ve just joined a group that makes quilts for the local NICU, so I think some of this fabric will be put to very good use.

  27. 28


    Luckily my hubby has no idea what fabric costs per yard – ignorance is bliss- and if he does ask what an item costs I always quote a price that is less than half of what I actually paid. Then he goes off on how expensive that was – now if I told the truth his blood pressure would be even higher, so to my way of thinking I’m extending his life by keeping him in the dark. My sainted grandma told me “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”

    As for the rising price of fabric I figure that my 25 yr old stash is giving me better returns than my 401K. Fabric is better and cheaper than therapy and you have something to show for it when you are done. I think a reminder about electronic gadgets a certain Sicilian has purchased may be a good idea.
    Take care and hope your luck improves with houses!

  28. 29


    One thing my dad never makes a peep about, is Mom’s fabric hobbies! In fact, if my mom didn’t put her foot down A LOT, she would already own a long-arm, several Berninas, and a ton of fancy embroidery machines! He always wants to know why she DIDN’T buys stuff! Did I mention my dad is wonderful??? 🙂

      • says

        And Dad (and Mom) . . there are not 400 bolts of fabric at your house. I know exactly how many bolts are there and exactly how many yards are on each so don’t even think of doing anything funny with my fabric! By the way, if you’re charging me rent on that space, I sure hope you’re charging Louisiana rates and not Texas rates or I may have to spend some of my inheritance! What did you say? What inheritance? 🙂

  29. 31

    Nan says

    My husband has made a lot of the same remarks about my fabric stash as Vince has. I’m afraid I have gotten into a bit of a slump over it and am having a hard time getting back to quilting. I think about the next quilt(s) I want to make, but I am having a hard time getting started. Any suggestions to help get me started would be appreciated. By the way I am not ashamed one bit about the fabric I have. I have bought what I like and want to use it all.

    • 31.1


      Nan, just tell yourself that you’re going to go quilt for 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a day — whatever amount of time you realistically can spend and will spend quilting. Don’t commit to too much or you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. My guess is that once you start sewing, you won’t want to stop.

  30. 32

    Hilary McDaniel says

    Tell Vince he certainly has no problem spending money. I recall triplicates of weed eaters and other “man toys”.

  31. 33


    when moving pack e fabric yourself. Label it summer china and winter china or some other creative name YOU will understand,
    It worked for a friend of mine!

  32. 34

    Nancy Y says

    Judy, the next time you have movers ask you why you have so fabric, remind them they get paid by the pound. Fabric (in boxes or totes) is very easy to handle weight for the movers AND its unbreakable! As for Vince, negotiate how much stash you are willing to get rid of when HE cuts his “vehicle stash” in half (namely get rid of the old, overheating truck) and you get a vehicle with correctly working air conditioning (an absolute must in TX).

  33. 35

    Marilyn says

    I just asked my dh if he would rather I go out to the bars and sit around drinking! lol. Then I reminded him I bought the fabric with MY OWN money and that he smokes and I don’t. Enough said!

    Besides, I heard it makes great insulation in a house!
    BC Marilyn

  34. 36

    Karla says

    Shoot I moved two months ago and I am still trying to find all my stuff, the only good thing is all my fabric is lined up around my bedroom as my sewing room is being used right now. I may have to dig a little but I can usually find what I need. 🙂

  35. 37

    Carolyn says

    Oh, I can relate to writing “fabric” on boxes when we were moving. But, it can backfire, too. I thought I was being (deceptively) creative when I wrote *Bed Linens* on some of my boxes that contained quilting fabric. No-one was any the wiser, but a few weeks after we moved, I was going on my annual ‘sisters-in-law’ shopping trip to the US and said I wanted to buy new linens for the bedrooms (none of which I needed since I seem to have a bed-linen stash, too). My DH told me how could that be possible when he saw so many boxes marked *bed linens*. I never ‘fessed up, but I also didn’t buy any more linens – my collaborative DSILs just dropped me at the local quilt shop while they went on to the Christmas store. It was sheer bliss!


  36. 38

    Doe in Mi says

    I laughed right out loud when I read ” he cant’ see the second layer”. Way to funny, I’m still chuckling because I know exactly what your saying. ;>)