Four Months Remain

Four full months remain in the year 2011.  Time flies!  Anything you wanted to get done in 2011 and haven’t done it yet?  Better get busy!

Keep reading . . there’s a stashbusting challenge in here somewhere!

In the past when I’ve talked about setting goals, many have responded that they do not set goals because it’s too stressful and because of the fear of not meeting the goals and feeling like a failure.  I don’t see it that way.  I’m a goal oriented person.  I set lots of goals for myself each day – get the cloths folded before the song on the iPod ends; finish a chore before the dryer goes off or get the upstairs dusted and the dishwasher unpacked before the oven timer goes off.  I do those little “games” or goals all day and instead of feeling stressed to get things done, it seems like a fun game to me.  Do I meet all my goals all day?  No!  Half the time I forget what the goal was . . I’ll get finished folding the clothes and think “I was supposed to get these clothes folded before what happened?”  It doesn’t matter to me . . it’s just how I get through the day.

If setting goals is frustrating for you and if you think you might do better with goals, try looking at them as a fun challenge instead of seeing it as a situation where you either win or lose.  Think about high school and college sports.  In every game, there’s a winner and a loser.  Maybe I’m not a big enough sports fan but I never think of the losing team as being a loser per se.  It’s just a fun way to enjoy a game.  If there weren’t two teams, there wouldn’t be much of a game and if no one took a chance in the game, there would be no winner, no loser, no entertainment for anyone.

If you’re not a goal setter and if I can’t convince you to set goals, then the remainder of this post may not interest you.

We have four months remaining in 2011.  Want to double down and see how much fabric  you can use the last four months of this year?  As I was thinking of how we can motivate ourselves to stay on track to finish this year, I figure we have three choices:

  • In the next four months, we can use half as much fabric as we’ve used this year to date.  Use in four months what you’ve used in four months.  The last four months have some big holidays but the days will be shorter and cooler and for many, gardening chores are winding down.  This should be pretty do-able!
  • Use the same amount of fabric as you’ve used year to date.  Use in four months what you’ve used in eight months.  Depending on how diligent you’ve been with your stashbusting, this may be more difficult for some but if you’ve been halfheartedly busting the stash, this might be an option for you.  Get those numbers where you want them before the end of the year.
  • Use twice as much fabric as you’ve already used.  This means doubling down and getting very serious about the stashbusting!

I kinda feel like the girl who’s just taken a long nap, waking up at 10 p.m. and wanting everyone else to get busy . . and they’ve been diligently working all afternoon.  My stashbusting efforts have been kinda weak . . I had a reason but still, I want to end the year with better totals.

My goal is to use twice as much fabric as I’ve already used this year.  That means I need to use 400 yards by the end of the year . . 100 yards per month — probably impossible but I’ll give it my best shot and if, in the next four months, I end up using the same amount of fabric I’ve used year to date (200 yards), I’ll be happy or heck, if I end up using only 100 yards, I’ll still be happy.

I don’t know what the next four months will bring.  We may buy a house and build a sewing studio and move again or we may stay here and live out of boxes for the next four months.  I’m not going to let that stop me from setting a goal and doing my best to meet that goal.

What about you?  Are you going to take the challenge?  Are you going to work harder to have great stashbusting numbers by the end of 2011?

Obviously, if your stash is a size you’re happy with, then you don’t need to work so hard to bust the stash but if your stash is too big and you want to use it up so you can buy more fabric, then get busy and let’s get those numbers up!



  1. 3


    I’ve looked at the projects which are on my list and if I get them all done I might hit 40 additional yards used. So that’s going to be my goal — bringing my total used to 175 — not that my stash will be reduced by that much — I’ve got a shopping trip planned in October during my LQS’s semi-annual bolt sale!

  2. 4


    I doubt I even have 200 yards of fabric on my shelves – ok as I typed this I let my eyes wander throughout the room looking at my shelves and think it might add up to more if I measured every single piece – I’m not going to do that though! I think I have a very small stash compared to a lot of you. I do have a lot of small bits and pieces though that I must begin to organize in some way so that I will use it up in scrappy quilts. I guess that might be my goal.

    • 4.1


      There’s nothing at all wrong with a small stash. Just ask my movers! 🙂 There are plenty of times I wish I could start over and I would buy more as needed but the advantage to having a large stash for me is that so much of it was purchased when fabric prices were way less than they are today. Money in the bank! That’s my story anyway.

      • Laura says

        Agree with “money in the bank.” I’m really glad I have some stash because the fabric prices now are shocking. I understand why, but it may mean I can’t buy as much as in the past.

  3. 5

    Cindy B. says

    My stash is manageable so I am not motivated to shrink it. My issue is: I haven’t sewn much of anything this year. Like … less than a yard, probably, less than 10 yards for sure.

    I have been building a business, and since it is not related to fabric, it has been eating up my time. Chomp, chomp … time gone.

    SO, I will accept the challenge by completing a “dream” project. Dream vs. nightmare.

  4. 6


    My goal this year WAS to just record each week how much I used and how much I brought in… I’m amazed that my numbers are so close and though I’m in the RED right now, I hope to be in the BLACK by years end. If I can finish the UFO’s the rest of the year, I should make that Goal. The UFO Challenge has helped me, A lot! Thanks for the push you give all of us with these Challenges.

  5. 7


    For the most part, I am really happy with the numbers of my stash. I could easily fit my fabric into two HUGE totes and a person almost needs that much for variety. I think I will instead challenge myself to finish some more projects…How about 10 projects in the next four months. I think that is fairly realistic. Maybe I’ll even sneak a UFO or two into the mix. Thanks so much for the motivation…I too make little goals with myself all day long.

  6. 8


    Oh my goodness! I just got back from a new quilt shop and bought 3 yards of fabric and a panel. I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

    It was a cute little shop off the beaten path. Well, I have to keep the economy rolling. Works for me. Today, anyway.

  7. 9


    I’m going to try to bust my current year-to-date. It’ll be hard, since I’m not counting blocks until they’re a quilt top (and I’ve got a Civil War Love Letters Quilt going…23 blocks out of 121 done so far and no sign of time to finish it coming soon) but I’ll certainly try! Thanks for the kick in the seat of the pants!

  8. 10

    Laura says

    Love this post, Judy! I’m going to think about what works for me and then set that goal. I’m thinking in terms of a number of projects rather than yardage, because I have kits and fabric set aside for specific projects that I’d really like to get done.

  9. 11

    lw says

    My daughter’s family (with a newborn) moved in with us a month ago, so I won’t be getting much sewing done until they move out (3-5 months from now?) I’d love to bust some stash. Seems like all I have time for right now is ideas.

  10. 12

    Sue in Scottsdale, AZ says

    Judy, I love your challenges even though the only one I have followed is your monochromatic challenge. I do report stash busting on another group and I have used more fabric than I had planned for the year but I also brought in more fabric so my numbers don’t look good. I am going to try to continue busting and reach my original goal I set in January. Thanks for the push.

    Oh yeah, I’ve also started to knit socks. I convinced myself I could do this and I love your socks. The main difference for me is that I am using a loom, not needles. (I am not getting very far since I have started my first sock about 10 times. I am now on a roll and have almost 3 inches completed.) This is starting to cut into my quilting time!

  11. 13


    My stash is pretty small like Karen’s, too. However, small stashes can be good sometimes. My stash is mostly just the “leftovers” from quilts I’ve made…since we always buy more fabric than we REALLY need for a quilt. So I have pieces somewhere between 1/8 and 1/2 yard from all the fabrics I’ve used in quilts. Since they were small enough that I could design another full quilt from them, I decided to cut them up into 2.5″ squares. I throw all the squares in a bin and just randomly pull squares and sew them into groups of 16. So far, I have some 30-40 16-patch blocks made, so its a good start on a quilt.

    I’m very much a goal oriented person, too, and having goals online seems to make me feel more accountable.

    I think I’m going to try to use the same amount of fabric as I have already this year (not much at about 24 yards). However, I also had one move already this year and have another one sometime in late November, so my sewing time will be somewhat limited. I’m hoping to get some backings done and quilting since that always uses up a bunch of yardage. 🙂

  12. 14

    shirley bruner says

    what a great idea. i love online challenges…keeps me in line. LOL my goal of stashbusting (on MQR) was 300 yards for the year and i have used 385 so far. so my further goal for the year will be to use 200 more yards. that is so not a problem with my stash. but i have bought practically nothing this year. but quilts are looking a bit strange when there isn’t a lot of fabric that goes together on my shelves. LOL i am doing a lot of scrappy quilts. and a lot of selvage quilts. my goal is also to use up the rest of my selvages….yellow and orange are gone…am currently working on purple. most of the other colors will make several quilts each. i have no time for anything else…better get to sewing. thanks, judy

  13. 15


    After this mad rush to get all these quilts ready for the exhibit next week, the only goal I’m setting for the rest of the year is to do whatever I want! lol!

  14. 16

    Sara Kenny says

    We just came home from vacation, and I managed to buy a few yards of fabric at every stop along the way. Of course, I did no sewing while traveling so I am very much in the “more bought than sold” position as of today. Therefore, your stash challenge is a very welcome motivator! Thanks

  15. 17

    SarahB says

    I am not very goal oriented which means I tend to start projects and never quite finish them. So, I am going to accept the challenge, with a twist! I am not going to count stash, since mine is fairly managable, but I am going to make a concentrated effort to FINISH the projects I already have started (especially the quilts that are already expected to be done… yikes!) BEFORE I begin any new ones. With the expection of the “mystery” quilt my LQS just started today and I signed up for…. :o) Already messing up my goals!

  16. 18


    I was looking at my stash the other day and I realized that it is so big it affects my creativity in a negative way. I had worked at a quilt store at one time and got a nice discount on fabric. That being said, it is all nice fabric, just maybe not what I would want to use now. I have 9 nieces and nephews and I’m thinking bed sized quilts for Christmas for all of them would be a nice thing. That is my goal. I should be able to use up quite a bit of my stash and at the same time give some nice Christmas presents. Here’s hoping I can do it.

    • 18.1


      If you can get 9 full size quilts done by Christmas, you’re doing great. You’ll never know til you try! Good luck!

  17. 19


    I would LOVE to double what I’ve used so far this year, which got off to a rotten start. Ninety yards? It’s possible! 🙂

    Not going to try to double the yarn used becaue that might hurt my hands.

  18. 20


    If I am going to really bust my stash I need a couple of patterns that will eat up my stash, but not eat up my time (what little I have for quilting -ie next three days I’m taking care of a 9month old 24/7). So does some one have a pattern like that other than 9 inch squares I could assemble and quilt with batting that can be quilted up to 10″ apart? I think if I had some I could use up as much as I have used up in the last 8 months.

    • 20.1


      http:/ – check out the post for Saturday! I just finished a child’s quilt that is super easy. Could be made in 9.5″ blocks and enlarged for bedsized quilts. Did I mention it’s easy peasy???

      Judy’s blog is FULL of great patterns. One of my favorites was Bears in the Farmhouse…HSTs aren’t real fast for me, but it sure did eat some stash!

  19. 21

    Mary says

    Well, I’m not going to set a goal of busting 400 yards 🙂 but I did post a list of quilting/knitting goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year a week or so ago. Like you I set goals AND play games like allowing myself to do something I want to do if I check something off the list.

    If it weren’t for my lists I wouldn’t get much done at all.

  20. 22


    What a great idea, a goal to use more from my stash before the end of the year! I will have a think about a target.
    All being well next year we plan a big trip to the USA and that means lots of fabric buying so I need to make space!!

  21. 23

    Karla says

    I am working pretty hard at getting finished what I have started this year already. I have two quilts ready for binding, one baby at the quilters, one baby half done, and one wall hanging almost finished just needs quilting. Then there are the projects I inherited from my momma when she passed. I don’t know how much I will get done between work and school but I am going to give it my best.

    • 23.1

      Judy Laquidara says

      Good luck getting it all done but you have a lot going on so don’t stress if the quilting projects don’t get done.

  22. 24

    Doris - The Quilting Queen says

    Since I’m a new follower, I haven’t been doing the stash busting tally, however, I have been busting my stash! Sooo… my goal is to use at least 75% of the fabric needed from my stash on any project I start in the next 4 months. I would like to say I won’t buy anything else through the end of the year but I know that won’t happen. I’m participating in the state wide “Quilt Across Texas” shop hop and have shop hop trips planned for the whole month. There are 90 shops participating and my goal is do do at least 4 from each reagon. Gonna be tough since Texas is such a big state!

  23. 25


    I have a LARGE stash (don’t know how much), and it is getting in my way of working and finding what I need. I am trying to buy less, and mostly for CURRENT projects. This week I made four fall wall hangings completely from stash, and largely from “fall” prints that are beautiful but hard to include in most quilts. These hangings are small, though, and I have no idea how much fabric I used. How do you calculate that? (You probably already explained, but I am newish here. ). Anyway, it’s a noble cause!

  24. 26

    Doe in Mi says

    Judy, I like the way you think. When my 3 kids were in grade school I did the same thing w/them – I made it a game.
    when I wanted them to clean their rooms I’d join them and clean my bedrm. During which time I’d have the timer set and we’d all try to beat it. Made the work fun. And alot faster and alot less whining.

  25. 27

    Sharon says

    I don’t have a huge stash but as I was cleaning off my shelves this past weekend, I found I have a lot of fabric I will not use in a quilt. Lot of novelties and stuff like that. My daughter is doing her student teaching this semester and was needing something to give each of the students as a gift when she left at Christmas and knew she would not be able to afford to. She is married and they are on a very tight budget. I suggested that I make a pillowcase for each child (there are 28). She was very grateful. I have enough to make most of them but might have to buy some boyish fabric but not much. They sew up so quick and I told her it would not be any problem to get them done by December. Easy solution to using up some stuff I have had in the stash for a long time!

  26. 28


    I’m bustin”…trying to make up for lost time, lol. I’m a tad over halfway for my self-imposed stashbusting goal of 300yds. I’ll have to work hard to cram another 125yds in, but I”m willing to try. Wouldn’t it be cool to double my numbers by years end! Since my charity top goal is 20 and I’ve only made 5, MAYBE, just MAYBE I can get ‘er done! Thanks for cheering us on and pushing when we falter!

  27. 29


    I haven’t been too successful at any of the challenges I’ve signed up for so far, BUT, I really want to do this. I don’t have much storage space, so all my fabric is in bins lining the “aisles” of my little office/studio. You can barely walk in here! I don’t want to live that way anymore, but I don’t want to just give the fabric away. So I need to use it up! It’s not all quilting fabric, some of it is meant for duvet covers or curtains. But heck, if it’s gone, I’ll be SO HAPPY (and have so many nice new things for my house!). So — here goes! 🙂

    Thank you for always inspiring us!!