When I first started stitching I was the type of stitcher that only worked on one project at a time, and did nothing but pre-assembled kits you can purchase at any major craft store that included 14 count white or cream aida. Then I joined a guild and learned all about UFOs (unfinished objects), having a stash, etc. I’m no longer a member of that guild, but treasure most of the experiences I had with it. Including one of the instructors, Karen Duggan from Massachusetts. She changed my stitching life! She was the first person that said to me, “Don’t be afraid to make it your own. Change the floss colors, use a different fabric, whatever. It’s your piece and make it something you like and want to stitch.”
It was after that conversation that my stash started growing…more kits, patterns, fabric, you name it. My fabric choices back then were limited to the small selection of 14 count Aida that Jo-Ann’s carried. Honestly I was afraid to try anything other than that. I kept with the standard white or cream and sometimes used a pastel pink or blue.
Then a couple of years ago something changed. I decided to go outside the box and start using other colors; things like bright oranges, purples, fuchsia, etc. I also ventured into trying evenweave, linen and different counts of aida. My stash has grown substantially since then. OK, it helps that I hand-dye fabrics to sell, but I still also purchase them from other sources. I have an entire drawer (it measures 22w x 14d x 7h) full of fabrics!! (see photo) That’s just my personal stash and doesn’t include the drawers full of what I sell.
If you look in the photo you can see some of them in bags & labeled and some in tubes. I personally iron every piece of fabric before I package it for sale. Sometimes I keep some of them for my own stitching use later on down the road. I had this brain storm several weeks ago when I pulled out one of my pieces of fabric to use and had to go to the laundry area to iron it a second time…why don’t I store them in the empty tubes I have from store bought fabrics??? For me it was one of those slap your forehead moments, lol!
Do you have a fabric stash? If so, how do you store your fabrics? What’s your favorite fabric to stitch on? Do you like to use bright, bold colors or do you stick with the “traditional” fabrics? Share with the rest of us your story and maybe you’ll inspire someone like Karen Duggan inspired me.