This year, I want to reduce the size of the stash in my sewing room. It is so easy to buy beautiful fabric, and then have a hard time cutting into it. Ever feel that way? It is almost that I am afraid to make a mistake in how I choose to use it, that I might regret cutting it up for a particular project, then wish I had it back for a different design. I think maybe this is why I design so many scrappy quilts, as I cannot go wrong using the bits left over, and I have a lot of bits, LOL! But I also have bolts of fabrics, some background tone on tones that are easy to cut, but also some really beautiful prints that I haven’t yet used.
So, here is how this will work. On the first Friday of the month, I’ll post the Stashbuster Challenge. Leave a comment on that post with the number of yards of fabric you had come in over the previous month, and then number of yards you had go out. No, you do NOT have to inventory what you have on hand. Out means out the door, donated, shipped, gifted or otherwise leaving the house, including bags of scraps or fabric given away, not necessarily used in a project. Use whatever method you want to estimate yardage when you are using scraps. I use a guideline of one quarter yard out for two 12-inch blocks made, three 8-inch blocks made, or four 6-inch blocks made. Is that precise? No, but it will do. Report monthly, and after February, cumulatively as well. Your comment will look something like this:
Month Fabric In – 3 yards, Month Fabric Out – 5 yards
Cumulative Fabric In – 6 yards, Cumulative Fabric Out – 11 yards
The goal is to have that cumulative fabric out number be larger than fabric in. At the end of the year, I’ll draw a winner for a non-fabric prize. I’ll be collecting items for that through the year, but I can promise it will be fabulous. Every month you post progress gains you one entry in the drawing. No rules, you don’t have to participate every month, but I hope you will.
To help you get started, here are a few of my free patterns for some small projects that will jump start you on a year of using up your stash. This Blue and Yellow Table Topper was fast and easy, using some larger solid blocks. This topper has 25 6-inch blocks plus the border, backing and binding, that I would count out as a total of 3 yards. No, that isn’t a precise measure, but it is close enough.
This Road Trip Pillow case with handles and pocket is handy for traveling and will burn up about one and quarter yard. These make great gifts as well.
See my pages at the top of the blog, Sewing Tutorials and Quilting Projects for lots of ideas and free patterns. You can also use the categories on the sidebar of Sewing, Quilting, Scrap Crafting, Tutorials and Mini Quilts, to find more projects like this Low Volume Quick Quilt.
There are also many free projects with my annual Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar. Looking back over the past several years, you can do any of these projects with fall colors, and many would be great in everyday or spring colors as well. This project could easily be done with spring flower embroidery and pastel scrappy borders.
There are quilt alongs and mysteries beginning this month as well, so lots of opportunities and inspiration to pull out those pretty fabrics and sew. I hope you understand, I won’t be doing a mystery this month, and may not be able to do one this year. I’ll be working on Safelight quilts this month, with lots of fabric out for backing and binding. But, I also have a gift certificate to my local quilt shop, so there will be fabric in. But remember, the goal is not to stop buying fabric, the goal is to have more out than in. This pattern makes wonderful charity quilts, use just 9 or 12 blocks for a Project Linus quilt. I reworked the pdf for this, so now it contains both the detailed instructions on how to make the block, and also six setting designs including the offset diamond (below), mountain peaks and bargello. Download the pdf for it – Scrappy Quilt Project.
One more download for you, the case sets for our annual Safelight project will also burn up a bit of stash. Please use pretty, fun novelty, or bright prints, something that makes you smile and would bring a bit of joy to a domestic violence victim. Download the pdf – Safelight Case Sets.
So, now you have the challenge, some inspiration and a few projects to help you get started.
Here’s a button for your sidebar if you’d like one. Please link to the URL of this post – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2022/01/07/stashbuster-challenge/
Are you in?