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I love all things sewing!  It's all about the creative journey.  All my blog posts are letters to my sewing alter-ego - Lola!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Stash building - what's your excuse?

Dear Lola,

You know I think working in a quilt shop is pure joy.  It's wonderful to be around quilters all day and I truly adore helping them select the fabrics for their projects.  Sometimes, I get to assist someone who is putting together an entire quilt and sometimes we are hunting for the perfect backing or binding.  

Every quilter seems to enjoy selecting the "ingredients" of a quilt.  Some quilters effortlessly select the ingredients while others obsess over the fabrics, battings, and threads.  I recently assisted a customer with the thread she was using for her piecing.  We spent over 30 minutes discussing the thread options and colors.  I think she went home with an excellent choice, she was still questioning herself as she left the store.  She was still concerned that she wasn't sure we got it right.

I generally try to select an Aurifil thread that is close to the colors I'm using in my quilt.  I usually settle on a neutral and I am always happy with the results.  I never obsess over the color I use for piecing, just the brand - it has to be Aurifil.  

We also get lots of customers that are "stash building".  Sometimes customers are embarrassed by this. But most customers realize we have heard this many times and they seem to know a quilt shop worker understands this phenomenon intimately!

The shop where I work carries Kaffe Fasset Fabrics and we received our shipment of the 2015 collection on Thursday.  Our customers were anxiously awaiting the unpacking and checking in of these beautiful fabrics and purchased a predetermined cut of each and every bolt.  Not surprisingly, there was no specific projects in mind.  They were just adding these fabrics to their stash - because!

When I'm on the other side of the cutting table - when I'm the customer - I know the quilt shop worker understands my need for stash building.  That being said, my non-quilter friends and family do not seem to understand the purchasing of fabrics that I have no immediate purpose in mind.  

I recently showed some new finds to a non-quilter family member and she asked, "what are you going to make with that?"  I replied, "I don't know yet, I just loved it and had to have it."  She viewed me with dismay, "you already have a lot of fabric in your sewing room, when will you find projects for all of that!"  

If you look at the conversation through the eyes of a non-quilter, it's a perfectly reasonable rationale to wonder how will the quilter ever use all of her stash.  I can see that.  However, I am a quilter and have a quilter's mind.  How can I impress on the non-quilter the importance of stash building?  Then it occurred to me - I was on a humanitarian mission.  There was some fabric trapped in the quilt shop that needed to be rescued!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!