Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Juliann at The Cure for Boredom posed a very good question this morning that I felt deserved a post of it's own rather than just a comment on her blog. Her question is basically, "What's the difference between a stash quilt and a scrap quilt?"

To me scrap quilts ARE stash quilts but stash quilts aren't necessarily scrap quilts. A stash quilt is simply a quilt made entirely from fabric you currently have on hand. And you could argue that if you purchase it today and make it tomorrow it technically is a stash quilt. But I don't see it that way.

My personal definition of stash fabric is the odd piece of fabric bought on a whim without a specific project in mind. Or a group of fabrics I might buy because they look great together but with no specific thought of what I might use them for. So I bought it, brought it home, petted it and looked at it for maybe a month without finding a pattern that I feel I want to use it in so I blend it with the other fabrics in my stash cabinets. That's what stash fabric is to me. So with that in mind a stash quilt would be one made purely from fabric I've had on hand a little while. Remember this is MY PERSONAL definition. Please feel free to use whatever definition works for you.

Then we get to scrap quilts. Would you really call it a scrap quilt if you bought 50 fat quarters or pulled 50 pieces of fabric from your stash and cut pieces for a specific quilt? Or to be a scrap quilt does it truly have to be cut from pieces left from other projects. One could argue that the first scenario is not really a scrap quilt but a multi-fabric quilt. Or maybe a scrappy-type quilt.

Now you know me. I don’t give much store in what the quilt police have to say so I say call it what you want to call it and don’t worry about it. To me a scrap quilt uses many different pieces of fabric, mostly left over from other projects but maybe cut from stash if I don't have a good enough selection in my scraps for the look I'm trying to acheive.

And, at least for the purpose of the challenge this month, I’m going to say anything in my possession at 12:01 central time this morning is stash and fair game for the challenge. And for the purpose of this challenge I'm extending my "stash" definition to include all materials and tools used in the making of a quilt. So no thread, batting, books, patterns, magazine. AND none of the latest handy-dandy-gotta-have-it-right-now quilt gadgets. Nothing whatsoever related to any step in the makings of a quilt from conception to completion. It's time I took my out-of-control spending in hand and use what I've already spent THOUSANDS OF $$$$ ON! Can I do it? I say yes and if you're honest most of you can too if you really want to bad enough.

14 comments:

Libby said...

You make an excellent point. I would like to add that I saw Ricky Tims speak a few years back. He makes the point that what we have is a collection. We buy the fabric because we love it, think it's beautiful, but often are unwilling to use it. There's the fear that an even more perfect project will come along. Instead, we just go buy more. I have been guilty of this train of thought. I do enjoy pulling fabric that I have at home to make a quilt. I use the twisted logic that it's a "free" quilt if I don't have to purchase anything additional to complete it. It makes no difference what mental gymnastics we employ as long as we are happy making the quilts we love. I'll be here to cheer on all of you challenge takers.

Katie said...

good definitions. I always folded and put my scraps away on shelves with my larger pieces so I never had a strip stash. So I had to cut strips from whatever for my current project. I put my small pieces in plastic shoe boxes. I do have a couple bins of backing fabric - five yards or more.

Esteemarlu said...

O.K. I consider scrap quilts to be quilts made from the fabric I have on hand at the moment.I'm pretty sure most of us make quilts with fabric we buy on a whim.

Mama Koch said...

Nancy--you make perfect sense to me!
Scrap has always been that pile over there that has a little of every color.
Stash may be yards of a specific color...but more organized.

So, does that make us stash-scrap quilters? Makes perfect sense to me!
Figure as long as we're sewing...

Laurie Ann said...

Hmmm.... interesting thoughts, especially regarding scrappy quilts. I think I would probably call most of my quilts "scrappy" because I use a ton of different fabrics, but a "scrap quilt" would be one used from smallish pieces of leftovers.

Su Bee said...

Well said, Nancy. I have to admit to using Libbys' logic - if it's been in my closet for more than a month and I use it in a quilt, it's free!

Jeanne said...

Great definitions!

I'm totally a scrappy quilter, and I'm TRYING to be a stash quilter.

Jeanne :)

Linda_J said...

very well thought out, Nancy.

ForestJane said...

I agree... and I'm with you 100% on a total buying ban on all things related to the quilt hobby... lol

I have enough of EVERYTHING to keep me occupied for months, fabric, thread, etc.

The Calico Cat said...

good post - I think I'll address it too... (Thanks for the blog fodder.)

McIrish Annie said...

Nancy you are right there are two different definitions. I am with you. scrappy is bits and pieces left over from other projects and stash is "gotta have but don't know why" fabric or the fabric that "Called to me" at the store which has been in my closet. BTW, that fabric "calls to me" from the stash pile from time to time when the right project comes along... DH thinks I'm crazy or my sewing room is haunted!! thanks for your good thoughts

Finn said...

Great, great post Nancy!! I've mostly known you all the way back to the beginning of or blogs, and I know you have a lot of fabric. I know how much you love most of what you have. I know you have generously sent fabric to foundations like WTIL, and given boxes and boxes to people who can and will you it. Like me, I know you still have PLENTY to choose from...*VBS* I have absolutley NO doubts you can do this in August, and do it WELL...*VBS* You have great taste in color and design..let it shine girl, let it shine!!! Hugs, Finn From Fabric Fondlers Foundation Frequent Flyers Faction...Encouringment Dept. *VBG*

Hanne said...

Good thoughts on the matter Nancy :-)
I am both a scrap and a stash quilter I guess. I have nearly no pieces bigger than 12"-width of fabric, but I have many.
It is stash in my eyes, or rather fabric collection :-) I mix both stash and scraps when sewing, depending on the project.
We will have a fun August I think !

Mary said...

Yep I agree - I make quilts from stash that aren't scrap quilts. To me scrap quilts have lots of fabrics and many times are the result of leftover pieces from another quilt. Sometimes my stash quilts only have 3-4 fabrics in them.

Either way - using my stash is GOOD!