Here we are at the end of 2016 and the end of Year Of The Stash. I had a lot of fun participating in this quilt community activity. It definitely helped me be more mindful of what I was bringing in and what I was using up.
The year started out with me buying a lot of fabric!! I wasn't feeling too good about it and when I found YOTS from A Quarter Inch From the Edge, I knew it was going to be great for me. I started out by making a Stash Manifesto:
1) Buy as little new fabric as possible. I won't say buy none. I want to be free to get a great new piece here or there, patron indy quilt shops, or buy backing when needed. I'll buy used, reclaimed, and/or vintage fabric when possible. I pride myself on using these fabrics in my quilts, and need to scoop them up when they preset themselves. But I want to be mindful not to add too much to my stash!
2) Use some used, vintage and/or reclaimed fabrics in all quilts. Last year was the first time I used all new fabric for some quilts and it just didn't feel right. As I said above, I pride myself to use these vintage items, and I need to get back to that. I have such a wonderful collection in my stash, it needs to get out into the world!
3) Organize as I go. When we moved, I started folding and color coordinating my stash and discovered that I have far too much fabric!! I barely made a dent before I filled up the entire space I'd set aside. I'd like to utilize this space better this year. I want to use up, organize, and consolidate during The Year of the Stash!
4) Sew, sew, sew! One of my goals is to have at least one finish per month, I'd also like to make one new block per month. Sourcing from my stash will help me as I have so many wonderful fabrics at my fingertips!
Here's how it worked out in real life:
1) Once I started YOTS, I went long periods of time without buying anything new. I was even able to go to quilt shops and not come home with anything. I was able to find some great vintage fabric, some fun vintage sheets and such for backing or cut up and some interesting thrifted pieces this year. I designated some old clothes and other items for repurposing as quilting fabric. Overall, I'm happy with what got added to my stash.
2) I'm happy to report that after joining YOTS, everything I made had some used, vintage, or reclaimed fabric in it.
3) I started out the year pretty strong, but that was all the organizing I did and it was very little.
4) I didn't sew as much as I would have liked this year. When I did, I shopped my stash and was pleasantly surprised and inspired. But very few finishes happened for me and I did not devote enough time to my quilting craft.
Here's what my year end stash report looks like:
Fabric Added Since last Update (in August, yikes!!): approximately 8 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: approximately 29 yards
Fabric Used Since last update: approximately 5 yards (wallets and BOM)
Fabric Used year to Date: approximately 13 yards
That's a total of 16 yards in the plus category for my stash. Not horrible but not great, either. Still, for my first of mindfully adding to my stash, I'm happy!!
One thing I've tried to be better about this year is joining in with the quilty community. I've tried to do more challenges (like YOTS, OMG, FAL2016) and more link ups (like Slow Sunday Stitching, Move It Along Monday, etc...).
YOTS was a challenge that I really enjoyed and I plan on making a 2017 manifesto and continuing to track my progress in the new year, but I'm not sure if Quarter Inch From Edge will be hosting another year of YOTS. I found that there wasn't a lot of community activity in this challenge, bc there were very few link ups, very few check ins and a general lack of group encouragement. I totally understand how hard it must be to be the leader for such a community, when even just blogging can be a struggle. I'm not upset or disappointed but I do hope that YOTS continues into the future and it gets more community involvement. I'd be willing to take a swing at leading it, but I couldn't promise I'd do better at regular YOTS activities. I would try, though! Maybe I'll contact Quarter Inch from the Edge... Or maybe I'll concentrate of my own Year Of The Stash!
I hope some of you guys will start a 2017YOTS and share your progress (no matter where that may be). I look forward to seeing your manifestos and stash reports in the new year!