Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Not a Stash, It's a Collection!

This weekend my brother and sister-in-law were visiting for my husband's birthday.  We had a great time just hanging out, playing a little baseball at the park, and eating a truly delicious barbecued meal.  I also gave my sister-in-law a tour of my studio.

She's a follower of my blog, (Hi!), and it was her fascination with my fabric stash that got me thinking about how we quilters view our stashes.

It occured to me that my stash was as much a work of art in its' own way as my quilts are.  I've worked on it for years, carefully acquiring prints, colors, and styles over the years so I have a great selection to choose from.  It's easy for me when I get an idea to just go over to my stash and pull out what I need.


I realized as I was explaining my fabric buying and collecting strategy that it really is a "strategy".  A great deal of thought has gone into it over the years.  I watch what's out there and select colors and styles that I love and that will work for the kind of art I do.  I buy colors that I know will only be available for a short while before the manufacturers change things up to follow new trends. 

I love blending fabrics from 10 or 20 years ago with stuff I just bought.  I believe it gives my work a distinctly different look.  It's easy enough to head down to the quilt store and pick up enough fabric to make a quilt, and those quilts can be very beautiful.  However, I don't like doing things the easy way.  I'd prefer to spend 30 years amassing a "collection" of fabrics I can turn to whenever the urge strikes.

So, I've decided to stop calling my selection of fabrics a stash.  It sounds a bit like an old Cheech and Chong routine, about "having the stuff."  Instead I will raise my nose in the air, extend my pinkie finger and refer to my overflowing fabric as a "collection."  It's as dignified as any baseball card, beanie baby, or majolica ware collection and a lot more practical.  What other "collection" can you use to create something that may end up in another "collection?"  Sounds like a winner to me!

So, thanks Kendall for helping me see things differently.  I am now an official fabric "collector."

Oh, and the rendition of "Happy Birthday" to my hubby at Red Robin was a classic....

Happy Stitching (and Collecting!),



Sam said...

Collection, not stash. I dig it. Right arm, girl. Out of state. BTW, if you look real quick I'm in "Up in Smoke" (gorgeous long-legged blond at "conveenieence" store). Has it been 40 years?

Sam said...

Really, ..Love your collection.

Lindi said...

I like your thinking!

Barbara said...

I love your collection and your story. The way you have them stacked is a work of art - even saw some fabrics that I own in those stacks.

Nancy said...

I agree completely!