I confess I am a stash-a-holic, and the wonderful resource of the
internet and eBay is fueling my addiction.
I have kits, charts, fabric and threads that would take me several
lifetimes to get through, but I see a CA Wells kit and I haunt the
auctions until the end, in the hope that I will further enhance my
stash. The recurring theme in my collection seems to be kits only
usually available as class pieces, from classes that I am never likely
to be able to attend (Western Australia seem to be thought of as far
too remote for most tutors) and charts of European origin often now
oop. I am unsure if I am addicted to the thrill of the chase or the
desire to acquire the pieces - a proxy bidder has at least made the
I have also developed tendonitis in my right arm, and this is making
my stitching even more infrequent, but I still have the desire to
enhance my stash.
THis all begs the question - how much stash is too much?
Joanne in Perth, WA
what a question....lol.....while i don;t have a stash of kits i do have a
collection of books of charts and books of instructions, and a cq stash to
beat all.....not including the fabric for sane quilting which would fill a
smallish shop- threads beyond threads and i still don;t have the threads i
would like....i think the words " too much" are very laden, not only with
cultural meaning, but also psychological meaning...what seemed like a fine
and dandy amount 10 years ago is wayyyyyyyyyy too much now. What also seemed
like a fine amount before i developed a buddhist practice, now seems quite
excessive. perhaps the real answer won;t be untill we have to move to
someplace smaller or find ourselves unable to stitch at all etc etc....or
even when our families have to dispose of what we were unable to resist.
I do feel that i have too much fabric- not only could i not use it up in
this lifetime, but if i started piecing now and worked 8 hours 7 days a
week,I would probably not get through my fabric stash.
Probably the same with the thread stash- i could embroider now till
whenever, and still have stuff leftover....but does that stop me from
wanting a collection of flat silk to use in Japanese embroidery? Not a
Like Alcoholics Anonymous, it's only when you yourself admit that it's a
Some of us are working on SABLE to the 3d power, and still don't think
it's too much. :) (I mean, what if I live to 215? I don't want to run
out of stuff to stitch!)
Don't you think keeping our very talented designers in business justifies
our stash build up? Imagine how bleak our design selection would be if every
stitcher stitched every design purchased before moving on to a new one!
Also, a cup of coffee and a stack of charts to browse through is far better
for a stitcher than a cup of coffee and a brownie.
I have three 65-litre boxes full of needlework stuff. That does NOT
include books and charts and magazines. It includes different kinds of
fabric, one or two bell-pull things, smallish hoops (the stands live
outside separately), boxes and boxes of threads (and I still have no
yarn or silk), any number of kits (along with about a dozen I
inherited from someone who had to give up stitching), rulers and
tracing paper and carbon and graph paper and all the other useful
things that seem more appropriate for a maths class than in a
needlework box, and goodness knows what else. Yesterday, quite by
chance, I discovered an envelope full of printed charts and charts
copied by hand on graph paper, and it took me a while to decide that
they'd been overlooked when I unpacked on my return from the States
two years ago. That means (yes, you've guessed it) I'm going to spend
the afternoon billing and cooing over them while I put them into a
great big ring-binder that I use to put assorted charts in some kind
of vague order. My husband says that his possessions have practically
trebled since I came into his life and house, but considering that I
have as little value for "things" as he has, he is more than happy to
indulge me in my two obsessions of embroidery and reading.
Usually, I have three projects going on at the same time. One cross-
stitch, one freehand embroidery, and one "learning" project. That way,
I never get bored doing any one thing.
Absolutely! I frequently forget to eat my lunch, though I'm
hypoglycaemic and cannot afford to skip meals! Ah, that reminds me, I
must have my breakfast!
I've got 4 plastic shelving units filled with fiber - cottons, silks,
candlewicking, wool -- plus a huge basket filled with my ebay purchased
crewel, needlepoint wool plus a bunch of shoe boxes filled with buttons
and beads plus 2 drawers and several large plastic tubs filled with
fabric and ribbon, 2 bookcases of books and magazines, one little file
cabinet of patterns and ideas ...
I've only been doing this seriously for a little more than 5-6 years and
I never have exactly what I need for a project so I gotta buy more
Good question! I remember years ago on this group someone mentioning
their mother (or someone else's mom) who had purchased the house next
door just to house their quilting fabric! LOL
I know this doesn't compare to what some of you have, but I have 2
file drawers of patterns, one drawer of kits, all waiting patiently
for my time. :)
In MY case, there is no such thing. I mean, I use it practically
everyday! In my HUSBAND'S case, though, it means owning five tents,
three backpacks, numerous items of "hiking gear" and so on that he
uses once a year. . . .
(RDH from my husband!)
I have to agree. With the amount he spent renting a storage unit for
the tent, he could have come out ahead if he bought a new tent every
time he wanted to go camping and then donated it to Goodwill when he
I think that most of us have more stash than we can readily see beeing able
You'rw not alone. I knew someone in one of my guild chapters who had so
many really pricey painted canvases that she just started hanging/displaying
them as art - realizing she'd never really get to stitch all of them. And,
it seems there are people buying the Heaven and Earth designs (HAED) just to
collect them - they're huge, artist repros into stitching. So, I guess, for
you - find a way to enjoy the stash.
When it interferes with your life, health, ability to pay the important
things. When it becomes the seriously consuming "must have more than anyone
else" uncontrollable thing. Or when stash is controlling your life, not you
controlling your stash acquisitions. Or it's taking over tooooooo much of
your living space, and affecting the people and pet relstionships in your
Seriously, for me, for some time - despite working in a shop - or perhaps
because of it - I have become more and more judicious about my choices. I
may buy some exquisite thread or fabric that's unique and I'm not quite sure
for what, or a group of threads that I want to do some designing (build a
colorway around). But, in general, I personally don't just buy fabric,
threads, charts just to have them. I'm picky about what I'm going to stitch
(cause I do have plenty of stash) - it has to interest me, be "special" in
some way - not just another cute little thing (exception - specific hits the
gift spot things). Not that I've stopped adding. But, I have some control
of the queue of kits waiting to go, or the UFOs out of the rotation.
If I had to hide it all regularly (as opposed to the sort of sneaking it in,
or showing it slowly) that would be too much. Fortunately, the DH loves my
stitching work, supports my going into the teaching program (guild cert),
and while he raises an eyebrow with new projects - he knows that I'll edit.
So, now I may bring home 3-5 things and say - what do you think - and he'll
ask what for, and where in the rotation, and what UFO is almost done, and
tell me which of the batch he really likes.
This said - I did kit up tonight what I hope to be my Woodlawn piece for
2009. The "Anne Barrierre" Sampler from Queenstown Sampler. On 32 Lakeside
vintage Light Examplar. To be done in Au ver a Soie, some Soie Cristalle,
and perhaps a Silk 'n Color solid. Just vaguely tinkiering with the yellow
(slightly deeper) and the "sea green blue" . What's cool for me - this
piece is mostly counted (a handful of different stitches), but also the
garland and willow trees are free surface embroidery - so I'm really looking
forward to working on this. And to see if mine can match a 9 year old girl
that did it originally! Also, DH did see the piece (I brought it and some
others home, and he truly admired it), of course the fact that designer
Barbara had come to the shop to show her latest, and well, I had to buy
something - really had nothing to do with it.
& scroll down a bit
So, this is a good question. I think too much is different for everyone -
but my bottom line is when it's not enhancing life, but getting in the way.
Another agreement here!!! I have converted a large spare room into my
craft room and it makes me relax and be happy just to run my hands
across fabric and thumb through charts. My problem is I do so many
crafts that take up lots of space like quilting and knitting,
scrapbooking and beadwork as well as crossstitching. I also collect
One thing I did realize after setting up this room recently is that
I'm very choosy when I buy anything else. I guess I may have had to
face the reality of just how much stuff I own and what actually
appeals to me. It's hard to buy one more angel chart if you have 55
in your collection!! I know I will anyway once in a while.
Perhaps I've entered a new phase of life since the kids are grown and
my mother passed away last year. All the time that was spent on
taking care of other people is now available for actual crafting. I
also feel like I'm carrying on Mom's projects that we had planned to
do and ran out of time. I've been completing projects and starting
new ones and loving every minute of it. I still have a list of
requests from my girls, but I'm going to set my own schedule. We
love being retired!!!
One project in the front of the line is to alter clothing. I just
lost 70 pounds and nothing fits. At 55, I've suddenly become one of
the people who works out everyday and MUST exercise - who would have
thought it possible. Moni
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