How Much Stash is too much

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 process unemotional.
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
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what a 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 chance.
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Like Alcoholics Anonymous, it's only when you yourself admit that it's a problem....
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!)
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Karen C - California
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. --Mavis
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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!
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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
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There is no such thing as too much stash.
On 7/14/08 10:52 PM, in article,
Reply to
Cheryl Isaak
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. :)
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Joan E.

Too much stash? Sorry, those words simply don't go together in my language. Can someone explain what that means.
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I soooooo agree!!! For me, having the materials to cross stitch is only half of it. Browsing through it and planning/getting inspiration is the other half.
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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!)
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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 came home.
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Karen C - California
I think that most of us have more stash than we can readily see beeing able to finish....but...
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 life.
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.
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& 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.
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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 books.
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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