Thursday, July 14, 2011

stash organization and a gripe

Vacation stashing
i think i made it through all my new stash photos. here's a shot of my quilting stash altogether. this was upstairs in my craft room, but i moved it downstairs because i got tired of having to trek back and forth all the time. despite the ample additions i just made to the stash, will you believe that looking at this picture actually convinces me that i don't have that much fabric? although, honestly it's probably time to stop buying blues for awhile. now i just have to keep shooing the cats off. they like the orange/yellow/green cube for some reason.

i separated everything by color, with 1/2yds+ in the cubes and 1/4yds on top. i debated whether i should break up fat quarter sets but decided to do it in the end because it encourages me to actually use them rather than stare at them paralyzed, waiting for the never-to-come-perfect project.

i originally had solids separated from prints but decided to mix them in the end for similar reasons as above. i still have the stack of multicolored fabrics on top because i didn't know how else to group them. they are harder to use (though good for backings and bindings) so i should probably try to narrow my purchases in that area in the future. i still have my drawer of larger scraps and the bins of tiny scraps not pictured. i feel fairly decently organized now, though it still kind of stinks when i have to pull from the stacks and everything quickly gets messy. i have yet to find a good solution for that though.

out of curiosity--what do you do when you have a smallish piece leftover from a larger cut? i put them up with my fat quarters but i'm worried that separating them from the main larger pieces of fabric might be a mistake. i guess in this scenario i should always remember to check the smaller section first before cutting from the large ones but it's kind of a pain.

and now onto the gripe. i was recently in a quilt bee that just ended. mine was the final month, which was june. I was originally supposed to receive 10 blocks from the other members, but one person dropped out of the bee, making it 8. i diligently made all 8 of my blocks and sent them out in a timely fashion. i received 2 blocks in return from one (very nice) person. i can handle lateness, but the group went entirely silent with no communication from the moderator or anyone else, other than the nice lady who sent me my blocks. and so i've pretty much given up hope that anybody else is even thinking about making my blocks and sending them to me--especially since the nice lady's month was awhile ago and apparently she hasn't received all of her blocks either. the bee was the type where you use your own scraps. i have since realized that this model has its drawbacks when compared to the other kind where you mail fabric.

personally, i think that when you mail fabric to the other bee members, it creates more of a sense of obligation. i think that when you use your own fabric and you don't have those envelopes of someone else's pretty fabric sitting in front of you, it's easier to brush aside that you've made a commitment to the group. i know that it's easy to get overextended and maybe it's a personality difference, but i would never take on more than i could handle and if i did, i would communicate with humility immediately. i'm also extremely wary now of joining any bees in which i don't "know" any of the other members.

i know that i'm not perfect but i think that the wonky bee is running pretty smoothly and people seem happy so far. therefore i know that it's not rocket science to make things go the way they should. i'm just terribly disappointed with my experience in how my first quilt bee turned out and it really makes me hesitate to join others. so far, i'm sticking more towards short-term swaps since it's less of an obligation but hopefully it'll still be fun.

having said that, i should really sit down and make my wonky tree blocks for july or i will feel like a hypocrite worthy of my own special asshat.


  1. I had to throw away ALL my scraps this weekend.  They weren't worth washing.  When I washed the larger pieces in my stash about 25% became so tangled in the wash I just tossed them.  It was a nightmare.  But on the plus side my now much smaller stash is nicely pressed, folded and in sealed plastic tubs. 
    Not sure what to say about the bee problem.  I think if people tried really hard, they'd find a reason to get out of anything no matter what the circumstances! 

  2. Oh that is so disappointing to not receive your bee blocks! 
    my stash is definitely not very organized and my scraps are out of control! Yours looks very nice! Sometimes I put small separated pieces in with my large scraps and sometimes I just fold it up inside the bigger piece. 

  3. oh, bees vary quite a bit. the first one i was in was a disaster: no one communicated, many dropped out completely but *after* they got their blocks sewn for them, the moderator was awol. but since then i've been in bees with folks i've "known" online for a while and who know each other. the accountability came from the sense of obligation to each other as friends. and it was just plain fun to get to interact with them more.

    best of luck!

  4. The Wonky Bee is running very smoothly, and you might be right that sending each other fabric adds to the obligation. I think Chawne is right, though, that if you sign up with friends, it makes it more fun and successful. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with your first bee. I'm hoping to continue in the Wonky Bee, for what that's worth! Asshat is one of my favorite words ever, by the way.

  5. That really sucks about your first bee. Lame. I agree the Wonky Bee is going well. I also haven't started the tree blocks yet, but I have some work deadlines first, and I think the trees will be fast.
    I agree that your fabric stash is rather modest. I haven't quite figured out the best method for small (under 1/4) scraps either. I have a bin that I keep charms, strips, and 10" squares in, so that works well if I'm looking for those cuts. Otherwise the true scraps go in this big box that is totally overflowing. I've read about people cutting scraps into 2.5" squares or other useful pieces and putting them in tubs, but I just don't have time for that. It would probably help if I at least sorted mine into tubs by color or value or saturation. Anything would be better than the giant mystery box of tangled scraps!

  6. i am having a ton of fun with our wonky bee!  i think you are a great moderator also.  that really does suck with your first bee.  i am planning on tackling the tree blocks this week/end.  i think they will go together pretty quick and i also LOVE how yours turned out! 



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