I’ve been doing a lot of finishing and stash sewing lately in an attempt to clear some of the sewing room clutter. Case in point, the over-sized pillow that I finished earlier this week. The teal/red poppy fabric was originally an unfinished (and unflattering) attempt at a skirt, which I then sliced up into quilt squares several months ago – and now finally, it’s done!
The subject of the “stash” comes up frequently in discussions of knitting or sewing. Comparing myself with what I see online – my stash of fabric and yarn would likely be considered neither large nor small – but somewhere in the middle. And still, I don’t like what it represents – which is a tendency to purchase more than I can reasonably consume.
Whenever I start to sew or knit down the stash, I am confronted by how much time it takes to work each piece of fabric into something usable, never mind find uses for all the scraps. Given all the yardage in my collection, I would have to sew every day for a year to get through it all. And there is no way I could knit/crochet all the yarn I have – since knitting is much more time consuming. On the other hand, I like the ability to “shop” my stash when I have a gift to make, or I’m bored of the clothes in my wardrobe. To have nothing on hand would mean continual trips to town, or (more likely) waiting for mail order.
I think the balance is in bringing less material into my house, and ensuring that what I do bring in has some longevity so that even if it takes me a couple of years to use, it won’t feel like it’s from some other moment of my life. I’m also eliminating the purchase of material with Lycra or elastic elements, as I find that breaks down just from sitting around too long, plus it isn’t ultimately biodegradable.
So yes, I’m emptying the bins one project at a time. Progress is slow, but at least it doesn’t cost me anything to sew off the stash.