Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is a 'Stash'?

According to this site, a stash is something that requires the occasional 'manicure'

(at this point in time I think it's fair to admit that the online dictionary tells me that to manicure something is to keep it neatly maintained)
Oops, failed that one!

The stash that lives in the Willowberry house is most definitely not neatly maintained. In fact it's rather embarassingly messy

I really do suffer from 'tidy sewing room envy' when I read about the methods some quilty boffins use to maintain their neatly manicured stashes of fabric. Truly I do... I try to be neat, I want to be neat but I just can't do it. I can't be neat

There. I've said it. My name is Cheryl and I'm not a neat stash keeper
Sometimes I show promise... like when a new bundle of fabric arrives and I take it out of it's wrapping and there it is, all neatly maintained. For at least 53 seconds. Then I break the rules... again
I think one of the most important things about maintaining a neatly manicured stash is having a storage solution for every stashable item. Not always easy... especially when the likes of Moda start baking

Honey Buns, Jelly Rolls, Turnovers, Layer Cakes etc etc. Don't you just love them! Gotta have them, don't know what I'm gonna do with them, can't bear to untie the 'moda' tape, where am I going to keep them... ?

Light Bulb! Make a storage bin/bucket/bag/box from some of my stash!

This is a great little project for using up little bits. If you have a stash of little bits this sew sew simple and sweet storage 'bucket' is the answer. I found the tutorial on a blog somewhere in the great big blogosphere of crafty doings and added a few Christmas bits to make it pretty

There you go, a handy little gifty idea that's just the right size for storing 2 honey buns. If you'd like to make one for yourself, you'll find the stitchery patterns over on my Willowberry Designs Blog as a freebie download. Check out the right hand side bar for the link that says ~ 'Free Downloads and Other Stuff'
Expand it... make it bigger... big enough to store 2 jelly rolls. Or big enough to hold a layer cake and some yardage for a little quilt. Wrap it up and give it to your quilty friend for christmas. She'll love it.

Then go out and buy another layer cake and some yardage to replace the ones you gifted. It's what we're all about.
Tomorrow I'm going to disappear into my quilting cave and start manicuring my stash. I won't surface until it's all neatly stashed and beautifully maintained. See you in about four months time...

Thanks for having me back here in this neck of the woods :)

Cheryl x


  1. I just spent four days in mine "manicuring"and you can't tell I was even there! YIKES! Good luck!

  2. Cheryl! ADORE your basket and the little embroidered squares are adorable :) Thank you so much for sharing and yes, I'm going to have to head over to your blog for the pattern. .... very cool!

  3. LOLO Manicure? Stash? yehhh right! NOT! It lasts just long enough to look at to pull out something to work Neat bag, will be making one, two, or more real soon.

  4. As you can guess by the name of my blog "The Cluttered Quilter"--stash manicuring is not one of my strong points! Thanks for the idea--use stash as both the organizer and to organize!! You are clever!! Thank-you!!

    Deb from

  5. Try me! Or, at least a bit of my own system of "manicuring the stash" ...
    I cherish my adhd, and one perfect description is: out of sight, out of mind... sew: I organize my stash in clear plastic boxes, with my own - sometimes hilarious - labels on it. Plain, printer-friendly stickers will do, as I tend to change my mind a bit =^}
    Not the red/bleu/whities, but the eery fabrics - polyester for art quilts, jerseys for dog's or cat's beds.
    The friendly companions - steam-a-seam, paper-piecing stuff, freezer papers, clips and glues!
    Sharp and ferocious: seam rippers, scissors, break-off hobby knives, thread cutters, roller cutters (I do even keep the spare blades here, in case I forgot to close them when throwing them back after use).
    Sharks' delicious: needles and pins.
    The Bulldog: safety pins, clamps and staples.
    All-tangled-up will cover the threads for hand sewing, and the Roller Coaster drawer is for the machine threads.
    Naming your stash will make it like company: happy to talk to. Which I often tend to do. Bit looney, but it works.
    Ah! Walzing Mathilda calling! You'll hear my Janome humming 8^}
    Happy organizing from Amsterdam, Irene

  6. This is me to a tee! I am not neat either! I like you try to be but around here what you see is what you get! Anyway, I love your post and the basket! I have made several of these but I have never thought to use embroidery on them! Thanks so much for a great post!

  7. Me too. Not good at having a manicured craft room at all.
    Love the Xmas Bucket.

  8. Lovely wee bag. My theory is...the more organized and pretty my studio is the more creative I will be. That's my "theory". When all else fails, I hang up a quilt to cover the mess. :0)

  9. I try to keep my stash manicured...and not too large. I love your bag!

  10. I know that you have just moved and can't wait to see your space all organized. Since we are in the process of selling our house, I have packed over 2/3's of my room - but kept the tubs close by in the garage neatly stacked. I sometimes think everything I need is out there, because I spend a lot of time backing the car out and looking through my tubs. My room on the other hand - most of the time -looks pretty orderly. I have a sign that I use, "Creativity in Progress", when we show the house. Judy C

  11. Oh my gosh, is that just the cutest bag! I think it would be the perfect bag to hide my mail and other correspondence on my counter. Thanks for the free tutorial, yippee!

  12. Good Morning Cheryl...I would love to help you organize your stash, after you send me your lovely bags....Your creativity is by far -amazingly good- you are a treat this I sip my coffee I raise it a little higher for you. lol

  13. Cheryl, that bag is just lovely...I will be headed to your blog for the pattern momentarily. Thanks for sharing it with us - and with enough humor to keep me from feeling guilty as I look around my un-manicured stash!
    Jacque in SC

  14. My "stash" which wasn't much started out looking nice.. then I started to paw through it looking at it.. how lovely was that fabric. How big is that piece.. of course it isn't big enough.. move on to look at another piece..without putting the first piece away properly.. grrr. Then I started shopping for more lovelies for my stash to have friends.. they were lonely. I just knew I needed more fabric to make more quilts in the future! LOL. I still need more (infinately)...I'm going to be moving to a new room soon.. I'll organize it again then (?)
    I love your little bag too, and I'm headed over now to check out your blog! Thank you for so kindly sharing your pattern :)

  15. my stash could definitely use a manicure! I try to 'lump' my fabrics by color and that's somewhat successful - but by yardage, FQ or all those other cute little cuts - no way! I like to say "I'm organized confusion!"

  16. Darling bag!! I'm among the "want to be's" when it comes to being neat and orderly, but I've decided it is OK that things aren't perfect. No one will love you less for that. It is the person, not the place that matters.

  17. My stash is invaluable....always the right fabric there when I need it. But manicuring it....impossible. I always start with good intentions, but fall short before it's finished. What to do??

  18. Oh now that is such a sweet idea!! Thank you. I just loove your baskets!!

  19. Enjoyed Cheryl's lighthearted and fun post. I do not have a stash per se, but now I know how to attractively manicure it!

  20. Ooooh, a new stitchery friend to visit! I am off to see your blog, thanks for the pattern!

  21. Like your bag...may even try to find enough stash in my stash to make it! I have to have stash out where I can see it, or it will wither and grow old like me....

    Thanks,,and I am heading to your blog to see the pattern...


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