Earlier this week I read a convicting post by Rossie/Fresh Modern Quilts on "What to Stash". She referred back to a series of 2011 posts by Jeni/In Color Order on "The Art of Choosing," specifically the post on Building a Well Rounded Stash. It didn't quite ring true for Rossie, who discovered that "personally [she didn't] need a well-rounded stash" and I encourage you to read her post to see what she has to say about that, as it's thoughtfully written.
For me, I find both posts were imminently helpful. When I read Jeni's original post, I was a new blogger with pretty much no stash at all. I had been quilting for years, but rarely purchased fabric that wasn't for a very specific project. And I had just discovered the modern quilting movement, so whatever bits of fabric I had left from my projects were not quite what the bloggers I was getting acquainted with were using. As I got more involved in the online quilting community, I began joining swaps and bees and such. And I soon realized that I needed to build a stash, and a modern one at that. So slowly, over the next 18 months or so, following Jeni's advice and watching others, I built that stash that allowed me to pretty much always have something suitable on hand whatever project or sewing whim presented itself. For the first time ever, I had a rainbow of prints to choose from, and solids even! And linen!
Fast forward 3 years, to a place where that well rounded stash has served me very well indeed. I pretty much quit "building" a while ago and as Rossie suggests, am more "maintaining." When I'm running low on certain solids or Essex or text prints, I get more, because I know those are standbys for me, and I'll need them to do what I do. Which brings me to Rossie's basic guidelines for herself which she kindly gave me permission to share:
Molli Sparkles shared in his post yesterday, where as an intentional challenge to himself he joined a fabric swap for fabric that didn't really grab him. And after working with it, he found he loved it! So yeah, sometimes I, too, purchase fabric just to see what all the fuss is about. Or because a certain grouping just is so nicely done. Or, yes, just because fabric therapy is a real thing and I need some. But I also want to be attentive to what I have already gathered - because it's helped bring me to where I am - and I can trust it to serve me well going forward.
So give it some thought. I'm pretty sure happy medium wins again.