And Miles to Go Before I Sleep...

So here I am, in the middle of the rather daunting process of adding what I took from Mom's stash to my own. I decided to wash all of it, which then means my way-too-persnickety eye for detail kicks in (to put it crudely, I can get anal about certain things) and I end up wanting to iron most of it, so that it will look "just right" when it's finally on the shelf. So it's taking me for-freakin'-ever.

The first two photos at right are most of the fabric waiting to be pressed and folded, sitting on my cutting table and on the side of my sewing table. And this isn't all of it. When I took these pictures a couple of days ago, I'd already worked my way through part of one stack, and some of it was still in the laundry.Picture #3 is sort of a "before and after" shot. I needed to get at my cutting table and sewing machine so I emptied off my storage shelves and moved the fabric-in-waiting, so now you can get a feel for the neat, tidy, organized stacks of fabric it will eventually turn into. Note, however, the distinct lack of enough shelf space for my new stash. Picture #4 is folded and labeled (by size), but in the midst of being sorted and reshelved. I'm going to have to do some reconfiguring of my sewing space to fit it all in.

Once-upon-a-time, my stash was small enough that I kept it sorted by size--1/2 yard stack, 1 yard stack, etc. With what I took from Mom's stash, I have at least doubled my stash, if not tripled it. I was going to be careful about what I took, but a good friend and fellow quilter told me I'd be sorry, and just to go for it. So I took her at her word. I may also be taking her name in vain as I try to figure out how I'm going to store all of this! In any case, it now seems to make more sense to organize my fabric by color now. Using this folding method, it's pretty easy to tell at a glance a ballpark of how much of each fabric I have anyway, just by the size of the folded piece. Plus I label it anyway.

In picture #3, you can see that one area of Mom's stash that I decided to take full advantage of was her neutrals/background fabric. Just a few weeks ago, I'd been thinking that my small, well controlled stash was actually somewhat difficult to work with--trying to make a quilt only from my stash was virtually impossible, because I didn't have the right mix of fabrics. I found that going through Mom's stash was a real learning process for me--I paid close attention to the types of fabrics she had, what she tended to buy larger quantities of versus what were relatively small cuts, and so forth. I'm also keeping in mind how she had it organized as I reorganize mine. I guess, since I can't ask her for advice anymore, I have to learn by observing. Not quite as good, and certainly not as satisfying, but she's still passing on her wisdom to me, so I'll take it.By the way, even though about 75% of the fabric in these pictures is from Mom, my sister also took at least the same amount of fabric as I did, and there's still a TON left. Mom's quilty-friends are coming by this week to go through and take "remembrance pieces" for themselves (yes, you do grow to associate certain types of fabric with people), and then my afore-mentioned friend will be helping me put the rest in a quilter's garage sale.

Mom always laughed at me when I told her I was determined to keep my stash small. Now she's getting the last laugh.

I'm pausing in my stash-action in order to get a binding put on one of Mom's quilts--the first of her UFOs I'm tackling. I imagine that might be my next post.
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