Weeding tips…

anudge asked for tips on how I weeded out my stash. Here goes:

I used to keep my linen, vintage, hand-dyes, etc., in their own separate groups. I realized that I forgot about them when I was pulling fabrics for a quilt so I decided to merge all of my fabric.

I emptied the top shelf in my closet. I worked standing up at the long dresser in the bedroom where my fabric lives. I worked with one stack of at a time. I touched every fabric and decided to keep it, or not. The ‘nots’ went into bags.

The keepers were sorted into stacks of solids, lights, mediums, or darks. Where it made sense, I grouped similar shades of a color together. For example I have yellow-greens in one stack and blue-greens in another. I know that my stacks are going to eventually get messed up so I didn’t spend a huge amount of time on this.

Next I pulled my ‘special’ fabrics, sorted them and added them to the cottons in the closet. 1-yard big print pieces that will be used for backings are still separate.

Fabric Weeding 4

Let me show you how it works with a much smaller group of fabrics. The back story is that I have been inspired by friends to work on a quilt using Liberty of London fabric. My friend, Kathy (hi Kathy!) sent me a fat quarter bundle from the Liberty shop in London — how cool is that! I do love these fabrics from the bundle…

I don’t love these 4 fabrics. If they were just plain old fabrics in my stash, they’d be gone.

But I’m going to make a Liberty of London quilt and can’t afford to be picky! Plus all the fabrics in the bundle actually do play well together. (It goes to show that you can make just about any fabric work, but that’s another story.)

And the bundle fabrics look really good with my other Liberties…

So what does this mean? It means that there are some fabrics I like and some that I like less. When I have too much fabric, I have to decide what no longer fits. Making decisions is hard and it can wear you out if you over-think it. So I don’t think too much as I’m sorting. I put the cast-offs in a bag so that I’m not tempted to bring them back.

If you have more fabric than I do (and that’s a real possibility) I would suggest tackling one color at a time. If you start with yellow, pull all of your yellows, from everywhere. Put them on a big table or bed. Work through them. Put your tidy stacks on the shelves, ignore the cast-offs, move on to the next color. Don’t give up (you’ll be tempted). Power through it, you’ll be glad you did


7 thoughts on “Weeding tips…

  1. Thank you! I needed that as I have fabric coming out of everywhere. I admit some of it was given to me when three friends were cleaning out their stash. So why did I just add it to mine – I was just starting my stash. Now I realize we were four different quilters with different likes. It’s time to make it my own.


  2. As with completion of every project, I put away, clean up and clean my machine. Then, start anew. What about all those scraps? I have a scrap bag, now. And plan to stitch up mats and things to donate to my local animal shelters and vet. The animals need mats, pouches to snuggle on and in. They really don’t care about hues and such. Just something soft and cozy to lie upon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t keep every scrap, there’s a limit to my space. Those I do keep go into stacking plastic bins. I’ve got to sort through them soon. I’ll post pictures when I do.

      Please do click here to read about what’s new on my blog.



  3. Love your Liberty collection and I have many of the same ones! I lived in Japan for many years and the quilters there/then loved Libertys as well, so I collected fat quarters. I will be interested to see what you do with an all Liberty quilt. I went to several shows with all Liberty quilts and found them quite dull! I am sure you will make something wonderful.
    You are inspiring me to go through my stash too. Thanks, as always.


  4. Your destashing reminds me of the Konmari method. Every piece of fabric was touched and a decision make to keep or not. My take on that is that the fabrics kept sparked joy. Looking forward to your Liberty quilt as I love their prints, yet have not a clue on how to put them together.


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