For Your Visual Delight: 2014 Stash Report

So, the time has come! The year end reckoning with graphs and whatnot! First, the whatnot:

  • Used in 2014: 351.25 yards
  • Added in 2014: 181.5 yards (yikes!)
  • Net Used for 2014: 169.75 yards
  • 2014 Used for Charity: 125.5 yards (36% of total used)

My feelings on the whatnot: I was getting very wrapped up the idea of meeting a net used milestone of 200 yards, because that is a magical milestone that I had hit the previous two years.  I came to realize this was being a bit ludicrous because:

  1. If we weren’t living in a society that used a base 10 numeric tracking system, 200 wouldn’t have that much meaning
  2. The nature of my sewing shifted a bit this year with a lot more bags and totes and fewer large quilts
  3. I changed jobs and focused more on performing well in it than taking out frustration at being in a boring role to make quilts on my down time. I happy to report it was worth it and I’ve gotten great reviews this year and an unexpected raise.
  4. Lynn and I went in on a bulk purchase of some bolts of Amy Butler fabric, which I picked up yesterday. If I hadn’t reported that intake I would have been at an even net 200 yards, but it would have made me dishonest and that’s no way to behave for the sake of a number no one is holding me to, or to ask my friend to be dishonest, too.

Also, that fabric is SUPER PRETTY. It was a group of nearly full bolts of Amy Butler fabrics.  I have 5 yards of the pink, green, and orange at the top, 4 yards of the blue, and 11.5 or so of the orange print at the bottom, for a total of 30.5 yards into the stash. Some of it will be used for the Grand Illusion mystery quilt back, but I’m not sure which yet.

I did finish Mum Medallion last night, which is about 10.5 yards used. I am still working on quilting the Lone(ly) Rainbow quilt, and have fabric cut out for 14 pillowcases, both of which I’ll work on today.

And now, some graphs! First up, my charitable usage:

I’m at a place in my stash that I don’t have a lot of large fabric pieces that I don’t already have plans for to use for pillowcase bodies , so the charitable usage might slow down as I divert to smaller, different types of projects like pouches and journal covers.  I’ve been pretty consistent at finishing the year with around a third of my usage going to charity.

For my net used, you can see the taper effect of the year-end fabric intake in 2014 (the yellow line).  There’s the usual dip in early February in every year thanks to the Super Bolt sale at Tiny Stitches, and some frantic sewing for holiday presents at the end of the year (which wasn’t so present this year - only small sewn gifts were given by me).
So, having tracked my usage for three years now, I can report that I’ve used 1,306 yards of fabric. A third of that has been donated to charity in various forms of pillowcases, quilts, zipper pouches, journal covers, and placemats. My net usage in three years is 617 yards of fabric.

I’ve been asked by various people if I’ll share the formula I use to calculate yardage for a finished quilt, or the spreadsheet I use, so here’s both:

  • Here’s a blank copy of a spreadsheet set up for 2015 in Google Drive. You can’t edit this copy, but you can go to File > Make a copy and save a copy to your own Google Drive that you can edit and track your stuff in.
  • In this spreadsheet, there’s a section on the right to calculate the yardage for a finished quilt. Just plug the dimensions into the yellow cells and use either the “small pieces” or “large pieces” estimate. For a “final” number, I’ll increase that number by 15% for a quilt with a lot of small pieces or applique, or 10% for a quilt with larger pieces.
  • The actual formula is below. Remember proper math functions and do the calculations in the parentheses first! And do your multiplying/dividing before you do your adding.

(Length * Width)/(36*42)*2+(Length+Width)*2/42*2.25/36

 So, go forth and track! Or don’t.  Not everyone gets as excited about spreadsheets as me.



10 Replies to “For Your Visual Delight: 2014 Stash Report”

  1. Thanks for the formulas. I want to track my fabric this year. My goal is just to reduce my stash anyway I can
    Happy New Year

  2. Thank you for the spreadsheet. It will make my 2015 tracking much more efficient. I am happy you were recognized for your value this year.

  3. So those Amy Butler fabrics are making me drool, for starters. And if you look at the usage you were way ahead this year, except at the beginning and the end 😀 And last, way to go on your 3 yr used amount!! Thank you for the google doc, should be interesting to track! We shall see 🙂

  4. Is there any correlation between your stash usage and major economic indicators such as the OPEC oil prices?

  5. Love your graphs and your analysis of why certain times of the year look like they do (February, December)!

  6. I am in total agreement about your stash. Net used is not the goal of quilting. You got a real nice gift of fabric! You will use it, much of it for giving to others, you get happy by making stuff and that’s the goal. After all, a happy Mum is a happy family!

  7. Thank you for the spreadsheet. I was in denial that I might need one, but having just hit the “buy” button after committing to a Sew My Stash in 2015 group, I was clearly wrong.

    Regarding your year end numbers, I was listening to your podcast tonight thinking that having a goal of 200 yards net used is good, but if getting to that number means you turn down gorgeous fabric at a great deal, or even free fabric, that you know you will use…..then it takes the fun right out of it. And we do this to be happy, right? Oh, and make beautiful things that make others happy too. Yes?

    Don’t beat yourself up. You are still a rock star when it comes to sewing stuff!

  8. Thank you for the spreadsheet. I have decided to use/give 200 yds of fabric in 2015. YES, I DO own that much. 200 yds won’t even be missed. Because I am a procrastinator, I usually put off until about November to try to meet my resolutions. However, this year, I am breaking the year into quarters. Therefore, 50 yds per quarter is my goal. I am already -4 yards! Yippee!
    Love, love, love your podcast. Thank you for your time and your uplifting energy.
    Sylvia Q. in Los Angeles

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