Friday 31 December 2010

A year with my fabrics, the final stash use report

Today is the last day of 2010. This year started with a long cold period and with lots of snow. It looks like the end is the same: we have had snow for over 7 weeks already, and the temperature has been below freezing point all this time. The camera missed the little boy who was climbing and sliding down at this mountain of snow at the railway station last week, but you can see there is enough snow for games like that.

The wind has smoothed the shapes on the roofs.

In January I started keeping a record of my fabric purchases and the amounts of fabric I used. My intention was to reduce my huge stash, and only buy new fabrics if I needed them for a project. I had no idea how big the numbers would be by the end of the year. In December I reduced my stash by sewing some Christmas presents and giving some bits away, and managed to get rid of 9.9 m of fabrics. On the other hand, I couldn't resist some Christmas fabrics on sale a few days before Christmas, and I needed some tricot for PJ's I made for Christmas, so I bought 5.25 m in total. Adding these numbers with the previous statistics I see that I have used 82.5 m of fabrics in a year, and bought 32.15 m to fill the gaps (as if there were gaps!). It means a reduction of over 50 m in this time! I think I can be a little proud of myself. I have sewn lots of small projects this year, like tissue holders and mug coasters

and only a couple of quilts like this one for Stephanie's No Strings Attached Challenge

or this wedding present for my niece.

Many small pieces of fabric still add up to something , and I thought that if I can keep working with this efficiency for maybe 15 more years, using per week about 1 metre more fabric than buying in, the dent in my stash should be quite visible, 750 metres. I hope the coming year will bring new, inspiring challenges to help me reach my goal.

The Christmas fuzz is over and I can enjoy all the lovely gifts I had. Thank you dear friends for all the love and loveliness you sent! I don't intend to parade all my gifts here, but I need to show you what my beloved Mr. Kotkarankki made for me with his own hands. You remember I have been working on the Raggedy &  Friends BOM quilt by the Painted Quilt.

It means tracing the stitching patterns on the fabric, which I used to do against the window. In winter, this required careful scheduling so that I could do it in the short hours of sunlight, and my arms were aching from the uncomfortable position at the window.


DH always wants the best for me and only needed a little hint (and two remindings, as he forgot that I had given my letter for Father Christmas for him to be mailed), and this is what was in a big box for me on Christmas Eve:

The finest imaginable light table, with a long cord and switch and everything. He recycled our old light from the hall mirror to guarantee suitable light for the A3 size surface.

All the time he said he was working on his bamboo rod when he disappeared for hours to finish this for me. I had my suspicions! Now I just need to clear a safe space for this box. Maybe he could build me some shelves?

I want to thank you, my dear readers, for this past year, for all your comments and your lovely blogs which inspire me to use more fabrics, try new patterns, do kind things to others and use my skills for charities as well as for my own projects. I wish you all good health, inspiration and happiness in the New Year 2011!


  1. Love the wedding quilt - and what a wonderful Xmas gift from your husband!!!!Happy New Year!

  2. I love your "15 year" estimate and plan. Happy New Year to you, too!

  3. Happy new Year Ulla ;-)) !!!!!
    Wow Christmas. He is ever so sweet..
    Your stash use are very impressive indeed and I am sure that you will keep up the good "work".. I have not counted my meeters but I have finished a lot of my Ufo's and Other projects and I am very happy with what I have acomplished too..
    Take care and have a wonderful newyears eve.

  4. Happy New Year!

    What lovely quilts you made this definitely deserve a pat on the back for that stash reduction!

    Love the light box! (I also use a window...well actually the sliding door to the porch :)

  5. That is a huge reduction from your fabric stash! Well done!
    My hubby made me a light box similar to yours :) I use it all the time.
    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  6. What a thoughtful, useful and awesome gift from Mr. K. Not sure how many years I'd need to work in order to use up my stash. I find it hard to resist some of the new fabrics but yet I love my stash. So that is a goal for me this new year also--use more of what I have. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and creative New Year.

  7. I think you made a very admirable dent in your Stash, Ulla! I think I am down about the same amount as well, but truthfully, I am afraid to calculate the exact amount! Is that Mr. K's big shoveled mound in front of your house with him standing on top? What an incredible and thoughtful gift he made for you! I used to use the window as well, and can relate to how hard that was! I can imagine you have many new ideas for your light box! Happy New Year to you both!

  8. What a wonderful thing for Mr Kotkarankki to make for you! Especially considering how far north you are!
    I think that your stash reducing project went very well indeed- God grant you another 15 years as you say! And your quilts really are lovely!
    Glad you had a good holiday season, and here's wishing you all the best for the New Year! Lots more sewing and lots more interesting things to be doing!

  9. It is a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Your stitcheries will come to life with little less effort :)
    You used a good chunk of the fabrics from your stash. Great job!
    Wish you a very Happy and Peaceful New Year!!

  10. My goal is to use a lot more of my stash this year, and I'm impressed with your stash busting!

    Happy New Year Ulla!

  11. Congratulations on such fantastic progress on reducing your stash! I find it liberating to use up a fabric which has be lingering a while.

    Well done Mr K on making such a fantastic light box. I have one built in to the Ikea worktop and I can't begin to tell you what a difference it made to me not standing for a long time cramping my shoulders using the window. I hope you have many years of comfort with it.


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