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Spring Cleaning? How to DESTASH!

Alright, we admit it. We have a small problem collecting LARGE quantities of fabric. Be it yardage, fat quarters, precuts, kits... we all have a few scraps cluttering our sewing space and when spring cleaning begins, we often brush over the sewing room. "I'll just pull this door closed -- nothing to see in here..."  But maybe it's time to give some attention to our favorite creative space and, dare I say, let some things go. "But how?" you ask, "I love everything in there!" I'm here today to answer just that -- HOW TO DESTASH.

A true de-stash means allowing yourself time to really go through things. Give yourself space to handle each item. It might seem overwhelming but think of it as time spent with all the glorious fabric you have loved and collected through the years; a trip down memory lane of sorts. Let it be enjoyable! We'll break it down into simplified tasks and take one step at a time. Now, let's get to work.

Before you dig in to the many piles surrounding your sewing machine (How did I know? You should see mine.) I'd like you to become familiar with four key questions that you can ask as you consider each piece of your stash:

1. How does it make me feel?
happy, sad, inspired, discouraged, energized, overwhelmed, appreciation, disinterest, unsure...
2. Does it hold sentimentality?
familial ties, personal memories, antiques, tells a story...
3. If I had time right now, would I be excited to work with it?
Like, right now... Not last year. Not next year. If you wouldn't work with it now, when will you?
4. What is it's value?

Is it worth the real estate it is currently filling or would it bring more value/joy if it were sold/donated?

Use the above questions to help you decide which of the following four categories your stash can be sorted into below:

1. Things to keep
2. Things to sell
3. Things to donate
4. Things to discard

Kits, kits and more kits... When sorting, it's a good idea to move through your stash by item type. For example, I always start with kits. They typically take up the most space. If I become familiar with all my kits first, I will be able to identify other stash items that may go with them (patterns, backing, etc...) as I come to them. It's easy to identify my purpose for a kit or any feelings attached to it and they are often a hot commodity that can be resold to another quilter at a good price. Kit sorting usually goes quickly and makes a good dent in the stash so it's a motivating place to start.

To finish or not to finish? That is the ever-burning question. "Unfinished objects" (UFOs) and "works in progress" (WIPs) can be included in kit sorting since they are usually gathered in some sort of storage organizer. It's easy to assume that since it's been started, it must be kept. I'm telling you right now, that's not the case. If holding that UFO brings you down in any way, give yourself permission to let it go and move on. It's stifling your creativity. Accept what you have learned from it and pass it along to another quilter who may find joy in it. However, if you feel you have been connected with a long-lost friend that you can't wait spend time with, then by all means, keep it!

Quilter's Library: it's an essential part of a sewing space and the second area I like to tackle. Use the same four questions when sorting books and patterns. Some quilt books are coffee table worthy and I find myself pouring over them as I would the works of the masters. Those I keep. Some come and go with the trends and the tides. Those I let go. Now is a good time to remind you to please honor copyright laws. It is acceptable to resell a previously purchased pattern as used but it is NEVER okay to make copies of patterns and distribute them in any format without the author's written consent.

So. Many. Precuts. There's something so satisfying about holding a full line of fabric in the palm of your hand and they're oh so convenient to pick up on a whim. Therefore, precuts tend to take up a good amount of space in the stash. Precuts include items like fat 1/4's, fat 1/8's, 5" and 10" squares, and 2 1/2" strips. Since their sizes are predetermined by their cut, they store nicely and even look lovely just sitting on the shelf with all of their fabric friends, BUT if they don't score highly when you ask the four questions, they're also an easy item to resell or gift. Precuts are an easy place to slim down your stash!

...and now the rest of the fabric. I like to break my fabric up into two categories; yardage and scraps. I consider anything over 1/2 yard to be yardage (above) and anything less to be scraps (below) but you can determine what works best for you. Again, and this is the tedious part (but you're nearly finished), hold each piece of fabric (even if it's just long enough to toss in the proper bin) and determine if it's destined to remain in your stash. This is a great time to organize by color, size, or any other method you prefer but the key is letting some of it go.

Now that the sorting is finished, what's the best way to complete the DESTASH? Let's stand back and look at our four categories but this time in reverse order.

4. Things to discard
Hopefully your smallest pile. Bag it up and haul away now before you have second thoughts.
3. Things to donate
Contact local schools and donate to students or a quilt guild where they may be used for charitable projects. There are even groups that will use scrap fabric and batting to make pet beds for shelters! Whatever cause you find, move that donation pile out before it reclaims space in your room.
2. Things to sell
This is where our S.A.B.L.E. SALE comes into play! See the listing below and reserve your space today! If you don't live nearby, we encourage you to pull together a similar sale with your quilting friends. You'll be delighted when other quilter's see the value in what was once your stash. Many quilter's have found success hosting their own destash on Instagram. Search #destash to see what I mean!
1. Things to keep
Most likely your largest pile because, let's face it, we need fabric in our lives and a lot of it. But now that you know what you must keep, you can put it away in a more orderly fashion (that's another topic for another day).

Success! Success! We've done it! We've done it! (name that movie...) We have officially completed a thorough destash. Now, if perchance you discover you have destashed a little too much, I happen to know a little place in Springville, Utah where you can always find more... wink, wink.

We have opened 10 last minute vendor stalls so if you were on the fence about selling some of your S.A.B.L.E. now's your chance to jump in! Reserve a vendor stall for $25 online before they're gone. You can even team up with your quilting BFF and destash together!
S.A.B.L.E. SHOPPERS GET READY! Find fabric, food and FUN in our parking lot Saturday, May 20th!

You know we can't send a newsletter without introducing at least one new quilt! New to the shop, Candlelight is a classic design by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns. Natalie Smith pulled a controlled mix of black, grey and off-white to piece this traditional quilt made using two block styles. A gold binding highlights the little bit of sparkle found in the gold metallic print used in the quilt. The effect is like shadows dancing in candlelight across this 63" x 75" quilt top. Kits are available in-store and online here for $124.99.

Upcoming Sales & Events

Saturday Sampler
Beginning Saturday, April 8th
The 2nd Saturday in April happens to fall on Easter Saturday. We will still have April's kits ready to pick up beginning that day (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and as usual, we will allow a one week window for you to bring in your finished blocks to receive this month's kit free. It comes around quickly this month so be sure to get those blocks finished up!

Magic Word Monday
This Monday's Magic Word is "DESTASH."
 Enter the magic word as a coupon code online 04/10/23 to receive 20% off QUILT KITS!  Local customers can repeat the Magic Word at the register on Magic Word Monday and show that you follow us on social media for the same great deal! 
Some exclusions may apply. Cannot be combined with other offers. 
We will not hold items or pre-cut yardage for this special offer.

Handwork Club

Every Tuesday, 10:00am - Noon
This delightful weekly club is for anyone who would like to work on a hand stitching project while learning new hand stitching skills. It's a great chance to finish our own projects and relax with a fun gathering of sewing friends. No fee to attend. Simply come and join us!

Wrong Price Wednesday!
Every Wednesday our pre-cut fat quarters are only $3.00! Regular Price $3.75.

Time Out at the Wagon (Open Sew)
Every Wednesday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Put yourself in Time Out at the Wagon in our School House located directly behind the quilt shop! At times we all need time out from housework, phone calls, and everyday responsibilities. Bring your current sewing project to “Time Out at the Wagon” and do just that. Marsha is looking forward to being in Time Out and hopes lots of you will join her.

Thank you for supporting your local brick-and-mortar quilt shop!
We feel honored to be part of such a wonderful quilt-making community.

We hope you'll visit us again soon,
Jen and the Girls 
at Corn Wagon Quilt Co.

We would love to hear from you!

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