On Stockpiling

So… some folks call it hoarding, but stockpiling is a WAY nicer word, don’t you think? 

Either way, it’s thought by many to be one of the primal instincts, like the drive to protect one’s young, to procreate, and to survive…

Experts say that that the hoarding instinct is hidden in the genetic code of all humans, mostly a recessive trait in modern times, but like night blindness or schizophrenia, it can’t be ignored when it surfaces. The trick to keeping it dormant they say, is to refrain from activating the gene in the first place. Sometimes it’s the uncontrollable circumstances of life that activates the urge to hoard, like the way the Great Depression turned a generation of impressionable children into pathological savers, for example.

But for others, the urge to hoard is triggered by…..

  • placing that first batch of home-canned green beans on the storeroom shelves, or…
  • stashing that first freshly cut cord of wood in the carport, or even….
  • the perfection of a neatly folded stack of color coordinated batiks.

OK- it’s no secret that I LOVE fabric!  (And I’ll bet some of you do too!)

If I had to point to that moment in time that triggered MY urge to accumulate fabric, I think it just might have been in the Fall of 2007, the first time I felt the pure adrenaline rush of the Quilt Market. That’s when I knew for the first time that I’m not the only one who:

  • loves getting lost amongst towering rows of bolted cottons.
  • loves touching fine silks, textured laces, and velvety corduroys.
  • loves the thrill of a digging through a bargain table of reduced remnants.
  • loves ‘playing’ in a stash of fabric, refolding pieces and stacking it according to color.

And here’s the deal, don’t tell anyone, but I actually have a few pieces of fabric that I love so much, that I don’t know if I could ever cut into them, for any reason, or any project!

And I know I’m not the only one who strategically displays my new fabric on my cutting table for days before I cut it, just because I enjoy looking at it that much!.

But now, as I sit here surveying my studio, littered with bags of new fabric and free remnants fresh from the Quilt Fest in Tennessee, I simply have no choice! My love of fabric is beginning to overpower the storage units designed to contain it! There’s no room for anything else! As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to schedule an intervention with myself because.  I’ve developed a pretty bad case of “fabric creepage”, (otherwise known as the slow & steady migration of a fabric stash beyond the boundaries of its designated storage containers). In other words, it’s time for a good old fashioned


as painful as it might be!

It’s been over 10 years since my last stash purge (when I moved into this new studio) & what I would love to know…

Is there any way to avoid “fabric creepage“? Does anyone out there have a really GREAT system for controlling their fabric stash? If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I’d love for you to leave them in the space provided below!


And now, it’s YOUR turn!

If you have comments or suggestions you’d like to share about this design in general or this sample in specific, please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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  1. Dawn on July 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

    I don’t have a stockpile or hoard. I have a carefully curated collection of fabric that grew really large, but now seems to stay the same size. I used some, then replace it with other fabric.

    • Kat on July 25, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      I like that description! 🙂

  2. Mea on August 13, 2021 at 4:56 am

    I second Curated Fabric Collection. It’s the only way to protect good fabric doncha know. 🙂

    I used some of my fabric fabrics to make fabric bins to hold my curated fabric.
    That way I can see my favorite fabric every day and it does double duty to hold the other fabric.

    I fully believe my fabric ‘mates’ in the middle of the night because I’ve looked in my stash and come across fabric I don’t remember ever seeing before and know I wouldn’t have purchased something with a print like that! lol

    • Kat on August 13, 2021 at 5:38 am

      I LOVE the thought of that Mea! Thanks for adding that! 🙂

  3. Tommie O'Sullivan on August 16, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    I’m a night sewer. I’m not even sure that sewing machines work when the sun is out. Needless to say, anyplace that I would purchase fabric, thread, or notions is closed. I simply have to have enough fabric on hand so I can sew anything anytime, and of course, it shouldn’t be too similar because whatever I make should be influenced by the mood I’m in…silly, sentimental, extra creative, modern, traditional, etc.