‘Crowdstashing’: Marianne’s Fabric S.O.S.

posted in: Day In The Life, Quilting 25
That's the quilt in progress. And that's my sad mom. We're up at the lake house. It's time to crowdstash. Image: Me
That’s the quilt in progress. And that’s my sad mom. It’s time to crowdstash. Image: Me


People, we have a quilt crisis situation.

It’s time to crowdstash.

Crowdstashing is like crowdsourcing, except for fabric. I mean, this seems like it should be a word. Because if  you want to fund a lemonade stand operation, you can go on sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe and raise money from the proverbial “crowd.” Well, if you desperately need a specific fabric for a quilt — fabric that is definitely not available in quilt shops or online and yes, you checked everywhere — it’s time to call upon the quilting crowd and ask if they might dig into their respective (bottomless) stashes to see if they might have some of what you need. That’s crowdstashing, baby — and it could one day save your very life!

Here now follows an interview I did with La Marianne about an hour ago. I’m up here at the lake house in Door County and we’re back from the Friday night fish fry, but don’t let that fool you for a second. This is serious business.

PAPERGIRL: What’s the situation, Mommy.

MOM: I’m working on a major quilt. It’s likely be slated for a TV episode and for publication in Love of Quilting magazine. It’s a really big quilt: 110″ square. And it’s working, design-wise. The fabric, the patchwork. It looks good.

PG: Okay.

MOM: One of the two most important fabrics in the quilt — one I’ve had in my stash for more than five years — is a wonderful toile print, thin black on a creamy ground. I was thrilled I had so much of it when I started because the setting pieces are really huge: 26” squares, cut in half. But, honey, I made mistakes. In the cutting. One of the squares I cut too small. If you need a 27” square and you cut it 25”, it’s just —

PG: Yeah. That’s…not good.

MOM: Right. And then I wasted more of this fabric in a design error! When you’re making a prototype, you know, these things are going to happen sometimes. But now I’m really over a barrel. I mean, I don’t have enough fabric to do this quilt. And it really has to be that particular toile print in those setting pieces. It’s a real crisis.

PG: Now, I’m generally an advocate for finding a fabric that will work instead or changing the whole direction of the quilt, but a) you and I work differently, and b) you literally can’t do that in this case. This is not a place for winging it. This quilt is a serious deal.

MOM: The painful thing is that if I had not made those cutting mistakes, I would’ve had enough. But… There’s no turning back.

PG: I don’t want to undermine your pain, Mom, but people are going to love reading that you screw stuff up, too. You’re human. You measure incorrectly. You run out of a fabric you cannot get anymore, anywhere online or via the quilt mafia. What was the feeling you had when you realized what you’d done?

MOM: Sinking.

PG: Okay, so let’s take action. Let’s crowdstash. There are millions and millions of quilters out there. Most with incredible fabric stashes filled with fabric new and old. I’ll bet someone has this fabric, Mom, and if we make the deal sweet, you might just be able to get your hands on some. What do you need, exactly?

MOM: The fabric I need is by Anna Griffin for Windham Fabrics. The selvedge says “Anna Griffin for Windham Presents the Dorothy Collection Pattern #27189I”. And in quilt shop terms, I need a one-and-a-half yards.

[EDITOR’S UPDATE, 8/5: Mom needs the black on cream, not the brown on cream. We’ve found a good deal of the brown, but black’s the thing! xoxo, Pendennis]

PG: Oh, come on! Someone will have that. They just have to! What are you/we gonna do to sweeten the pot? You have to give back when you crowdstash. That’s the model.

MOM: Well —

PG: Ooh! We could talk about it on the TV episode! We could share the story about crowdstashing!

MOM: Yep. Great idea. And if I get enough of it, I’ll put it on the back, too. That would be terrific.

PG: And I can write it up for my Quilt Scout column. I’ll do that. That’s a promise.

MOM: Of course, I’ll pay for the material and the shipping. Gee, what if we get a ton of it?

PG: We could make dresses and wear those on the show, too.

MOM: Dresses and headbands and rings. That would be really funny.


***If you indeed have this fabric — and other pictures of it are coming on Facebook tomorrow to help identify — please email me a picture at mary  @ maryfons dot com. I’ll be checking back to see if this crowdstashing thing could actually work. Thank you!!!