Your Stash Motto: the secret weapon to better stash management


Want to get motivated to tidy up, make better decisions while shopping, and love sewing even more? You need this secret weapon… Your stash motto. Your stash motto is your guiding principle to how you collect and use your fabric and notions. It will help you feel proud of your stash.


Let’s learn about what happens if you don’t have one, how to create one, and how to activate it.


Download the free workbook and follow along here.


Picture your stash in your sewing room. What comes to mind first? When we think of our stash we immediately think of our fabric, but our stash is more than that. It’s actually all your notions and consumables, zips, buttons, interfacing, threads etc. Your stash is your big collection of supplies. Without a stash motto it can quickly get out of control.


What is a stash motto? It’s a structured way of thinking about how you acquire, build, store and use your stash. We all have thoughts about our fabric, and this creates your “un-official” stash motto. It probably goes something like this…


  • She who dies with the most fabric wins.
  • I might need it someday.
  • I should buy it because it’s on special.
  • I’ll get extra yardage “just in case”.
  • I’m only getting exactly what I need for that project. And this one thing.


Any of these sound familiar? Yep, that’s exactly why your stash is what it is. Your thoughts about your stash create your results. When it’s written down it’s easy to see why you might have more fabric than you could ever use.


Why should you purposefully choose a stash motto? Because then you get to control the outcome, and you can make it fit your situation and lifestyle.


What can happen when you don’t deliberately choose one? Here are some signs you could benefit from a well crafted stash motto.


  1. You buy too much fabric. More than you could ever use.
  2. You use fabric shopping as retail therapy.
  3. You have run out of space to store and organize your fabrics and notions.
  4. You feel overwhelmed by too many choices. You end up getting stuck and don’t actually sew as much as you want to.
  5. You have fabrics passed down to you that are degrading and may not be worth sewing with, but you can’t bring yourself to get rid of them.
  6. You struggle to remove anything from your stash unless it is stitched up into an item. Donating, selling, swapping or tossing is beyond your capabilities.
  7. You go over budget in stores, possibly by even double, triple or quadruple what you intended to spend.


I’m speaking from experience here. When I first moved to Canada from Australia I joined the local quilters guild. The kind ladies, upon hearing I had literally no stash, promptly gifted me all their leftovers, scraps, and cast offs. Which was wonderful at the time. I had so many choices.


But since then I have built my own stash, slowly. Their fabric scraps are still sitting in my boxes, taking up space. I have tried, so, so hard, to match blue stars with orange gingham and pink batiks – but really – there’s only so many ways to combine completely random fabrics. But passing it on has been challenging.


Enter…. The Stash Motto.


My current motto right now is “My Fabric is Findable.” I can easily pull out fabric as needed. This has helped me be ruthless in sorting and discarding fabric that no longer fits my quilting style, and organizing what I choose to keep. It’s a work in progress, but it’s coming along.


So what makes a great stash motto?


The magic of the stash motto is that it’s inspiring. It pushes you to action. The types of actions that create the result you want.


Picking a good motto here matters. It will impact how your sewing room looks and feels. It can inspire you to sew more or sew less. I’m assuming you want to sew more!


How to make a great stash motto? There are a few simple steps. Oh yes, I’ve got you covered with a worksheet you can download here.


Step 1. Look at your current (unwritten) motto. Decide if you like the result.


Step 2. Choose the new result that you want.


Step 3. Brainstorm some ideas. Get creative and have some fun here.


Step 4. Test it to make sure it will work as intended.


A quick note here, step 4 is included because it is possible to create un-intentional results here if you choose a motto you can’t actually live up to. Rather than being inspirational, an over-ambitious motto can actually be de-motivating instead.


Ready to learn how to activate your secret weapon? Bond, James Bond, style.


Be proud of it. Write it out and stick it up in your sewing room. Save it to your phone. Create a picture with it. Keep it on a card in your purse. Remind yourself of it before entering a fabric store. It will help you make decisions you are proud of. It helps you be proud of yourself, and the result you are creating. The more you see it, visualize it, and make it a part of your sewing routine the more power it creates.


Are you interested in creating a stash motto? It’s a fun activity with a morning cup of tea, or even in a guild meeting.


Where to start? That’s easy actually. Download the free worksheet here. It’s a step by step guide to create your own stash motto.

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Comment below or share your stash motto with me at 

Did you know:
This article first appeared in Online Quilt Magazine in July 2020. I write monthly for Jody, the editor.
It’s usually where my newest, most fun stuff appears first.
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