My “Malignant Growth”

Don’t you love Jane’s husband’s term for her fabric collection? I do and it describes mine as well.

I didn’t realize how difficult this was going to be but I’ve already taken over 25 pictures in my house sewing room and can’t post more than that in one post. I know you’d all love to have me lay them all out so you can see the fabrics but that is not going to happen in my lifetime or in Connie’s.


As time goes on and I lay out fabric (which is my favorite thing to do) I will show you but my idea to show you my stash was a bad one. Yikes!

This is my sewing room in the house and my island is cleared off so I can start something this weekend – sounds like we’ll be snowed in for several days.

I pulled out another quilt from Beyond The Battlefield just because I like staging. Haha! This is Freedom, Oh,Freedom. Just look at all those shades of red!

I don’t always like help however. Here’s another helper – Millie in the bowl that held the paper white narcissus bulbs.

Oh dear, this is going to get long. Where do you find color inspiration? I just have to make this a separate post. Too much to write.

Here we go around the room. First the pull out drawers.

The wool tub.

The Kaffe Fasset cupboard plus a bit more.

A tub on the floor.

Small tubs on the front of my island with strips, starts and pieces.

A granite colander full of pieces for something.

The end of my cutting table.

A tub of rolls from Moda from years ago.

More strips.

This tub of reds is on the steps in the garage!

This is in the room above the garage.

And back to my sewing room.

And this is just in the house – I have the quilt shop, 20′ x 80′, that I have yet to photograph!

120 thoughts on “My “Malignant Growth”

  1. Jan from TN

    I’m seeing this post on Sunday, 2/24. I thought the one I saw yesterday WAS your shop so now I’m really confused. Hmmm…..

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan from TN – are the posts being delayed 24 hours because I did one on Saturday called Quilt Shop and today called Blizzard.

  2. lois palmisano

    Hi Mary thank you for the fabric tour. Nice to see all your helpers.
    I plan, possibly, to relocate and am donating a huge amount of everything sewing to the St Thomas church in omaha, on Q St. They are so happy. There are at least 30 people involved in all things charitable.
    Like the Y.E.S. program for teen mothers.
    They make a quilt for each of their graduates of high school. Every year! They welcome all donations. Fabric, tools, furniture etc. Also I have over 100 quilt books for them . they are happily overwhelmed.
    Lois in omaha

  3. Diane

    Oh, my do you make me feel at home. I started my first quilt in 1971. I now have over 50 years of fabric collecting….cannot give any of it away…love it all so much OMG Seeing myself thru your eyes…Wow…

  4. Connie T SE SD

    Mary- It would be such a shame if you didn’t have some fun fabric left from your wonderful quilt shop. You worked hard and long for it!!! Enjoy it!!! Besides that, you’re using it all the time!!! I’ll still call my abundance, archiving!!! Archive on dear friends!!!!

    The wind is picking up here. So, it’s coming. I kept hoping it was an early April Fools Joke!!!! What a winter!

    Take care.

  5. Linda H in SE MN

    Thank you for sharing your space(s) with us – I love it! I have especially enjoyed reading all of the comments on this post. Many have made me laugh out loud: kitty sitting in the taped square, quilting “ooze”, husband and children stash comments – every one has brightened my day… even with the approaching blizzard…ugh…
    Like most of your readers, I have a generous stash along with multiple machines, etc. It’s made me feel guilty for a while – thinking about my two sons having to deal with it all some day… until my oldest (46 yo truck driver) took up quilting about two years ago. Finally someone who can appreciate what’s here (machines, fabric, tools, books…)!! At least I know nothing will go in the dumpster! He has made four large quilts and a few smaller ones so far (along with 40+ bowl cozies for Xmas) and they are all lovely. He loves playing with the longarm and is getting pretty good at that too. It’s a hoot to hear him talking about Jenny and Eleanor and Bonnie and Ricky as if they are longtime friends. He’s watching videos and reading blogs during his down times in the truck and learning something new every day. We have a ton of fun working together…
    It’s so nice to see Reed working and learning with you. He will cherish those times for the rest of his life! And have a wonderful hobby to boot!! Or, maybe it won’t be a hobby for Reed, but a profession…I’m thinking of Doug Leko… 🙂 Thank you Mary for sharing your time and talents with us too!

  6. Betty Klosterman

    Is your sewing room in the house the “new” part between the house and garage? Or is that the room for your piano and plants? We can see the fabric you like, the Civil War patterns and colors, etc. Then there is the picture captioned “end of cutting table.” The pieces on the right of the picture don’t match your preferences. And don’t the lids from the cases of paper work just perfect for projects?? Absolutely love the whole thing. Keep quilting and inspiring all of us.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty K – yes, the sewing room is between the house and the garage. The piano room has windows on 3 sides – wouldn’t that be a fun place to sew? I do recycle every shoe box and lid that I come across and could always use more! Haha! Getting ready to post the quilt shop.

  7. Julie Burkhardt

    Mary, I love your sewing room and all the fabrics…reminds me of shopping at your shop and wanting to buy everything. I recognize some of those prints. I have several pieces of Country Threads fabric that I cherish and have an awful time cutting. Love being able to keep in touch with you. I, too, am sewing this weekend with the crazy forecast..Cedar Falls is on the line for the storm watch. Bring on spring!

  8. Ann Barlament

    I love your stash!! And as I lay here on my bed my mind wanders back to my house, before the clean-out guy took over. My fabric went to my quilting buddy but I wonder what happened to my huge box of thread, patterns and books, itty bitty scraps, collections of pieced blocks, kids quilts, Queen sized quilts, cutting mats and scissors. The list is endless and then I wonder if I will ever get back to my passion of quilting and a new sadness envelopes me.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann B – couldn’t you sew in your room? Could you sewing machine be altered in such a way you could run it with your hands – which are very capable by the way! I’ve seen your hats, mufflers, etc.

  9. Marilyn Miller

    I love the very first picture, it feels so warm and comfortable, inviting….like your shop was. Your stashes are deep, it’s true, but the creative joy you have is obvious. Those of us, many-I’m sure, look at your daily posts and pics with envy of your drive and energy. It’s fun, too, to look at your collections and see that I have many of the same, some of which were purchased at your shop when you were still open. Reed is a handsome and lucky young man to be learning from you and sharing time with your beloved animals! ❤️

  10. Jeanne H

    Dear Mary, I feel so much better about my stash now. Thank you for showing us yours, which is more organized than mine right now. ; )

    Thank you also for showing us the quilts you are contemplating making. I love making half-square triangle units, and there were lots in those blocks.

  11. Sunflower

    Love the pictures and comments today! Glad to know I can buy lots more fabric and still not have as much as this! Can’t wait for my Battlefield book to arrive. Enjoy sewing today. Michigan in for rain later today and ferocious winds tomorrow.

  12. Marlene T in upstate New York

    It is so nice that you have the pull out shelves in your cabinets. Most of my stash is in great big bins, which is a pain when you have to go searching for something. When I’m digging around in them I find many things that I had forgotten about. I am just finishing a quilt for my daughter’s birthday; I’m down to quilting the borders and have to do the binding. The quilt was from one jelly roll and I was so thrilled to find enough in my stash for both borders, binding and the backing!!! I am just starting to gather fabrics for the bullseye quilt. I love primitive decorating and this definitely fits the bill. I found at least 20 pieces of fabric in just a few minutes. I am glad that I am not the only one with this wonderful sickness that we all share. I live in upstate NY and have had many recent nasty weather days which allows for long sewing days. Another great invention for quilter’s is the Instant Pot – I can whip up a homemade soup in about 20 minutes which is a great break for lunch and then back at it.
    Thanks, Mary for sharing your sewing supplies. My goal for the spring is to clean up my piles of fabric, get organized and donate what I’m never going to use to my local quilt guild. They are a group of 200+ and everyone gets together to do service quilts and placemats for the local community. Well, I’m off to the sewing room to piece the binding strips. Happy sewing day to all.

  13. Rita Mulvey in CT

    I love looking what others have in their fabric stash. I have come to realize that my fabric stash is not to large but it’s my sewing room that is way to small. As my husband John has said it is starting to creep into the surrounding rooms. Mary your room is neater than mine is and you have plenty of room for more fabrics in there. My sewing room is only the size of a bathroom making it difficult to work on anything but small projects.
    Love the Freedom oh Freedom quilt I think this will be the first one I will make.
    Funny how our animals must be in the middle of whatever we are doing, as if we are entertainment fot them.
    Babysitting today for our Granddaughter she is 3 ½ and has all the games and activities planned for us. She is so excited.
    I’ve clicked a bunch of ads as always. Have a great day.

  14. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    It is all just wonderful. Enjoyed this. Will be sewing tomorrow as the snow comes and the 40 mile an hour wind. That is the plan for Sat. and Sun. We are all wondering about church on Sunday. Thanks for sharing.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz – I talked to our pastor and told him that I was going to make my decision Saturday night about coming in to church. If I wait til Sunday morning to see if we’re cancelled or not, I can’t sleep! He agreed!

  15. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Enjoyed the photo’s (I love it when I spot a fabric I have too) and the comments. What some readers know as ‘ooze’ we call ‘quilt creep’: the phenomenon by which quilting supplies gradually expand beyond the area originally allloted for their storage!

  16. Judy

    Sewing area….we get more exercise when the cutting area, sewing machine, ironing board, the display bed (my display wall) and the stash are in different areas of the house. Love your boxes of similar colors. I can see how you were able to start right away on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt. I have some colors laid out, but still looking for oranges in my fabric and what she uses for neutral. I am a plain color person for neutral, but gradually changing in my thinking. You can keep the snow. I think the jet stream has moved and we in central Indiana are no longer getting every snow event that you get. I am ready for spring! I can still sew in warmer weather.

  17. Dixie

    Enjoyed seeing your collection! I have never felt guilty about my collection, and it feels so good to support the designers who work so hard to come up with the gorgeous new designs. My Hubbie wouldn’t dare comment as he has his share of goodies (Harley, woodworking tools etc.) that he enjoys! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Kathy in western NY

    Such a great post showing what brings us all so much happiness. I love seeing people’s sewing areas. My husband ,bless his sweet heart, would love for me to have a larger sewing room cause I have so much more stuff now. He even would give up our larger master bedroom for me to sew in with all its windows and let each of us take the two smaller bedrooms. As much as I would love a larger area I don’t want to confuse our dogs who sleep with us on the king bed and i am happy to continue going between both small sewing rooms. Plus it encourages me to use my piles so I have some more room. I am like you with the tendency to pull and stage it all to admire the stack of fabrics together.

  19. Sue Munn

    Woohoo, I love it! You are my role model! I have at least that much fabric! And similarly organized. And, like you, I’m not fond of making large quilts, not fond of fussy overdone quilting, very fond of my animals.

  20. Ann Roth

    Mary, I was a shop owner 10 years ago and I have bolts, block of the month kits, tons of unfinished samples, books, piles of fat quarters, collection of antique quilts and unfinished tops, shop equipment, all in two places(homes). I love every bit of it and I enjoy going through it. I know I’ll never use it all, but who
    cares? I don’t feel one bit guilty. I had to close my shop because my husband became very ill and needed
    24 hour care. He has since passed and I am now in the process of downsizing. But my stash goes with me.!!!

  21. Susan E Lee

    Love the reds, love the paisley on yellow Moda roll! You have a great stash. My husband says yours is looking a little “light”. He has generously offered to send you “some”. He’s a funny guy. Thanks for sharing your photos. You are a brave woman! Can’t wait to see some more of “Nuthin’ yet. Love your blog. We all are sisters in this great quilting adventure together. Thank you for bringing so many of us together.

    Susan from Va.

  22. Gloria B.

    Love your pets and your stash.

    Mary, since so many of us loved your shop and love your and Connie’s style would you ever consider a retreat again? That was always on my bucket list. If not in the barn, maybe a location close to you both?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gloria B – the barn now has alfalfa in it even though the tables are still there. It’s filthy! Hmmm….I need to think about that.

  23. Diane in Central Ohio

    Love 💕💕it all, Mary!! Many years ago, my best friend and I joked that whichever one died first, the other would not go to the funeral home, but to the house to clear out all the fabric before the husband saw it all!! Little did we know that she would die of ovarian cancer in 2016😪. I did clear out all of her stash and held a garage sale to help her husband out. It was sad, but I have some of her fabric, books, and patterns which give me joy😊. I love to pet and play with my fabric, too. Enjoy it; you deserve it.

  24. Sharon Lowy

    Here in Yorkville, Illinois. I do not call my fabric a stash or a hoard. No Way! It is mt “Textile Collection” and I love it. I could roll around in it like Scrooge McDuck rolls around in money. I am a widow and live with my beloved cat. We have a quilting house and we sew all over it depending on the weather. Warm days find us in the sunroom and winter days find us in the sewing room. My kitchen island is a great space to square up blocks. My fabric collection is in the basement and so is my major cutting table, accuquilt Go, etc. it works for me and having the fabric downstairs really has cut down on the mess. It also helps keep me running up and down the stairs..forced exercise!

    I have 2 quilts ready to bind and will do that in the den in front of the fireplace. Peach will help by hanging out under the quilt while I stitch. I enjoy the handwork and like you,I adore my sweet cat.

  25. Linda

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary. I am showing this to my husband who calls me a fabric Horder. I am happy to see your collection. I have to say I think I have just as much. No bolts, but more precuts. The walls in my upstairs sewing room are cracking. I fear someday I will be on the first floor, not by choice. Can’t wait to see more.

  26. Marsha from Kansas

    Oh, Mary, thank you for sharing your stash. I can’t wait to see what is in the shop. It’s all sew beautiful! I recognized some of the fabrics, too. I retired about the same time as you, too, and never made it to your shop so would love to see some pictures. My stash “oozed” out about the house, too. My husband had a shed built in 1999 and I have tubs of fabric on the north half. Other necessities like Christmas tree and decorations and a lawn mower are on the south half. Plus a couple of boxes of “extra” Fiesta dishes. We don’t drink coffee so most are full of coffee cups and saucers. Then our son moved out and I started working at home, so I took over his room as my sewing/working room. Now that I have retired, the sewing has “oozed” out into our built-in garage which was supposed to be a dining room. But I worked in the back bedroom for 16 years. I was ready for new scenery so moved out here with a beautiful bay window view (of my husband’s truck in the driveway), but still much more light to sew by. I showed my husband the pictures of your stash. He is always commenting about my fabric in the shed, bedroom, and out here in my new sewing room. He said I was a “piker”. He loves to tell the story of how I “sold fabric back to the quilt shop”. I was doing a Thimbleberries block of the month and evidently somebody was being very impatient for their background fabric. The owner knew I had mine and I happened to be in the shop, so she asked if I would mind bringing my fabric back and she would order more. Of course, I went home and got the fabric for the customer. Didn’t want anybody upset with her or her shop! Enjoy your weekend sewing!

  27. Margie

    Wow! Enjoyed your pictures. I am also working on my bullseye quilt. I have enjoyed this quilt along. I have tried to hold back on buying fabric as I hope to retire and downsize to a camper trailer, I think I will buy fat quarters for bullseye quilts. I have been trying not to look at my copy of Beyond the Battlefield until I am on the plane in about 5 weeks to Arizona to visit our son. But I may have to peek at it!

  28. Sarah

    I love your stash and have stash envy! Thanks for being brave and showing us how you store, combine, organize and just be. I tell my friends when I over buy fabric that it is for my estate sale. I’ve had the fulfillment when I buy it, pet it, organize it at home. Using it is just a bonus. I love how Millie just sits there waiting for you to continue sewing or whatever. They are funny creatures. I live in the Des Moines metro area and will be in the same snow system as you are, Mary. But you win! Most of the snow is going your way and just missing Des Moines. I am getting so much sewing done this winter as that is all there is to do! Hooray! Have a safe weekend in rural Garner, Iowa. Keep on making Civil War quilt books! I love them all.

  29. Diane in WI

    What a collection of fabric ! I also enjoy getting out pieces of fabric to try them out for a project. I particularly liked the large piece of grey “fabric” laying on the Freedom, Oh Freedom quilt.

  30. Martha Engstler

    Your organization by color etc. is wonderful. You are so lucky to have space to store your fabric and love the pull out shelves. I have them in my kitchen but yours are great. I love pictures of your crazy hair chickens also.

  31. Deb R. - SW Minnesota

    What wonderful fabric. I keep my stash in a walk-in closet and on a large bookshelf. My husband only thinks I have the fabric he sees on the bookshelf and thinks I am out of control!!! If he only knew….hehehe. We are supposed to get snow starting tonight again so I do plan on sewing the weekend away. I need some fabric therapy after a hard week. We have over 30″ of snow on the ground in southwest Minnesota. I have no idea where we will put the snow from this next storm. Looking forward to the next set of pictures.

    1. Diane in Central Ohio

      Hi Deb, Are you anywhere near Sherburn, MN? My Nana left Ireland in 1905 and settled there. Just wondering. Diane

  32. patti leal

    oh, a lovely time i’ve had looking at your fabric pictures. so many pieces are in my house also. i’ve had numerous people tell me to get rid of bunches of mine. not gonna happen unless i say so. i donate lots to charity but i usually donate finished items.i think the pictures just go to show that the majority of quilters are alike. we really like having the tools of our trade available to us. what if we get a wild hair and want to start something in the middle of the night and the stores are closed? no worries. almost everything i have was bought for a purpose – even if it was to go toward scrap quilts. when i pieced my dear jane, i thought i had to have a yard of each fabric. what a hoot! have tons still. but i love it. it’s always good to know i’m in good company. take care and be safe. patti in florida

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patti Leal – don’t you just love the fact that we all belong to the same select group? Sweet!

  33. Jess

    Oh, Mary! This is exactly what I needed to see today! I received some bad news from my doctor and was feeling down. Your BEAUTIFUL fabric collections brought a big smile to my face. I drooled on my phone seeing the tub of Moda fabrics!! That first bundle with the paisley on yellow background is stunning. Be safe and God bless.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jess – you take care, too. I know our little group all sends their love and support!

  34. Gayle Shumaker

    I thought my stash was large ( my husband is sure it’s huge) but seeing yours makes mine look minuscule. That’s probably good because my sewing room is an enclosed front porch on our 100 + year old house. The old saying “ you can’t swing a cat in it” is actually quite accurate of it’s size. Thank you for sharing your life. Country Threads was all the rage when I learned to quilt. I was away from it for many years and didn’t recognize any of the names my fellow quilters were talking about until they got to the two of you. I was thrilled to know you were still active. Loved Beyond the Battlefield and am trying to decide what my first project will be.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayle Shumaker – yes, we’re part of the dinosaur era of quilters – haha! That’s what Mary Ellen from Little Quilts calls us, she included!

  35. Gramapama

    Love the pics of your stash, and all the animals. Lots of ads to close today! I’m taking your advice and staying home to sew this weekend. We are on a line expecting either rain or snow … flip a coin. I guess that’s how the weather forecasters roll. Ha!

  36. Kathy Hanson

    I love it all! Wonderful comments from everyone. I don’t have that much space but I have filled it up for sure. My husband makes no comments (smart man!) about what I buy as far as fabric is concerned. That’s good, he says I have a lot and that’s true. My daughter will be the one to take care of that eventually. We have different tastes but she will decide. In the mean time, I will sew lots of it and try not to go to many quilt shops and find more things I can’t live without!! Love that your kitties are “helping” with everything. All the cats that I have ever had seemed to think that any fabric, etc. that I had around, especially on the floor, were just for them. Have a wonderful weekend of sorting and quilting.

  37. Betty Klosterman

    What a wonderful way to go!! I’ve loved fabric forever. Seventy some years ago my 25 cent allowance was spent for 3″ of fabric for doll clothes. Seems like I also like to “collect” fabric and love to pet it. Don’t know where I stand in the size of my stash, but Mary and Connie have a way head start on all the rest of us. I think that I would just die if I didn’t have access to my piles and patterns with all the hope of what I want (or will) make. Once I told my husband that some of my quilting friends buy fabric by the whole bolt to which he replied “If you ever do that, I’m out of here.” I just got the biggest grin on my face and replied “Is that all I have to do?” He didn’t know there were 3 full bolts in the bedroom!!!!! He stayed.
    In the meantime and between snow storms, I think we should all go to Mary’s for a snowed in sewing fun. We could take food, sleeping bags………
    And don’t forget. The one with the most fabric wins. Those who criticise my stash sure don’t complain when something is made for them. And my will says that all my sewing stuff, fabric, patterns, etc go to the Project Warmth group of our guild. Bring a medium sized truck, 2 men and at least 2 large boys and they MIGHT make 1 trip….. The group will be thrilled to get it and will do wonderful things that I wanted to do.
    Just look how we can enjoy winter inside where it is warm.

  38. Suzanne Beech

    Wow!!! What a blessed woman! Can you adopt me and i will just live in your sewing room! No food needed.

  39. LouAnn Engelhardt

    I wouldn’t mind getting snowed in at your house this weekend. It would not be a bit boring! Thanks for sharing.

  40. Ellie

    Thanks for the tour, Mary! None of us should feel guilty about our stashes. If we were painters we wouldn’t limit ourselves to just a handful of paints so as quilt artists we need fabric to work with. Besides it’s fun! Can’t wait to see the shop!

  41. Diann Smith

    We all live the same life but more fun to view another’s stash. I love your fabrics. Been trying to get into my sewing room for three days but hasn’t happened. Maybe tomorrow.

  42. Launa

    SO WONDERFUL TO SEE NUTHIN YET!!! Good thing I finished ordering some new NUTHIN before I saw yours a few ago. I needed a few new backgrounds; just wish I’d receive 3 day mailing here in my part of Idaho, but it takes longer.
    Tis sunny, but was zero this morning and up to 18 degrees @ 1pm now. Snow is coming for weekend n more.
    Thanks for sharing!

  43. Bonnie McKee

    I loved seeing your stash pictures! I feel much more “normal” now! Ha!
    Happy weekend!
    Bonnie, in chilly Oregon

  44. PJ

    WOW!!’n I thought I had a lot, but then again I did
    not own a Quilt/Fabric shop, which I miss coming to😒 but thanks for sharing love seeing it all♥️

  45. Judy Linn

    What a fabric tour!!!
    All the comments are great!
    NO guilt here!
    Mary, I LOVE the lines about just pulling and out and playing with it- that’s using it!
    And staging with it! I remember a “display” 🍭 lollypop Of fabric that I kept for years! Cause I could never bring myself to open the packaging! Ha! I have NO idea if it is still in a drawer!
    Hugs to All!
    Judy in Texas

  46. Judy Schimmel

    The next time I hear a complaint about my stash i will share these pictures. I have to say mine is no where near yours. I am in the use up mode just to have space in my sewing room and to divest of old fabrics. My daughter is praying that I get lots of quilts done before life ends cause she dreads having to deal with it all.

  47. Elrid Johnson

    I have to say how much I enjoy all your posts. I think I have a fabric addiction. I have been widowed since 1991 and if my husband walked in the door, his words would not be complimentary as this addiction has spread through the house and into almost every room in spite of intentions to be in control! But I tell my kids to be glad they do not have to entertain me but I know my daughter has concerns about eventually dealing with it all. I do have a finished “body of work”but much more that needs to be done. Thanks for your sharing.

  48. Wendy

    Wow!! I often joke that I own enough fabric to open my own store. I see now I am in good company. Also, I would think the fact that you used to actually have a store is a pretty good excuse for the size of your stash. My kind of quilter! Loved the peek inside your inner sanctum.

  49. Dianne H. in Ohio

    I loved looking a your fabric. I even saw some fabric that looks very familiar because it’s in my stash, too. Thanks for sharing, Mary.

  50. Holly Woodyatt

    Mary-I saw so many fabrics in the pictures that are in my own stash. It doesn’t take long to get out of hand does it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sherry Whalen – it’s even on my calendar just in case I could get there even if it was just to drop by but the weather forecast is so bad I won’t be going anywhere this weekend! Stay in and sew!

      1. Sherry Whalen

        I don’t blame you! Several people came last Tuesday, and now Jode just came down and told us we could stay till Monday if we had to. I came on Thursday, roads were partially covered but I took my time. It sure is pretty out today! One group is leaving today to beat the weather. What a winter!!

  51. Carole

    Your stash is exactly what I would expect for someone who once owned a quilt shop. If you didn’t love fabric, why would you ever have a shop? My guild often receives donations of fabric from other quilters, and it always finds a home, so I don’t worry about what’s going to happen when I can no longer quilt. Worst case, they’ll talk about my ridiculously large stash, and by then, I won’t really care!

  52. Mary In Indiana

    A few years ago there was a news article about a woman who died and her family discovered she had amassed 15,000 (!!!) yards of fabric. She didn’t buy by the yard but by the bolt. She must have lived alone – how could she sneak that much by her husband.

    1. Judy Linn

      Mary in Indiana

      My Dear Hubby is a fisherman with LOTS of rods and Reels. And he ties his own flies – so his file drawers are full of feathers, skins, felt and he even comes to my studio for certain colors of thread every once in awhile! He says he canNOT believe the men he knows who try to hide their purchases when they come home from shopping! Ha ha! We laugh and laugh about that! I am SO GrateFULL he has his “thing” and I have mine!
      Shop on, Girls!
      Judy in Texas

      1. Jeri

        Judy, my husband and I have a similar situation. I have my sewing machine(s) and fabrics and he has his guitars. We are both happy and of course encourage each other on our hobbies. Thankfully lol.
        Jeri in Corpus.

  53. helen

    For those of us in this similar situation–please keep coming out with more books and patterns to decrease our “stuff”. Bless you, Mary! Stay warm and safe.

  54. Joy

    Whats the saying, ‘if a friend tells you you have too much fabric, avoid them! You don’t need negativity!’ Heehee. You could be snowed in for a long long time and never run out of projects! Have fun! I’m planning on hiding out in my sewing/crafting cave the next day for sure! Not sure how much snow we are suppose to get in NW Iowa, but the wind could be a real issue! Thanks for sharing your stuff!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Joy – if you’re in NW Iowa, you’re going to get it before us and I think it sounds just horrible! Stay in and sew!

  55. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    I am blessed!!!!!!!!!!! Now I can show my husband your stash and he can’t say anything about mine nor my book collection ever again!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE all the fabric you have to work with, but it would be very difficult for me to make choices! I would want to have them all in every quilt I made! I do realize having a business that closed garnered much of this – but you do absolutely have a wonderful assortment! And yet you have to shop every so often!! 🙂 🙂

  56. Lynn Handberg

    I enjoyed the photo op! I love looking at fabric of all kinds. I get enjoyment just looking at my stash, it’s colorful and cheers me up on the gray wintery snow days up here in MinneSnowta. I received the Beyond the Battlefield book from you last week and really loved reading all the women’s stories. Amazing people! And the quilts are wonderful! Thanks to you and Connie for the new book

  57. Mary

    Wow. Good for you that you have lots of options and love that you are sharing with Reed. Not crazy about the name yoour friend’s husband gave her stash but we’ew all unique.

  58. Peggy

    Waiting to see your shop as my stash looks much larger at the moment. Feel much better knowing I am not the only one. I will never use up everything but that is OK. Just trying not to buy much more and use what I have. You have thing organized much better and more working space than I do. Thanks for your posts. Always enjoy your newsletter.

  59. Vickie L. Devore

    Your “growth” must be related to mine! I saw several pieces of fabric that I have in my “growth,” which isn’t nearly as large (smaller pieces in some cases), but there was still a lot “of mine” to see. LOL Thank you for all the wonderful sharing you do.

  60. Lisa in snowy eastern Washington state

    Oh my gosh, I must be the only FREAK in the bunch. The pictures of your stash just made me tired. I have problems when I get too much of anything, I start to feel like my possessions are controlling me instead of me in control of my stuff. I have been quilting since 1975, my stash probably looks like I’ve only been quilting for 6 months. It’s very small, I only buy what I need for a specific project. I learned long ago to quit buying fabric “just because I liked it”! I have 3 shelves in a 5’x4′ closet, 5 small drawers in my sewing tables and 8 tubs under my 12′ longarm frame. These hold all my longarm thread, serger thread, sewing thread and embroidery machine thread (I am a thread junkie!), UFO’s, works in progress, patterns, books, my longarm tools/supplies, my travel Bernina, my embroidery software stuff, my embroidery machine hoops and all my notions for any type of sewing I do. I routinely donate any extra or unwanted fabric to my local quilt group. I do want to comment on the beautiful Freedom, Oh Freedom quilt! Obviously you didn’t quilt it because it has something other than straight lines!! Enjoy your snowy weekend! Thanks for sharing all the pictures! I always look forward to your posts!

    1. Nikki M

      Thanks for sharing…I don’t feel bad now..I am not alone!i just want to come play in your room!!!!

  61. Rainie in Maryland

    I was in my sewing room yesterday and came to the realization that perhaps I may just have too much. I have a general idea of where most things are but as my husband so often tells me “you’re oozing out”. I sew upstairs in a bedroom, down stairs in what is supposedly my sewing studio, I have also oozed out into the family room and there is a small room where I keep some of my books and now this room has my cutting table, ironing board and a serger and sewing/embroidery machine). It is so hard for me to throw away a usable piece of fabric that can be sewn into a crumb quilt. I have been making a lot of miniature quilts and those little pieces come in handy. What’s a girl to do…I guess just enjoy the clutter and sew to my hearts content.
    Mary, would you please post some pictures of your chickens with the wild hair. They always make me smile. Thanks for your blog I always look forward to it.

    1. Brenda in Iowa

      I just have to comment on your post. “ooze out”! I love that phrase!! My sewing room was supposed to be my oldest son’s room when he moved out. It is in a finished attic but difficult to have a lot of sewing space since the roof is angled.
      Then, I had a significant amount of foot surgery and could no longer climb the steps to the upstairs. My husband brought my sewing machine and other items I needed and I took over the north end of the living room (the piano is now buried under mounds of fabric). The area around my sewing machine is surrounded by totes of fabric both inside and out. It looks like a hoarders area. I had to purchase a room divider screen so as not to scare off guests.
      Then, last August, my mom died. I’m slowly taking ‘things’ over to her apartment on our farm as I want to develop that area (a bedroom, living room, and dining room) into a sewing space for me and my quilting buddies.
      There! you can say I’m oozing out too!!

      Mary, I about panicked when I read the subject line of your post – My malignant growth! I thought you had found out you had a growth somewhere (I guess that’s the nurse in me – jump to the worst case scenario. So glad you’re ok. I LOVE, Love, love reds. So nice to see all your reds. Thanks for sharing your inside space with us. Can’t wait to see your sewing room in the old shop. Do you just use the chicken coop or do you also use the other smaller building for quilting?

  62. Mary from Quad Cities

    My guilt has gone away after seeing your stash. Ha ha. I’m glad you let your cats and dogs “help you”. Life is too short to not let them be themselves.

  63. Robin Boggan

    Thank you Mary for sharing your pictures with all of us! Makes me feel good that we are all a like! I’m like you it is fun to just gather fabric colors together and see what you come up with. 😊 Have a wonderful weekend sewing!

  64. Katherine Gourley

    Oh and did I mention that I have a ruler addiction and collections of pinkeeps and vintage sewing notions

  65. Katherine Gourley

    Oh wow! After 22 years in this house, my hubby finally agreed to let me finish off almost half of our basement and create a sewing space. The main space is about 15 x 27 with a separate walk in closet. Being a basement it has a lot of nooks and crannies and odd things to work around like the foundation of the fireplace upstairs, a sump pump, electrical circuit box and a mandatory egress window. It is now time for doors and trim and I cannot wait until it is done. I have fabric, sewing machines (yes plural), cutting machines, a serger, cutting table etc., stashed everywhere in this house. I hope it all fits. I have an ample stash of cottons and wools (I love reds too). It is definitely a malignancy.

    I have told you in other posts that coming to Country Threads was on my retirement list, but you and Connie retired at the exact same time that I did. I have been in mourning ever since. I have all of your Martingale books and many of your patterns from which to use some of those reds that I so love. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Katherine Gourley – unfortunate coincidence that we retired at the same time. If I come across pictures of the shop from years ago I’ll try to post them as Miscellaneous! Ha!

      1. Katherine Gourley

        Hi Mary,

        Thanks for the reply. I am almost 69 and have admired you for years and feel a connection to your life through your posts. I call my decorating style “Early Thrift Shop” style. I cannot resist some things from the past and like you, they often come home with me. I went crazy over your old sewing/scissor cadddies.

        I would love to see pictures of what I missed.


  66. Arrowhead Gramma

    Oh Mary, I am so not feeling guilty about my stash after seeing your photos. I really consider my stash as a security blanket knowing it is there to start a new project. You go girl!

    1. Kristin

      Hahaha Mom! I like your stash too – it’s my favorite place to “shop”. Thanks for sharing Mary and easing some of my mom’s fabric guilt! Enjoy your weekend indoors – stay warm😊

  67. Diana

    You crack me up! So glad you find humor in your stash. Too many of us think we have too much, but I think I have “just enough”. Sew on ,Mary!!

  68. Donna Sproston

    This makes me feel so relieved. I have everything in five big tubs. My hubby is a neat freak and I try to keep it on my side of the basement when sewing. Since my quilting journey started with your charm school books, I am content with small things that I can piece and quilt. I agree on straight line quilting too. I have discovered the zig zag stitch built in to my Janome that gives a puckered look.

  69. Patricia

    Oh wow Mary. You look like a normal quilter with lots of fabric. It is terrifying at times when I look around at my collection and I can go into a panic attack. just knowing I could never use it all. I can just hear my kids saying ” Geez Louise, Mom had a problem.” However that doesn’t prohibit me from buying more anytime I’m at the quilt shop. I have a question. I noticed the table you have your machine mounted on and was wondering if it was specially made for you or purchased and if so what is the brand? Thanks Mary. I so appreciate you sharing your life with all of us and enjoy all the stories and photos. Looking ahead to Spring – I hope.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patricia – it was made special for my machine – do you want some closeup pictures?

  70. Margie Fisher

    THANK YOU MARY for the fabulous glimpse of your stash. Have to say, you DO have more than me!!!
    and so fun to see, one after another, DO NOT part with any of it, you will NEED that piece one day for sure.
    Love visiting with you every day, and so do millions of other quilters. LONG LIVE SCRAP PIECING !!!!!!
    PS your new book is even better than all the others, and that’s saying something.
    Can’t wait to see what all you still have out there in the quilt shop….

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Margie Fisher – the quilt shop is coming but probably not till the weekend. You girls have made me feel like part of a quilting sisterhood!

      1. Lee

        mary, so fun to see your fabric. Quilting is a hobby after all and fabric makes this girl happy.
        Too bad we can’t all show our”stuff”…..
        stay warm and I will try to stay dry. Have fun everyone! Lee

  71. Carrolyn V

    Bless you, Mary! Showed it to my husband who began to appreciate my stash!! LOL. But he (who lost his first wife to cancer) says if I enjoyed buying it, enjoy petting and occasionally pulling it out to appreciate it and dream of possible uses…..that is good enough for him. And if and when I actually use it, that will be a bonus!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn V – I have decided that if I enjoy laying it out in color combos, that’s enough. I do not have to do anything else with it – life is too short!

  72. Diane Bauer

    Oh, what a wonderful sewing space!!! And the fabrics! Oh, the fabrics!! I LOVE red–my absolute favorite color (I have a red dress on to go to work this afternoon!)! I was afraid to put red in my Bullseye because Quilts from Aunt Amy didn’t really show much red in your model, but the reds went in anyway and I love the end result! I haven’t made a red and white quilt yet (somewhere on the list of to-dos), but the vast majority of my quilts tend to be some form of red, white, and blue. Guess I was always meant to be a patriotic military mom!
    Millie cracks me up! What is it about cats and wanting to be ‘in’ something?? Our Gizmo crawls in any box that happens to be sitting around. Someone once suggested to me that I tape off a square space on the floor with painters tape and watch to see what happened. You guessed it! Gizmo climbed in and sat for quite awhile!
    I can’t wait to see what develops on your cutting table and sewing machine over the weekend! With all of that fabric to choose from, I’m sure it will be spectacular! We got some light snow overnight and this morning. More headed our way from Arizona, of all places. I’m hoping not to get too terribly much as Jenica is coming home this afternoon and wants to spend time at the barn with Pete and Patch. We will also be cooking as she asked if I would ‘fill up her Tupperware’ if she brought it home to me. That will be fun as I also have a friend I want to make a few meals for. She is coming home from a trip to Iceland where her husband fell and broke a hip. Not the way any of us hope or expect a vacation to end!
    Have a good weekend, All!

  73. Tanya

    Oh, the colander! Oh, the reds! Oh, that GREAT long cabinet of fabulous fabrics! Oh, the Moda rolls! Can you see that I am drooling over all of the luscious colors?? Thanks for sharing the photos.

  74. Sue Dietz

    I feel so much better. You are not alone nor am I. Because. Different colors come out each year, I feel I want to enlarge the palet.

  75. Elizabeth Rickert

    I loved seeing all of your fabric! I don’t feel so bad now about my stash. Not that I did anyway! Plus you have me some ideas about storage. I am going to clean out the armoire in the guest room. I can store a different color in each drawer. Yay! Thank you.

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