The Hidden Fortune in Quilters’ Stashes

Quilting enthusiasts are known for their passion, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail. However, one aspect often overlooked is the substantial amount of money invested in fabric stashes. These collections can accumulate over time, leaving quilters with unused or unwanted materials. Enter the art of destashing, a practice that not only reclaims space but also recoups some of the costs invested in the fabric. Destashing allows for renewed creativity and the exploration of new textiles.

The Stash: A Valuable Investment

For quilters, building a fabric stash is akin to building a treasure trove of inspiration. It becomes a personal collection of colors, patterns, and textures, representing countless possibilities for future projects. However, as this stash grows, so does the investment required. High-quality fabrics come at a price. Quilters often find themselves with a considerable amount of money tied up in materials that may never see the light of day.

In her book, American Cotton: Farm to Quilt, Teresa Duryea Wong shares that the average dedicated quilter in the US has an estimated $6000 worth of fabric sitting in their stash. $6000!

The Case for Destashing

Destashing offers a solution to the problem of unused fabric. By selling or trading unwanted materials, quilters can recoup some of their investment and pass on their treasures to other enthusiasts. Not only does this provide a financial benefit, but it also allows for a refreshing change of scenery within the quilting studio. Creating space promotes creativity, as quilters are inspired by the room to explore new designs and experiment with fresh fabrics.

The Art of Destashing

Destashing is not just about getting rid of unwanted fabric. It’s a thoughtful process of curating and repurposing. Quilters can organize their stash, evaluate each piece’s potential and identify those that no longer resonate with their creative vision. Online platforms, local quilt guilds, and community swaps offer opportunities to connect with other quilters and find new homes for the fabric. This exchange breathes new life into the unwanted materials, while also providing a chance to discover exciting new additions to the stash.


Quilters’ stashes are often hidden treasure troves, holding significant investments in fabric. Through the practice of destashing, quilters can recoup some of their costs while making space for fresh creativity and new textile acquisitions. It’s a win-win situation that benefits both the quilter and the quilting community at large, fostering inspiration and connection.