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It's Not a Stash!  It's a ...


Mark Tiedeman of Quilter's Paradise

Stash - a secret store of valuables or money.

All quilters have stashes of fabric. They come in all sizes and shapes, are stored in all kinds of places and ways, and are generally a source of immense pride. The fabrics in a stash are prized possessions with some almost treated as dear friends. And, many quilters keep the amount of fabric in their stash a secret - especially from their spouses or significant others.

Unfortunately, not everyone - notably many of those same husbands and significant others, as well as non-quilters - views stashes quite so tenderly and lovingly. They just don't see the potential ... the possibilities ... the history ... the sheer joy in being surrounded by such fabulous colors and designs! Alas, they never read or appreciated Shakespeare who said:

What's in a name? That which we call a stash
By any other name would be as sweet

But history teaches us that words are powerful tools. And, so if you find yourself in a situation where someone is not appreciating your personal stash as they should be, we believe that using one of the following words instead of "stash" is just the trick.

It's a ... Situation
Collection When you want to convey that you are like a discriminating coin or stamp collector and can show that you have a rather diverse collection of fabrics of all different styles, makes and time periods. Especially valued is having all of the fabrics from a fabric line in mint condition. And, since it is well-known that having more than one of a given coin or stamp is better than having only one, then having multiple yards of a given fabric is certainly better than only one yard!
Assortment When you prefer to express that inspirational, artistic side of you who loves surprises and is chock full of creative ideas that often pop out of nowhere and from all directions. As Forest Gump could've said: "Life is like an assortment of fabrics ... You never know what you're gonna get."
Compilation The polar opposite of an assortment. All of the fabrics are neatly arranged, sorted, cross-indexed and exactly where they belong at all times.
Accumulation Some may think that an accumulation is an assortment gone out of control. However, you are quick to parry that ill-conceived observation and simply say that what you have is an accumulation of years of hard work and experience.
Assemblage Pronounced like "massage" (so as to give it an elitist, French nobility sound), this word is used in situations where you wish to showcase your eclectic and carefully selected fabrics - including those once-in-a-lifetime rare finds - purchased from the finest quilt shops all over the world.
Reserve You may be (falsely) accused of having too much fabric in your stash. One clever defense is to refer to your stash as a "reserve", much like fine wines have the word "Reserve" in their names. Such wines improve with age and you can confidently say that the fabrics in your "reserve" acquired many, many years ago will no doubt return in style and be in high demand. (Editor's warning: similar claims have been made by people who thought that lava lamps, pet rocks, shag carpeting, 8-track tapes and disco would all come storming back.)
Hoard Another similar defense to claims that you have too much in your stash is to call your stash a "hoard". You quickly point out that years ago, when coins no longer were made of gold and silver, people began to "hoard" them recognizing their everlasting value in good times and bad. You go on to illustrate your astute investing acumen by explaining that gold has steadily increased in value over the years and that cotton, too, is becoming an increasing valuable commodity.
Store We now enter the realm where your quilting cousin from Texas (where everything is bigger) is visiting and always brags about her stash: "Honey, with the stash I've got, I could open a store." Which leads to your response ...
Stockpile "That's nice. But with my stockpile, I could open a chain of stores from the Atlantic to the Pacific."
Cache Some people like to have their fabric in more than location so they don't have to transport it or don't want to worry if they forget to bring their fabric somewhere. Each location is a "cache" and commonly used locations include: under the bed, on the dining room table, in the garage, in the attic, in the basement, in the trunk of the car, at a friend's house, at the vacation home, at church, at the guild's meeting place, at work, and so on. No place is off limits ... or safe.
Backlog "Oh that? That's not a stash ... it's for all my UFOs, silly."

2011 Quilter's Paradise