We’ve all probably met one, often without knowing. Chances are, you may be one yourself, even if it’s hard to admit. But your studio gives you away.
People who sew, quilt, craft, and work with fabric often find that their love of textiles runs delightfully amok. Their “stash,” the supply of fabric for future projects, is as fascinating as the projects themselves, because it’s filled with so much possibility.
For Kathy Snow, a sewing artist extraordinaire who, 57 years ago, regularly spent her $5 allowance on enough material to make a blouse or summer dress, fabric is fabulous. The possibilities to be created from her stash, while not endless, are pretty expansive.
The Fabricophile Stash
“I started collecting fabric boards from Joann’s so I could wrap my fabric on them,” the Dayton, WA, sewist says, describing how she and her husband recently re-did the shelves in her sewing room to hold her collection of cloth.
“I have 168 bolts of fabric. Most of them have at least four yards and some have eight yards.
“Plus I have several containers full of fabric for the holidays.
“Then let’s talk about several flats of fabric that are anywhere from one to two yards each.
“Oh, and I have a chest of drawers full of fancy fabrics for costumes or doll clothes.
“And I also have 16 large totes full of various fabrics.”
She has . . . a lot of fabric.
Snow, who sews just about every day, creates everything from doll clothes to full-sized quilts, from children’s dresses to mug rugs and microwave cozies, from child-sized aprons to adult kitchen fashion. While she’s game to take on just about any project and simply enjoys her time in the sewing room, Snow confesses an especial liking for Christmas, both the fabric associated with it and the holiday itself.
“I love all the pretty red and gold and green, and, well, just about everything about Christmas.
“One thing that makes the holiday so special is getting together with family, and this year I’m hoping for real snow this year for Christmas. The first year we moved here (from California) we had lots of snow, which was a bit of a surprise.” As an added bonus to the holidays, Snow also creates decor for the outside of her house, something she started doing upon moving to the area.
“I like creating different decorations for the various holidays, and it makes me happy to display them. And I think it makes others happy to see them.”
Having sewn for so long, Snow has seen trends come and go, more-so with clothing patterns than with the fabric itself. But because of that stash, with some fabric dating back to when her adult granddaughter was a baby, Snow enjoys access to a broad selection of styles and designs. Sometimes, the fabric dictates the project; other times, the project cries out for a particular fabric. Either way, Snow has the means to meet the need.
Visiting Fabric Stores
And of course, because she is a true and genuine fabricophile, Snow is always on the lookout for something new, something different, something unusual, something distinctive from what she already has. She regularly visits fabric stores, both small and big, and speaks with pleasure of her visit to Hamilton, MO, home of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
“They own the main street. There are nine different shops and a work area for retreats. It was overwhelming to visit each shop.”
Overwhelming, but memorable. As is each and every treasure from her stash, just waiting to be formed and fashioned into a work of creativity, something to bring pleasure to another. The only limitations, really, are time.
“I sure hope I can sew up all this fabric, so my daughter won’t have to deal with it. I need another 20 years, I think!”
And that’s if she doesn’t add any more to the stash . . .
Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.