Earlier this week, I was blog hopping and I'm not even certain where I read this because I was having blogger's ADD--you know, where you catch up on all your favorite blogs, but then start clicking on links from their blogroll, and then to links from the links...anyway.
This topic appears from time to time, sometimes in a humorous way, sometimes in a more serious way. The topic? When does a fabric stash cross the line from being a stash to being a problem? I know. Mostly it's pretty funny and a lot of commenters will say something like "there's no such thing as too much fabric." But is that really true? I look around my personal stash and know that if I never bought another fat quarter of fabric, I could sew for years and years....and years.
This week I emailed my friend, Crystal. She hadn't posted for a while and I just wanted to say hi and check in. I noticed that in addition to her quilting blog, she had started another one about simplifying her life. Now Mark and I have been doing this for some time after hearing a speaker's message really hit home to us. When is enough "enough"? When is your house big enough? When do you have enough clothes? Stuff is stuff, and finally when do you have enough of it? In this economy, it's no coincidence that people are downsizing, some by choice, some by necessity, and information on organizing your stuff is everywhere you look.
So my question: why is it so easy to get rid of other "stuff" in my life but I keep adding to my fabric stash? I admit to many, many impulsive buys. Someone will post a stack of fabric or a new quilt top and the next thing I know I'm at an online store with fabric in my cart.
About five years ago, I worked in one of the local quilt shops...until I could no longer "afford" to work there. Much of my stash comes from that period in my life, a period right after a traumatic event in our lives. Working with fabric was good therapy. After being there about 1 1/2 years and knowing I was going to quit, I felt the need to "stock up" because of my great employee discount. Any new charm packs that came in? I bought two along with some yardage to go along with them. No real plan in mind. But it was too good of a deal to pass up. Right?
Then last year when my dear friend Sue was battling for her life, I admit to using fabric as grief therapy. Yards and yards of fabric came into the house. No real plan for it. But it made me feel better.
So I'm making some decisions. I started going through my fabric, pretty much piece by piece, and asking: If I were to start making a new quilt today, would I actually consider adding this fabric to it? In any quilt? Ever? If the answer is no, it goes in a donation pile for my church quilting group. My extensive Asian collection? Soon to be gone. Batiks? Some gone now, more will probably be gone in the next go-around unless I can figure out a cool way to combine them with solids for a hip, modern look...
I have been exposed to fabulous fabric, fabric designers and quilt designers online that I wouldn't have even known about otherwise. My tastes in fabric and quilt design have changed dramatically. And a lot of the stuff on my shelves does not fit that style, and it probably never will.
Here's a prime example: two lines of fabric that I HAD to own because each was called "Charlotte" (yeah, I know, my selvage obsession kicking in again).
Jennifer wrote about the very same thing this morning. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I love the fabric I have and want to use it. It doesn't do any good just sitting there on the shelf.
So...much of what I have will go to our church group.
and some will be given away (so stay tuned).
Don't worry. I haven't become cured of my fabric addiction (sorry, Mark). But I plan to "plan" a little more and buy with more of a purpose.
And save my pennies for this line coming out soon. I hope.