Friday, January 18, 2013

Get a grip

There has been kind of unsettling start to 2013. I'm not going to blame it on being the Year of the Snake (but I'll say it again....shudder!), and I can't quite put my finger on it.

I have had a hard time getting my creativity kickstarted this year. I have been quilting for a long time. In the course of that time, I worked for a quilt shop for a year and a half. Over the course of all these years, my quilting stash has become, um, somewhat out of control extensive. When I worked at the quilt shop, I justified my purchases because the employee discount was really a good one. Then when I decided to quit, I justified my purchases because I would not longer have such a great discount so I better stock up, save for retirement, etc. A few years later, I started shopping online. The prices were good and fabric was delivered to my door.

My stash grew. It was mostly organized (by color) in the guest room. It expanded to my office. It expanded further into the sewing room. I realized I could never use all this fabric if I quilted full time until I died!

My tastes changed. I decided to destash. I donated bags of fabric to our church quilting group. I donated more bags to the church quilting group. My friends had full access--"Take anything you want. Really. Take it...."
Candidate for "Finish it 2013"
But designers kept designing great lines of fabric. Lines of fabric I had to have. Then a new line would come out that I was desperate to own, and the previous lines got shoved back on the shelf, nearly forgotten.
Scrappy love--it will be even better when it is completed
I have recently come to the conclusion that, for me, having too much to choose from has become a problem for me. It is overwhelming, and thus paralyzing my sense of creativity. It has started to hamper my ability to make a decision. I don't know where to start or what to choose.I have lost confidence in my ability to make good color and fabric choices.
Something is a little too bright here
Even though I have given/donated/sold what seems like yards and yards (and yards) of fabric, there is still more than I will ever use.
Getting close to sending this out to be quilted
Something has to change. Seriously and for real this year. I'm not making a resolution. That kind of thing almost guarantees that I will start obsessively thinking about fabric. Kind of like when you start a diet and can't think of anything but sweet potato fries or donuts or bacon or chips and salsa (and now you know what I think of...)
Ruby turns 1 this week--finishing this soon would be a good idea...
I have been trying to simplify our house--clearing out--things are no longer relevant to our lives, things our kids won't want to deal with later on, things that are taking up space for no reason, things we don't really need. It is easier for me to "breathe" psychologically in a space without all the clutter of "stuff."
Waiting for inspiration...
I want to breathe more easily in my sewing room too. Here is my challenge: I am not going to feel guilty about the fabric that is left after doing extensive destashing--because in reality there is still a lot of it. I'm not going to give away my fabric just for the sake up making space. And I also haven't told myself that I can't buy new fabric. But I'm also going to try to actively resist the pull of the latest new line. Will working with what I have ignite some dormant creative ember? I sure hope so! I guess only time will tell.

What are your thoughts? If you are a quilter with a fairly good-sized stash, does it ever feel overwhelming? Does it ever hamper your creativity? Or does it inspire it? Just curious.


05 08
Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts said... #

I've only been collecting fabric for 18 months, but my stash is pretty large - so I'm on a fabric diet this year. It is so hard seeing all the awesome lines coming up and having to resist!

Elizabeth Dackson said... #

Good question! I've got a lot of fabric, and there are definitely days where it feels a little daunting to pull from it, and those are the days where I wind up inadvertently adding to the stash by buying something new for a project rather than using what I've got. Destashing recently helped a bit...until I went on a fabric bender and basically restashed as much as I destashed. I, too, want to try to use my stash more this year, but resolutions and I don't agree, so I'm with you in trying to just will it to be done instead of calling it a resolution. Good luck!!

Marit said... #

First of all, I am so there with you on this year being a bit blah so far! Better pick up soon! That stash business is hard. I so often get inspired by what others are making with some new fabric line and then after getting it, I don't like it as much or it just gets stowed somewhere and forgotten. And then I feel guilty when I look at it later.. I guess what I will try to do is start with deciding on a quilt/project to make and then finding the fabrics for it, aiming to use something I have. And then only buy fabric if I need it for that specific project. But I know I'll buy some lines just because... Oh jeez, do you know a quilter who is not a fabric hoarder? Don't think I do.

Lucy | Charm About You said... #

The year of the Snake won't start until February 10th (chinese calendar) so you'll have to find something else to blame ;)
I think your decision is a good one. I've only been quilting for a year and definitely have enough fabric already for lots of projects! I know if I say I won't buy anymore it'll make it worse (I'm totally one of those people that hates being told what not to do!). I have been quite good at only buying for specific projects though and thinking twice before hitting that computer button - do I really need it??
Maybe take out some of that stash and roll around in it, I'm sure inspiration will continue to strike! I like looking at something inspiring or a quilt pattern and thinking what fabric do I have that would work with that.

Anonymous said... #

I have a large stash that I am slowly using up. I have been using up what I can with scrappier, pieced quilts & projects. I find that buying fabric is best when you have a project ready to make. Not alot of leftovers & the fabric gets used in a specific amount of time instead of sitting on a shelf & getting forgotten. However, as mentioned about in a comment, having a stash & hanging on to some of those fabrics is what quilters do. :) I sometimes feel overwhelmed or over-inspired as well. I find at these times if I read a book or find some other means of outlet other than sewing helps me clear my head. Best of Luck to you with getting your creative mojo back. :)

beaquilter said... #

my stash has been growing a lot lately, because I joined a FB froup that sells fabrics CHEAP, first I would buy fabrics with a plan, now I buy because I like them- very dangerous, but I have maybe 8-10 small cubbies in my studio for fabrics and once they are filled I have no other place to put anything and most of them are filled, my BLUES are in double layers, so I can't see what's behind....
I LOVE playing in EQ7, do you have that? I will sometimes sit and look at my fabrics and design something to go with the fabrics.
If you follow my blog, you know my UFO list has over 30 things on it:)
what DOES help too is to have plastic bins with each project in it, my neighbor started that and I adopted the system, she has many more bins than I do. so put the fabrics in the bin with the pattern so it's all ready. I have maybe 6-8 bins like this. stackable of course.
sometimes it also helps to look at old magazines and get INSPIRED again, then put it aside and pick fabrics that you like, you can always put the fabrics BAK.... with my ufo list I sometimes just work a LITTLE on a project, then get tired of it and put it back in the bin, or use a "boring" one as a leader and ender project. hope this helps- now go fundle your fabrics and look at old patterns...

Emily H said... #

After reading your post i just knew the comments would be long. You hit a nerve with me and many others I,m sure. What I appreciate the most is your honesty (and generosity- You've got a lucky sewing group at church and friends). My goal this year is to incorporate more old garments and shirts into my quilts. More repurposing and less buying new prints. I will try and limit most new fabric buys to solids because they make everything else work.

http://thankfullga447 said... #

I am new to quilting but I can see how I could buy fabric and build up a stash. I am lucky my church has lots of donated fabric (thanks to people like you) and we have to make quilts for charity so I get my fabric fix. The best advice is I met a group of women in a guild and I mentioned to them how do you stop buying fabric - they told me that the price of fabric has gone up so much that they use the fabric they have brought from years back. Set a goal and don't buy until 4 months from now. Don't go into your LQS for a long while and don't buy on line. My one friend only buys fat quarters. My other friend started a quilt shop because she had so much fabric but that is a large investment and hard work.

elizabeth said... #

Yep, I am with you. I haven't been sewing or blogging much lately. We moved at the end of 2012 and I took that opportunity to give lots of fabric, books and magazines away. I am using what I have and adding new fabric less often....I am blessed to be able to play with fabric so I guess I better get back in the game Inspiration is everywhere!

Paulette said... #

I hear you on so many levels. While my stash is not as large, it seems like I could use it for a long time and not have to buy much else. I've got a frugal streak (if that's even the word I'm looking for) though, and I'm always pretty excited when I can incorporate something I found at the thrift store (or inherited from my mom's stash) into a quilt and it seems to work. So that motivates me more than the latest fabric line, although I will say that last year I went a bit nutty buying new fabric. It will get used, but it's funny that when I go to pull something, it's usually what's been in the stash awhile, or even scraps from projects past. Good luck to you in your goal for this year. I think a lot of people are in the same place and appreciate your honesty. I do!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said... #

I could have written this same post Cindy. I'm not going to feel bad, just try to clear some fabric out that I know I'll never use and enjoy the rest. I really have only been buying to finish a project (or maybe to make just the right dress for my granddaughter)!! Just pick up a project and finish it - it'll feel good.

Betty said... #

Boy, did you hit the nail on the head (and a nerve!). Totally guilty of stashing and I have way too much fabric. I now look at new lines for the piece or two that are great blenders and may or may get even those. Fortunately, I don't have any/many WIP's, but I do have too many boxed projects to start. SO this year my resolution is to just make 'em - give them away if I want, but to make what I have. period. I donate (stash) periodically and it always feels so good. And sometimes I decide a boxed project won't be worth my time so I repurpose the fabric. We are all fortunate to be in this position, but it is so an addiction.

Lisa said... #

I'm new to quilting-sewing so my stash is pitiful. I folded and organized by color the other night and I have maybe 5-6 pieces in each color of the colorwheel. I'm very low on yellow and orange, oh how I would love to have some of yours. If you decide to destash a little more in those colors, shoot me an email and I'll buy some from you. lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anjeanette said... #

I can totally relate. I try to resist buying fabric unless it is for a specific project. I know that I change my mind about fabric later on. I go back and forth between wanting a nice big stash and wanting to just buy for specific projects. I am trying to stick with less is more.

Carla said... #

We are blessed aren't we? I have a dresser full of fabric that I rarely think about. I have slowly been giving it to church ladies etc. at least you can use some to make the blocks for the mid century girls ; )
I work in a quilt shop. Enough said.......

Sara said... #

What is the name of the FB group lol?

Sara said... #

New lines come out constantly so it IS REAL hard to control the urges:/ I am on a budget so that is what holds me back fairly well. I am trying to use only my stash,but I am always looking for a good deal on Kona solids or what not! I also bought 1/2 yd of Flora by Lauren and Jessi Jung yesterday with the solids oops!

It can really become an idol if I , you don't watch it too. So it can be scary,but we try our best and keep on, keeping on!

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

I don't often buy fabric that isn't for a specific project (no money!) so although I have a few boxes of 'I've collected this fabric for a quilt in these colours that I'll make at some point in the future' I don't have loads of fabric. If I ever see photos of other stashes mine looks quite small but I only started quilting when I became poorly so I've never had the money to buy fabric without thinking carefully about it and I also don't have the concentration to shop online for it - it's not the ideal way to reduce/not build your stash but it works ;o)

I hope your creativity comes back - maybe just take some time to play with the fabric you've got. Take it out, find friends for it, leave them on the table for a day or two and then either make something with them or put them back and start all over again. Just give it time, 'cos the more you try to make it come back the further away it'll get! Take care xxx

Wacky Woman said... #

Oh yeah! I'm right there with you sistah. I am doing small projects this year pulled from my stash. I cannot promise not buying "some" fabric however.

felicity said... #

Yep, definitely. I don't tend to buy full lines, but I do buy "on spec" and it has worked some times and not others. When it doesn't work is when my tastes change (destashing on craigslist/donating ahoy!) or when I just don't seem to have enough of anything to meet a current project's need. But that can lead to some really interesting and creative fabric choices - finding a combination or solution that's creative and unique.

I'm resisting buying more fabric. It's not a fabric diet per se, but I am asking myself the really tough "do I really and truly need this?" questions as I stare down that 10 metres in my online shopping cart. But I admit that the frenzy around the newest fabrics makes me feel that I'm a little behind the times when I look in my stash for fabric options and see stuff that came out 3 or 4 years ago.

Talk about first world problems, eh? Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

Terriaw said... #

Amen! Yes, I have a large stash of fabrics too. I used to buy some or all of the new lines put out twice a year by my favorite designers. But I haven't done that in years. My sewing room doesn't have any more capacity; neither does my schedule. So I stopped following those blogs and sites that announced new collections, thus eliminating the temptations. I'm not perfect, so I allow myself to buy a couple stacks of fabric throughout the year, but I am so much pickier than I used to be. I try to figure out what I would use fabric for to justify the purchase. Since I don't have a job and our income is half what it used to be, it has taught me to appreciate and cherish what I have, and use what I have. I feel lucky to be on my current path, which makes me love my current stash even more.

Linda Carrier said... #

My focus this year is downsizing in every area of my home. The intent for the entire year is to buy only what supplies or fabric I need to finish projects I've already started. I have three large project I want to complete. We'll see if that holds up. For the first time, my daughter, granddaughter and I are going to do a craft booth in the Autumn, so this is one way to use up several supplies of every kind I already have. The proceeds will go toward college tuition, so it's for a motivating cause.

Linda Carrier said... #

My focus this year is downsizing in every area of my home. The intent for the entire year is to buy only what supplies or fabric I need to finish projects I've already started. I have three large project I want to complete. We'll see if that holds up. For the first time, my daughter, granddaughter and I are going to do a craft booth in the Autumn, so this is one way to use up several supplies of every kind I already have. The proceeds will go toward college tuition, so it's for a motivating cause.

Anonymous said... #

Hello ,my name is Carol and I am a fabriholic! It's been 1 month since my last online purchase! I totally agree with you. I am conciously not going to by fabric this year. It is hard as there are so many beautiful fabrics but I do have lots in my stash too. Thanks for the reminder. I am going to make this blog entry one of my home pages. Carol Wilkie

Katy Cameron said... #

I've only been quilting for about 15 months, but I've built up a fair size stash. I have bought a lot of it for making bags rather than quilts right enough! I want to take time this year to make all the bags and things I bought fabric for (for the bags I didn't buy lines generally, just things that were in sales and went well together. For the most part I've only bought fat 1/8th or 1/4 bundles or 1/2 yards of full lines, and even then I think I've only actually bought about 7 or 8 full lines! I want to wire into my clothing fabric too, which tends to get overlooked because of its current storage location, but there will be a location change shortly that will allow me to see and access everything easily, so I hope that will help.

diane said... #

I just started quilting a few months ago but had gotten into the bad habit of buying fabric for things I think I might do some day. My stash grew considerably for such a short time and now I am seriously thinking about every purchase. A few yards adds up fast and my wallet has taken a beating. Unless I am starting something new, or need something to supplement what I have for an 'in progress project' I am not buying it. I have plenty to play with for quite a while.

But if anyone wants to destash - I do have plenty of space!

Susan said... #

I have the perfect solution- move down under. At least where I live there are few quilt shops to frequent, fabric is twice ( or more) the price it is in the States and postage from there to here is ridiculous! Therefore it's just too expensive! It's like being on a diet- if the food is there in the house you eat it! If the fabric is accessible and affordable you buy it! Consider this- if I need 4 yards of backing to finish a quilt it costs me $100 of designer fabric! I rest my case...

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

I am a sale junkie and can never resist those bargains - I know my stash is pretty modest, but I still have a lot of fabric I either think is too good to use, or too awful! So I am making a concerted effort to use as much of what I love before I buy more; so far this year, it seems to be working!

Deb@asimplelifequilts said... #

I've been indulging in sales the last month... but that is winding down. One thing that helps me is that my stash is not stored in my quilting room! At first I was trying to figure out how to get it up here but now I'm glad it's stored in my laundry room where I used to sew. Since I'm so focused on UFOs (which ARE in my quilting room) the stash doesn't tempt or distract me. I run down when I need something but that's it! I shop my stash for quilt backings and then I close those doors tight. I hope you come up a solution that works for you. Post destash bundles on your blog or Etsy and I'm sure you'll have buyers!

Anonymous said... #

I would love to take some of that stash off your hands! I am trying to make a few scrap quilts, but being a new quilter I don't really have a stash!

Farm Quilter said... #

When I started quilting 5 years ago, I figured every quilter had to have a stash, so I went about building one. 4 years ago I bought a longarm and found that I prefer to quilt on the longarm rather than piecing quilts, but I forgot to stop buying fabric! Then quilt shops would go out of business and sell me their fabric for $2.50-$3.00 a yard, how could I refuse??? I have so much fabric it has taken over the guest room, I have about 50 tops that need quilting and customer quilts that keep me busy. I still fall in love with fabric, I'll fill up a shopping cart online, then I close that tab and never buy. It works for me. I've also unsubscribed from every quilt shop mailing list. If I think I really want to buy fabric (patterns, thread, books, tools), I'll put it off for 48 hours and by then I usually forget all about it!

Carla said... #

Cindy, you have seen my stash. Since I sew primarily from my stash, it seems about right for me. There are things there that have been there for, let's just say..a few years though. I also have given a lot away that no longer floats my boat. Some would say that I still have a large stash, and I guess I do in the fact that I could sew for many years w/o buying more. I have a fairly small space to store my fabric and so far that works to keep me from overflowing into another room. I usually just buy 1/3 to 1/2 yard pieces of fabrics that I like. The problem comes when I buy a whole line...I get sick of it before I use it all up. Sooooo for 2013 I am telling myself no more complete lines and buy only what I really love. Like you, I love to start new projects and so the UFO's are what gives me pause to think, more than the fabric purchases. Great post and I enjoy reading the other comments.

Nita said... #

I can only dream of having a stash big enough to actually sew something out of! I could easily shop in your stash room, lol! Actually you are can become an emotional burden when you are surrounded by too much. You start to feel stuck. So I'll suggest donating some of your stash to people who make quilts for charity - that way you get to destash and your money and fabric is going to a good cause. I make quilts for charity and Iknow that it is hard to pay for the fabric all by myself, and so I don't make the quilts I would love to make for those who could really use the comfort a quilt brings. Donated fabric, which comes from good hearts,is much appreciated. My experience is that those who donate fabric usually are giving away the ugly stuff they don't want to use themselves. So I know there are people out there who would love it.

Nita said... #

Our fabric here is expensive, too (Canada). I pay $18/m average in the town I live in.

Anita said... #

Wow, I think a lot of people could have written your post :) I too have a huge stash, part because I used to work and just bought because I wanted everything in a line. Since I now stay at home it has been hard trying to stop my shopping ways but I am trying. To try and help me I'm focusing more on buying for a specific project instead of "gotta haves". I also think buying neutrals, backgrounds, etc., are okay cause you can always use them. As for the year of the snake...that's the year I was born so I'm hoping it will be a good year :)

Anonymous said... #

You hit the nail on the head. Like you I have an extensive stash, much larger than a lot of people who only think they have a large amount of fabric. Working full time, it is much quicker to buy fabric than to use it. Like you, I sometimes feel it is a burden because it makes it harder to find what I want. One time I had to buy another piece for a class because I couldn't find the one I had. Of course, it turned up right on top AFTER I bought the second piece. But, also, like you, I don't want to get rid of it just to be getting rid of it. I used to joke that I was buying it now because I wouldn't be able to afford it after I retire. I expect to retire part time next year and have more time for sewing. I pull from my stash when I can but usually have to buy more for projects. For easy street, I pulled from my stash but still needed to add some greens and picked up a few other pieces for it.
Barbara in MD

Mama Pea said... #

My stash is not huge but big enough to make me feel overwhelmed and and frustrated. But part of it is that I'm in a small space and it's all crammed in there...I can't see it or find what I want half the time. I forget what I have.

My tastes have changed, but I do still like the Civil War stuff. It's too hard for me to get rid of it.

tooznie said... #

Yep, I can't resist a good sale or batiks. I have too many projects in my head and on the slate, I'm 36 a d don't see how my work rate can ever match my imagination. Almost every projected quilt I currently have some of the fabrics for still requires more fabric, backing or binding or...

tooznie said... #

Yep, I can't resist a good sale or batiks. I have too many projects in my head and on the slate, I'm 36 a d don't see how my work rate can ever match my imagination. Almost every projected quilt I currently have some of the fabrics for still requires more fabric, backing or binding or...

Unknown said... #

I have to say that logically I can understand your problem, I was close to it years ago but now I wish I had it. We retired to Mexico 3+years ago, I just returned to quilting a few months ago and I have a very small stash. The fabric stores here carry a very thin,see though cotton but no quilt quality or name brand designer cottons. What limits me is that shipping material cost almost as much if not more than the cost of the fabrics and retirement income doesn't go to far. I try to be very good at choosing projects and hope to get to the point where I can do mostly donation quilts for the so many needy families here.
I do try to satisfy my material cravings by drooling over the many fabulous online fabric stores.

Jennifer said... #

I have a bunch of fabric, but I recently made a short term cross the world move and couldnt take it all with me - it forced me to pick what I HAD to have, and also helped to finish up projects.. I guess my suggestion would be to get some flat rate boxes from the post office.. hypothetically the amount you would feel comfortable paying to ship, fill them up and the rest... you wont use? unless you will one day? hahaha

Stella Nemeth said... #

I don't really have a stash. I did have a small one, but I got rid of it totally after my last cross county move. I totally stopped sewing. Of any kind. And totally decluttered.

What I have now is what I've bought over the last 18 months. And yes, I've got fabric I bought for projects that never got started. But I also have 5 or 6 small bins of scraps from the scrap bags my local quilt shop sells. I've mostly been working small, and the scraps are mostly strips and frequently multiple ones. I now realize that I need a stash or I can't work the way I'd like to work.

Brenda said... #

I find creativity always butts up against limitations -- I'm more creative if I have to made do than if I have every option available to me. and often I have more fun playing with other people's scraps than I do my own yardage. go figure!

eva said... #

You said it so well!!
i too have a stash that seems overwhelming at times, but i am very fortunate to be able to have all that i have. regardless of when and what i've bought.... i will work with it one way/day or another.

i'm sure for me, they buying is an addiction of sorts..... hahah there are worse things to be addicted to...right??

Carol (#24^^^) up there said it so-o-o-o well, and we've got to keep our humour while we're at it.


Julia said... #

I have a slightly different concern, I get inspired, choose fabric, plan, begin cutting and assembling....then get interested in another project and go through the same process. But I leave each project out while I think about the next step. It clutters my space and paralyzes creativity. I can't seem to stop this cycle. I will accept advice.

Salley said... #

Same answer as Patchwork and Play... quality designer fabrics in Australia are $26 and more a metre. Not that our quilt shops are making huge profits ...its all taxes ....and they hate us trying to buy online...its put quite a few LQS out of business.
My stash is very small and I work to a similar palette of colours so only buy to add to that palette. I rarely buy online because I am so fussy about colour... I have been burnt before with fabrics not looking as they seem when I ordered. I buy as I need. Our Guild has a market day once a year... book a trestle table and de-stash! No one is intent on making money but it helps you get rid of bad man's trash is another man's treasure! Good luck with making your life simpler. It should bring good karma!

Debbie said... #

wow...quite the conversation! I feel like I have a moderate stash. In fact over the last two years I've worked at updating it and giving it some balance. That's really helped with the bees and other groups I've been a part of. I have Only once purchased a whole line and I really enjoyed it down to the last scrap. I do buy just because I like something but really try to use it rather than just hoard it. Anyway...Hope you get inspired to move forward soon....

Shar said... #

I get inspired more by all the beautiful fabrics.

Norece said... #

My quilting start for this year has also been slow going. I need to get busy. I also have way too much fabric. I counted over 400 yards in fat quarters alone. Not sure what I was thinking. I have unsubscribed from all online quilt shops. Throw out all snail mail sewing/quilting flyers. If I don't see it then I don't need it. $10+ a yard for fabric is more than a lot of folks earn in an hour! I feel a bit guilty for spending so much on fabric that is just sitting there, granted I did purchase the bulk of my fabric 4 plus years ago, when prices weren't so bad. I donate a lot of quilts and decided that most folks who get my quilts don't know if the fabric is new or 6 years old, they only know that someone is thinking about them. I have decided that scrappy quilts work best for me as I don't have to worry about finding perfect matching fabrics.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - putting them into words that I can 100% relate to.

Unknown said... #

There must be something in the air, because I'm feeling the exact same way! I was looking around my house a few weeks ago, and I was so sad to see all of the "stuff" that we just don't use! Some was gifts, some was purchased with our money... I like simple, I like neat and tidy. That is so hard to do the way we (i.e. Americans, not just my family!) live.
I'm making a conscious effort to think before EVERY purchase. Does that $8 salad at Chipotle really taste that good? (Ok, some days it does.) Am I going to use that fabric before I get tired of it? No, I don't need ANOTHER running skirt. Etc.
I've already done a really good job of using from my stash, and I did use part of a GC that I had for Pink Chalk. But even then, I had a hard time finding enough to buy to justify shipping. ;)
I used to snatch up my fav fabrics when they came out, bc I thought "there will never be something cuter than this! EVER!" And there always was something I liked more somewhere down the road.... I think I've finally learned my lesson (w a few exceptions, like when my fav designer comes out with a new collection...). I also don't buy sale fabric just bc it's cheap. If I don't love the print, I'm not going to use it-not even on a quilt back! So even though I buy more at regular price, I'm spending less. :)
OK, that's all. ;)

Megan said... #

Oh Cindy I can relate to the "sewing blahs" you're going through. I had a big one last year and of course looked for something to blame it on but it was really because all my creative energy was being funneled into my knitting. So maybe it's not really the fabric, but something else in your life that's consuming your energy. Of course I have a ridiculous sized stash, but you know what? It makes me really happy. The only reason I de-stash is if I know I'll never ever use something (or if I'm feeling poor!) or if someone else really wants it. Of course I change my tune if I'm not sewing at all but I like to think of stash as a palette to work from - every painter needs one! I think it's okay to remember we all need a long break from the machine occasionally. Oh and wasn't I supposed to give you my email? I can't remember if I did. It's :)

CitricSugar said... #

Holy, comments! People obviously have opinions about this one, eh?

I Have been pretty good about resisting most lines or only buying one or two fabrics from it. I've also made a ton of things lately using mostly fabrics from my stash, leftovers and other scraps, and only buying one or two pieces to finish a project but I shop from my stash first lately, which has been awesome! I probably have less than 70 yards, not counting scraps, but there are definitely some fabrics I find more challenging than others. I'm hoping to use more than I buy this year and while this month is a bit of a bust ( I bought. A lot.), I should be set for quite a while. I think. I'm not counting backings. :-)

Sarah said... #

I have a reasonable stash, and every year it seems just after Christmas I get an urge to clean up my sewing room which involves going through all the scraps and stash. It's kind of fun, but I sort of get a sick, guilty feeling too. Like an overwhelming oh my look at all this I've spent money n, I must use it, but I can't see that it'll all get used in the foreseeable future. I think this is similar to your feelings? I am a fabric addict, and those blasted designers do keep coming out with beautiful new fabrics, but my policy now is I only buy it if I have a specific project in mind. I won't just buy it because its pretty and I need more, eg, yellow in my stash. Whether that specific project does get made is another subject ...

Elaine said... #

Ahh, what a post that I can relate to! I have a stash (so funny because when I first connected with you, I barely had any scraps, much less stash!)-- enough now that I can't always keep on track with what was purchased for what project. I'm trying to work as best as I can from my stash this year and one way I manage to not purchase right away is by holding off from looking at certain websites and newsletters with the latest fabric lines. If I don't know what is coming out, I'm less likely to "have" to have it. It doesn't always work, but I'm trying! :)

heartsease54 said... #

Exactly!!! This post really resonates with me. I'm trying to resist the pull of the new stuff. I have been paralyzed with indecision, so I pulled out one of the many kits in my stash. A block of the month one and am going to start on it this week. Enough of not sewing anything because I have TOO many choices. Maybe I will get my mojo back.

Foolish Feathers said... #

Lol, my question too.

Doris said... #

I so agree with everything you said here. I find it overwhelming, and sometimes paralyzing. I haven't decided how to remedy that, other than my conscious stash reduction mindset for 2013. I have to come back tomorrow and read all these comments, looks like an active discussion going on here....

Foolish Feathers said... #

I love the discussion going on here, especially because I feel these are the very words I wrote a couple of weeks ago and we are not alone. I am seeing posts like this everywhere this year already. This reminds me of an article I read where a children's class was challenged to only have a few toys, all others were to be packed away for a couple of months. The first week the toys were played with, but within a few days the child was bored. The second week the child started using their imagination. The car they had chosen now became a submarine. the next day something else. When I was in creative writing class we had to write an entry in a journal every day of some ideas for writing, perhaps you could do the same thing with quilting. Make yourself think about quilting with a timer, perhaps even pull a fq for inspiration. Just because you come up with an idea, doesn't mean you have to act on it right away,you may never, but then again you might.

There is a philosophy of becoming a minimalist, I even receive a newsletter of something like that. I like some of their thinking, like unsubscribing from certain emails if it leads to me collecting things. But minimalists also make me feel guilty for well having anything. Its hard to not feel guilty when I hear how much fabric costs in other parts of the world and here I am, I just have it sitting here...I digress. There comes a point we all will need to let go of the guilt to move on. I have seen many others have the same guilty feelings in our discussion here. We are sort of a group fabric therapy session aren't we?!

Rachel said... #

I go through cycles of how I feel about my stash of fabric. Sometimes its hard because I don't have a place where I can see it all, so its easier to buy more. But then if I have to get a new box to store the new stuff in it, that's not good. I have been pretty good about getting through old projects so they don't take up space anymore. I started last year not buying new fabric. I did really good until about November. I don't say that now, but mostly because I have lots of smaller pieces, but I usually need to buy yardage for borders and such.

I don't usually get sucked into each and every new line. Maybe because I don't want my quilts to look like everyone elses, I'm not sure.

Tammy said... #

Well, if you need to destash more, send it along my way. Last spring we started an after school quilt club for middle school students. We are always looking for fabric donations.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said... #

Sounds like a good idea, well actually quite a few good ideas. I have a nice size stash which is not going to outgrow the two shelves allocated (deep shelves). Space is an issue. I often add my very favourite new fabrics to wish lists and then leave that site, knowing I can order later if I really want to (which I haven't for quite a while). A glance at my favourite stash fabrics is enough to convince me I already have even better favourites just waiting for time to be used.

Holly said... #

I solved my problem by cutting older fabric into strips, in sizes I use - 1.5, 2.5, 4.5. Then organized the strips by color a bit. I still have my "favorites" that I hate to cut into, but of those I've cut at least two fat quarters off the yardage. It's much easier to be inspired by a stack of FQ, than a stack of yardage. So now, if I want to make log cabin blocks I pull out the 1.5" baskets... etc. Now I routinely cut up all leftover fabric into strips, and FQ off new yardage. It solved my problem with "lack of creativity". I'm slowly using up yardage with backings and borders.

Andrea said... #

I have a stash, but I don't like buying a ton because I know it will just sit there if I don't have a plan for it. I have a ton of solids, and they call me often and tell me that they are pining to be part of a quilt. After you have destashed, I don't think you need to feel guilty or worried or overwhelmed. They are a part of your quilting story, and having that beautiful colour in your room helps define the space and make it feel like a part of your studio. :-)

Cheryl Arkison said... #

I know what you mean! When I moved into my space and more or less had to face all my fabric I was blown away. I have A LOT! Yet, I've still purchased more. It seems rather ridiculous! But I do love shopping from my stash every time I start a new project. I rarely have to go to the store when I start something and that I really appreciate.

My best advice is to finish a UFO, not matter how uninspiring it is. Sometimes clearing up the creative clutter does wonders for opening you up.

Little Island Quilting said... #

I felt the same way, overwhelmed. So I tidied up my sewing room, bought a fantastic old storage unit, sorted all my fabrics neatly out...and then realised I actually had more space than I thought I had! Blogged about it last month if you need picture evidence!!