Too much fabric

blah blah blah, I have too much fabric. too much paint. too much dye, too much too much too much. I KNOW!!!

It seems that this year, all the blogs and groups I belong to are talking about organizing their fabric, their studios, their books. One artist (Sue Bleiweiss from Fibre & Stitch) even shared that she throws away her scraps that she doesn’t think she’ll need!

OK, that sounded freeing for a nano-second. But I know I’d never be able to do that. I did go through my stash (aka the fabric warehouse) and got together 2 garbage bags full of fabric and scraps to give to a 2nd grade teacher who makes bears for her students. She took 2 bags full of scrap batting, too. I felt great about this. And then, I started making my stuffed monsters, and where was all the scrap batting I’ve been storing for years? Not in my studio….

I remember when I took my first quilt class, and bought enough fabric for the quilt and no more. I made my second quilt the same way. No extra fabric, no yardage that might be a nice addition, just the exact amount I needed to complete the project.

Then I took my next quilting class, and met my friend Mary. Mary was a typical quilter– she bought lots and lots and lots of fabric. Lots. I used to tell her that some people bought fabric so that they could quilt. She quilted so that she could buy fabric. She would snort, and tell me that she was hedging her bets against old age, when she’d be too old to drive to a quilt store, or too infirm to pull down fabric bolts at said quilt store. Ohhhhhhh.

This is what is called a light bulb moment. We planned a nice outing to a far away quilt store, rumored to have 5,000 bolts of fabric. Uh oh.

As I pulled down my 2500 bolts, I felt virtuous as I requested only 1/4 yard cuts. Mary being Mary, was buying 1-5 yard cuts from her 2500 bolts. Uh oh.

So, here I am today, completely stocked for my dotage. If I ever lose my driver’s license, I’m set. I cannot move through my studio at the moment because the aisles have piles. I am a slim person, but not slim enough to get by without knocking some project over. I keep thinking I’ll clean up; well, I have cleaned up before, but the cleared away space doesn’t last long enough for me to take a photo. I have a 4′ x 6′ table, and still I work in a bitty space cleared off of my ironing board. I am horizontally challenged that way.

So that’s my 2008 confession. I hope you don’t expect to see photos of my mess, because I ain’t showing you! No resolution to clear it up or away. Maybe I’ll put a few piles away…when I finish that project. Maybe I’ll stop buying fabric for a while. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll give in to the mess, embrace my slovenly ways, and give up thanks for the plenty I am blessed with.



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7 responses to “Too much fabric

  1. Great post! I like to think of myself as a collector. Yeah right!

  2. Oh susan that is so good I am glad that you posted it. I hate to admit that I am a 5 yarder. or if its tone one tone it is more like 10. Love your blog page IF the
    offer is still open once I load my pictures could you make sense of it.???? This would have not time frame. Even if it took all year it still would be done better and faster than I ever would do it.
    Smiles and stitches

  3. bettydonahue

    I have a disease called “Flat Surface Syndrome”. If I see a flat surface I have to put something on it. (Both horizontal and vertical).

  4. Sharon

    Have you been to Rosie’s…….she has over 19,000 bolts…..and M & L……they are in an old grocery store……..tons of fabric. I am going to M & L after Road.

  5. Thank you, Sistah, for speaking out on behalf of those of us who embrace the lifestyle! I do want to keep my little work table clear (when I finish the current project) because I do think it blunts my creativity to have to clear it out before I begin anything new. Or maybe I could just get another table……

  6. You are getting another room, yes, after this remodel it frees up some space? ;o)

    I’m glad of the stash because now we are retired. It’s really good to have quilt fabrics, yarn and, you know, the big, more expensive stuff stashed away. Little things like needles and thread, that take little space, are still affordable. I just need a real studio, like an old barn someone renovated.

  7. You WHAT? Loved reading your post. Keep on hoarding – there’s no such thing as too much fabric. Here’s the things my mum never told me: you may think you’ll never get around to using it all, but fabric exists in geological time anyway. Also, time goes faster as you get older and those moments we steal fondling our stash are golden, even if it is only a cursory glance.

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