Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wanna help me clean?

So, can you see my sewing machine? No? Me either...

This is all the fabric I picked up from the FLOOR. Never mind the fabric in the closet or bins!

Yup, I'm cleaning in anticipation of my parents arrival tomorrow. Tomorrow!! :D Eeps. I'm can feel myself getting excited. :)

Just for kicks, here's something I posted on a forum about busting the stash/not buying so much. I really do feel like I have ENOUGH fabric! I mean, that picture alone is about 175 yards.

One of the things that really helped me feel "full" on fabric is to organize it. Sort it by color, type, theme... whatever YOU like for your fabric. "Re-handling" all your fabric again can really drive home how much you have.

For me, it was when I moved. Oh man, 3, 4, 5, 6, boxes of fabric (keep in mind each box held about 150-250 yards). And it just kinda blew me away with how many yards I have (yes, over a thousand, probably not 2000).

I think it's important to realize that we also need to USE our fabric! There was an estate sale in another state for a quilter - she had 15,000 yards. No kidding!!! They sold it off at $1/yard. While many of us would love to have been at that sale... it's kinda sad. That all that money and time she put into buying all that fabric did nothing for her or her family. It ended up being "pawned off" to strangers. It wasn't lovingly passed onto friends and family members who would treasure and appreciate her efforts. I don't want that to happen to my fabric. I want it to get used.

Another idea is to take 50 yards of fabric - be it 50 one-yard pieces or 10 five-yard pieces. Fold them up all the same way and stack them on top of each other. Wow. It's not looking like very much, is it? Yet 50 yards can make quite a few quilts!

From 50 yards you should get...
12 baby quilts
9 lap quilts
6 twin quilts
3 double/queen quilts
2 king quilts.

(And my figures are being generous... I bet you could take the scraps afterwards and whip up another quilt or two. Yes, I'm counting backings too).

I have been cleaning my apartment - and my quilting room - in anticipation of my parents coming over tomorrow. My room has been messy for a long time - I found stuff from last October! But as I've been cleaning, I've been folding and stacking up fabric. I have about 25 yards of hand dyed fabrics that are neatly stacked. Using that as my "guideline", I'm guessing I picked up 175 yards off of the floor. Yeah! That's either fabric I've bought in the past year, or likely used in quilt. A few pieces were being "auditioned" for possible quilts and I didn't put them back afterwards.

I've already started about 15 quilts this year, and I've completed 7. It's not like I buy fabric just to have more of it, but I'm actually using it up... but I'm not using it up as fast as I buy it!! All in all, I'd wildly guess that I've *used* 100 yards. That's not really a big dent in whole pile of fabric, especially because I'm still buying!

So, I have enough fabric. Time to start using it up. I have some family members who still don't have quilts. And by using it up, I remove the "guilt" over future purchases. And I get to feel good about myself using fabric and giving quilts.

Plus, when I die, I don't want somebody being overwhelmed with my stash! I want them to go through a stack or two and say "ohh! Look at that green piece, she used it in both of my boys quilts." "Mine too! And I think I spotted a bit of that blue in the couch quilt she made. She was very talented with the machine. I'm gonna miss her."

And not... "oh crud... what in the world are we gonna do with all that fabric?! Does the Goodwill take it?"


Still, if you wanna come over and help me clean... you might get rewarded with some fabric. ;) (No, don't come over, I haven't had a shower in a few days, and I figured I'm gonna sweat some more, so I'll shower tonight!)



Kathy Wagner said...

You are so right Leah!
I must do the same thing as you some day!

Anonymous said...

Oh Leah, you crack me up!

Hope you have a wonderful visit with your parents.


Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

It was the very same post about 15,000 yards of fabric that got me to go to the hardware store and buy some clear plastic totes, label them all (1", 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5", plus one tote of slightly larger pieces for some applique flowers and another little bin of 2.25" for a quilt in progress). I changed my rotary blade and for the past few days have spent 2 hours (1 hour segments each) cutting strips, feeding the bins! Each tote also has a list of what patterns I plan to make using that size strip - I needed 83 1" fabrics X 3 strips for 1 quilt, so I cut those 1st. Then 1 strip of the 2.25". Then whatever else is left-over in the other sizes, leaning more toward the 2" strips because more of the patterns I am interested call for that size.

My motivation is 2 fold - 1. I want to use up some OLD fabrics to make room for NEW fabric!
2. I want to make quilts - I might not love, love, love my current fabric selection, but I usually love the quilts that I can make from that very same fabric!

Enjoy your visit with your parents.



atet said...

Wow -- and you're right. Though, the woman's family COULD have made another choice with her fabrics -- most guilds have a charity/generosity project. And those usually need fabrics. I know some members families in our guild have donated the entire stash to be used for QOV and/or baby quilts! But, yeah, it's interesting. I'm actually just about to go into use what you have mode -- of course, that means I can make room for more fabric!

Mrs. Moody said...

Girl, I'll be right over if that means getting paid in fabric! LOL!

Yvonne said...

Good luck with the stash busting...I've joined in too. I don't want to be like that lady. Have a wonderful visit with your family and a Happy Thanksgiving!