Wednesday, August 02, 2006

stash buster

A few years ago I joined an online group called stashbusters. It inspired me to stop collecting fabric and start using a lot more of it. I stopped buying huge amounts and became much more thoughtful when I did buy fabric. I think my change of buying habits were noticed at my favorite quilt shops-as I went from spending over a hundred dollars to far, far less. In fact, I often stop by currently and buy nothing. I think as you build a stash this is pretty normal-you reach a point where storage becomes an issue perhaps or just the realization you have more than enough. Plus, I often bought fabric as I had zero time to quilt-it was my way of doing something "quilty" for myself. When I changed jobs, that really changed the most. I also discovered how gleeful I would feel when I could pull an entire queen or king sized quilt of fabric from my stash in the colorway or style I wanted to fit a particular pattern. And, once I evolved into being a scrap quilter-why then I really could use all of my stash-as it mattered less if I did not have an exact amount of a certain fabric-rather I could pull lots of that color instead. I also believe in having a varied stash-with all the colors etc so I can create whatever I fancy-I like having lots of choices-and the freedom late at night to shop my stash and find whatever I need to work on a project with. Nowadays I occasionally buy fabric because I can not resist it..I am especially fond of brights and kid stuff. I just do not go hog wild over buying fabric like I used to.
I would say I also fit into the artisan catagory of quilter- neither a perfectionist nor a casual quilter. I take pride in my quilts-do my best, but I do not do a whole lot of ripping out if something is not totally perfect in lining up. I want my points sharp, I want all my seams to meet nicely, and I am always in awe of my friends Anita and LindaJ, who turn out quilt after quilt that look totally perfect-with seemingly the greatest of ease. I have to keep telling myself, it's not a contest, I have fewer years of experience than them -and I may never acquire that gift of easily stitching things together, where everything lines up as it should. In fact, I need to not compare myself to anyone else- as of course there will always be someone "better" and someone "less better"-just the nature of life. Instead, I focus more on the joy I feel when I put together a quilt and appreciate the finished result. After all, it's my creative passion to quilt...and if I am not having a fun time doing it...I need to take a break and think about the why of that.
Note to ForestJane- a photo of my granddaughter Alice is in the archives...probably late June or early July...title of post is Alice photo I think. Rather, I am waiting for an email of the wedding quilt photo from my son. As I am babysitting tonight-a good time to remind him.


At 7:04 AM, Blogger The Calico Cat said...

I agree... So much so I could have said it myself...

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Linda C said...

My piecing is not perfect but like all of us, I try but thanks for saying so. It is not a contest--you definitely have more on your plate than I do.

Hugs and nuzzles on that sweet baby neck from one of her aunties.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Finn said...

Hi Cher, I say "hear-hear" really well said.

Our quilts should be as individual as we are. Our use of materials, color, design, finish, quilting the same..ours!

I applaud you in your Stashbusters participation, and have joined them myself. And happy to post my efforts each month. The only way a thing gets done, or changed is if WE do it..*VBS*
Sadly, in America, so much of our "stuff" is WANT...not need. Which is fine, as long as it makes sense. At times I think the fabric industry has created within us, much the same addiction as the tobacco industry has addicted smokers. Can we be ok, and happy without our drug of choice..*VBS*??

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Paula, the quilter said...

I, too, agree with you. I haven't been buying large masses of fabric, mainly because we can't afford it. I am working on a second retirement and CarGuy is disabled/retired so a fixed income necessitates prudent spending. I have been dipping into my savings account (stash) for several years and just purchasing those necessary neutrals to blend things together. Thank you for saying this so eloquently. /paula
Blogger did something weird, so if this shows up 2x sorry.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Mary Johnson said...

Stashbusters has also changed my buying habits - for the better and like you, I feel great when I make a quilt from stash. I have also realized that I love scrap quilts best and so it's easier to use my stash when things don't have to *match* exactly.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Shelina said...

This is a great post and a great philosophy, about fabric buying, and about trying to be perfect in making quilts.


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