I don't know if it's because we're moving soon and I feel the need to purge or what, but I'm definitely in a state of disinterest with the majority of my projects, be it UFOs or WIPs. The positive spin on this is that I've been very productive in going through things and cleaning out my sewing room. I've had a monumental Aha moment in regards to my stash. I have a large stash. I know, we all do, but really. Mine is sinful. Gluttony, anyone? I've worked part-time in a quilt shop for the past eight years and acquiring fabric has become a habit of prolific proportions. If I quilted eight hours a day everyday until the day I die, I would never even make a dent.
The thing is, I don't love most of my stash. It's an eclectic mix of prints that I may or may not have even liked ten years ago when I bought them, anchored by an unfortunate collection of yardage that I've purchased along the way for no other reason than it was on sale. Really, how is it that a sale sign can make fabrics so much more appealing? There's a reason they're on sale. They're old remnants of lines that no one else wanted. Sale fabrics are the red-headed stepchildren of quilt shops. And I have a veritable orphanage of florals and novelty prints, brights and plaids that were once homeless and sought me out for comfort. I'm a sucker for orphans. So I felt compelled to give them a loving home. Thanks goodness they don't all have four paws and a tail. The problem here isn't so much that I bought these fabrics, but rather that I never use them. They take up valuable real estate in my sewing room and are wasting away. I have shelves lined up with stacks of fabrics and I still go out and buy new stuff when I start a project. Ok, let's be honest, even if I'm not starting a project, I go out and buy new stuff. But as I culled out piles and piles of these forlorn prints, I started a new way of thinking. I should love everything in my stash. Even if this means my stash will be significantly smaller in size. I'm cool with that. When I start a new project, I want to be able to open my cupboards and thumb through luscious piles of Fig Tree prints, glorious Minick and Simpson reds and blues, warm fall prints and piles and piles of cool batiks. I don't always want to take on the challenge of slipping ugly prints into my scrap quilts to ease the guilt of having them in the first place. I want ALL the prints in my scrap quilts to be fun and nostalgic of past quilts I've used them in. I don't want to "use up" my less-loved yardage on backers. I want to love my backers.
I want to LOVE MY STASH.
And then there's the UFOs. I've posted several times on my blog about the excessive amount of UFOs that I harbor in the dark and dank corners of my sewing room. It's embarrassing really. So much that this year, I took on the hideous challenge of working my way through The List and getting them finished up. But as I've been rifling through the piles of quilt blocks, and zip lock baggies of various quilt parts, I'm having the same feelings towards my UFOs as I am my stash. Many of them are old. And ugly. And bring up assorted thoughts of "What was I thinking?" and "Huh?" I've been so focused on plowing through the pile of half-finished quilts, coming up with great ideas of taking pieces apart to "update" them with more current fabrics and refreshing designs. When really, I just need to cut my losses and move on. Why spend time ripping apart old projects to make them salvageable, when I could be working on things I really want to do? Like the Shakespeare in the Park quilt I've been mentally salivating over for years, putting it off as a reward for when I pare down my UFOs. Where's the logic in that? I would love that quilt and I can't wait to start it. There are dozens of new quilts I can't wait to make. I have the blogging world to thank for that. It seems I am always falling back on my mantra of not starting new projects until my old ones are finished. Like the Toulousse quilt that I am DYING to make. Do you know what I went through to gather up enough Maison de Noel fabrics to actually make that? I searched for years, pawned from friends, and bid insanely high dollars on ebay to complete my now well-rounded stash of those coveted prints. That line is like gold in the quilting world. Good heavens, Moda could make a killing if they reprinted that. And yet it all sits in a box on the bottom shelf in my sewing room, awaiting it's day in the limelight. This is craziness. I am postponing all my quilting fun to ease up on my guilt for not finishing things years ago.
Well the buck stops here.
In the past few weeks, I have listed over 630 yards of fabric on ebay. Yep, you read that right. Then I've got patterns, books, pre-cuts and kits. (Pardon the mess in the kitchen....I'm packing by day and mainlining Diet Pepsi by night and the place should be cordoned off as a disaster zone.)
A few weeks ago, I was looking through a box of my UFOs. There were a handful of projects I am still interested in finishing. The rest: Blah. My friend Maria liked one of them, so I forked it over and now she's the proud owner of her own UFO. And what's left over is all tidily collected in bags and I'm donating them to some service organization that would like to do something with them for charity. As soon as I find one. Any suggestions?
I am changing the way I think about my fabric collection. It's love it or leave it. And I'm happy with that.