confessions of a fabric stasher: part one

At the start of the New Year, I created a mosaic that showcased almost all of the things I sewed in 2011.  I was going to post it here but since most of those items have been featured on this blog, I decided it would be redundant. If you are interested, it can be found here. One thing that did strike me, when I looked at all of the things I sewed, is that I was particularly good about using fabric that I had on-hand.

At the beginning of 2011, I resolved to try to stop buying more fabric.  I realistically don’t have a ton of free time to sew. I am part of a family with two young children and I have a full-time job that has absolutely nothing to do with my hobby.  And yet, I own a healthy amount of fabric.  And by “healthy” I mean that I have at least eight times as much as I could possibly use in a year. At least.

That said, I’m not apologetic about having a sizable stash.  I have enough materials to allow me to start almost any project without needing to go to the store– which is great when you don’t have a lot of free time to sew. Another positive aspect of having a mini stockpile is that I am able to create things that are more my style.  I love scrappy patchwork–I don’t tend to make thing from a single line of fabric.  I am able to express myself more freely because I have more options.  I really can’t imagine buying fabric project-by-project.  So, in that regard, I defend the notion of having a stash!

In early 2011, I organized all of my fabric and displayed it in a visible area of our home.  This was the act that forced me to realize that I had hit a saturation point.  Having it all right there in plain view, it was undeniable that I already had in my possession more than enough variety of prints and colors, and really couldn’t justify buying any more. It was time to reflect on my shopping habits and change my ways.

I thought it might be helpful to share my experience and thoughts on this topic because I know that I am not alone in this little conundrum.  We are crafters!  We see so much potential in raw materials! We get excited for the challenge they present! We love to anticipate the beauty they will inspire!  All of this is normal.  Healthy. Good.  But if you start to feel overwhelmed with regard to the amount that you have, it is probably time to examine your behavior, try to understand the reasoning behind your actions, and decide whether or not you need to switch things up.

In my quest to slow down my fabric purchasing, I learned a few things about my habits, in general, as well as some tricks that have helped to keep the consumer in me at bay. Believe me, I am not perfect.  I’ve made good progress, but I still have my moments of weakness. The purpose of this first post was to introduce the topic.  My next post will explore the {bad} habits I’ve identified throughout the course of this exercise.  The following post will explore things I’ve done–with mixed results– to help improve my situation.  And perhaps I will do a wrap up after that? I hope that sounds alright. And I hope that everyone has a great weekend!


9 thoughts on “confessions of a fabric stasher: part one

  1. this is a series of posts I will definitely be tuning into, and a conversation worth exploring in community! because you’re right in that a lot of us get caught up in this…whether it’s fabric or something else.

  2. i find i can be quite satisfied until i either see something and start to crave (aka covet) it or until i’m looking through my stash for just the thing to go with several other things and i can’t find it. looking forward to more on this!!

  3. i find i am fine with what i have until i see something of someone else’s that makes me crave (covet!) something i don’t have or i am looking for something to go along with what i’ve pulled out and i just don’t have it. i think i am easily influenced, but i do have definate preferences. i also wish i had more solids. i think this series sounds really fun!

  4. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. I imagine we buy fabric/materials for the same reasons. Possibility is the best way to describe my ultimate motivation, and it sounds like it’s the same for you. Have a great Monday, M!

  5. Pingback: brain dump « Smoothpebble

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