Fabric Hoarding vs. Fabric Minimalism
Hello there, quilting friends! I’m back again for another week, and this time around I want to talk with you all about fabric hoarding. Because, well, I have a problem.
It seems to me that each quilter is either one extreme or the other - a fabric hoarder, or a fabric minimalist. I know you know what I’m talking about! Any hoarders in the house? *raises hand*
That’s right! I’m a fabric hoarder. I probably have enough fabric to make 2 dozen quilts just laying around! Check out my stash below - three whole dresser drawers, filled to the brim!
I never intended to hoard. Everything I buy, I’m always sure that I’ll use! I think this “problem” of mine goes hand in hand with my tendency towards over-enthusiasm - I am very quick to fall in love with a fabric, to feel inspired, to envision a complete quilt featuring my new find. And then - cha ching! - into the stash it goes!
But I want to find a way to convince myself to become a fabric minimalist. Because as time goes on and I quilt more and more, I find that this stash of mine is a quilting “whoopsie”, and it is actually more of a burden than a helpful tool.Why do I regret building up such a stash?
- As discussed in a previous post, I don’t love to use a ton of bold prints in the same quilt. But that’s all my stash seems to have in it, because those are the fabrics that lure me in on a whim! That means that I can never make a quilt from only “stash fabric”. I always have to buy accompanying fabrics to make a stash fabric work. Usually, this means I use only one stash fabric, and buy everything else, which defeats the purpose of having the stash! (Plus, I end up adding to the stash faster than I can use it up)
- When shopping for the accompanying fabrics, I end up at the store where fresh inspiration abounds. But can’t use any of the beautiful new fabrics unless I ditch my stash inspiration… So I either end up buying more fabric for my stash, or nixing my stash fabric for something new.
- When I buy a fabric without an intended purpose, I usually just buy a yard of it. When I actually get around to using it in a project, I might need more than that, and it is usually impossible to find the fabric again to get more of it.
- When going through my stash fabrics, I find that I don’t even like a lot of them anymore, as my tastes have changed over the years.
- The stash takes up a ton of precious space!
Maybe I should take a page from Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ book. She is a fellow fabric hoarder, and a couple years back she put herself on a strict shopping ban for a whole year!!! She kept sewing up a storm, but didn’t let herself buy any fabric other than backing (because she didn’t have cuts big enough laying around for that). All the quilts she made were still gorgeous, and they were all made from her stash. If she can do it, surely I can too?
Any other fabric hoarders out there? If you are a hoarder like me, do you want to change your ways, or do you love your collection and use it?
Any of you fabric minimalists care to share how you resist the temptation to collect cute fabrics you don’t really need?
- Carolyn Knees