You know, the internet is a funny thing. Every day there are emails from out of the blue…..asking me if I know the value of someone’s vintage machine, or if I sell parts for them ((No, I’m just a machine lover who has too many!)) Or if I know someone who will do a certain kind of quilt for someone else, or asking one of 100 other questions…
Sometimes I feel like the Quilter version of “Dear Abby!” And I’m flattered…but sometimes dumbfounded on how I am supposed to supply level headed advice! And is someone going to say “Well, Bonnie said so…so it’s all her fault?!”
Today I received the following email:
((Names have been changed to protect the Quilty!))
I have been in quilting for the past six years and have a huge stash of fabrics and other necessities. I have made around 100 quilts but I have more money tied up in fabric and the rest to sink a ship. I have a huge amount of books, 10 tops in progress, and 15 quilt tops not yet quilted. I am always starting a new top............constantly looking for new free patterns online and otherwise. The problem is I am never going to use up my stash and keep making it bigger every day.
Do you have any suggestions about the stash problem? I would like to sell my stash and just finish the projects in progress. I have a habit of not finishing for a long time and nothing ever gets done.
Is there any way a person can get rid of a stash at a decent price????????? If you have any suggestions or online sites that can help me regarding this, I would appreciate it. I just want to finish and get out of quilting, at least the easy quilts. I would like to work on a Dear Jane or something more complicated than the Moda Bake Shop type of quilts I have been doing.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to answer this! I thought and thought about what I could say to help her feel better….but sometimes, what needs to be said, what needs to be done, has to come from INSIDE the person doing the asking!
How does an alcoholic stop the insanity? It seems to me that M’s problem is not in the wanting to sell her stash ((For a decent price?!?)) but in the admission that she feels she will never be able to “use up” her stash, and it keeps growing EVERY DAY.
Does that stop because she sells it off? No…the problem will still be there.
Does buying new fabric to replace the other fabric solve the problem? No, and if she is buying fabric all the time, her problem isn’t that she has only OLD fabric and is tired of it…..There is something that hooks her in with just the thrill of the purchase.
In the last paragraph she is talking about finishing and getting out of quilting…and in the next sentence she wants to start a Dear Jane or something more complicated?
I really feel for M and wish there was something I could do to help…this was my reply:
You need an intervention!
Stop shopping and start spending your time sewing and creating....it is up to you to fix the problem! Creativity is better fed by DOING...not planning and spending!
Stop starting new projects...pick one that is "almost done" and finish it, and do a happy dance of joy! Donate things you are tired of, look for projects that will use what you have....fulfill your love of beautiful fabrics by putting them to good use...
I don't plan on selling my stash. I loved it when I bought it, it's going to make beautiful quilts. What you have at home is no different than what is in the store.....SEW IT!
For an alcoholic to take control of his/her life, they have to recognize they have a problem. Just as an alcoholic person needs to not even GO IN TO A BAR…..I think she needs to stop and take stock in what she has. Finish some projects, start looking at things with a more critical eye. I’m not a psychologist…..but I have a tendency to think that there are many ways of self-medicating…and for some of us, the purchasing of fabric way beyond our means and control is a way of filling a need of some sort.
A support group of a quilting bee that spends more time SEWING might be beneficial! Spend more time sewing than you do shopping…buy when you need to to finish a project if you don’t have something, but chances are, you might have just what you need in your stash already.
I know from personal experience, when I was going through a deep dark time during my boys’ teenage years ---that some days all I could manage was to pet the fabric, and to buy the fabric and to bring it home because it was the one thing I had control of in my life….but the truth is, it had control of ME. I had to step back from it and see what I was doing. I had to face the facts that no matter how much I loved that fabric….IT was NEVER going to LOVE ME BACK. I was using it to fill an emptiness.
This may or may not be the case….but I just feel M’s desire to make a change, but at the same time…SHE is the one who has to make the steps to do it.
Good luck, M!
And on to my recent mile stone!
The floral border is finished!! I finished attaching the last two sections at the evening guild meeting on Monday eve!
I haven’t decided if I want to orientate it on point or straight set…..I’ve been puttering around with the graph paper trying to doodle how it might square up:
It’s such a weird shape to fill……I don’t want a hexagon shaped quilt..so I need to build it out square/rectangle…and that is a bit odd sized. Here I have echoed the shape of the outer edge with more rows of flowers and green borders…I dunno if I like it or not. Maybe I’ll keep doodling!
I’m here in Alabaster, AL for my two workshops with the Evening Star Quilt Guild. We’ve got Pineapple Blossom tomorrow, and Virginia Bound on Saturday! It will be fun to see familiar faces…I was last here 2 years ago. My how time flies!
As for tonight? I’m tucked into my hotel and I’m going to SEW!