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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Short but Sweet!

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THIS got done in a hurry.

And all of the time I thought I was going to have for writing this morning’s post last evening so it would auto-post this morning as I was on my way to the airport went out the window as soon as I saw that email in my inbox.

“Block for 100 blocks, Vol 17 DUE MARCH 1st!!!”

Oh no.  Oooops!

I quickly sent off another email, begging for an extension.  It plum slipped my mind.

The only issue I’ve ever missed was the 1st one, and I was vowing not to miss this one.  I put all else aside, even dinner and hit the design table.  I drafted, I pulled colors, and then fabrics, and began to cut.

And this time, instead of making just ONE block and sending it off never to be seen again, I made TWO identical blocks.  One for Quiltmaker, One for me to keep.  Because heaven knows what the last block I sent off was – it was last AUGUST, and I simply don’t remember it.  I guess it will be a surprise come May when it releases.

As we head off toward Vol 17 before vol 16 even hits news stands, it’s just occurred to me that I could have nearly a whole sampler quilt DONE if I had just made ONE EXTRA BLOCK each time I submitted something.  And then there wouldn’t be that last minute panic of “Oh, sure I’ll participate in the blog hop, but can you remind me the name of my block and also send me a photo of it?”  Yes.  That has happened on a number of occasions.

Block is done.  It hits the mail today. 

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From yesterday’s walk around my neighborhood!

Yellow forsythia makes me so happy!

But the combo is not complete unless you’ve got a cloudless blue sky behind it to really play it up.

3_9_2017

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage quilt found in North Carolina.

This is one I’d love a bit of discussion on.  It’s something that I’ve been feeling and watching out for for a while now.

While things may look perfect online, everyone has a different life behind their monitors and phone screens. Everyone is heightening the positives and downplaying the negatives. They are only showing you their A sides, not their B sides. Smoke and mirrors. Just remember that.

I have watched some very talented quilters get very depressed over their aging stashes because they see all of the posts with the latest lines, other quilters name dropping fabric designers as if they are their new best friends, and it is stopping folk’s creativity in its tracks.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  But it can also stop your own creativity.

Real quilting is not a competition.

Marketing will always push the "newer is better" mindset at us.

After talking with a friend at length over lunch about her experience at Quilt-Con in Savannah, we both came to the same conclusion.  It was a feeding frenzy of having to have the latest most popular designer name in everything.  It reminded her of high school, and the girl who had to have the Coach purse, the Gucci sandals, the name brand this, that, and everything –I remember those girls.  They were a walking talking billboard for whatever was latest on the 17 magazine scene.  In effect, they became advertising for these companies with their "name-brand-itis"

Why does quilting have to be that way?

SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

What you have in your stash is beautiful just the way that it is.  Once you cut it up and sew it together in the design of your choice it will be a reflection of YOU.  Who YOU are.  The fabric YOU chose, the pattern you chose to create with it.  Fabric is your medium, but it is not the finished article in itself.  

Fabric is the paint.  That is all.

The latest trend doesn’t matter.  It certainly won’t matter 10, 20, 30 years from now when you look back on these quilts.

Don’t get so hung up on what you see on social media that you feel you have to run after the latest collection that is being shoved at you from every turn and burned into your brain with every hashtag to advertise it - including every other magazine page.  Just get in the sewing room and CREATE!

And of course, add new things once in a while to brighten up what you are tired of working with.  I get my fix by adding neutrals.  Always neutrals. But as I buy a lot of fat quarters without selvages attached, I don’t know who designed them, who the manufacturer was, or what the fabric "line" was. I don't create with fabric lines.

This may get me in trouble with some.  Designing fabric is a lucrative business, and designers I know may get mad at me for putting this out there.

I’m grateful there are designers out there.  They make it possible for me to make the quilts I love. But quilting for me is not about name brands.  It never will be.

Quality fabrics?  Yes.  I don't sew with junk.  But I have great fabric that is 20 years old.  There is no shame in using it.  It's still beautiful.

My quilts are a billboard of ME as yours will be for you.

Oooo…that’s a soap box I need to jump off of quickly, it’s time to head to the airport.

But before I do, I'd love to compare our stashes to the story of the old violin.  Do you remember it?


'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

You are the master.  Your stash is your violin.  Make it play!

Catch you from Ohio, everyone!


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111 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

i love my stash too...lots of it from unknowns but there are a few fabric designers i especially like...think jo morton, kim diehl, riley blake and kaffe (swooooon)....but these days content to just play and shop my own store...plenty of inventory...lol!

Louise Young said...

I love my stash of upcycled fabrics, old fabrics, new fabrics, etc. I don't care who's name is on it, if I like it, I like it! For me a lot of times it's more about the color than the print/pattern. What color I need for my vision of what I'm creating. Sometimes a print/color combination will actually set off
a creative vision.

dorothy said...

Thank you for speaking out because there are those of us who can't afford all the fancy new lines of fabric and must use your stash

Charleen DiSante said...

Amen sister! We (yes, me too) become enamored by the shiney tinsel. Or is that enamored of? The foundations of quilting go deeper than that. Pun intended.

Dwynette said...

Bonnie, your quilts are timeless. They do not go out of style. And, the reason for that is because you don't use fabric lines or groups of fabrics that are all the same age. I love your quilts! ...and your techniques. Last week, for the first time, I "made" fabric from my little scraps. I felt so frugal!!! and the results are beautiful! I believe your addiction to scraps is rubbing off on me! Oh, and I hope to sit in on a class when you make it to Omaha!

Dwynette said...

Bonnie, your quilts are timeless. They do not go out of style. And, the reason for that is because you don't use fabric lines or groups of fabrics that are all the same age. I love your quilts! ...and your techniques. Last week, for the first time, I "made" fabric from my little scraps. I felt so frugal!!! and the results are beautiful! I believe your addiction to scraps is rubbing off on me! Oh, and I hope to sit in on a class when you make it to Omaha!

susanne allgeier said...

What an inspirational post. I loved it! I am working on a quilt now that will be a gift but wondering if it would be good enough to enter at the fair. I've decided I don't really care about the competition. I know the person who is getting this quilt will love it and cherish it. And if we decide it's okay to enter into a competition at a later date, so be it. If not, that's certainly fine too. Safe travels, Bonnie!

Bente Antonsen said...

I love my stash! Before tumbling over you Bonnie, I was buying new fabrics faster than I could sew. My sewing room was overloaded with fabrics by 2013 and I was overwhelmed!! Someone talked me into the Celtic Solstice mystery and I used only my stash. I was hooked on the idea of making scrap quilts and now I am addicted!! I have made many quilts from the old fabrics but I put in some new too, especially neutrals. You really made me change my attitude to fabrics and how to use them. Now I go for variety in the same colorfamily and not fabric lines, I look for small prints and funny patterns, and of course all kinds of neutrals. I have totally changes my thinking about fabrics and I think you Bonnie is to honour.

Christine said...

Amen, Bonnie. Profound words today. Thank you for this reminder.

Christine from Ontario

Susan said...

Couldn't agree more!! You are so wise for such a young'n!! Actually, this could be true with all things in our lives. We have become such a follow the hype society. Satisfaction appears to be elusive to those who allow media to tell them what they cannot live without or must have to be complete. Just no ability to think for themselves these days. That includes not just material items but also human interactions also. Thank you for feeding our souls with passion, compassion, and wise life lessons. You are not just a quilting teacher, you are a teacher of life! The world needs more souls like yours.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

couldn't agree more - and because of all the hype of new, new, new some people think they can not afford to quilt!! and that is just plain wrong.

Rose Braun said...

Good morning Bonnie. I love to read your posts and never leave a comment. But today you really have posted a beautiful message for all of us. Thank you. You have made me feel good.

JanyceR said...

I have been thinking a lot over the last year how the current marketing of quilt fabric is so intense. And just like everything else is designed to make us want the latest, greatest. But I agree with you, it is just marketing and we need to remember we can create beautiful things with what we have. Quilts tell stories, and often times the fabrics are a large part of that story. For me, using my stash reminds me of different times, and I love the memories that are built in. Maybe not with the fabric itself, but of what was happening in my life when I obtained a specific piece. The fabric is the trigger for those memories. I love going through my fabrics, decided what to use, and remembering--

puddles said...

I have such a big stash that I have no hope of using it all before I die. However, this article has reinforced a thought that I have been having more recently. I actually stocked up my stash while I was still working (and a little bit more since then.) I used to go nuts on ebay auctions and entered many block swaps. I used to say that they were my superannuation savings (my retirement fund). ;)
Well, I haven't done any sewing for over a year (mainly due to depression I haven't done much of anything) but I have recently turned a corner and have started looking after myself better.
So, it's getting much closer to me starting to utilise my retirement 'savings/stash'.
Also, the weather will be getting cooler here soon in South Australia, so it will be a good time to sew. Thanks Bonnie for being you!! :)
Oh, by the way, I've actually unsubscribed from many of the online stores where I used to but fabric 'because I had to have the new stuff' so I'm sort of attending stash-builders anonymous. Cheers. Dana

Linda Laforest said...

When I look at the fabrics in my stash I remember who I was with when I bought it, what fun we had finding it, or what quilt it is from. I loved it then and I love
it now. All happy memories. I mix the old with the new and when I feel I have too much I get a favourite pattern out and make a few charity quilts. It's always a win-win.

Quilter Kathy said...

You are brilliant and have such a gift to express what many others feel or think, or need to hear!
Thanks for the inspiration!

Shirley said...

Comparison is the thief of joy". "Your stash is your violin. May it play". I LOVE both of these comments more than I can say!

You have given me any eye opener with these words! I'm going to make some signs for my happy place with those words...." Comparison is the thief of joy... Just sew, Create - be happy"! The other will hang where my stash rests.....until I pick it up to play.
Thank you, Bonnie for the eye opening inspiration I needed to just have fun!

elively said...

Thanks for your post this morning. I'm sometimes attracted to fabric lines but I'm often disappointed with them when I go to use them and find they lack the spark that comes when I've done the work to make the pallet my own. My husband, who has a good eye, says when I do the fabric choices myself the quilts have an "Ellie look". He means that there is a certain style that is mine rather than some unknown (to him) designer. Isn't that one of the reasons we quilt, to express ourselves? Our stashes are an expression of ourselves. Yes, we have to enhance them from time to time to refresh them but don't forget that you have chosen those fabrics so use them to reflect your "style"!

Thanks for all you do and all the inspiration you provide. My only complaint is you haven't told me how to find more hours in the day so I can make all the quilts swirling in my mind! Lol!

Safe travel So!
Ellie Lively

Laura McFall said...

I agree with your theory of stash. But I did it wrong. As a 'new' quilter I 'bought' into the 'build my stash' idea. And now I have a closet of fabric that I don't love. I purchased and collected in haste, without knowing my design style or preferences. I'd love to purge it all and start over, but then I have the guilt of wasted $$.

So yes, have and build a stash, but not right away... Take time, discover what you love and then collect carefully. Then it will be your museum, it will represent you, and not just be a closet full of good deals on random fabrics.

Jessica Turcotte said...

While I do like to add to my stash on a regular basis, I really don't care who designed it or who manufactured it as long as it's the right colour and of good quality. I frequently cruise the clearance shelves. Yes, I've bought FQ Bundles of lines if I really like all the fabrics but I don't always use them all together.

I'm in the process of making a quilt that called for just a handful of fabrics. Instead, there will be over 50 different fabrics in it.

It's so much more dynamic and interesting when multiple fabrics in the same colour family are used. Thank you Bonnie for showing me the way!

Teresa in Music City said...

Perfectly said Bonnie! I think we all need a reminder sometimes that we usually already have all that we need in order to be happy if we just choose to be so - I know that I need it every now and again! My mother always told me being content is a state of mind :*). Happy travels!!!!

Karen said...

Very Eloquent!! And how true! Love your blog. Thanks for all the interesting reading. Makes my day!

Beth LaMotte said...

Quiltcon in Savannah was a wonderful and unique experience for me. Sooo many booths had a wondrous variety of fabric from many companies. I spied many prints that date back a few years which was great to see. The designers and fabric company reps that I encountered were easy to approach, fun, and very generous. The new fabric designs were inspirational to me, but I did not feel the need to buy them. I felt a new spark of creativity flaring in my mind after seeing the myriad of projects displayed throughout Quiltcon. Simply put, the booths reminded me of an artist's pallet (or a quilter's stash), many colors and textures just waiting to be blended into that very unique quilt. Beautiful scraps of fabric were abundantly available and highlighted in several presentations. When I left I felt renewed interest and deep appreciation for what quilters create even from the simplest and smallest of scraps. The stories that quilts seem to convey never cease to amaze me.

Jeanne in Ohio said...

I'm so glad to see this post. Designers want and need to sell their fabric. I understand that. I don't understand why a quilter needs to "sell" that fabric by using a single line in a quilt. I happily mix all my fabrics no matter how old or who the designer/manufacturer is. My only criteria is that the fabric fit into the "recipe" I've chosen for the project. I've always loved scrappy quilts, but now that I'm a Bonnie Hunter "stalker," I have a much better idea how to use my scraps. Thanks you, Bonnie!

Bren said...

Wonderful post. Written like a true quilter. My stash started in 1968, with fabrics much older from grandma's stash, great grandma's stash and great great grandma's fabrics, many just bits and pieces, plus old aprons, feed sacks and clothing for recycling. They reused and recycled everything back in the day so why shouldn't we? Several pieces I just love to look at and touch. I do buy a few new pieces now and then but find your statement about Nutrals the most saught after because they make the brilliant colors turn into precious jewels. I'm way to adventures and independent to follow the crowd. Having said that I really do enjoy the 60 some thousand followers of Bonnie Hunter. Lol oh my gosh I had no idea you have had a block in 16 volumes of 100 blocks publications. Is that correct? WOW!!! I would love to see all those blocks. It is too bad you didn't do 2 blocks for each of them...

Robby H. said...

I think one of the greatest gifts as I have accumulated more years is coming to know myself. It allows me to appear bold in my choices because I feel confident in them. Confident enough to take the occasional flyer on that one odd color or to revel in something I love that isn't the latest and greatest. No, my quilts (and frankly, clothes) may not be the envy of everyone else, but they make me happy and I am the one that matters. I appreciate that there are entire lines of fabric even if I don't buy all of one. They give me a chance to see someone else's vision which might spark some new idea for me that uses some of their fabric in my own way. I was taught early in life to appreciate objects that have their own character instead of being like all the others. Being like others isn't bad, and I do it sometimes, but I'm always a little less thrilled with those projects than the ones where I do more of the choosing.

jackiero said...

Oh My Bonnie! The violin story and I are new, and touched my heart while tears well in my aging eyes. I'm extremely grateful of you sharing this uplifting story, I needed it. Blessings. Jackie in NC.

Wendy Patrick Designs said...

Beautifully said, just what I needed to hear this morning, was caught up in the "I think I need to make some very modern quilts", but hey, that's just not me....so for now, I will continue to dig through my stash, look at it all with joy in my heart that I have so much, and appreciate every little dog gone piece! Thanks Bonnie, have fun in Ohio (my birth state, if you get a chance head to Millers Dry Goods in Charm.....it is a lovely quilt shop)

JustPam said...

So many of the "modern" quilts are so beautiful, I think, because of the beautiful fabric that it used. They seem dependent upon beautiful fabric lines that coordinate with each other. I know that most of the fabrics in my stash would not produce a beauty like the ones show cased. The more traditional and "scrappy" quilts are beautiful in spite of the fabric. The design is the focal point. I can use my stash to create a beautiful scrappy and/or traditional quilt. (BH "if the fabric is still ugly you didn't cut it small enough")

Nancy said...

The violin story was wonderful! I had never heard it. In that regard, let me say I have always played my own original tune. I love my stash - old and newer. I won't say "newest" because frankly, most of today's fabrics do not appeal to me. Also, I would never make a quilt in a 'line'. Thus, unless they might be kits for woolie work, I do not buy any kits. Too boring!

Not Lucy said...

Like at least one of the previous commenters, my stash has fabrics are 20-30 years old or older. I look at some and wonder what we were thinking with those colors but in a scrap quilt anything works! I think one reason many people buy a line of fabrics is because they are insecure when it comes to choosing fabrics so they buy exactly what the pattern calls for, the exact colors, etc. instead of thinking, "I like that pattern but really want it in greens so it matches my living room."

Peggy Wilson said...

For me just getting into quilting in a big way, I needed the collections to give me a boost to my color challenged mind I didn't have a stash so to speak and definitely didn't know how to buy fat quarters that wld eventually go together somehow bc scrappy is not how my brain works. In finding your blog I am learning but it will take some time to be comfortable in that mode. I don't want to get to the place that I must have the newest at all, but without a stash the newest is what is available. I like designer's ideas, but I just wish they didn't come out w so much in a year is my pet peeve. That's definitely marketing to our desires. God Himself convicted me of over indulging at the first of this year.

bgail said...

To veer slightly, I attended a show this weekend where the quilts were absolutely fantastic (spotted at least 4 Bonnie patterns!). The quilting was over the top amazing. I felt like such a slacker! But there is room for all of us in the quilting world, those of us who make warm, cuddly quilts for use--beds, picnics, loveys, and cuddles--and those whose hearts and art lead them to create those wonderful stunning eye candy masterpieces. I'm 2 years now into helping my dad sort out my mom's stash. It is old (some going back to my grandmother's stash), new, boring floral, and surprisingly quirky here and there. It is my Mom! It came from JoAnns, and Hancock, and garage sales--she had a 6th sense for finding fabric. And now it adds to my stash and my story. None of my quilts are prize winners, except in my heart. But I still make quilts that I love, that reflect who I am. Be true to YOU, and create!

Barb H said...

Terrific post, Bonnie. From now on, I'll be thinking of myself as a quilting artist. Thank you for this perspective.

Charlotte Kieliszek said...

Living by comparison is the enemy of contentment in all areas of life. I love the depth of my stash. If it was all from this year I wouldn't have the variety and texture I love in quilts. Some of my stash is as old as my daughter because I recognize pieces I used for her dresses or doll quilts, and some was purchased last week. The desire to buy new is not always healthy -- paying the rent/mortgage, utilities, and groceries comes before Stash enhancement. In the days when I was splurging to buy anything I worked on smaller scale projects because I didn't have yardage. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can and it will be enough.

All8 said...

I quilt by color not by brand or line. For me I try to really look at nature, the sky isn't just blue, it can be greyed or pale, or even lean into velvety purples, Salmon and bright fiery gold. The tree out my window, which is still just the trunk and limbs isn't just brown, there are lots of shades of brown but also grey and even some creamy eggshell and the new growth that are a bright, rusty yellow. To leave out the variation makes things flat and lifeless. I love how your quilts shine and sparkle, just like real life. Are there some ugly, warty fabrics (times in our lives), YEP. Are there beautiful vistas and shining sunrises, YEP, but it's the putting it all together, the warts and bumps and beauty that truly makes life (and our quilts) SHINE!

Hope you have a great trip! Thank you for all the inspiration! You're the best.

Lilac Joan said...

The Touch of the master hand is a favorite of mine. Love your thoughts on fabric. I am in the process of finishing old UFO's, started before I really thought I could do scrap quilts (not enough fabric.) With these I can't add additional fabric because the colors are too controlled. I will be glad to be done with the UFO's so I can go back to the scraps! I have always loved scrappy because I loved picking out the pieces from my clothing that my grandmother used. Thank you for your ideas.
Also my mind is almost always scrappy!

Susan Torrens said...

I look after the quilting group in my winter Florida community. I help quilters with patterns, techniques, and generally just answer questions. I have designed a few patterns for the group over the years, but lately, many have fallen into the "must have the latest fabric" trap. Many are also only making simple quilts, using pre-cuts, and when I suggest using them in traditional ways, they only want to make things that they can finish quickly.
We all have a need to make a "quick quilt" from time to time, but what I love about quilting is the diversity of techniques and patterns available, and I'm always on the look-out for something to stretch my abilities. I dislike patterns that are "fabric line dependent". I don't want to be forced to search everywhere for a particular fabric, or feel like I have to buy the exact fabric that was used in a pattern. I love to hunt through my 25+ year old stash, to find just the perfect fabric, and I often change my mind about colour choices in a project, based on my stash. This winter, my goal has been to use as many of my scrap strips as possible, and I've had a blast, using all the fabrics and making interesting, fun quilts.
You have been a great inspiration! Keep up the great work!

rebecca said...

I also love to quilt with whatever catches my fancy. Since I am a beginner in this, I sometimes think I may be wrong but I have decided I will pick what catches my eye and paint with it! 🤗 Don't get me wrong, I love the new fabrics from many designers but I also enjoy looking at my mom's stash that dates way back, she is 89 and still quilting daily.

Cathy Means said...

You spoke straight to my heart! I have been in my own world.. doing my own thing my entire life. My stash goes back along way. I have one piece from what my mother used to make me some baby doll pajamas. I have a 64 qt tub full of feed/ flour sacks. I have always shopped for color or effect not fabric design. I have scraps left over from my daughter's dresses. I have always loved scraps and have made many scrap quilts but I used to get excited for the 60% off sales to buy bolts of muslins to put them all together. My eyes were opened by neutrals ... and I thank you Bonnie! You have given my quilts new life. Any you make my heart happy to know it is food to do what I have always done .... create. God bless you and safe travels!

Faelin said...

One of the greatest things I appreciate about following you (along with your kindness and generosity) is that you are not required by endorsement contracts to push products at us. Quilt teachers and authors who are paid by companies must earn their keep by designing/teaching specifically entice us to buy those specific products. In other words, the bottom line is profit for suppliers. While I realize this is necessary for a successful supply chain, I hope it doesn't stifle/inhibit creativity. Thank you Bonnie for your integrity, your generosity and your willingness to teach us.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie

Sharmond said...

Thanks Bonnie! I visit your blog every day. You give such good encouragement and advice. It really helps if I am feeling a little down to read your blog. It so helps to hear this and hopefully remember it, too!

Den Cofman said...

Hi Bonnie,
For me it is the playing with fabric that feeds my soul. Your patterns make playing with fabric so fun because it is all about the values of the fabrics and I love scrappy! I will be quilting my En Provance quilt this weekend on a rented long arm, mostly made with fabrics from my stash.
Thank you, thank you for all you do! I read your blog every morning that I have Internet!
Yours in quilting,
Mary in New Mexico

Sandy Zlotkowski said...

Very well spoken. We all need to step back from the buy this, you have to have that "stuff" and be our own individual selves. You are true to yourself and don't ever change who you are.

priscilla said...

Thank you for the words of encouragement!!! I really look forward to hearing your live blogs & I read you every day. Thank you once again!!

Genee' Davis said...

I have gotten caught up with some fabric lines I have to admit. I get so irritated when people put out patterns as "theirs" when it's obliviously a take on an old, free pattern! It happens a lot.on social media. And, there's a certain group of people who are so intertwined, I do blieve (sarcasm intended����) you have to join their.....clique (I won't name it) to be included. It's so obvious when you read their description of themselves. Yes, it's networking, yes, it's business....but for those of us who quilt for the joy, the giving to others....it's an expensive hype. That's why I truly love and appreciate you Bonnie! You are a truly giving person!❤ yes, it is a business for you! But you give so much more than "take" . I am a loyal follower of you, because I found you first when I started my own journey 6 years ago or so. You inspired me.....you still inspire me everyday! I hope to meet you one day in real life just to be able to convey my thanks and appreciation!��❤

Valerie Palm said...

Thank you for your wisdom on current marketing pressures. Like others who have posted here, through following your online presence, I also have pursued better use of my stash "Leftovers". Most of my quilts are gifts. What has emerged is a connectivity between all the quilts with the bits of the same fabric appearing in several quilts.

Darlene said...

Bonnie! Thank you so much for your post this morning! Ironically, this is a subject very near and dear to my heart. I appreciate that you've shared your thoughts. I would thoroughly enjoy sitting and discussing this very subject with you. You've offered so much food for thought.

Have a safe journey~

Gloria Schwarting said...

I love this. I have a shelf full of "block of the month" blocks that have never been set and quilted because I see the "new" pattern that is fascinating. New summer goal...get out some of the block stacks and set them on the diagonal with solid fabrics. Then I can practice with all those rulers I will be getting at Calla Lilly next weekend.

rebecca said...

I never really had a "stash", couldn't understand why I would ... Then, last year, my husband saw an ad for an estate sale. A lovely old brick home, across from a great old hospital, in the "finest" of neighborhoods, just down the street from houses whose architects are the subjects of coffee table art books. He went in. The vendor was generous, my husband brought home a nice selection of vintage "quilt shop cottons." The next morning, no line to get in to the sale, but 3 rooms full to overflowing with fabric, threads, patterns and so much more. We selected a lot. In the basement, undiscovered, were boxes full of "her best" fabrics. In the dark, dingy light I saw fabrics I had coveted years before. I pulled & pulled and arranged what I didn't want to buy on a bookcase shelf. Other guests walked around me. By the time we were done I had many bags full of cotton, one full of flannels & many coordinated sets. We picked up a color wheel, plenty of cones of thread & some machine attachments. I threw in an entire flatware set & gorgeous fancy serving pieces that matched well. (I use them every day! Fancy me!) As we waited in the living room the vendor chatted with my husband and handed me a bill for $14.25!!!!! I have made quilt tops for charity, given children bundles to learn to sew & had to buy a giant IKEA cubby style bookcase to arrange my treasures. My only concern? Time enough to honor the quilter who was financially better off than me, but who so gracefully blessed my family. I will gladly buy a beautiful new yard or two, but I always "shop our stash" first.

Joanne Alburger said...

Oh the positive energies you give out to us thanks again for your amazing insights and inspirations and shove to keep on quilting!

kansaswx said...

I do not like being judged because I like to buy fabric. I have a huge stash and I will until the day I die. Because I love fabric and when I see something new and can afford it, I'm going to buy it. I don't like being judged by people who think scrap quilting means you have to use old fabric or are somehow "not right" because you want to continue buying new fabric for your scrap quilts. I love new fabric, I love to see it, I love to feel it, I love to plan projects with it. I sometimes race to get it (because, after all, with everyone loving it, it goes fast) and I often buy whole collections (in pre-cuts). There is nothing "wrong" with me because I like, and can afford to buy new fabric. I'm not buying it "because" it is new but because it is fresh and different. I'm not buying it because of "who" designed it, but I sure want to know who designed it because I like to know that kind of thing. I like to look at a line and think, "oh, that's got to be from Fig Tree", just the same as I like to look at a pattern and think, "oh, that's a Bonnie Hunter design". There is nothing wrong with me because I think that way or because I buy new fabric often. I don't like being judged by someone who shops differently than I do. And, I was at the Savannah Quiltcon for two days. I saw no frenzy to buy or rush to see "new stuff". This Quiltcon was no different than any of the other major, national shows - people who are thrilled with quilts and quilting and fabrics were looking and buying and listening to demonstrations. There is nothing "wrong" with me.

Cheryl B. said...

What a great essay this morning. I love my stash also. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a "yard sale" at a children's furniture manufacturer in Beaufort, SC in 2012. I bought their entire inventory of fabric samples and I love them all! I have a fairly large stash in that it does not all fit in my sewing room and I am trying really hard to just buy neutrals and use up my stash. I am pretty sure that I have enough to sew the rest of my life. I also garden and knit so if I make 10 quilts a year for the next 30 years, that is 300 quilts. I think I can, I think I can......

Aleda Johnson said...

Thanks Bonnie, as a low income quilter I have learned to rely on reclaimed fabric, donated fabric, & some purchased as I can. I love modern style & bright colors & still find ways to produce quilts that reflect this without having to buy a line of up-to-date fabric. My En Provence included fabric from 7 sheets, I am currently doing a Scrappy Mountain with 1950s tiny florals (36" wide). It will be perfect for the person who is getting it & that is what counts.

Ruth Ann S said...

Glad you posted this, Bonnie. I & so many of my quilting friends always, okay - my resolution for this new year is to use fabric in my stash before buying new fabric ! And then we all laugh a lot because we know it won't be long before we in fact will be buying new fabric. For myself, however, I am at the point where I truly want to do this, and have actually started. It feels good, and it's great to know that you & some others feel the same - kind of like a support group for those of us that feel out of control (like me!), but not so much now. Thank you !

Tie Dye Queen said...

I am with you on not knowing the company/designer of fabric I use. Except Hoffman. Hoffman fabrics always catch my eye because of their wild brightness. Otherwise I have no idea who designed what is in my stash, nor do I think, "Oh,yeah!" when bloggers I read reel off the fabric lines they use. Usually, if it's bright & verging on gaudy, I want some of it!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

@kansaswx no one is judging you and there is nothing wrong with you and you have no need to be so defensive. I was talking to a friend about what SHE experienced. She wasn't reporting on you or what you saw. These are my feelings and findings and if I went through life scared to state how i feel for fear of offending someone who thought differently than why bother to post at all? I think you are way more offended by my post than you really need to be. Please keep on quilting and be happy.

TXMOM said...

When you say you don't quilt with "junk" - I say that's fine and what we all aspire to. However, one woman's junk is another woman's treasure. I'm learning...just recently bought 5 yards of fabric at a thrift store to use as backing....when I opened it up, I realized it is thin and won't withstand the multiple washing of a baby quilt and so I "rejected" it. However I have Quiltshop quality fabrics that I'm afraid to cut into as I'm not confident yet. So, I buy the cheap stuff wherever I can and I enjoy my time at my machine...may be junk to you, but fun for me!

Cheri said...

2 yrs ago when I first started quilting the intent was to use up my stash clear back to the 70s.Which seams to grow instead of shrink.
I now shop the thrift shops mens department for xxlg shirts. Their is some beautiful fabric in those shirts.That gives me pride recycling. I have a huge feed tub full of bread bags with deboned shirts in them. Adds to the fun. I've been working on the hour glass quilt all mens shirts it is beautiful. I need to figure out the yardage in these shirts. So glad you directed me in that direction. I'm on ssi and a very limited budget. The scrapper the better I love it.
Thank you Bonnie for introducing me to the world of quilting that I can afford.

mkhquilts said...

Thank you for sharing what you did about our stash being the expression of our creativity and not needing the newest and greatest always! And especially the poem about the Touch of the Master's Hand. I had tears, and shared the poem on Facebook. I know many of my FB friends will love it!This was my inspiration for today! God bless you on your flight and your classes!

Nancy Kursewicz said...

When I went to my first quilt show I was so intimidated I almost quit quilting. I had to rethink my reasons for taking up quilting. Once I decided to set my own standards for what is good for me I was then able to appreciate the art work at shows as "museum art pieces" and accept tha I'm not in their league. An I'm perfectly OK with that!i just love quilting for the joy it brings me, the new challenges it gives me, and the chance to learn new skills. And all the new friends I've made! Especially that!

Cathy said...

Quilting intimidated me at first...had to match all the colores & fabrics. Then I found you...Bonnie Hunter, and you changed everything! I had my moms scraps from sewing our clothes...I can use them, I had shirts of my dads...I can use them, I had new & older fabrics...I can use them, even some uglies that I thought I'd never use...I can use them too! You opened the door for me and I jump thru with both feet...loving every minute of it and have never looked back. I get scraps from the ladies in my sewing group...I even got a trash bag full of calicoes...I'm so happy with them, I love calicos! I love reproduction, modern, I pretty much love all fabric. So you fit the bill perfectly for me and I love scrappy quilting and you've given me the courage to go for it. You also got me into vintage sewing machines...the first time I took it to my sewing group was interesting...they all had the largest new machines...her I come with my 301 and couldn't have been happier! You have set me free!😀

Lana Ku said...

Bonnie, what a great thought provoking post today. As a newer quilter, I too have fallen for so much of the quilting world "marketing" tactics as I figure out what makes ME happy on MY quilting journey. I'm sad that anyone would feel bad about their quilting journey because of your post. It makes ME feel better about my own & all that I have discovered about myself & what I really want and need from my quilting life. I enjoy following many blogs, some of which have even made me feel inadequate, or sad that I couldn't afford all that lovely fabric they seem to have an endless supply of, or tools I needed to make their design, or much less, expensive sewing machines and the money to send them off to have someone do the long arm quilting on all their quilts. But then I took a deep breath and realized that for so many of these, their love for quilting and fabrics and design has become an income producing business for them, which they work very hard at and deserve the rewards. And I also reap the rewards and benefits by learning from them. However, I had to finally put it into perspective before I drove myself crazy, and into debt, by trying to buy and do all that they do. I've also discovered quilting blogs that share their knowledge, trials and errors, and encourage you to do what you can, with what you have, with the skills you possess or those you can learn (ahem...BKH included). I love so many of the newer fabrics and pretty much stay in the lane that I favor and consider more my style, but also limit myself to what I realistically can use in a reasonable period of time (of course my small budget helps me too). I also love the great "history" of fabrics I often find at estate sales. Lately though I have been reflecting on thoughts of I might be becoming more of a curator of fabric than someone actually making things from their fabric stash. My goal this year is to be more of a maker and less of a curator. I don't want to become burdened by my fabric stash, but feel the joy from what can be made and shared from it all.

khowardquilts said...

I loved the Touch of the Master's Hand.I don't have a huge stash by most standard. A few years ago a friend decided to reduce her stash and I came home with about half a grocery bag of fabric (a very small part of what she was giving away). What was shocking was that was around 17 yards of fabric and it was then that I realized that I likely would never use all the fabric I have. I don't make that many quilts. I have fabric from many friends and family.

The designers need the buyers, and I understand that. So those who like to buy and can afford to do so, should buy. Those that don't buy are not judging you, they just could be just a little jealous sometimes. They may have to make do with what they have and really do try to be content with what they have. Even though buying some new fabric might be easier than sorting out 10 different prints where one would work.

Then I think of the the sad stories where family members have just filled a dumpster with the contents of a loved ones sewing room, because it was the easiest thing to do with fabric none of them wanted.


.

Susan Davidson said...

Stash grows the same way hangers do - actually I think that all the single socks that get lost in the dryer turn into hangers. But, in regard to stash, I will never be without it. Even the scraps start to take over the world.

I's say 95% of my quilts are for donation. They're not great works of art, they're practical, quick and warm. I get almost all of my fabric from thrift shops. Sometimes I'll buy new if I'm working on a quilt for a family member, or I'll buy panels sometimes. But mostly I get my thrill from making something useful and sort of pretty from things people have tossed out as having no value. I'm so happy they do that.

Maureen in Portland said...

Great post Bonnie -- even better than usual! There are a lot of "Masters" out there, some I'm proud to follow, some I "only" admire, and even some whose work is not to my taste. Many of thhem are not published or publicized. I don't think of myself as a Master by any means but certainly I try to play my fiddle every single day! Have a good trip.

Sue in Scottsdale, AZ said...

Beautifully said and I agree 100%.

mangozz said...

Today's post was an exceptionally good one. I used to think that I could make incredibly beautiful quilts if only I could afford to buy the most perfect fabrics. I even used to feel sorry for myself sometimes and place the blame for a less than perfect quilt on the lack of these "perfect" fabrics. You have really opened my eyes to the truth about fabric and opened my heart to vintage machines too. I used to believe that I would be able to make the best quilts on a new machine with all the bells and whistles. I don't even want one anymore. Now I only have eyes for vintage machines. And I just recently acquired a Singer 127 treadle which I am in the process of restoring. I am like a kid with a new toy. I can hardly wait until it's ready. Thanks Bonnie.

lmno said...
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lmno said...

Great topic. So well said. The latest trend does not matter. Let it inspire us to sew up a new design or one block to start a sampler. Your own style and creativity matter the most. Thank you.

Julie Vernon said...

Bonnie, I couldn't agree with you more.... when I buy fabric, like most of us do I buy what I like. No amount of designer this and that will make me like my fabrics less.
There are several brands that seem to be A MUST!! what the heck does it matter? Quality fabfics can be found everyhwere by many mills. Just learn to feel and LOOK at what you buy...buy the best your purse allows.
Use what you have, enjoyed creating your own look and style. Who wants a quilt that there Is a zillionlike it because folks have to copy wherever THE LASTEST is ... herd mentality!
Break from the herd and enjoy independence... it might be scary at first, but what fun you will have making your own quilts your own way.

Bravo for this post Miss BonnieK !!!

Smilies
JulieinTN

Diane Zeigler said...

I am a fairly new quilter. Although I've sewn a lot in my life. I cannot afford to buy the pre-cut bundles. I buy my Fabric in fat Quarters at Walmart and Joanne's when it's on sale. I watch some other designers who promote fabric lines. but I find that I watch to learn the construction and to apply them to my own fabrics and make them my own way.

JuliAnn Craver said...

Bonnie, I also agree with you and many others in their post. My stash is varied, the only trouble I have is some of the stash has been washed and the rest has not(I was caught in the wash / don't wash era) lol . I may have just a few name brands but you and a few other quilting teachers have taught me to look at color not just the prints. Thank you for validating how a lot of us feel.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I loved your essay, Bonnie! My stash goes back decades and I use it all even though I'm currently hanging out with a group of Modern quilters. A lot of the "modern" look seems to depend on a certain (current) color palette or style of print. But I use what I have already though mixed with a few new fabrics. I figure that a quilt made out of an all-new fabric line will look dated in a few years. But a quilt whose fabrics span decades will always look classic.

Thanks for preaching the gospel of scrappiness so effectively. And also for introducing me to the use of men's cotton shirts in quilting.

mgquilts said...

Thanks for your soap-box moment there, Bonnie. I've a ROOM full of material from throughout the last 25 plus years. I'm stitching it up as fast as I can but there never seems to be an end to it. I'm making charity baby quilts, three a month, as well as kid quilts for growing family. My goal was to use this all up so I could buy the new stuff, but you've given me new eyes with which to view my stash. No need for apologies to the kinderfolk; my quilts will still wrap them in love and warmth. I have a treasure trove in that room. I can't wait to go dig thru my treasures come the weekend. Thank you, and Gid bless...from NE Texas

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Thank you, and I totally agree. I have been blessed over the years I've been quilting by having many yards of beautiful (and some not so beautiful) fabrics given to me. I do my best to use them all and I add plenty more I buy to please me. To me, the fabrics are the paints I use to create and I love using as many as possible!

diane said...

You said it correctly Bonnie. The stash will always be good and never outdated in my way of thinking. I have in the last year bought some name brand fabrics. Once I got them they didn't impress me any more than my stash fabrics. Maybe it's because I enjoy and love all the fabric I have. And you named all the reasons I tried the new designer fabrics. You are so right on! The other thing I discovered was that in the beginning of my fabric purchasing I didn't pay attention to who the designer was. Now when using my stash I'm quite surprised to see names of designers who I didn't realize was their fabric.

You Ms Bonnie are my scrappy hero.

BJ said...

I moved from a very populous area with an active quilting community to a remote area where quilting support is over 2 hours away. I have every gadget you can think of, an extensive stash and several machines. I don't do social media, but I needed a source of inspiration, so I started following blogs. I couldn't believe the number of designers - fabric, pattern, gadget, you name it. Links to this, that and the other thing. I found you almost immediately and have stuck with you - your approach, taste, and outlook are very comfortable for me. I've explored modern, improv, brights, solids, this designer, that designer, and, after experimenting with over 100 blogs for over a year, I've whittled my list down to fewer than 25. Too much action out there! Frankly, I think there are way too many fabric lines and too many "new" patterns. I keep dangling my toes in the "young" scene because I have grandchildren & grand nieces who love brights, but my heart always returns to traditional & scrappy. Not being on social media helps keep me grounded, and also keeps my time from running down the rabbit hole. I know where the pretty pictures are if I need more inspiration, but I don't get bombarded with the pressure side of quilting any more. Thanks for the help in keeping it real!

Patti Vincent said...

I'm a former quilt store owner and have the 'stash' to prove it. We had a club at my store that was continued after I closed called Scrap Happy. We are a group of ladies that get together, show off our work, talk about patterns and learn new techniques. But the most fun is when we do swaps. Someone has a project they want to make and involves a bunch of blue fabric, we decide what size is needed and the next month, those of us that want to do that project or just want a bunch of blue fabric, we swap our stash. Depending on how prolific we are, some come the next month and have a quilt top finished. We all love scrappy quilts and some are repro people, some are bright people, some are softer colors. We get 'new' fabric to mess with and we have a great time together.
Find others to swap your stash and save some money.

shoshu said...

Bonnie,
thank you so much for this post, i have been getting discouraged looking at all the fantastic pictures of quilts allover thinking i'll never be able to REALLY quilt, maybe i should just give up... this even thought i'm totally addicted, and find tremendous joy in every part of the process, [including the wonderful community that surrounds the craft], so it's not just our stashes, that need to remember whats really important, but our whole outlook on quilting, and on life in general!

cajunladycreations said...

I love your common sense attitude toward life. I have never been a fashion or design follower. I am more of a what is on sale person...lol. I search for lovely fabric of good quality that is marked down to make way for the new. All that matters to me is do I like it myself. I never even check selvages. The quilts and totes and placemats that I make cost me very little and that makes me happy and also makes me creative since I always work from my stash instead of going out and purchasing fabric for a certain project. It definitely stretches my imagination. I am 81 years young and did not get into quilting until about 5 years ago. I come from a family of seamstresses so sewing was in my blood anyway. I have made my own clothes in the past and curtains and even comforters (whole cloth.) Quilting has now become my passion and I look forward to it each day and your blog helps me a lot. I have learned a lot from your books and free patterns and Mystery quilts. My Mysteries never look like yours but I still love them.Thanks so much for all you do for us.

Unknown said...

Bonnie,
I read something on the internet within the last year that said quilting as a business was dying as evidenced by quilt shops and online quilt stores closing because so many quilters already had stashes. I feel that the manufacturers have bought into that and are afraid that we will quit buying. So they promote their new lines to the hilt and try to make us feel bad if we don't buy the newest designs or the newest colors.
Your latest mystery quilt was the first I did with you and I used mostly fabric from my stash and I love it. I will be using this approach in the future. I will still be buying new fabric but probably not enough for a whole quilt at one time.

vincenzo126 said...

"The Master’s Hand” written in 1921, Myra Brooks Welch. Her story is interesting!

Outback Crafter - Debra said...

A wonderful post Bonnie. I've never seen the violin poem before, that is so perfect.

kath in ohio said...

Good reminder for us...although I love to visit shops & support those businesses. My clusters of unused stashes will find their ways into my projects! Welcome this morning to snowy Ohio!

terry sharp said...

Thank you Bonnie for this wonderful insight. Every now and then I need to step back from my computer/phone where I read and see beautiful new fabric and quilts. I have to remind myself that I do not need these things to satisfy my creative soul. I love this poem and have printed it out to keep in my sewing room as a reminder to resist buying the latest trend.

Marian Sayers said...

This is a very interesting post. If, ten years ago, I had been told I "had" to purchase new fabric and hire a quilter, I never would of started quilting. Raising seven children on one income simply would not allow for it! Instead, my quilting experience started with a 25 cent bag of scraps at a yard sale. My children and I played with those and carefully sewed them into hexies for a Grandmother's Flower Garden. It took ten years to complete the top and financially things are different now so I was able to hire a professional quilter to finish it.
Over the years I have built a stash, most being gifted and thrifted. I feel so blessed to have what I do. My family and friends don't care if the fabric is designer. They just like having a quilt that I made for them.
And having said that, I do purchase new fabric as well..if for no other reason to freshen up what I'm working with and to interject even more of my own personality and tastes into the quilt. I'll finish up by noting that my En Provence was built mostly from my stash. I added 6 "new" quarter yard cuts of fabric and an upcycled bedskirt as my constant and I love it...just hte way it is! (Sorry this is so lengthy!)

Curt Terpstra said...

My wife is the quilter in the family, and I am the computer geek. She wanted me to read this post and I enjoyed it very much.

The story of the old violin, is actually are the lyrics of a song called 'Touch of the Masters Hand'

here is a link to one performance of it by the Booth Brothers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BZJ_TnwUWQ

Holly in Arkansas said...

Sorry Bonnie but with the talk of Ga and violins my mind immediately went to the Charlie Daniels tune "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"

kupton52 said...

At the risk of waxing "Casablancan"....of all the posts in all the blogs this may be my favorite one yet. Thank you, Bonnie...you've made my day. Now I'm going to admire and be extra grateful for my fabulous stash. Blessings...

Sherry said...

What a great. topic! While I was working full time, raising our family, plus helping my hubby run our family business; I was a quilter, with very little time to quilt. I found joy in visiting quilt shops, though, when time allowed, and when I found fabric that "called to me", I would buy 3 yards of it and delight in finding enough coordinating fabrics to allow me to make a bed sized quilt. (I learned early, that colors change quickly in the quilting world.) When I got home, I put this "kit" in my stash closet. This continued for several years. I quilted some throughout those years, and enjoyed creating my own quilt designs in Electic Quilt. But now that I'm retired, I cannot express the joy that I have going into that bulging closet, which I now call my "Retirement Plan". I can now play with all those wonderful fabrics and not need to spend lots of money while on a fixed income. The additional joy is being able to share those fabrics with my granddaughters, who I am teaching to quilt.

Jusmom1 said...

Wow, you have me in tears. I love my stash...all of it. However, the story of the violin pertains to so much more...to life, love and to every human being on this planet. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder...if they only take time to see.

QuilterMomma said...

Thank you Bonnie for getting on your "soap box" with this posting. Right now I am working thru my scraps wondering why I have kept them for so long. Now I realize they were a treasure to me from all the quilts I have made and will never get to see again. Yes, I will work my way thru my piles of scraps and make them into several beautiful creations. And yes, the violin is a great story of life to reflect upon always. We all have worth. Now to get creative with that stash I have.

Anne Grzesiak said...

Quilt on, maestro !!

Kristin Stonham said...

Wonderful post, Bonnie! I very seldom buy "new" fabric, as I have a healthy stash and come across big bags full of wonderful colors at thrift stores... or find the sewing niche at estate sales. I don't think I've ever bought a jelly roll or layer cake in my sewing life! I sew from a lovely ragtag lot of pre-loved fabric, and to paraphrase Louisa May Alcott, it has neither injured my constitution nor alienated the recipients of my quilts.

My latest finish was putting together some block-of-the-month sunflowers from my guild. My favorite part of the quilt is the sashing stones made from sunflower fabric... that I inherited from my late grandmother. I think she would be pleased that I used her fabric in a quilt for her great-grandson. You can't get that from something new and shiny.

LJ said...

Thank you, Bonnie. The old violin poem is perfect. I may not be a master but I can make fabrics sing!

annieb said...

Great blog post Bonnie. I couldn't agree with you more. Blogs are designed to create conversation, which this one certainly did. I dearly loved the posting of the "the Master's Hand". This is an all time favorite of mine since I was a young girl. I listened to the link that was also shared. I am amazed at the ladies that appeared to be "miffed" that the whole world did not agree with their opinions & way of doing things. What a boring world this would be if we were all little cookie cutter people. I am grateful for those that can afford & like purchasing only like lines. They keep the local quilt shops open & fun to visit. I was raised by depression era family, and I truly love making something out of nothing. I purchase many small amounts of fabric at a charity shop where the money received helps pregnant young women & their newborne babies. Sometimes that material goes for charity quilts for these same young women or the elderly, pillow cases for CASA, so I feel like my dollars are well spent twice over. I fell in love with following your blog because you made me feel connected to the world I live in. Thank you. Keep on doing what you do, and those that feel differently need to learn to like themselves enough not to be offended when someone else feels another way. I am sad for them. I love my stash, the memories it evokes, and the fun I have just playing in it some days.

Carol Viens said...

What a wonderful post!! Beautifully stated!! I will save this post....

Joan Elkins said...

Best blog post, ever! Thank you for taking the time to write them.

Rosemary said...

So agree with everyone!!! I'm almost 80 and have sewn forever. Since I started quilting, I've become addicted even more so to fabric. My stash has grown beyond belief and then I see some more fabric on line that "will be available" next month or next day or next year and I am tempted yet again. I am working on my stash, though, which means more scrappy quilts (MY FAVORITE). You are right with all you say and it helps to stop looking at all the ads i.e some of the blogs). I donate boxes of fabric to some teachers I know that are working with kids to make charity quilts, etc. Make quilts for children of abused women who live in shelters. There is much you can do with your stash. What I have to do is STOP looking at all the blogs that are "selling" fabric for themselves or others! So many kind and generous bloggers (you, for one) out there and those are the ones I read ... Thank you, thank you for sharing your views!!

Dyann Cox said...

I have been reflecting on this very subject lately....I buy fabric because I like it and not for the designer's name. As you read blogs and scan Instagram the name dropping of different designers starts to make one feel a bit insufficient when you don't know what fabric is designed by who.....I am more of an advocate of using my fabric to make something that will be loved and enjoy the creative process as I go. After all isn't that why we sew?

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Bonnie ... this is one of the BEST posts you've ever done. Wow ... what a great read and the responses ... ALL of them ... were great. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Have a great trip to Ohio and, as always, thank you SEW much for what you do!! Linda

lcscottage said...

Amen, Bonnie!!!

Becky Cameron said...

As an admitted fabriholic I love shopping sales the colors call to me not the name of the designer and the saddest day for me is when I use the last scrap of an old favorite but then I get to see it in the quilt and value it even more you always have the best inspiration for me so now I will finish borders for the omigosh top that followed my en Provence that gave me the courage to try the omigosh thank you again

fajar msy said...
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Neller said...

Thank you for this post! Just the other day I was boxing up all of my stamping supplies so I would have room in the bins for my scrap strips, blocks, and bricks. As I was doing t, I found many items I had NEVER used. When I was into stamping, I had to buy the latest stamps, inks, and other accessories. I spent more time buying than I did making. It has gotten that way with fabric too. This year I am trying to make do with what I have, and only buying fabric when I need to have a certain color I am low on. When I made the mystery quilt, I had some lavenders, neutrals, yellows and greens. I had to purchase other colors and add to some of my staples to have enough, but now I have a big supply of dark purple strips, yellows, and some greens and neutrals to pull for another project.

Jo said...

All of what you mentioned about the quilt world is what made Kelli and I back away. The push is too much for us. I want to sail my own boat.

sandra said...

Kansaswx Very.Well.Said. I buy what I want, when I want it and when I can afford it. I am grateful for the beautiful new fabric lines around for me to look at. Im not sure that designing fabric is a lucrative business for designers. And of course Bonnie is going to write a post like this, she has made a successful business out of scrap quilting!!

sandra said...

Kansaswx Very.Well.Said. I buy what I want, when I want it and when I can afford it. I am grateful for the beautiful new fabric lines around for me to look at. Im not sure that designing fabric is a lucrative business for designers. And of course Bonnie is going to write a post like this, she has made a successful business out of scrap quilting!!

Jennifer Nilson said...

This is by far one of my favorite posts on your blog, although I enjoy them all. I binge read them...just now getting caught up! Be well, my friend.

Michael said...

Hello from a relatively new reader (and quilter)! It's rare that I read not only the blog post but also the many comments that follow, but as others have noted, this topic obviously struck a chord with a lot of us. It's been very interesting reading!

As a new quilter, I am still building a stash, a little at a time. I buy when the price is right (for me), with no concern for fabric lines or designers (though I will admit that sometimes, if the name of a print or line gives me a thrill, I linger over it a little longer-- I'm the same way when choosing paint colors!). Ultimately, what matters is that I like it and that it's reasonably priced (again, by my standards). I love the thought that a "look" that is completely my own will eventually emerge from this method of stash-building.

If money were no object, I probably would splurge and buy more pre-cuts and whole lines, but on the other hand, because I love the scrappy look and the "make-do" style, I also feel a touch of envy for those who have extensive stashes with materials dating back for years, if not decades.

We shouldn't worry about what others think of our personal shopping and quilting styles. I don't swoon over every single quilt I see, and not everyone will like what I make, either. A print that I love will fill someone else with disgust. A fabric I'm happy to have is probably too cheap, by another quilter's standards-- and yet something I dismiss as too shabby might be gratefully snapped up by someone else. That's the way things go in all other areas of life; why should quilting be any different?