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Showing posts with label fabric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fabric. Show all posts

Friday, September 14, 2018

I got lucky

I am a firm believer in luck, of being in the right place at the right time. And I hit the jackpot recently when I attended a local estate sale that advertised “fabric.”

I walked into an outbuilding, along with a huge crush of others, into what had clearly been used as a sewing studio at one time. Talk about a kid in a candy store. That is exactly how I felt. My vision was filled with dreamy colors: paisleys, plaids, stripes, polka dots, and solids. The studio contained numerous sewing machines, dozens of bolts of fabric, all neatly stacked in shelves along the walls. There were a number of bins filled with sewing notions from pins and needles to scissors and rotary cutters. There were yards of batting, cutting mats, and more. But most of all, there were boxes and boxes of fabric on tables, some sorted, some not. This was a fabric stash that was a quilter’s dream come true.

Normally when I buy fabric, I take my time, studying the colors, and thinking about various projects I might create. I try to visualize what is in my own stash, and what is lacking there. Yet, when I walked into this place, there wasn’t time to consider what I wanted. I just let it speak to me. I picked up what I liked with no thought to what I would do with it. There just wasn’t time for that. And, if I liked something and didn’t grab it, one of the others shopping there would have. So, I wasn’t even really aware of what I bought until I got home and spent some time with it, imagining what part it would play in future quilts. One of the first things I did was wind it onto cardboard in preparation for storage. I love
fabric and everything about it makes me happy.

I spent about $40 for material that would have otherwise cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. This was a sale of a lifetime.

That said I would be remiss not to mention the downside.

I’m aware that my joy is related to someone else’s agony. I don’t know the story of what became of the person who owned that studio, the person who initially bought each and every yard of fabric contained there. I can’t even speculate. But it always makes me sad to realize that when someone’s household items are ‘liquidated,’ it is usually because someone died or was forced to move away.

I cherish each and every yard of fabric I have, but I respect this even more because of how it was obtained. I hope when the day comes that my children have to dispose of my fabric that it will be go to quilters. Quilters are very caring people, and they understand what our fabric means to us.

I’m anxious to start my next project.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Taking my first steps back to quilting


fabric stash 

My quilting has definitely been on hiatus of late. When my husband became ill two years ago, I just didn’t have the time for leisurely activities or creative expression, both of which I consider quilting to be.

Between trips to doctors, supervising his exercises, along with the his, mine, and ours chores, not to mention the exhaustion factor, I just couldn’t find the time or concentration to quilt.

Either things are settling down or I’m becoming really efficient at my routine, but quilting is regaining a focus in my life. I still don’t have much spare time to actually sit down at my sewing machine, but my love of quilting is at least working its way back into my thoughts. That is a start. I have begun catching up on the latest quilting videos, and started organizing my fabric and my quilting space.

I recently purchased a couple of cube shelves for my bedroom. I don’t quilt there, but that is where I have some room to store my fabric. I also bought some comic book boards. One day I dragged out my ironing board, turned on some music and began pressing and winding the fabric around the boards. They stacked so neatly. I placed them into the cubes, assorted by color. My fabric now looks so neat and organized. I can see what I have, determine what colors I have or need to purchase for a project. This is an ideal solution for me.

I saw this done online somewhere. I wish I remembered where, or by whom because I would love to thank them for the idea. This is a fantastic organizational method for storing fabric. It works great. I used to keep my stash in a couple of deep tubs in my closet. I could never find what I was looking for, so I moved it to under-the-bed storage containers. That wasn’t ideal either. The containers were bulging and the lids no longer fit.

I have such a variety of sizes, but this method still works. When I started collecting fabric, I generally just bought fat quarters. It didn’t take long before I realized that wasn’t enough for most projects, so I moved up to half yard pieces and then to a yard or two.

Quilters often ask others how much fabric they buy for their stash. The answers are as varied as quilts themselves. I remain very frugal, so I generally buy a yard just of what I like. If it is something I really love, I will buy two yards. If I am gaga over it, I’ll even buy more.

I recently redecorated my room. On one small wall, between the master bath and a closet, I decided to place my fabric cubes. Above them, I hung what used to be a pot rack turned quilt rack. I hung one of my favorite quilts from it. I added a few other quilty things. This tiny area of my room looks like a quilting studio. Ah, something to dream about.

All this is a sign of my strong desire to find my way back to my sewing machine and my next quilting project. For now, I’ll just have to ponder what that next project will be. I can't wait to find out...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Every delivery is special

Who doesn't like exhilaration, reminiscent of a child who looks forward to Christmas morning? 

It may sound silly, but even though I haven't been a kid in many years, I remember the feeling. And it is similar to the one I get when I know the mail carrier or UPS man is scheduled to deliver a box of fabric I've ordered. I know when it is coming, because technology now lets us track the shipment from warehouse to our house. I admit that when I order something, I check on it just about every day.

I admit, I buy lots--no most--of my fabric online. I rarely shop at the local quilt shop because I just can't afford the prices there. I do go when there is a big sale, or if there is something I just have to have right away, but that doesn't happen often. 

Our town doesn't have a Joanne Fabrics or any other specialty fabric outlet, so I'm limited to where I can go. Truth is, I have been buying online for so long, that I actually prefer it. I have never been disappointed. 

Even when buying online, I rarely pay full price. I must rely on sales. This is not our grandmother's day when it was cheaper to make clothes for the family than to buy them off the rack. Today's fabric prices are crazy. Fortunately, there are lots of sales.

I must give a shout out to Connecting Threads, which just had a marvelous sale. Today was my Christmas morning. The mail man was just here with my well-anticipated box of fabric.  

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Fabric.com, another of my favorite places to shop online. 

Adding to my stash  

adding to my stash
I didn't order much, but just enough for a project I have in mind. Rarely do I buy large quantities. Most of the time, I buy what I like or a certain color or value of fabric for which I'm running low in my stash. 

I've been hoarding fabric for some time now--just a little here and a little there. I once heard a discussion about how much fabric people buy at one time. The answer was at least two or three yards. Oh my, I have always bought in increments of 1/2 yard. I realize that isn't really enough, because if I really like something, that tiny bit doesn't go very far. I started out just buying fat quarters. That was rarely ever enough. 


I'm planning to use this for a recent project I saw on the Missouri Star Quilt Co's You Tube channel. Jenny Doan showcased her Dresden flower pot. I thought it would be a nice wall-hanging for the outside of my house. I wanted to use lots of different fabrics in just a few colors. I bought some in 1/2-yard quantities. It is almost like how a stack of dollar bills just feels like more than a single bill of a larger denomination. I'm all about fooling myself into thinking I have more than I actually do. 

Anyway, I love the scrappy look in my quilts, so 1/2-yard increments works well for that too. I find there are times I would rather have a large quantity of different fabrics than huge yardage of just a few. At times like that, I limit myself to one or more yards. I like having a nice mix of both. The point being, it is good to have on hand just what is needed.
Ryan in the box

Who knows when I will start or finish this project? 

Til that time, all is well at my house. Not only am I thrilled at my delivery, but when I opened the box, I put it on an open desk drawer. 

My cat, Ryan took it over. She is always thrilled when I get fabric in the mail because she, being the eldest of four, gets dibs on the box.