If you follow my blog, you know that I recently downsized my stash by nearly two-thirds. This morning, when I remembered that there are two babies coming next month in our circle of friends, I went shopping through my stash. I had no trouble finding everything I needed to complete these two small quilts, even the poly-satin binding that toddlers so love.It was a good ‘first test’ of my three criteria for keeping fabrics in my stash, and I was really pleased with the results. For a fabric to have survived my purging, I had to love the fabric, to have a specific purpose or project in mind for it, and commit to completing that project within one year. Given that my extended family seems to have many members at the marriage and baby stage, I made sure to keep a certain amount of baby and wedding quilt fabrics, but not too many.
As I pared down my stash, I eliminated all the projects that we so fondly call PIGS and store in bins or grocery sacks. That fabric did not go poof, but it was liberated from its previous role and cast into the masses. If I had not yet started that particular project, it was only a dream UFO, a magical possibility that may or may not happen. When I went to pull cloth for these baby gifts, I was truly glad I had changed my old ways. A wonderful three yard length of bright polka-dots, which spent a few years in a project sack without seeing the light of day, became the instant base for both quilts.Since I have not yet completed my new sewing room, my stash is in chaos, and shopping did take some time. But it started me thinking about how I will sort it this time around, when it moves back in the back bedroom. I loosely gathered solids, organics, florals, lights, and so on. Imagine my delight when I realized that my collection of Kona cotton solids included at least a small amount of every color in the polka-dot fabric! The fact that these had also come out of various released PIGS, and were never intended for use together, made me realize just how limiting it was to have ferreted them away in a pre-ordained slot. Once I laid the fabrics out on the table, it was very easy to envision two simple but delightful quilts.
This afternoon will find me cutting away, while keeping an eye on football. Any trepidation I had felt as I let go of all that fabric has now dissipated. I no longer have that overwhelmed feeling, or am thinking that if I look just a little more I will find something better. When I am ready to fabric shop again, I will probably have a list. Not that I won’t drool and grope. But I am happy to have a good base at home, and can already see that keeping it at a manageable level will be much less stressful.
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