Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A good first day

After supper last night I went into my sewing room and tried to decide what to work on first. Since this month is all about stash reduction I'm concentrating on the stash cabinets with bigger cuts more than the FQ and smaller stash. I pulled my first set of 3 fabrics and did a few sample blocks and it really left me with a blah feeling. So I went to the FQ stash and pulled a dozen more pieces that co-ordinate well with my focus piece and I'm much happier with the project now. So I guess this will be the month of using up some of my focus fabric and whatever blenders I need to go with them as I just don't seem able to make a quilt with a limited fabric palette.

I got all the pieces cut for a nice lap-sized quilt and hope to get a good bit of it sewn tonight. It's just simple blocks where you make large 4-patches and then slice them up to make wonky-nine patches from. I'm actually testing the concept before starting it on another special group of fabrics. I'd much rather find I don't like the look now than after I've cut into my carefully hoarded black/white/red music fabric collection. No pictures now. Maybe tonight if I get the top finished. Great thing is I had just enough of the focus to cut the pieces for the blocks and the borders and had only a 6"X21" scrap left out of 2-1/2 yds. And with the other pieces this top will bust about 4-1/4 yds from my stash. Not a bad beginning. :-)

In addition to not purchasing any fabric in the month of August I've decided I need to use up as much of what I have as possible. So that means mornings before work are for household chores and evenings are for quilting. That won't leave me a lot of time for reading/commenting on blogs but I find I spend way too much time in front of this box reading about quilting and not nearly enough time doing it. I will be visiting when I take breaks throughout the day since I want to keep up with what everyone else is working on this month.

Why would I want to use up my stash you ask? Well so I can buy more!!! And I don't mean that from a hoarding perspective. In the past I've bought fabric just because it was pretty and I had no idea what I was going to do with it so I'd buy a FQ or a yard or 2 yards, whatever struck my fancy at the moment. And then when I do find a use for it I either have no where near enough or yards too much left over! And I've bought stash when I was depressed (like this past week) or just when I was bored and surfing around on-line shops. So my goal is to be more focused with my quilting and curb impulse buys. First step in that is to quit cruising internet shops! That gets me in more trouble that anything else. Now I know myself well enough to know there's no way I'll never make another impulse buy. But hopefully I can keep it to a few very special fabrics along the way and not the major shopping sprees I've "treated" myself to in the past. From now on I plan to pick a design, buy fabric for that quilt (with maybe a bit extra so I'll have leftovers for my scraps), and go ahead and make it while my enthusiasm for that project is high.

And maybe by taking this approach to my fabric buying I can also eliminate most of my future UFOs. I'm so easily distracted. When I see a new design I'd like to try my inclination is to stop what I'm doing and start on that right away. Just to see how it's gonna go you know. I ALWAYS have good intentions just to do a test block or 2 and then go back to my current project. Problem is I never go back to that project because before I've finished my test blocks I've usually come across another "gotta try right now" pattern. Soooooo, If I don't have a large stash to draw from I can't start these new whim projects.

I know a lot of you are thinking, "But I need to develpe a huge stash so I'll have something to work with when I retire and have less money." Well I say no you don't. Or at least I don't! My mother had that attitude. During her working years not a payday came around that didn't find her buying fabric. Quilting fabric, dress fabric, decorating fabric. She had a LARGE hoard of all of it. And then when she did retire she had amassed more fabric that 10 people working full time could have used in 20 years. And at that time she had major health problems and many days didn't feel like sewing so she never got to use even a tiny fraction of her stash. So I got all the quilting fabric. And so much of it was not to my taste so I gave it away after having boarded it for several years. And I don't want that to happen to MY special fabrics. I'd rather use them myself instead of having them go in a yard sale for pennies!

Because I do recognize that I won't always have the disposable income that I do now I do have a plan to fund my "quilting 401K". This week I'll be taking $200 and opening a savings account. And each month I'll put $100 in it. This money is NOT to be used for any other purpose than to buy fabric and other quilting supplies with in my retirement years. And to not temp myself to spend it in the next 20 years whatever I have at the end of the year will go into an IRA. That way it will be at least 10 years before I can take it out without a penalty.

Enough ramblings for now. I'd better get ready for work or I won't have any money to fund that retirement account with.

11 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

I'd much rather find I don't like the look now than after I've cut into my carefully hoarded black/white/red music fabric collection.

Oh my gosh that sounds so familiar :o) I like your idea of using focus fabric & go withs... (I have at least 3 "kits" that fit that description... already waiting for the rotary cutter...)

BTW I hear my boss - so...

jenclair said...

Wow, this post has so much to think about. One point that are really hits home for me it the impulse buying of fabric I like but just buying a FQ or a half yard, and then not having enough when I want to use it.

And on hoarding fabric--I look at some fabrics that called to me when my eyes fell on them in the fabric store, but when they came home and settled in with my stash, I never heard another peep out of them.

Love the idea of a "quilting 401K"!

deputyswife said...

You know, that is a great idea! A savings account devoted to quilting. While I have a VERY small stash, I find myself picking up fabrics when they have a really good sale. Then when I want to start a project, I find myself running to the fabric store. Doesn't make any sense. lol.

I like the idea of a savings account. But, I think it would be nice to use now. (At least for me, retirement is another 25 years away for me.) Maybe this way I wouldn't feel so guilty about spending money on fabric when I already have that money earmarked for it. Great idea!

Linda_J said...

It sounds like you have really given this a lot of thought, Nancy. We will be here to cheer you on.

Laurie Ann said...

Can't wait to see what you are working on. You are right, our tastes change over time and so I'd rather use it now and buy what I like in the future. Otherwise I may never use it!!

Bonnie said...

What a great idea to put money away specifically for quilting!

quiltpixie said...

sounds like you're making a good start to using stash... you go girl :-)

Mary said...

I like the idea of a quilting savings account. I think we could all quilt for years with the fabric we already have but it's nice to have new stuff to throw in with the old

SusanB said...

I think the quilting savings account is very practical. New fabrics are always coming out, so what you could buy now may not be what you want to quilt with in 10 or 20 years. This way you can buy what appeals to you when you are ready to use it. And the cash doesn't need nearly as much storage room!

Cynthia said...

What a great idea to open a quilting savings account.
I avoid going into quilt shops as i have enough UFOs to complete and the fact that i purchased fabric online earlier this year from Fatquartershop. Even though my stash is small i have enough fabric to keep me going for quite awhile.

Shirley said...

Great fun this following links. lol. My problem is falling in love with the feel of a nice piece of fabric. Gotta have it. I love my stash I'm working now on loving my scraps. This new thing stash busting is coming along nicely. Shirley