Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

Good morning! Is everyone having a wonderful day so far? I am! Why you might ask. Well because I FINALLY got a good FULL nights sleep last night! I can't tell you the last time I slept all night without waking up 3 or 4 (or more!) times. And often I'll find myself awake for a few hours and then just as I'm sleepy enough to go back to sleep it's time to get up. :-( I'm not sure why I slept so good last night but I'm not going to question it. Just going to bask in being alert during the day for a change. LOL!

I had another package arrive yesterday. This one from Suze. Thank you so much. This brings me 4 blocks closer to my goal of 2 completed quilts. :-) I also want to take this time to thank all the people who made blocks in my and my Dad's honor who sent their blocks directly to the Heartstings organizers. I sure didn't mean to leave them out of my last post! Unfortunately I didn't think to be making a list as they posted their blocks on their blogs but I hope to be able to rectify that in the next week. I'm slowly going around my blog list and noting any that sent directly. I really do appreciate the ones you made just as much as I do the ones that were sent to me. I truly don't care where you send your blocks or even if you keep them to use locally. My only goal was to get more blocks made for the project.

Yesterday Judy posted a "Declaration of War..on the Stash" on her blog. This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately so her post was very timely. I won't be following her steps exactly but with a few modifications I think I can reduce my out-of-control spending habits.

Judy's war strategies and my thoughts on how I can incorporate them to MY personal War on the Stash:
(1) I will not buy fabric! No reason! If I need fabric for a special project, it comes from the stash or I choose another project.

Okay I KNOW there's no way I won't buy any fabric at all. For one thing I don't have the stash to pull from the Judy does. After all I did give away a good 1/2 of my stash last year. And used a goodly amount. AND find that I have very few "light" fabrics making it hard to pull fabric just from my stash. So what I plan to do is only buy fabric that I absolutely NEED for a project that I'm CURRENTLY working on. Or to use in a swap/group project where a specific fabric is required. Not just to fill a hole in my stash. Not just because it's pretty. But because I have a RIGHT NOW NEED for that fabric. And I'll only purchase what I need with maybe 1/4 yd. extra for squaring up and miscuts and to have a little bit left for my scrap bins to keep them fresh.

To keep myself from pulling a pretty fabric from my stash and saying, "Oh I have NOTHING that will go with it so I NEED to buy the rest of the fabric to make this quilt" I PLEDGE TO USE OR GIVE AWAY 3 YARDS FOR EVERY 1 YARD I PURCHASE. Now this does not include fabric purchased for backings as I have very few large cuts and really do like my backings to match or at least look good with the front. And it does not include those fabrics for a swap where a specific fabric is required. But it does include borders and backgrounds and bindings. The "B" words that are usually a freebie on the Stashbuster Yahoo list. Because I do have a large selection of backgrounds and plently of stuff big enough for borders I think I can go this year without NEEDING to purchase those items. And I have to use or give it away right away. Which means if I only purchase what I need the other fabric in the quilt can be part of that 3 yards. So if I purchase 3 yds to be used in the front of the quilt. And I use 10 yds total. Then that means I used 7 yds from my stash. BUT I owe a 9 yd penalty for purchasing fabric. So 2 yds has to be given away OR used immediately in another quilt. One way or another I'm GOING to see a reduction in stash this year. LOL!

(2) I will not sit at the computer and browse the quilt shops online. And, if my friends try to "meg" me, I'll just be strong and I'll just say NO!

Okay, THIS one I can follow. To start with I have NOT participated in the FabShopHop this month. And will go drop myself from their email list so I'm not even tempted to try. And as I get emails announcing wonderful sales I'll go remove myself from their email list. And during those 3am insomniac moments I won't browse online quilt shops but will instead surf around the quilt blog rings and use that time to catch up on everyone. Which should leave me more quilting time during the "normal" waking hours when I spend way too much time on the computer that could be better spent in the sewing room.

(3) I will not stop at quilt shops. If I don't need anything... why stop?

I'm with you 100% here. It does help that the only quilt shops in my area are 25+ miles away. One is about 10 miles from where I work but I really don't care for it very much so rarely go there. And I really don't have a problem with the regular fabric stores like Hancocks and JoAnns. I've had a Hancocks credit card for years and every 2 or 3 months get a $10 fabric cash certificate which I use for thread, rotary cutter blades and batting. Hancocks has discontinued their rewards program so I've just applied and received a JoAnns credit card and will use those reward cards for the same type purchase. I put all my groceries/gas/misc. purchases on this card and pay the balance in full each month. Which lets the reward add up quickly and keeps me in "free" batting, blades, thread, etc. Which reminds me I have 3 or 4 of the Hancocks certificates that will expire next month that I need to use. So time to stock up on those extra items.

(4) When I'm making a quilt, if I pull a fabric from the stash that works, I will not let that little voice inside me say "But...if you use it, you will not have it!" I will be brave and I will cut those special fabrics!

Again not a hard one for me. I love using my special fabrics. And don't even mind using them up. Because I know there will be more special fabrics coming out all the time. And mostly because I inherited several hundred yards from Mama that she loved but never got around to using. And since they were not fabrics that I loved I ended up giving most of it away. So I've seen first hand what will happen to MY precious fabrics if I die without using them. They'll just be something my loved ones have to deal with as my sister and I do NOT have the same taste in fabrics and David is likely to just use it for shop rags!!!!!!! I want to use my special fabrics myself and not have them become a burden on my loved ones when I'm gone.

And I'm going to add a (5) and (6) to my war strategy.

(5) I will not spend every evening after work sitting in my chair in front of the computer. I WILL spend at least 1 hour each day ACTIVELY doing something quilty. And to help with this I've gone digest on my mail lists and will have to just depend on bloglines to let me know when the blogs have been updated. I just don't have time to go around the rings all the time AND get other things done. Something has to give and I really need for it to be computer time.

(6) Because I'm the type who really NEEDS an incentive I'm paying myself $50 per month for each month I don't make an illegal fabric purchase. And another $50 if I have no fabric purchase at all. And for every finished top I'll pay myself $10 and for every finished quilt I get another $10. And $10 if I used stash fabric for the whole thing (back included) And another $10 if that finished quilt was on my UFO list on January 1, 2007. These funds will go in a special account that will be used for special quilty events like major shows or retreats. But most will go to purchase an IRA each year. The IRA will be my "401Q" fund (Q for quilting) and will be used for quilting purchases when I retire. This way I won't feel the NEED to stockpile fabric for retirement as I'll have funds to purchase fabric that appeals to me THEN, and not be forced to use fabric that has been out of date for 20+ years.

I'm going to make this retroactive to January 1st since the only fabric purchase I've made this month is legal within my guidelines. (It's needed for a row-by-row swap that requires Thimbleberries and I have NO Thimbleberries in my stash. ) Wish me luck and help me watch my $$$ grow into a nice, healthy 401Q. Heck I can already add $30 for last weekend's completed quilt ($10) that was a UFO($10) and was finished 100% from stash($10). And can add $50 in 2 days since I've not had an illegal fabric purchase. Not a bad start to the year. :-)

18 comments:

Gail said...

I too like Judy's declaration, but also will need to customize it to my situation. Good luck to all of us!

quiltpixie said...

love the idea of paying yourself so you'll save for retirement.-- all too often I think that's why we hoard, in case I need it later.....

Mama Koch said...

I'm like you..there may be times that I just absolutely don't have what I need but I think I can substitute and not be too upset about it.

Patti said...

You go Nancy! What a wonderful analysis you've done of your situation. And I LOVE the idea of a 401Q!!!! I know you can do this - you have the power to do anything you choose to do. Well done~

Owens Family Adventures said...

WHERE OR WHERE WAS I WHEN YOU WERE GIVING AWAY STASH???????????? I started quilting two years ago and my stash is small. I am waiting for the day when I can feel like I can stash bust!! Living here in Korea for the next year and a half I am hitting the fabric store and hitting it hard. Fabric is $1.25 a yard...WHOOPIE!! When I leave here I am sure I will be saying.."oh my gosh where did it all come from??" heehee
have a wonderful day!!
dawn

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Nancy, my blocks will be headed your way in the next day or so.

Sweet P said...

I like you #6 plan. Can I borrow that one? I still have to work for 20 years so imaging how much quilt money I could save!

I haven't bought any fabric since early November. I am impatiently waiting for May when I can go shopping for some fabric.

Linda_J said...

401Q sounds like a winner, Nancy! I admire your resolve and getting a handle on the situation. We cannot have David using fabric for shop rags, after all. You know we will do what we can to encourage you in your stashbusting.

I hope you got a chance to see the top I assembled from your framed 4 patch blocks a couple of posts ago. I am still going to make something with the pink/brown ones but I'll let you know when its done. (Pam said you didn't care who used them for donation quilts just so they were)

Sandra said...

Love the idea of paying yourself for your finishes. I'm going to steal your idea (if that's okay) and pay myself $10 for each flimsy and another $10 for each quilted top and $10 each week of no-buy. Should add up nicely without breaking the budget :-) All the best with your challenge!

Carol said...

Nancy your 401Q idea is great!

EileenKNY said...

It's funny-I don't have to try to not buy. Nothing has "hit" me in several months.
I applaud your resolve to pay yourself so that you can quilt forever. And when you're in the new house with a phenomenal sewing room, you'll really enjoy it all.

Shelina said...

Nancy, so glad you got some sleep. Maybe you should talk to the doctor about it. I loved the ideas in this post, and if you need my address for sending that giveaway fabric, I'd be happy to give it to you! I have been really good about avoiding stores, and not buying fabric I don't need this year and last year. My biggest problem I need to work on next is to reduce computer time. It is just way too tempting.

Samantha said...

good luck in your war on the stash!

qwltnfool said...

Good Luck on your stash reduction and No Buy resolutions, Nancy. The 401Q is cute!

JudyL said...

Glad you got a good night's sleep. I hate waking up during the night!

Sounds like you have a great plan for reducing the stash. Good luck!

Katie said...

What a neat idea to save $ for retirement quilting! Just be sure to enjoy what you have now too.

Rebekah Smith said...

I am new to quilting so my stash isn't large yet, but I see how easily it can get out of control. I can't go into a fabric store without thinking I need one of these, and that, and of course this. I am going to try to curb my habit now (but I am not sure how that will work).

cher said...

have to say you have thought this out well for applying to yourself in particular-happy to watch you be successful in putting $$ in your 401Q! I also have to limit my computer time or no quilty things get done either!