Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Done Stash Building

When I first got into quilting, one of the things I thought would be great was that it would be a thrifty hobby. Quilting is all about scraps, right? Sure, your first few quilts cost money, but then you get lots of scraps and make lots of scrap quilts and then its thrifty. Right?

This was my theory. Then I went and bought the fabric for my first quilt. Locally. At $16 a metre, it was pretty painful. I wondered if this was a hobby I could afford. Perhaps I could just make one or two quilts a year.

Then I discovered online fabric shopping. It started innocently enough with buying a few fabrics to make a quilt that I liked in a magazine. And then a few metres of fabric (on sale for $5 a metre -- surely I could buy a few more . . .) for a baby quilt for a friend. Then some charm packs and two half yard cuts for another quilt, but since I was already paying for shipping, I might as well also get . . . Well, you get the idea. It was actually the idea of Andrew's I Spy quilt that took me right into full fledged fabric obsession. I went on a hunt, people. A hunt for a little bit of everything for that quilt. And discovered a lot of really funky fabrics. And the fabric / crafting blogging world. And Flikr. And more really cool fabric. And more ideas for quilts, which required . . . you guessed it . . . more fabric.

Now, I have eight quilts in potentia (plus the two twins I'm working on right now) worth of fabric, plus extra odds and ends (well, okay, fat quarters and half yards and yards) for baby quilts and softies and the like. That means, at my present rate of quilt making I have at least two years of quilts to make before I need to buy any more fabric, except a few solids (mostly white and cream) and some quilt backs and batting. And after that, I'll have all the scraps to work with, which was the original point of all this.

So, considering that I have three balls of hemp in various thicknesses and an assortment of wooden beads, two sets of watercolour paints and assorted half-finished watercolour sketchbooks, a drawer of seed beads for making daisy chain necklaces . . . and assorted other craft supplies, I think its time to stop stash building. I need to use up the fabric I have now, and the scraps of that fabric before I continue blithely purchasing more and more fabric.

To that end, I have one more shipment of fabric on the way, which includes backing for both of the quilts I am working on right now, and fabric for a wallhanging that will be my next project, and various odds and ends that fill out supplies for projects I was already planning. After that, friends, hold me to my word -- no more fabric for a while.

In the short term I am saying no more fabric until Christmas. But I am actually thinking that I should set a quilt limit -- say, 4 or 5 big quilts, not including the two I am working on right now.

Ironically, since I decided to do this a week ago, I have received a %15 off coupon offer from Fat Quarter shop, my fall/winter catalogue from Keepsake Quilting, a newsletter from Fabricland full of their fall sales . . . the pressure is on. So now that I have posted about this, I will keep myself accountable. You heard me say it.

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