A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
Our area, like so many areas, got snow and very cold temperatures. I woke up to no water yesterday. Yes, I did have it dripping but evidently it wasn’t dripping enough. Well crap! No coffee water. Then I realized ice cubes can be thawed for coffee. I had plenty of those in the freezer. I was not going to walk through all that snow to catch a bus to get bottled water. The snow is too dirty to use for anything except flushing a toilet. It has black dust of some type all over it.
Thankfully, a neighbor braved the cold and brought me water for making coffee and I hired a neighbor kid to shovel the sidewalk. I saw this no water thing as an opportunity. It means no cleaning, no mopping, no canning, no washing, no cooking, and no excuses. Yeah, it’s an opportunity to organize quilt stuff. Quilt stuff collected from machine quilting customers over the years when they were cleaning out their stashes. Quilt stuff I bought and never had the time to create something from it. Lots and lots of quilt stuff gathering dust and taking up valuable space.
I hate STUFF! STUFF is an overwhelming amount of things that crowd out other things in my life. Not just quilt stuff but all STUFF I seem to hoard. It overwhelms me and I feel like I’m suffocating from it. In this one room there are 10 large storage tubs of quilting fabrics. Some are hidden behind the rolls of stabilizers and stacks of other stuff. I was anxious to get started and forgot to take a before photo. I also have these rollie cart drawer towers filled with more quilting stuff. There are actually five towers with six drawers in each.
I have lots more fabrics in my studio. There are several rollie carts under the quilting machine and five tubs of fabric in the studio and a bunch of my ufos too. Gosh, I must have enough fabric for a couple of lifetimes worth of quilts. Enough fabric for hundreds of quilts. Plus enough for hundreds of rugs and undies and a ton of other crafts.
Hmm…. where to start? As a low income person I tend to be a hoarder. Having little money tends to make a person hold onto things that might be too expensive to replace. I see value in everything that might be useful later. Fabric, and even tiny scraps of fabric, draws me in because I’m a quilter and a thrifty person. I want to save the fabrics from a landfill by creating a quilt or something. Even tiny 1/2 inch pieces bring out my rescue mode to save them. I’ve created whole bed size quilts from tiny bits of fabric. Here’s an example. This is a full size quilt I made for my bed several years ago. The blocks are 5″ x 5″ and each square has 37 pieces in it. I believe there are 117 blocks. That was a lot of teeny tiny pieces.
I know that I MUST rid myself of at least 95% of my accumulated fabric. I have way too much. The fear of letting it go has a grip on me. What if I got rid of just the right one for my next quilt? What if the person who gave it to me gets upset? What if the cost of fabric gets so high that I can’t buy it anymore? What if….. What if…… What if…..
Once again I go back to memories and the wisdom of my Grandma Mama, the thriftiest person I ever knew. She made beautiful quilts without having a house full or room full or even a large plastic tub filled with fabric. Even still, she made quilts regularly. Well by golly, if Grandma Mama could do it so can I!
The weather is not going to be warmer for several days. What that means is my water pipes won’t thaw. I’ll make the best of this time by sorting and purging fabrics. It ain’t gonna be easy letting go of them but it MUST be done. I’ll be putting a give away post on freecycle as soon as I’m done and the weather clears up. I’ve tried to do this time after time after time and always something stopped the process. Even when I get rid of bunches and bunches of fabric it multiplies itself when I’m not looking. Geeze, it seems to multiply faster than rats and mice.
Time to get off the computer and back to work. I’ll post again about my thinking process and how my purging progression is going.