March 30, 2010

Stash Reduction & Organization

I've been quite busy not sewing.  Instead I've been analyzing my fabric stash, feeling overwhelmed by it---and reducing a lot of stuff in the Itsy-Bitsy sewing room. Relentlessly with no compassion for what may have been a favorite at one time, but which at this time I can't quite remember why! I've been throwing "stuff" into bags and into the car and donating it to a worthy cause. Gone---

It all started quite innocently when I wanted a certain piece of fabric on the lower cubby shelf and which was sandwiched ( I should say more like compressed onto the lower cubby shelf)---between some other fabrics. I managed to get my fingertips onto the fabric but when I pulled on it, the whole shelf of fabric came out and tumbled onto the floor in a jumbled mess!  This is not the first time. In recent months this has been going on quite a lot.  In fact I have been avoiding digging around in my fabric just for this reason, and when I do manage to pull a fabric piece out to use, I don't even attempt to put it back into the cubby shelf because I know it's going to be struggle to squeeze it back in place, so I toss it into this overflowing basket under the cutting table, and another piece joins it, and on and on it goes until the basket under the cutting table was overflowing.

It was time to do something about this hoarding state of fabric affairs that has to do with a passion that was taking over space in the sewing room, and in away, compressing my creativity too.

After days of sorting, analyzing what to keep, what to toss, questioning my sanity as to why I gotten myself into this predicament---and I was not sympathetic as to why I was doing this,  everything is finally-sort of --- back in order in the sewing room. I feel some control over my fabric hoarding tendency, at least for now. I refuse to even consider the purchase of anything to do with fabric or quilt patterns.  Thread? that's another story!

I know some quilters reduce their fabric stash by actually cutting, sewing and quilting with their stash---and I do to a certain degree as well.  But, I was to a point where I couldn't find certain fabrics, couldn't remember why I even had purchased certain fabrics, couldn't squeeze just one more thing onto a shelf---and was feeling generally overwhelmed with a lot of stuff I wasn't using---and would never use! The saying: "if I live to be 100, I will never use all this" certainly applied to what is going on!

Here is a picture of the back of the car stuffed with fabric, trim, leftover binding pieces. odd amounts of batting pieces, patterns and magazines.  You are seeing just the first row of bags and boxes. Actually there are three rows  of assorted bags of "stuff".

There still is a lot of fabric to work with in the sewing room. And I could probably fill the car one, two more times,  and not even make a dent in the stash.  But, it's looking better now. More manageable, which is the point of spending time doing this. Here are some cotton plaid shirts I bought at Goodwill that I need to cut up into usable fabric pieces. The fabric in the plastic bin beside the shirts needs to be cut into 2-1/2" strips. 

Batting that I sorted through, and some fat quarters in the box I'm going to give to friend. 

I saved the really usable larger pieces of batting and labeled them. The other batting scraps are gone!

Larger pieces of flannel and muslin sorted and stored up off the floor on a top shelf of the closet.

The "red stash" of  fabrics that I kept are now folded and stored on fabric organizers.

Things are certainly easier to find now.  I still feel that I couldn't possibly use all this fabric if I tried!  But at least I can see it and find it.  Next thing to tackle is my shelves of quilt books and magazines, this may be harder to part with than the other stuff. (sigh)


Anonymous said...

Angie, aren't those organizers great? Your room looks so wonderful now, nice job!

Diane said...

Angie I can so relate! I had a 'couple' (ahem) fabrics that I remember drooling over and didn't want to use cause then it would be gone! So silly because years later I was thinking why did I ever buy that-
feels so good to pass on what you can't use, cuz you know someone else out there will LOVE it--good for you, your sewing room looks like new!

Purple Pam said...

Oh Angie - what a job! I, too, have been thinking about downsizing my stash. I also have lots of fabric that I don't know why I have it. Some of it was given to me, some of it was my mother's fabric, etc. I love all my fabric, and I can't bear to part with any of it, yet! Your space looks so user-friendly now! Again - great job!

Helen in the UK said...

WOW - that really is a car FULL of stuff!! It sounds like you did what you really needed to do and freed yourself up to work with the rest of your stash now you can find it and see it. Congrats :)

onlymehere said...

I've just barely learned about these organizers (mini bolts?) and am really in love with them! I don't have that much yardage though, mainly just fat quarters and smaller so I haven't invested in any yet. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog too. I'm glad to find another star lover! It looks like you've really been working hard on reducing that stash. Someone will be so happy to get their hands on it!