Saturday, March 19, 2011

Autumn weather has arrived, for which we are very grateful.  It's cool and rainy and grey today, perfect for quilting and messing about in the sewing room.  Which is what I am doing.Yesterday we shifted all Mereth's potplants from our brother's place to hers, so today is a day to take it easy.  Some of those potplants weigh a lot!
I hope to get some quilting done later on.  The dogs like to dig around in the quilts that are protecting the lounge, and end up sitting on the lounge fabric with the quilts all rucked up beside them.  I want to make a BIG cover for the lounge out of these old twill pieces, something that can be tied in place.  It won't be pretty, but it should keep all the pawprints off the furniture.

That's Dolly's inscrutable camera face there; one moment she's looking at me, all eager and happy, tail thumping and ears pricked.  As soon as she sees the camera she freezes and looks away; too many flash photos have made her wary.  I've only ever accidentally 'flashed' her, but she doesn't forget things like that.

My Square In A Square quilt is finished.  It wouldn't have a pieced border, even though I tried to give it one.  I left everything pinned up on the design wall all week, and it just kept saying NO.  So I went with simple, and I like it like that.  The green toile is really old, a backing length from the stash,and a much prettier colour than the washed out photo. I love being able to find what I need in the stash; even when I think there's nothing that will do, I can usually dig up something.

So I get to cross another UFO off the list, and choose the next one to work on.  I like seeing an empty box and a finished quilt, it inspires me to keep working on these older projects.

Have you read this post on Bonny's blog?....
I think most of us serious quilters, at some time or another, have  felt overwhelmed by our fabric and books and projects and finished quilts.  It can be paralysing to think 'What do I need another quilt for?', and so you don't start another project, or even finish an old one.  The thing that  keeps me sewing is knowing, from past experience, that I always feel better after a sewing session.  It puts my world to rights, when I sit at the sewing machine and feed the little pieces through, and build them into a useful product.  There is always a place for a quilt, but it may involve being selfless enough to give it away.  The collection of quilts for Japan, and for the flood victims in Australia, is a wonderful way to reach out and touch people who's lives have been shaken into a new and terrible pattern.  I love having spare quilts to give away at times like this; no need to start sewing from scratch, I can just pull something suitable from the shelf and it's ready to go to a person who needs it.

If I get overwhelmed by my stash I put some of it on Ebay, or give it away.  When I sell the vintage fabric in my collection it's always for more than I paid, so that offsets part of the loss I make on the modern fabric.  I feel better for having lightened the stash, and I get something back, even if it's not the full price.  And it's a warning to me, when I want to buy more fabric online -  I don't want to be selling a 'must-have' fabric for cents on the dollar in a few years time.  I have had some wonderful emails from the people who buy my fabric, thanking me for making vintage fabric available to them, or for pricing new fabric so that it's affordable for them.

If buying fabric is a form of self-medication then you have to look at it like any medication.  It does it's job at the time.  There's no refund on a bottle of pills, no selling it on to get your money back.  I think getting 'a  fair price' for stash just doesn't happen.  Getting the money back shouldn't be the concern; getting your life in control is more important.

My sewing stuff is my comfort, my past-time, my medicine, my connection to my ancestors and to so many other women who also love the same things I do.  I could never contemplate getting rid of it all.  But I've learned to stop the impulse buying, and to appreciate what I have as an asset, and that is so much better than living with guilt because I've blown the budget, again, on something I really didn't need to have.


sewprimitive karen 1:10 AM  

Oh, Dolly with your half-closed eyes; my cats do the same thing when the camera appears sigh. The quilt is gorgeous!!! What a pretty toile.

Sue Daurio 5:53 AM  

The quilt is absolutely lovely. The border you chose really makes is bright and cheer. I'm going to have to try one of these, I just love yours.

Nancy Anne in the Finger Lakes 4:42 PM  

Keryn - I have to agree with everything you've said about our stashes and our feelings about them. It provides us with a hobby/business/craft/therapy that keeps us in touch with a broader world and also feeds some need inside each of us at the time we make those purchases. I've controlled the impulse spending (for the most part - I wouldn't want to completely stifle that!) and I now "shop" my stash. I find myself falling in love all over again with the fabrics I've purchased, and, as I become more proficient, I find amazing uses for that fabric. Oh, and my love to camera-shy Dolly!

Mary Johnson 10:58 PM  

I love the square in a square and that green is just gorgeous with the blocks both in the sashing and the border.

I love that I always have tops I can pull out when I need a quick donation. It's so much easier to get one quilted than to have to make one from scratch.

bingo~bonnie 7:24 AM  

What a beautiful quilt your UFO turned out to be! I love how your plans for the border changed to suit the quilt. It looks perfect!

Poor Dolly :( I wonder if you could hide your camera behind a toy of some sort?

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

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