Friday, November 01, 2013

The other day I decided to try and get a handle on the amount of quilt tops waiting to be quilted.  I was busy making more of the Road to Oklahoma blocks, but at the back of my mind was the thought that haunts a lot of quilters; 'Do I really need another quilt?

It's a blasphemous thought, and it's also paralysing.  Once you start down that road, everything you do is tinged with doubt and hesitation.  Do I need another rose for the garden, do I need another pair of jeans or shirt, do I need to buy food when there is stuff in the pantry or freezer, do I need another DVD or CD?  I hate thinking like that, it seems to make life bleaker, even though I have to admit the answer to all those questions is No, I don't Need any of it.

Downsizing is on most people's minds lately, it seems we've spent the last decade collecting all this stuff, and now we need to deal with it.  What I have to realise is this; I can deal with the extra clothes and DVDs and food by sorting and rationalising and not buying more than I need.  But to deal with my fabric stash, I NEED to make quilts.  All I'm doing is changing the form of it.  Instead of living in the stash drawers, it now lives in the drawer full of tops.  Along the way, I've thrown out a heap of trimmings, given the scraps to Mereth, and slimmed down the amount of fabric that has to fit back in the drawers.  And I've also chosen a backing and got that out of the stash.  And on top of that, I've enjoyed myself for hours, reinforced my sense of worth, honed my skills even further, and I have a product that can bring happiness and pleasure to anyone I choose to gift it to.  Giving away my older clothes can't really compare with that.

If I didn't spend so much time talking myself out of things, I wouldn't have to spend so much time talking myself into them again.  I Quilt, therefore I Am.

I actually thought I had a lot more finished tops than this.  I went back and made a collage of every top I could remember; there are  more than this, but I lost patience with the collage making software and decided these are enough for now

They all seem very yellow, but that's just because the photos are taken without natural light, except for two. 
 I need to spend time getting natural photos, but that won't happen till I get some time off over Christmas. 

I've been reading a wide variety of quilting blogs, some I can't even remember now, but I do recall seeing more than one photo of collections of tops, 30, 50, 100, all neatly waiting for quilting.  It made me feel like a beginner; I've a long way to go before there are that many here.  So I hope I can get stuck into the projects at the machine now, and churn out a couple more tops to add to the pile.  I may even have time to get some QUILTED!

If I don't make quilts, then why do I have a stash?  The only sensible thing to do is get busy and make more.


Dasha 6:05 PM  

Hello Keryn,
I had exactly the same traumatising thoughts a few years ago. I had "done" the family, and we had more quilts than we can use, so I started quilting for charity. Got involved with the Stitching Hearts (take a look at the links on my blog) and last year I started making quilts for Aussie Hero Quilts (link is also on my blog). Now I have access to unlimited fabric in the charity group's stash and I can guiltlessly make quilts to my heart's content. Win/win I reckon!

Mary Johnson 8:27 PM  

I'm in the process of decluttering and am saving the sewing room for last. It is much easier to downsize clothes, furniture, and other stuff but not my fabric and yarn stashes. I expect them to keep me sewing and knitting long past the time I can afford to buy on a whim.

I keep about 20-22 unquilted tops around here ... Each year my goal is to finish up 12 UFO's most of which are tops but I end up replacing them with the same number. I NEED to quilt but luckily I'm content to give many of them away too.

marilyn 8:37 AM  

I love your attitude! Keep on quilting, live to quilt, quilt to live :)

Sue SA 2:20 PM  

I try and make a few quilts for me/my family and the rest to give away. It helps me to work outside my comfort zone in terms of colour and patterns and also allows me to justify keeping on making quilts! I also sew for charity, from my own stash and theirs. I need to have a creative outlet. I want to own quilts. I don't need to own any more quilts, but have started making mini's...that helps with the justification process also!

jude's page 9:32 PM  

I don't think you need to justify whether you need a quilt before you make another one, you said it, I Quilt, therefore I am.
If you were a painter, would you need to ask yourself if you needed another painting before you painted one?

Kate 2:05 PM  

I have had up to 50 tops unquilted, I have also completed at least that many over the years. It's my fun, my recreation, my release, my creativity, my positive use of time, my retreat, my connection, I could go on but you get the idea...I honestly look blank when people ask "and who is this one for?" It's not that I don't give them away or sell them - I do. But ultimately they are all for me, for all the reasons above, and because they make me happy.

Patricia 7:50 AM  

I have a very large number of tops to be quilted and an equal or greater number of projects in various stages. I do own a longarm but find little time for quilting just for me. I do quilt a little for others. I recently bought an embroidery machine and a Accuquilt Studio cutter so I don't think there is an end in sight to my creating. I AM a Creative Soul and MUST do it!!

pdudgeon 3:00 PM  

thank you for sticking up for all of us quilters. i think my standard answer to the usual non-quilter's question of "How many quilts are you going to make?" should be:
"I'll make as many quilts as there are quilt patterns to be made, and people to be warmed by them."
Quilt on, quilters, quilt on!

Carolyn 9:46 AM  

Don't you dare stop making tops. I love to see what you are up to in the sewing room. Yes, you quilt therefor you are. We are not hoarders, we just haven't used it yet. I have been on a kick to clean, paint, sort and get rid of stuff that needs a new home, but not mine and I haven't sewn in what seems like forever. I am about to get back to it, with a cleansed mind. But never my stash, maybe old patterns that do not interest me any longer, but never my fabric. There is always another quilt to be made. Quilt on, our mantra!

Karen 5:36 AM  

I enjoyed seeing your collage pictures. You always have such interesting scrappy quilts to see. Inspiration galore in seeing what you create. Do you have a quilt shop close by to enable you to keep adding to your stash of fabric?

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