Monday, January 6, 2020

Off & Running

In my last post,
I mentioned that one of my goals is to use my fabric stash.

Now, what I'm about to show you 
might not be for the weak of heart.
I'm actually showing you 
my stash.

Gasp! Cough! Choke!
Yes, I know.
And this is after 3 full car-loads of donations.
You see,
using the vast majority of my stash is only a "small" part of the "big" goal.
It's okay, I'll wait here and give you time
to pick yourself up off the floor after falling over with laughter.
They say laughter is good for the soul.
 I'm just helpin' ya out. :-)
(Flannel backed cozy throw.)
The real goal is to down-size even more.
I mentioned when we moved here that we down-sized by almost 40%.
I had lived up the mountain for 18 years.
My kids were 3 and 1 when we moved there.
There was a lot of "stuff" that's been sorted and relocated.
And as I mentioned in the last post,
that transition, though difficult at times, has been a very good one.
We have absolutely no desire to become minimalist~
just to make that clear.
I see extreme minimalism as reliant and unprepared
which is not something I aim to be.

Backed with
chamois flannel
for extra

But. . . 
Enoughism, I do aim for.
The computer is telling me that's not a word.
Well, it's a word in my book.
We want to keep a good supply of useful items
and things that would be useful in an emergency situation,
but the fabric stash is more than enough.
I don't want to have none,
but I have a small book shelf that 
I'm hoping will eventually house all my fabric.
That's a pretty lofty goal, 
especially considering I don't care for "quick and easy."
I like items that are made well
which often means the old fashioned way - the slower way.
There were actually a couple more totes,
but I've made a little progress already.
I started with some of the simpler and bulkier projects.
That helped to get me started.
Now I'm trying to use up fabrics that 
I don't have an emotional attachment to.
If you need to roll around on the floor in laughter again
after that statement, 
I get it. :-)

(Cowboy quilt, original design, hand quilted, pieced back.)
There are fabrics that are so beautiful in my eyes
that I want the perfect project for them and don't want to just chop 
them up for any ol' quilt pattern.
So, I'm starting with the fabrics that are easier to part with.
I have a feeling it will be a bit like decluttering.
At first just part with the stuff that doesn't matter,
then it's okay to part with the things that we don't use,
then choose favorites among the duplicates, and so on.

A little about how I typically roll with my quilting.
Though I occasionally hand piece,
I usually machine piece the quilts on my 
1918 Singer I call Gracie.
I had over a dozen sewing machines at one time.
I've decluttered and down-sized that collection as well.
I'm down to half-dozen.
That might still sound like overkill to some folks,
but they are each different and they each get used.
Once the top is pieced, I layer it and put it in the hoop
or on the frame depending upon the size.
I prefer hand-quilted quilts to machine quilted.
Machines essentially knot each stitch, and
hand-quilting is a running stitch that from the side
would look like a wave going up and down through the layers.
This allows the materials some "slack."
It's why machine quilted quilts are stiffer and
hand-quilted quilts drape around you - give you a hug.
So, I try to hand-quilt my quilts.
I'm not a professional hand-quilter,
but each one I do gets a smidgeon better.
(Note - there is some beautiful machine-quilting out there.)
 (In real life, the greens really do match.)
 (Current project being pieced: Rob Peter to Pay Paul.  An old pattern that requires scissors to cut out as opposed to a rotary cutter - slower.)
I will need to keep at it and get a lot done 
if I am to attend a bazaar or two next fall.
I also hope to get some smaller quilted items done
so that there will be a variety.
The perk of all this will be as these totes empty,
I won't be refilling them.
They will leave and we will have that much more room.
It sure won't happen over night, but
I'm looking forward to that.
(Next on the frame.)
For now, I'll just keep stitching ~
Weeeell, we'll see what happens come canning season.
Hopefully, I can at least make a good dent in it.


  1. What a gorgeous girl Gracie is. All four of my antique Singers have the very same decals which are not as fancy as Gracie's. She's beautiful. Your stash - I'm tickled it's yours and not mine. (I thought mine was huge, but in reflection it's not. LOL
    Love the cowboy quilt!
    Have a great week!

    1. Thank you. Gracie is my go to. She has the knee pedal which I like.

  2. I love your idea to have just enough. I too have no desire to live the minimalist life but I do love the idea of having just what I need and maybe a little extra for emergencies. My mother-in-law uses an old Singer machine just like that for all her sewing. (She used this machine to sew clothes for all of her 17 children as they were growing up!!) I don't know if she's named her... :) I have a little electric sewing machine named Lavender I've had over 15 years now. I'm excited to see all the projects you make with your stash!

    1. Oh I like the name Lavender. I probably have enough fabric to sew for 17 but can't even begin to imagine that 😊

  3. Oh, what lovely work! Those blankets and quilts look so cozy. I need to sort through my yarn stash, as well.

    1. Thank you and I think your yarn stash is beautiful also

  4. I dropped over from wisps of words blog, and immensely enjoyed reading this post. Yes, my jaw dropped when I saw your stash! I just sorted through mine this morning--I'm no seamstress, just use fabric to cover chair seats and such--but I do love pretty material so I understand what you're saying here. I have a similar issue with vintage glass. Way too much of it, but dang I love it. Anyway, nice to meet you, and really enjoyed this read!

    1. Nice to meet you too 😊 Vintage glass is stunning in the right light

  5. So great to see a new side of you. Now I can see you are like most of us, actually better than me for sure. Your fabric stash is nothing like what was on my shelves before the BIG PURGE. But after seeing your containers of fabric am sad to say I've even more than that left on my shelves.

    Yet I make excuses to keep what I have saying the fabric can be used as a rug binding folded over.

    Just know you are not alone in this addiction sweetie.

    1. We can also rationalize that you have wool which is bulkier. Heehee. Glad I'm not alone.

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  7. That sewing machine is fabulous. Kudos to you for downsizing. Take it from me, I know it's hard even though I try to do it every 6 months or so by either giving it away or selling. Happy New Year! RO

    1. Thank you! And yes, keeping on top of it really does help.

  8. This is what we each *need* to be doing. If we each do, what resonates with us, we should find 'our way.'

    If some really want full minimalism, find for them, to proceed to that.

    If some want to try to follow the William Morris saying.. "Have only what you find useful or beautiful," then that is fine for them.

    If some want more back up, then fine for them.

    So happy you know what you want, and are proceeding toward that goal.

    Oh and... I love it, that you have another post! -smile-



  9. I absolutely love this post. I think if everyone fessed up we could all say we have a stash of something. I am one of those people. My stash leans more to art supplies. I do have a small tote of fabric though and I don't even quilt. ha.... I love that cowboy fabric. I had a sweater for 20+ years that I loved with this theme. It had a cowboy on the back throwing a big lasso. I finally got rid of it just this year because it had a big hole in it and I couldn't seem to figure out how to fix it. When I saw this fabric it made me sigh. Keep up the good work and you will reach your goal.

  10. What a great post! I also love your Gracie! She's a real beauty, but also knows how to work! Of course, I love your cowboy quilt best of all.

  11. I love this post and enjoyed every word and picture. What a fabric stash! I enjoy sorting and folding and playing with fabric almost as much as sewing. That cowboy quilt is beautiful. I love it!

  12. I love that word - enoughism. I think it NEEDS to be in the dictionary. And no, I didn't laugh. I've been posting about my downsizing efforts this month as we (DH and I) went through every single thing in our abode and made some executive decisions. We've only been in this apartment for about ten years but it's amazing how much we've managed to accumulate in that time frame.