Monday, September 28, 2009



randomish thoughts on fabric in a list
cause i'm lazy like that

i was tweeting with a few friends on twitter this morning
and one of the things to come up was fabric
the lure of new fabric
and fabric diets
as quilters we love fabric
i could buy and buy and buy
i could upholster rooms in my house with some favorites
sometimes i feel the urge to buy the whole bolt
i never do act on that impulse
mmm, fabric
even joann's can give me a thrill sometimes
though i have never bought fabric online
and i don't keep up with designers
and who makes what
and i've never bought a jelly roll
or a fat quarter bundle of one designer
i buy what strikes my fancy
what strikes my fancy?
lime green
a good orange
or yellow
polka dots
black and whites
good ispy prints
piratey prints
i can never resist a new snoopy/peanuts fabric
i usually buy 1/3 of a yard
or more if i really like it
but what about those fabric diets i mentioned earlier
why do we need to control our fabric acquisition?
why do we need to satisfy our fabric lust by buying fabric?
do we need more?
are these the last new fabrics?
when is enough enough?
do you buy more fabric than you use?
do you still love the "gotta have this fabric" months later?
years later?
do you use it?
do you hoard it?
let's put it in other terms
my sweet daughter: "mom i want to buy more my littlest petshops"
me: "you just bought one last week"
daughter: "but there are new ones"
me: "but you just bought one last week"
daughter: "and i don't have all of them yet"
me: "even if you did, they will still keep making more"
daughter: "and i'll keep buying more"
me: "aren't you satisfied with what you have?"
daughter: "but i want more"
me: "don't you like what you have?"
daughter: "yes, but i will like the new ones too"
me: "let's have a conversation about contentedness...."
let's put it adult terms
is this "gotta have more" mentallity limited to fabric?
do you continually change your decor?
do you buy all the latest fashions?
do you change your holiday decorations each year?
do you buy more decorations each year?
do you buy more craft supplies?
more than you need?
more yarn?
more scrapbooking papers?
more stamps?
more! more! more!
why do we allow ourselves to be obsessive about fabric?
are we not content?
are you content?

from Galatians 5:22 and 23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

did you see that?

the fruit of the spirit are what i strive for in my life
and in my children's lives
i use this passage to train my children
and myself

i'm on somewhat of a controlled fabric diet
i still buy some here and there
stuff i need
not necessarily stuff that calls my name
it's more of a money issue
and a space issue

and you?


***no new fabric was bought to take these pictures. these are old pictures of fabric for quilts for each of my children. pirates for zach. peanuts for marguerite.


Tine said...

Great post. It's hard. I have looked at jelly-rolls ang FQ packs often, but have never bought one.
I do, however, buy almost all my fabric online. The price online (US) is app 1/3 of the store prices here. I mostly biy fabric for my kids, so we all have I SPY, dinosaurs and princesses in our quilts :)

jodi @ Pleasant Home said...

I'm not a stasher. 1. money. 2. space. 3. boredom. There is constantly new fabric, new colors, new lines coming out. If I buy fabric and a year later it's still sitting there, chances are I won't use it. I've already tired of it. There are a few exceptions. I also like to make do with what I have so to speak. Using all my scraps. Using other bloggers scraps that I win. etc. Awesome post. ;o)

Sarah said...

thanks tine!

jodi - that's a good point. i work from my stash. i call it my palette. i rarely buy specifically for a quilt. and i too love my scraps!

LauraJ said...

*hides head in shame*

guess I don't really "NEED" a fabric fix afterall

You know I was thinking about this this morning while sewing and I realized I have enough fabric in my stash for many future quilts

I should make those before buying more fabric!

Like Tine, I have a hard time finding good fabrics here near home. The one place I used to go to now needs a passport to get there. (I'm working on that eventually!) Until I do get one I shop online.

I should be content with what I have. I don't need any more LPS.

Oh wait we weren't talking petshop critters were we?

Martina said...

Thanks for the post. I realise it is so true what you shared. For me I told myself to finish first all my Ufo's before buying more fabric. My stash still is good for small quilts and tabelrunners and, and ...

Valerie said...

There's a quote I've tried to live by, written by Friedrich Nietzsche:

"The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness."

It's so true, we (meaning I) buy and hoard fabric (or scrapbook paper, or craft magazines) to fill a void inside, not because our cupboards are bare. I'm getting better, I don't impulse buy anywhere near as much as I used to, but it's a slow process. Recognizing its root has been my first step.

(and yet I totally covet that skull fabric and probably would go home with a half-yard of it if I saw it in the store...)

Teresa said...

Yeah...I have a stash...and I could probably make many tops from my stash (I would need to buy backings, most likely, unless I pieced them).

I don't go looking for additions, but sometimes something that is usually hard to find is just there...I collect music, heart, horse, cat and black/white...mostly for specific future projects.

I find great joy in coming up with an idea for a quilt and finding everything I need in my my pajamas, with bad hair and no make-up!!

My mantra is "the quilt with the most fabrics in it wins," so it makes me happy to be surrounded with a great palette to color with. Because of this, I mostly buy fat quarters or 1/2 yards...just a taste.

We've been watching "Hoarders" on Monday nights, and so far my husband and I have not seen "me" on the show yet, so maybe I'm not that bad!

We have definitely cut down on consumption for consumption's sake, but since I make most of my quilts to give to family, friends, and charity, I sort of live on that little rationalization.

Thanks for your list of questions...we all need to be asking ourselves those kinds of things about all avenues of life.

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

MichelleB said...

Wow. A great post. Definitely something that I'm trying to work on - as I sit here with a full basket at

byneedleandthread said...

Well put Sarah. Way to get us thinkin'! I should read this every time I want to fill my virtual cart with fabrics. I do it far to often. maybe a halt on online shopping is in order for me.only go to the shop in person. I'd feel much more ashamed of a giant purchase in the store. Online, its just click, click click, my little secret. It's definitely retail therapy. I also eat more junk food when I'm alone. also a problem. :P

Buzz's Food Lady said...

It is easy to overdo it, isn't it?

I work from my stash, so it has to be a healthy size. That being said, as the shelves are already fairly full, I only buy fabric when it is "perfect"! I just have to remind myself that I can enjoy fabric without having it!

I don't have any non-quilting stashes and I'm not allowing myself to start any!


belinda said...

...LOL...I agree with EVERY word!!!

Amy said...

very fun post.

personally, i go through stages. some stages i MUST buy new fabric or i MUST collect vintage sheets and other stages i'm not interested in using anything other than what's in my stash.

i also have a few favorite fabric pieces which i've had for so long that i couldn't possibly use them - they're just for admiring.

amandajean said...

i wish i could take you out to lunch so we could discuss this post!!! i am getting so sick of fabric hype. and i'm sick of wanting more. i know that sounds kind of silly. let's just say that your post struck a cord with me.

amandajean said...

and one more thing...i'm on a fabric diet that lets me buy fabric to finish a project only. i have a quilt that i will go shopping (in person) for the perfect binding. it will be fun to go and hunt for it and i will only need to buy about 1/2 yard. it will give me my little fix until i can use up some more of my stash. it's working better than not buying ANY fabric at all.

Barb said...

I just came across your blog and I NEED to come raid your snoopy scraps! My eldest is pregnant and I'm making a snoopy quilt for the bed in the nursery. You've got some snoopys I haven't seen before!

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

It's weird, I've always prided myself on not being a collector of anything. The only knicknacks in my house are the ones my mother keeps sending me and sometimes she'll get a cute set of salt and pepper shakers or something and I'll keep that. But wow, when the fabric obession took hold...that was it for me! I don't collect or hoard literally ANYTHING else, not shoes (I have two pairs), not clothes, not makeup, nothing. But boy do I love fabric. And boy do I want every piece of the ones I like. But only small pieces.

bingo~bonnie said...

ever heard of "variety and contrast?" which translates to us fabric lovers = Buy everything! ;) and I'd say from reading your list you are on way to having a good "variety and contrast" ;)

Love all the peanuts fabrics!!!! I can't wait to see what you have planned for them one day... I have a whole box of peanuts Christmas ornaments that we've collected over the years ;) I *heart* Snoopy!!!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie