I learned a couple of quilty things about myself this past weekend. I've known them all along but hadn't really put them into words till now.
The Boulder MQG chose a local senior citizen's home for our charity this year and we are trying to make as many quilts as we can. Josi, our charity chair, selected this tutorial for May. Several of us spent Saturday sewing blocks and quilt tops. You can see one of the tops here on Josi's new blog Avocado Quilts.
First, let me say I really enjoy the company of sewing with others during our monthly MQG sew days. However, I need to acknowledge that socializing does not play well with sewing accuracy. At least not in my book. I make mistakes. Sometimes lots of mistakes. I've known this for awhile but am finally admitting that I don't do my best work while I'm sewing with others. I enjoy the company but not necessarily the results.
It's a very easy block but I managed to miss-cut my fabric pieces. None of my blocks were the right size. ugggg. My solution was to make enough blocks (20) for a whole quilt. Thankfully these blocks are super quick to sew if you pre-cut the parts and then chain piece. They're also a great way to use up older fabrics. I was able to whip up the rest of the blocks and finish the top Sunday. A good accomplishment for a long rainy weekend.
The second thing I learned was that I really don't like sewing when my studio is a big mess. I pulled out tons of pretty old fabrics to make these blocks and it felt good to be using them up. But now I just want to dump them all in a big box without sorting or folding. I really really need to purge my old stash. Just getting them out to use or even get rid of makes such an incredible mess though. Unfolding, pressing, refolding and putting away sometimes feels like more trouble than it's worth. If only my quilting fairies would clean up for me.
I'd love to use up even more of the old stuff . . . it's just the thought of dragging it all out that stops me. They are all folded fairly small and therefore have rather strong creases. Maybe I should wash them and then the folds wouldn't be such an issue. What do you think?
Have you destashed older fabrics? If so, how did you go about it and were the fabrics pre-washed? Instagram destash? Esty sales? Garage sales? Donating is an option too. I'd appreciate any tips you have on what you do with the older fabrics in your stash. I've been quilting for close to 20 years and my taste and style have gone through many phases in that time. It's about time I clear out the old and make room for the new because more fabric is on it's way. Almost embarrassed to admit, but I fell victim to a couple of Memorial day sales. What can I say . . . ADDICTED? Yes . . . it's very very true. I'm a hug fabriholic and I make no apologies.
Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
Love the pattern! It makes me think of Scandinavian flags. This will be cherished, I'm sure!ReplyDelete
Love the wonky crosses, they're so fun and versatile I feel like. :)ReplyDelete
I am in the process of starting a modern quilting group in my area, and I noticed somewhere along the way... "wow, that's not as straight as I usually sew." But the exchange was worth the seam ripping later.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I prefer to just give fabrics away that I don't think I will use to someone that I know would be an all too happy recipient. Of course, you can sell them on various websites or yards sales, etc., but sometimes the amount of effort taking photos, posting listings, and everything else can take up so much time, that you may not get back what you put into it. But then again, who am I to talk about getting rid of those fabrics that were you taste years ago, when I am still needing to weed out stacks of mine.
Great stash buster quilt!
P.S. Where can I get a couple of those clean-up quilting faries?
I had decent success with destashing scrap bags on Etsy, but have decided not to do it again. it's a huge time-sink to organize the fabrics, take/edit/upload photos, decide on pricing, and create the listings. I'd rather put that time to making a charity quilt out of the stale stuff.ReplyDelete
BTW: When those fairies are done cleaning up your studio, could you send them over here? I've got a job for them...
I also considered de-stashing- via IG- but only got as far as sorting and folding. I'm thinking they need to be given away as I can feel a fabric buying trip coming up. There are two new shops opened up near me!! the lure is too great and I need to make room!ReplyDelete
Well I do like your quilt, even if you did have an issue with the size! It's also good to know that someone does;t take too kindly to working in an overflowing studio. I have just been going through bags of left-overs from quilts being saved "just in case I use them up" - never did!!ReplyDelete
Ah, the old stash. I have two friends that come over to sew, one has only been quilting for a year and a half so her stash is wanting. Whatever piece of fabric I run across during the week that I know I will never use, I add to a give-away stack on a bench in the living room. It's working out very well. It's kind of a perpetual stack and my plan is that what they don't want I will donate to our thrift store but oddly that hasn't happened yet. It's a win-win.ReplyDelete
I think if you want to get rid of them (another word for destashing) I would not wash and iron them, just pack them in a nice box and give them to a charity that you know will sell them to someone who loves fabric. We have only two places that actually will sell the fabric and they are the ones who get mine. I think it's very refreshing to clean it out. I also know that there is a very well known (Bonnie Hunter) who loves fabric and cuts it all up, you might send it to her.ReplyDelete
Our quilt group has a table for bringing giveaways every week and most of them get a new home. At charity quilt donation time many quilters remark that the fabrics came from the table. One quilter's junk is another,s treasure, and we all go home happy.ReplyDelete
I don't do my best work in a group either.....I'm more creative and accurate when I'm alone.ReplyDelete
I could use some of those cleaning ferries as well....I create huge messes on a regular basis. The quilt looks great.
I recently was on the receiving end of someone getting rid of a lot of stash because they were down sizing from a house to a condo. I came home with 3 garbage bags full of fabric. I've given this whole issue of stashing fabric a lot of thought in the last few months...and I keep buying more for myself. It's kinda crazy but really fun, too!ReplyDelete
I just read thru the comments, and I second what someone above me stated. Donating unwanted fabric at the "free table" is very refreshing and it's delightful to see it used! Keep the revolving fabric door moving. :)ReplyDelete
I put all of the fabrics that I want to de-stash into a large box, just as they are, and offer them first to my quilting ladies at one of our get togethers. They often take most of them. Then if I have any left over, I take them to Goodwill, because so many folks cant afford quality cottons to sew with. Unless it is a fabric that is iconic (Tula Pink) I dont put it on de-stash on instagram if it's old. Noone responds. XX!ReplyDelete
I'd suggest just getting ruthless. Worry less about if it's washed, pressed, folded funny or whatever. Just toss it in a bag! Having too much fabric that you won't use is worse than having too little you will. It's a burden, imho. My thought is to give a gift to someone else by donating. I've given to our church quilters who love and use everything.ReplyDelete
I have two places you can give to. One is our church's thrift store, called Deseret Industries (it's local and in your phone book). People either use the fabric for quilts to sell in the store, or they bundle it for sale; either way it won't go to waste. Another place I've donated to is in Oregon, but then you'd have to ship it ($$).ReplyDelete
I clean my old stuff out about once a year or so, because like you, I find I just don't use those pieces. I noticed when making my basket quilt that even the time of five years, the "aqua" tones had shifted from what I was using now and that border fabric. On the other hand, I've been able to go to my stash when I needed a particular color that wasn't out in the stores, but in working with today's project, I noticed how "gray" all my old stuff looks, in terms of the color wheel. We use more concentrated tones now.
Don't wash or iron. Just get a big bag, and start placing the fabrics in there. I do fold and stack neatly so that the people on the other end don't have such a mess, but it doesn't take long, and if they are wonky folded, I don't care. You'll love having more room!
First, I'll say I'm a pre-washer. Always have been; always will be (after two different quilt-washing disasters). Second, I gave away more than half of my stash before moving three years ago. It was painful to think about how much money had been spent on it, but I KNEW I would never use it up myself. I didn't WANT to! So steel your emotions and give it away to a group that will use it to make donation quilts. You'll feel good that you've helped someone else, and lightened your own guilt-burden at the same time. And lastly, you might think about joining Amanda Jean's (CrazyMomQuilts) Scrap Vomit Along. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm going to be doing next, to lighten some of my scrap containers.ReplyDelete
A few years ago, I went through my scraps and bundled up what I knew that I'd just keep avoiding. I took them to my local quilt guild and plopped them down on the FREE table. They were gone in minutes! I used to be strict with myself about pre-washing, but no longer do it. If you go with this suggestion, you could put in a note letting the new owner if it is pre-washed or not. I didn't worry about the $ I had spent on the fabric because it is not doing anyone any good just sitting in my closet feeling rejected.ReplyDelete
So many good comments. I have donated countless yards to our church quilting group. I think the idea of donating to the local guild is a good one (I don't belong to a guild) and I might give that a try as well. Just clean up and move on. And I agree with both of your findings--I normally do better sewing alone. Sometimes I even have to turn off my audible books to really concentrate. But every so often, being in a group of quilters is just the best thing ever. Even if I don't get much accomplished.ReplyDelete