Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More Thoughts on Stash

Remember the "before" shots from yesterday's post? (Scroll down.)
Here is the after. Much better, don't you think?

And since Anonymous commented that I would need a few more wire basket systems to store my stash, I thought I'd explain some of my stash theories.

I don't want any more. When I look at piles and piles of fabric, it's just too much. Where to begin? How to find the exact right piece? And then I feel the pressure to actually USE it. I'm not the kind of gal who simply cannot resist buying a piece of fabric just because I love the color, pattern, hand or design. I usually buy for a specific project. I know this is unusal among fabric lovers.

In fact, I nearly gasped when shopping with another art quilter who was looking for a specific batik that she had grown to love love love. She insisted she must find it and if she did she would buy the entire bolt. I figured she must have a dwindling few strips left and must have a series of quilts in mind. Then she explained that she actually had three or four yards of it left, but that was not enough to make her feel secure. I don't have three or four yards of ANYTHING. Oh well. To each their own. (By the way she's won lots of awards and been accepted to some major shows, so maybe she knows something I don't.)

You should also know, my frig and pantry are the same way. I buy food for a specific purpose and rarely buy stuff just to have "on hand." Unlike my father-in-law who has at least 12 kinds of salad dressing in the frig. Which is great when you're serving salad to a bunch of people!

And honestly, there was other stuff in those plastic drawers -- not just fabric. There were also lots of UFOs. I have now divided them into a box of projects I might like to finish and projects I am unlikely to finish. You can see them in the above picture on the left in the plastic boxes near the top.

And Anonymous is correct, I didn't quite have room for my small collection of novelty prints. I think I'm subconsciously separately them from the other more beautiful fabrics until I'm inspired to make an "Eye Spy" quilt, or something. Not likely. (I like the idea of an Eye Spy quilt... I just don't have the time to dink around with projects like that. Maybe when my first grandchild is born.)

The other important thing about my artwork and my stash is that I work small. Those door quilts feel huge to me and they are only 20ish by 30ish. So I don't need more more more. When I'm moved to work larger, I'll go shopping.

Here's a close up so you know that I am "organized" but not "neat." I'm not so much for the folding. Why bother when you're going to press it and cut it up anyway?

As I continue to make art and move my supplies around in my studio and talk with other artists and just consider how creativity fits into my life, I get a clearer notion of what I really need. Having stuff I don't need or storing it so that it is ugly or inaccessible doesn't feed the creative spirit. (At least not for me... )

In fact, I found a UFO yesterday that is now turning into something completely new and I'm very excited about it. More on that later!


His Office, My Studio said...

When I had a studio in the old house I collect and collect because I though I had to have it all. When we moved I packed it all. Now I have a studio in the dinning room and very little storage. I am using the same wire baskets. The past few weeks I have giving away stuff. Now I am cutting my fabric stash to sell or give away.

I love your doors. Have fun remaking your UFO.

Shelina said...

I'm with you on the fabric collection thing, although I do happen to have a stash. Sometimes for entertainment, I will just browse a quilt store or a fabric store, and then I will treat myself with a fat quarter or a small thing, using those 40% coupons. So I have bought fabric with no use in mind. Except for that very big exception, I don't buy fabric unless I need it for something specific.
I like your photo of your wire basket. Those colors look so bright and cheerful, and organized.
I do try to buy groceries with a planned menu, but I am not organized enough to come up with a menu, so I will buy stuff on sale, and sometimes it does sit there. But I fix that by not shopping once in a while to deplete the supplies.

Anonymous said...

I just bought that same storage system this past weekend at Ikea for the same reason!! I also got a smaller one to go on top so it will be ten baskets tall. Not sure if it will hold all the fabric though! I too want to be able to see my fabric. I do have a good sized stash.
I also have lots of food in the pantry, and toilet paper and pens and pencils and underwear. I know, weird, but it comes from growing up with no money and a usually empty pantry, a nub of a pencil, pens that skipped and new clothes once a year if we were lucky!

Joanne S said...

I began my quilting "life" by buying fabric for several years--not making anything. Just buying. I never buy less than a yard and have spent over $200 at a shop--they love me. All polka dots.

Now I buy nothing. I use what I have--rarely--and paint the rest. But I'm not really making much right now--a fallow period.