Thursday, April 20, 2017

buried in fabric


Not literally, of course.  But overwhelmed.  Boxes and drawers and bins!  I brought two shopping bags of fabric to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight  and put the piles on the "free" table. A lot was gone in a flash; the rest can go into charity quilts. 

The hardest part are the boxes and boxes of strips and some scraps: wide, narrow, hand-dyed,hand-printed,commercial. Most have been cut free-hand; some are frayed.  All of them need to be ironed, I think. But my modern guild wouldn't know what to do with them. They make a lot of quilts using patterns.

There is no end, it seems. I have left a huge bag of strips (mostly Helene Davis' beautiful hand-dyes) in Florida, but I simply don't have room to cart these back and I know I will cut more, because that's what I do. Sigh... do I close my eyes and send them to the landfill? Or do I stuff a manila envelope and send them off to you for some therapy sewing?  


I am chafing at the bit to play with fabric but instead, I am trying (in vain, it seems) to declutter and at least make the place look neat.  In addition, I am getting sidetracked.  
This is not a big surprise.

I already have baggies of my grandmother's fabrics from the 1940's and 50's: scraps she brought home from the dress factory where she worked.  Then, this morning, I found a whole shopping bag containing the remnants of a blanket cover she had made from the woven plaids and some stripes.  It was so worn, she had patched it in layers. I had started to take it apart, probably decades ago and I took more of it apart today. I'm challenging myself to use it in a modern quilt.
And there were aprons in that bag that my Nanny had made.  I remember my mother wearing this one.  1940's fabric. Pocket. Ruffle. See how easy it is to get sidetracked?


And here I sit, blogging instead of straightening up. Procrastinating? Resting? Both, I guess.

I emptied my trunk of fabulous vintage blocks dating from the turn of (the 20th) century up through the 1930's.  And I haven't even attacked a drawer of my own orphan blocks.

My quilts are another story.  At some point I will be having a studio sale because I will not have room to store them all. 

In the meantime, I have been invited to have a show of 12 quilts at the Northern Star Quilt Guild show in Connecticut, May 5-6.  They are rolled up and ready to be picked up this weekend by the curator.  On Sunday, May 6 I will be giving an artist's walk/commentary at some point in the afternoon.  If you are in the area, here's where Northern Star's show, World of Quilts, will be located. Come say hello!  


O'Neill Center

Western Connecticut State University West Side Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension Danbury, CT 06811 

If you want an envelope of therapy strips, raise your hand and I'll let the random number generator do its work.

In fact, even if you don't want them, leave me a comment. Comments always perk me up!


27 comments:

Diane said...

LOL Seriously LOL So many of us are trying to destash, get sidetracked, and somehow manage to rationalize our way into holding onto all the fabric anyway.

Like you, I bring a bag of freebies to my local quilt guild and today's bag - consisting of an old wedding gown - was snapped up lickety-split. That's good, because I have two more at home that will be offered next.

Good luck with your organizing, and if a bag of fabric arrives at my doorstep, it would be welcomed with open arms.

Hugs,

Diane

Sue Erdreich said...

I would love some of your therapy strips. No patterns here. :)

Claive said...

Of course I'd love some!!!

Linda Hicks said...

Note that you are progressing and entertaing. What wonderful memories. Wish you could keep a fragment of each fabric to run across in another time. Cheers.

Deb Oldenburg said...

no patterns here either. why do people spend so much time making some one else's quilt(no fun and redundant) i should be destashing also but what the heck maybe scraps from someone else will offer a suggestion about what i should get rid of!

Bonnie Miller said...

Do you know what Rayna? I'd just surround myself with the bits you love and keep the rest for when those ones are gone. Love those Mum bits. Roll in them...stroke them...smell them...fold them...put them to one side and repeat. And the other stuff? It's only fabric so don't worry about it. Keep it where it is. Someone really needy will want to have it one day and you will be the provider. This from someone your age...I'm guessing...and I hope not rudely! This someone who also has a huge stash and cannot bear to part with it! And I keep telling Dear Norm that we should only expect another fifteen years so let's do the things we want to and not worry about what anybody might think. For him it is listening to the radio, reading multiple newspapers and Time magazines, playing on the computer and generally blobbing around our wee home. For me it is arts and crafts with textiles threads and art supplies. All at home. It's my favourite place to be. Just love everything!

Vivian Cothros said...

Hi Rayna! I can relate to your story of too much fabric, too little time to process. I'm avoiding my guild's auctions so I don't get tempted with more scraps and strips. But I have to confess that to have an envelope of Rayna's strip is extremely tempting. I'm very willing to pay at least for the postage, provided it's not too much trouble for you. Vivian

Lynda said...

Hi Rayna, I would love to have an envelope of your stash to add to my stash. I can see incorporating your beauties with some of mine - Fun! I'd also be happy to pay postage. I also have several old aprons of my mom's that I can't bear to part with. And then there are grandma's quilts. Oh my! I don't belong to our local quilt guild because they focus mainly on the traditional - I just have never fit in!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Raising my hand -the gift of therapy strips would be much appreciated and welcomed into my scrappy workd. (And I am happy to reimburse postage - it adds up so quickly when we try to share our bounty with others). Love the idea of using the older memory-filled fabrics to make a new quilt.

Karaquilts said...

I am having a grand time playing with miles of scraps and strips and seeing what kind of quilts appear. Your strips would love to join in with my strips and make a whole new happy dance appear! If you decide to share, I'd love to be part of the festivities. If you don't share now, someone else will benefit later.

but I'm a firm believer that if something overwhelms you, do your utmost to remove it and unparalyze ~ ~ I've spent the past months doing a lot of that and it feels good. Freeing. It's fun to have a peek into your sewing corner :)

Sandy Johnson said...

Would love some of your scraps to add to my collection. I am in the process of making a scrap quilt with my granddaughter and would love another quilter's love of fabric to be added to it.

Becki @ the beach said...

Rayna, aha I found it! The scent of fabric led me, like cookie crumbs to your doorstep. I appreciate your intent, and I do the same, passing on to my group of quilt buddies and guild what I cull. But to have new treasures from your stash would be such a pleasure!
Thanks....I have your books, a long time fan
Caltexgal@aol.com
Becki

Anonymous said...

I, too, am downsizing seriously, and have spent the last week measuring and pricing pieces of fabric that I just had to have--and now realize that I will have to live till I am 114 to use it all up! We have a huge home, and are selling, don't know where we are going, so the fabric will have to find a new home, as well as donations and "enabling packages" for friends. Good luck, it's a daunting task, but feels so good when part of the stash has gone elsewhere. Jill in Calgary/Phoenix

patty a. said...

Fabrics can hold such memories. I can see how it would be easy to get sidetracked as you wander thru all your treasures. I have plenty of scraps so I don't need any more! LOL!! I have quite a bit of vintage fabric myself and it does come in handy. I have a wedding ring quilt I need to remake and I know I will be digging thru that vintage stuff when I need to replace a piece of fabric that is a problem.

Hang in there! One box at a time ....

Sherry said...

Hi Rayna,

I know exactly what you are talking about. I am on a 5 year plan to clear out the house so that we can move after retirement.

Of course, just like you said, I have the hardest time getting rid of pieces of fabric! LOL Books, patterns, magazines, and tools are no problem --- I filled up the entire free table at my guild 2 meetings ago with stuff. . .but fabric just won't let me go.

And, like you said, I have enough fabric and kits and UFO's to last me for at least the next 75 years. . . so why did I just buy 20 more yards of it? Ok, my excuse was for backings. . . and that is what I am sticking to! LOL

Have a wonderful day. . . but I will pass on the offer of scraps. . .

Have a lovely day,

KAM said...

As I daily, weekly, monthly gather up remnants of my lifetime of fabrics and give them away, there is always a stirring for creativity when I look at the bits from another maker/artist. It would be pure delight to have an envelope of your pieces.
Kristin

Deolinda Rhoads said...

Hi, like you I am buried with every little bit of scrap fabric and I've been working on my "studio" to get it organized so I can create, but would love an envelope of your scraps and will pay postage.

Magicty said...

My hand is raised.....pick me. Also, I love modern quilting without using patterns.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed following your blog. In fact I got the CD you made awhile ago. Thank you for that. I would enjoy using some of your strings If you have any left. I don't have a blog but I can send you my address if you find you need it. Here is my email address.

Dale
monkeylady@att.net

Terry Sargent Peart said...

If you decide to throw some of it out, don't send it to the landfill. Fabric and clothes are completely recyclable now. Look into that.
Thanks.

Charlotta said...

Please don't send your fabric to the landfill. Unfortunately, the last thing I need is more fabric, but it it can definitely be used! There's a place in Atlanta called reloom, I can get you the address if necessary, which weaves rugs, placemats and a number of other things from strips of fabric donated to them. The workers are formerly homeless people or prisoners who are trained to work on the looms and learn to work a regular job as well as helped with other issues in finding housing etc while earning a living wage.
Fabric strips can also be used in art projects in schools, neighborhood art centers, and the like. They are very bad for land fills as are all clothing and fiber products!

RenaM said...

Would love a few pieces from your stash! Will gladly reimburse shipping expense. Email at soap@embarqmail.com

Thank you for sharing!

Hilda said...

I already have a SABLE--stash accumulation beyond life expectancy--but other people's scraps always look more interesting than our own! I would be happy to use and/or rehome yours!

Cathy Bargar said...

Hopelessly addicted to scraps, especially other people's! This is not something that non-fabric people don't understand; when you tell them you "have way too much fabric", they think you mean you have two, maybe three, plastic bins full. They have no idea that there are literally multiple ROOMS full, and that no, you are not making this up. I have made efforts to donate what seem like large contributions of the least-compelling ones, without making the slightest visible dent. Some days I am at peace with the situation: I love the colors and textures and memories and, above all, the pure sense of potential richness they hold out to me. Other days, I am frantic because I can't seem to even clear a spot to start clearing a spot to start making anything. Yet new fabrics, especially new bags of scraps, continue to enter my home. Resistance is futile!

That being said, of course I would ADORE to have a box full of your excesses, my dear Rayna! I will happily send you postage, pronto, for a big bag or a flat-rate box of them - just say the word, and I will happily assist you to lighten your scrap burden. No judgment!

Zizophora said...

I'd love some strips!

Kat Scott said...

Well I would think the above list of comments should lighten your scrap stash considerably.... but I know how those pesky things seem to reproduce in the dark. New fabric (especially scraps) can be so creatively energizing. I'll raise my hand if you have any left and will also reimburse you for postage. Good luck - hang on to the pieces that truly hold history/memories.

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