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cutting or starting phobia

cutting or starting phobia

Old 04-29-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default cutting or starting phobia

I have a wonderful stash of fabric. I like to fold it, re-arrange it and pet it. But when it comes to actually making something from my stash I can't seem to give myself permission to actually use my fabric.

My excuses:
-It's a nice big piece- I can use it for backing,
-Then when I'm looking for backing it's too good for backing.
-It's not big enough for what I need and then I have to find a 2nd and 3rd piece that matches
-But it's too pretty to use in a charity quilt, I want to make something for myself from that fabric-yet never do because it's not big enough.

I stand in front of my stash thinking I should do something and can't find matching fabrics or have too many choices and get a brain freeze then go back to sewing crumbs because it's stress free sewing.

I need to get over my cutting phobia and actually use my stash!

In my charity quilting group, for the long time members who are good at producing quilt tops-they've started handing out bundles of coordinating fabrics to make quilts. This should make it easier to work with but I'm still frozen. I pull the bundles apart and can't decide what to do...it's all so annoying. Then I go back to sewing crumbs to unfreeze my brain.

But I'll sew scraps together randomly, from bags I receive from my fellow quilters. I've made 100's of crumb blocks and scrappy 4 patches, 9 patches, rail fences. I can really get behind scrappy quilts.


For now, I use my larger pieces to make sashing and borders for my scrappy quilts. I'd like to make an actually planned quilt with only 2-3 colors.

It's like if it's still uncut there is potential to be something wonderful...and once I cut it, I can really make a mess if I'm not careful...what if the colors don't go together well? Or something like that.

Any one else have this problem? What do you do?
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:38 AM
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You say you are saving it for a quilt for yourself- well find a pattern that you love and make yourself a quilt. Maybe start with a throw size - it sounds like you are nervous about the whole process ( even if you don't mention it ) from the cutting , picking the colors, to the sewing/matching seams . You have to allow yourself to make mistakes - become friends with (Jack) the ripper. And if it doesn't come out perfect that is fine also

I make my quilts to be loved - not show stoppers.

Are you thinking you talents won't match what the others in your group can do ? We all start as beginners and take baby steps - practice -practice-practice. And making charity quilts is a wonderful way to practice

Take a couple deep breaths and enjoy - and remember these wise words I have heard here MANY times - what does it look like when you are on a galloping horse going fast- can you see the "mistakes" ?
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:47 AM
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I did -- not anymore -- the more sure of yourself you get the easier it'll be. BTW -- years and years and years ago, I bought some of the new stuff (mock suede) to make my husband a jeans type jacket. It cost $30.00 (a lot when your bring home pay is less than $1000.) total for the fabric and supplies and it so intimidated me that I put off making it for 2 yrs!!!!
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:53 AM
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I too have your "affliction" . Just last night I was picking out a backing for a quilt and went through the exact same thing you describe. From the start of the quilt I thought I had the perfect backing... and then it struck.... the its "its too good " or "maybe there is a better quilt it will be suited for" then " its more than what I need , so I should save it", and finally "is this the backing for a scrap quilt, as its alot of premium yardage".... This went on for over 2 hours.... and this morning the same thing started all over again.... I have decided that I sometimes have too much choice and that contributes to my "paralysis".... but then again if I had less would I then purchase and start the cycle over again.
This issue has led me to be far more comfortable making scrap quilts and produce more scrap quilts than quilts from yardage.
Sometimes when I find myself in this issue, I have to repeat over and over... " there is more fabric at the stores, and every year it just gets better" , "better to use it now , so I can have space for better". Notice I said .."sometimes" at the start of the sentence.
Now after reading your post and my response... I am going to do it... USE the "GOOD STUFF". oh give me strenght!!!

Last edited by Lori S; 04-29-2012 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:08 AM
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If you like scrappy quilts the best, then you could organize your fabrics by color. Select a pattern, then start pulling fabrics from your color families and cut the strip sizes you need. I completely stopped stashing fabrics for backings and borders. I either wait until I'm finished piecing or cut 10.5" squares from my stash as I cut strips.

I used to buy matching fabrics for a quilt and get paralyzed by the fear that I would run out of fabric. Once I read about the scrap user's system on Bonnie Hunt's quiltville.com website, I found it so freeing. I prefer controlled color scrappy quilts, so this works the best for me. Even though I only have a small stash, I know that I won't ever run out of fabric for a quilt, I can just go shopping for more fabric in my colors and make some more blocks. If I make too many blocks, I can use them later in a backing or border.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:20 AM
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I love folding and looking at my fabric also. I spend more time "petting" it than cutting and sewing. I make lots of quilts
for others but just don't have the time to make one for me.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:37 AM
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I can soooooo relate to these posts.

I can happily cut up and sew bits and pieces -
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:52 AM
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Starting phobia? I think more of us have trouble finishing than we have starting the project!
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:07 AM
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I am getting so bad with so much fabric it is pushing me out of my sewing room,when I make a new quilt I go out and buy new fabric. My DSIL is always after me to do something with it to make more room for myself. I read on the board someone ask would your family know how much all your fabric and machines are worth if you were to die. I thought I would inform my DD the next time they were here just how much money was in all I have. We were talking and she said, if anything were to happen to me she was taking it all home with her. DSIL said what? She said yes, I don't care what you say, I would never let it go anywhere else. Poor guy looked like he had water poured over his head. Like Mother , like daughter.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:58 AM
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I have to force myself. For me, it's easier if I first pull fabrics for the quilt top, lay them out so that I think they kind of go together, and then just start cutting. I don't choose a backing fabric until the top is finished, and by that time I'm so eager to get the quilt finished it's more a matter of "this fabric will work" or I'll have to go and buy something that fits.

The other thing I do is reassure myself frequently that there are wonderful fabrics out there I can buy to replace the ones I have. They don't have to be exact replacements; they just have to be equally wonderful!

I also have found that it gets easier with every quilt. The more quilts under the belt, the easier it is to start a new one! I think that's because I realize that there is no need to make only "perfect" quilts; it's only necessary to actually make a quilt!
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