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Thread: My new perspective on fabric, and how this is a bit unnerving

  1. #1
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    My new perspective on fabric, and how this is a bit unnerving

    I've sewn since high school. Clothes for myself, then daughter and son, flower girl and maid-of-honor gowns for family and friends, then tiring of garments moved on to cloth dolls, then quilts, and lately curtains, bed sheets and pillowcases for my grandson's toddler bed, and a few handbags thrown in.

    I love to sew. It's relaxing, therapeutic, comforting. I love making things for people and our home.

    Two years ago I purged stash and am now left with one large plastic bin, 1/4 - 2 yd cuts. Looking at all this fabric, it lends itself to quilts, bags, place mats, probably doll clothes/quilts/pillows - small things - that I decided I wanted to use up before buying any more because after all these years, for me, accumulating stash is a waste of money.

    The problem is, I don't want to cut it up anymore. I love what I kept and the thought of cutting it into little pieces and quilting over it is causing me great sadness. I want to see the fabric.

    Looking around my house I have made curtains for my living room, kitchen, small bathroom, and grandson's room. For his toddler bed I have made two sets of sheets and four pillowcases and a puppy flannel quilt. It's the fabric I want to see, the fabric that dresses it all up and I am at a turning point because I don't think I want to quilt any more, but I still want to sew.

    So my question to you is: have you ever been sewing right along and then one day you put down your needle and ask yourself if this is really what you want to do? Or do you keep sewing what you sew because of the time and money you have invested in fabric forces you to, or because you have promised so many things to so many people you just have to keep on?

    If this has happened to you, how did you readjust?
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Use to, but no, not anymore. I am happy to take my favorite fabrics and make them into a gorgerous quilts that someone else less fortunate will appreciate the act of kindness. Just remember, you can't take it with you and who will appreciate it as much as you do. I am making charity quilts for foster kids some of them only have the clothes on their back when they go to a summer camp. I am delighted to make them a quilt that is bright and cherry with a pillowcase (required) that matches. There are people less fortunate than I am but how can these kids, lock in this system, succeed in this economy unless someone anonymously (required) tell them someone cares. Good Luck. Hope you find your mojo.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Who says you have to cut your fabric into little pieces? There are many whole cloth patterns around. And for that matter, who says you have to do anything with the fabric in that bin--at least right now. Take a break from your sewing room and just let everything 'rest' for a while. An idea will come to you one day and you will know what your next endeavour will be.

    Over the years I have taken many breaks. I no longer sew clothing because I just do not enjoy it. I have repurposed much of my clothing fabric--to the great joy of a few charities. I have a basket of batiks that I just cannot bear to cut up. They make me happy just as they are--for now--and that is okay with me. Someday I will find a way of using them that will also make me happy. I am in no hurry.

    The one thing I have learned is that i will not like the result if I do not like the process. I am at the stage in my life that I want to do things that make ME happy. Right now it is working on my niece's wedding quilt because she is an awesome person who deserves my best attempt--not because it is something I SHOULD do.

    Take a breath and relax. You don't have to decide anything today.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  4. #4
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    I haven't done it with Quiting so far but I did do it with Scrapbooking. After purchasing enough "stash" to do about 20 Scrapbooks, I looked at the 10-12 that I had completed and said, "Enough." Our lives are documented. Yes, I still have that stash, one of these days, I may pick it up again or give it away. I did purge it then put it in a condensed form keeping only what I loved and basics. One of these days, I may do the same with sewing then who knows what I'll do, paint, woodwork, stained glass. It never hurts to walk away for a while, you can always return.

  5. #5
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I lost interest in with many hobbies, painting, crochet, crossstitch, jewelry making, wool rug hooking, weaving, and scrapbooking. The amount of money I had in supplies, classes and workshops wasn't a guilt issue with me, I was excited to go on to something else. So far quilting is still fun for me. If I had quilt promises to fulfill I would make an easy quilt top, send it out to be quilted and move on with no apologies.
    I love my life!

  6. #6
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    So it's okay then? lol Maybe I should just change my focus to baby and kids. I seem to be drawn to the happiness of those fabrics and patterns.

    Here is a little view of my grandson's curtains.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  7. #7
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    If you need a break, take one. Find something else you want to do. If you love the fabrics you have, keep them. There's no harm in it and maybe someday the urge will hit you to use them somehow. Most of all, don't waste your time doing something you no longer enjoy. Do what makes you happy. I have several hobbies I switch back and forth on as the mood strikes me. I'm interested in pretty much everything. My biggest challenge is limiting myself to the hobbies I have.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    You posted while I was typing. Cute curtains! If sewing for children makes you happy, do that. If you run out of family or friends to sew for there's always children's charities out there that would appreciate your efforts.
    Rodney

  9. #9
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I wonder if you selected a quilt design that uses larger pieces of fabric would help. I also have some beautiful fabric that I think should be the focus, not an intricate piecing pattern. There are lots of modern quilt designs that use fewer fabrics in larger pieces with lots of white space that really let those special fabrics shine through.

  10. #10
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    If you are enjoying other things right now, don't stress about it. Love what you do and do what you love!

  11. #11
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    good advice, Tartan.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  12. #12
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    I have gone thry several hobbies/crafts in my day. When I have had my fill, I quit and move on. Sewing has always brought me pleasure since I was a little girl. If I ever tire of that, it will be ok with me. I had many years of enjoyment from it and that is all that matters.

  13. #13
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    Very good outlooks, everyone, thank you! I didn't think of keeping it as past enjoyment, I feel as if I have to hang on to it because I've been doing it for so long, and maybe that's why I can't "move forward". Maybe something new, or a new direction, is in order.
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  14. #14
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    I'm certainly not knocking anyone, and we're all different, but I've seen the comment a lot lately around here that someone can't bear to cut up some bit(s) of fabric they have because they're "too cute" or "too pretty" to cut. And I don't really understand that point of view. All the fabric I buy, I like. Some of it I really love. But it's just part of my pallette to create the end product. I bought it with the thought of cutting it up to make quilts, so the idea of not doing that doesn't really make sense to me. I've never used a fabric then thought, Wow, I wish I'd kept that one because it was too pretty to cut up. Instead, I think, wow, that was a pretty fabric before, but now with these other fabrics, it's more than I ever could have imagined it could be.

    If I ever did get to that point, I wouldn't think it was the fabrics stopping me from quilting, I would think that my focus has shifted, and maybe quilting isn't what I want to do anymore. So as others have suggested, maybe a break to allow yourself to refocus where you really want to spend your time and talent is in order. :-)

  15. #15
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    You will know what to do when you listen. You maybe need a bit of inspiration. Till then you can try to artfully arrange your materials so that may tempt you in the future. I have some displayed in my studio and living room. It is calming and inspiring for me.

    The amount of investment doesn't determine the passion for something. As our lives change so do our passions.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    As our lives change so do our passions.
    THIS is why I feel so lost...I've tried all that has interested me and now I'm back to cross stitch, which is another long love - almost 30 years! - but I feel as though I need to grow into something else but I don't know what. I feel like I'm wandering in the craft world but don't know what to try next. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Pinterest and there are so many things that I love but nothing is making me sit up and say "THAT! That is what I want to do!" Geez, I hope I don't sound whiny, lol.
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  17. #17
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    I lost my mojo for about a decade then found it again about 8 years ago while recovering from an ailment. I'd come from a garment construction/quilting background and finally acknowledged to myself that I didn't like sewing clothes but that I loved the rotary cutting and sewing processes themselves. To aid in my recovery, I purchased a used HV Rose (my first 'exotic' machine) and sat at my dr table sewing fabric pieces together... No project in mind... simply enjoying the hum of the machine, its gorgeous stitches, and the nourishment it fed my soul.
    This is what it's been for me since this time and I love it. I piece and make quilts - sometimes... I piece to learn, I piece to experiment... I don't pressure myself w the end result nor deadlines, anymore; it is the process that I find inspiring. And this process has taken me to exciting places I never would've considered....it is an ongoing journey; I don't think ahead...I enjoy the 'now'.
    This is my reason for sewing.
    Last edited by Colorful1; 03-05-2014 at 09:40 AM.
    For me, it's about the process; the final outcome is incidental

  18. #18
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    Btw, I also view fabrics as art. Some I use, some I don't ~ they're too pretty to cut into so I pet them instead, and smile
    Last edited by Colorful1; 03-05-2014 at 09:49 AM.
    For me, it's about the process; the final outcome is incidental

  19. #19
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I rotate my hobbies. I can crochet for a month or more and then look at all the throws and scarves and say ok enough of that. Same with knitting. I tend to not buy bunches of stuff for any hobby knowing how I am. I have enough fabric to quilt for some time but I don't like to have yards and yards of fabric lying around. It makes me nervous. I am also not working at the moment and so my hobby budget is limited. I think someone else said it, take a break and leave it all where it is. You might have a use for it later on. I know I look through some of my older bins and smile because I know there is always something new to do.
    Debra

  20. #20
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    I put fabric aside for several years once. Did kniting, crochet, needlepoint, etc etc... Then one day I looked at all my stuff and it hit me. I really really love quilting and all this other stuff was taking me away from it. So I gave everything except my quilting stuff away and then just did quilting. But recently I've found a new love, machine embroidery. So I do a little of both.

    I follow my heart.
    Penny

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfli19 View Post
    THIS is why I feel so lost...I've tried all that has interested me and now I'm back to cross stitch, which is another long love - almost 30 years! - but I feel as though I need to grow into something else but I don't know what. I feel like I'm wandering in the craft world but don't know what to try next. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Pinterest and there are so many things that I love but nothing is making me sit up and say "THAT! That is what I want to do!" Geez, I hope I don't sound whiny, lol.
    Gracious, you are aware, it is perfectly OK to not have a hobby? It is OK NOT to have something to do, that sometimes it is OK to just sit and look at pretty things? Why do you have to have a hobby? why do you have to have an interest right this moment that you spend all your spare time doing? Who's rules are those? Cause they need a punch in the nose

    Why dont you just do what makes you happy today, today. And tomorrow, do what makes you happy tomorrow.... and for goodness sake give yourself permission that those two things can be different!

    My guess, you are about to enter a growth phase in your life. So right now you are "looking" for the direction of the growth. You can either cause yourself a lot of angst and stress by worrying about what is going to happen. Or you can just let it go. Growth is important but if you force it, you will cause yourself unnecessary stress. Just enjoy life. Look at different crafts, see what sparks your interest. If nothing does.....well try something else? How about travel? what about geo-caching? or taking virtual trips? Bike riding? Nature walks? Museum visits? There is literally a world out there of interesting things, take this time to enjoy finding a new adventure

    OH and I bought some fabric that I just couldnt cut up either, it was too pretty. I just put a couple borders on and quilted it on the gold lines Gave it to my mom, she loves it!

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  22. #22
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Darling curtains! I've thought the same thing myself, and I've taken breaks. Nothing wrong with that. Eventually the fabric calls me back though or I see something that inspires me. At least it doesn't sound like you have a huge stash.
    Lori

    *********

  23. #23
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    We are human BEINGS - not human DOINGS.

    If you took a trip, went to a show - the money would have been spent.

    For those of us that buy crafts supplies - we have evidence of what we spent our money on. - if the stuff is around - and out of the way - so what?

  24. #24
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    lol, oh Bear, I'm going to have to use that one. I am a human being, not a human doing ;-)
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  25. #25
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I only do any of the crafts I enjoy such as, Quilting, needlepoint, counted cross stitch and knitting. Just to name a few....I do them as long as I am in the mood and still enjoying it. Otherwise I don't work on any of them.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

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