Confession of a Fabric Fanatic & a Giveaway

Ok, I admit it, I have way too much sewing and quilting stuff. What can I say? I love buying the latest fabrics, notions, and quilting books. However, I’m guessing that I’m not alone, as many of you who have been passionate and true to your craft are more than likely in the same boat. The reality is that there is more stuff than space conveniently allows. The big question is, what to do with all of it: continue storing it or find new homes for it?

Closet2

The recent challenging and painful experience of helping the son of a quilting friend clean out his mother’s sewing room has pushed me to deal with my stuff now. I don’t want anyone to have to go through the task this son is faces. A friend from the local guild and I went in and hauled it all out.

Now I have been collecting fabric, patterns, notions, books, and many other sewing and quilting-related things for over 30 years. I’m sure when I made the purchases I truly believed I would be using them in special projects . . . someday. Well, the reality is that many of those well-intentioned projects are still waiting to be started and, if my history tells me anything, it will probably never happen.

Starting to sort through a 30 year collection of books.
Starting to sort through a 30 year collection of books.

Fabrics have changed and so has my style. I’m looking at my collection with fresh eyes and have sorted everything into categories.

  1. What was I thinking? Time to find a new home for this one.
  2. I still love this fabric/book/tool, etc. and am not ready to pass it on. I will keep them.
  3. MUST keep this one, not that I ever intend to use it;  just has sentimental value so I plan to keep it forever.
This fabric was used in my wedding quilt that was made by my dear friends over 30 years ago. I will NEVER get rid of it.
This fabric was used in my wedding quilt that was made by my dear friends over 30 years ago. I will NEVER get rid of it.

After sorting through boxes, bins, bookcases, and baskets, I now have a pile of things that I am comfortable parting with. My suggestion is that, once you have designated it to the “find it a new home” box, don’t take a second look as you will more than likely change your mind.

I have been donating to local guilds for their outreach programs as well as to our local White Elephant Sale which benefits the Oakland Museum. I know they will both find good homes for everything.

Now that we are officially empty nesters, my husband has moved all of his collections into my newly married daughter’s previous bedroom. After 30 years in this business, I am excited to say I now have a dedicated sewing room.

After the sorting process is complete, it will be time to organize everything. I went to the IKEA website and found the perfect wardrobes (PAX System) to store all the keepers. It was actually pretty fun as there is a design program on the website that will allow you to move the parts around and put together a system that works best for your space as well as your treasures.

I’m excited to say that my cabinets arrived yesterday! Now, the fun, and the work begins. I’ll be busy the next few weeks with assembly and organizing.

closet4

Hopefully next month I can share some photos of the results of my of my hard work.

Giveaway-GoldSooooo, IF by chance you were to receive a box of fabric (not too big, I promise), what style and colors would make you happy? Just asking ; ).

If you’re interested in sharing your wish, please leave a comment by end of day Sunday, November 2nd and I’ll see what I can pull together for you.

Now back to purging and organizing. This feels so good. If you haven’t yet, you might want to give it a try!

Laura Signature

86 thoughts on “Confession of a Fabric Fanatic & a Giveaway

  1. Wow What an idea. Some day I should destash my crochet threads and embroidery floss as I am quite caught up with quilting and may never get time to do other stuff! I would love fabric of any kind but if you are giving away any Fossil fern from Bernatex I would die for it!

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  2. I’m teaching some ladies to quilt this winter and since I live in an RV full time I really don’t keep a big stash. Anything that would appeal to some not-so-young women would be great if you decide to send a box this way. I think it’s so wonderful that you are helping your son out by dealing with your accumulations now.

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  3. Honestly, any fabric would make me happy. I am a beginner sewer, so I haven’t gotten to work with a variety of different fabrics. I tend to like fabrics with cutesy patterns or darker colors.

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  4. It sounds like you have a big job ahead of you! I’m a new quilter so I haven’t got much stashed yet. I love bright colors in solids or prints and cute girly colors and patterns. I love aqua and red together. I also hope to collect all of Verna Mosquera patterns and fabric! Thanks so much!

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com

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  5. If you have any fabric that would be good for kids, I’d love it. Our guild makes pillowcases for Conkerr and has just been asked by our visiting nurses to make little quilts for ‘tummy time’ for the little babies who spend so much time sleeping on their backs these days.

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  6. I am new to sewing and am ashamed to say I only have a small amount of fabric so far. I would love any colors or styles because I want to start a scrap quilt during the winter. But since you asked me to give a color choice, I would say teal. Thanks so much for the chance to win.

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  7. My favorite colors are lavender and rose but when I look thru my stash I can always add neutral and yellow. I don’t know why but I guess that I am so addicted to bright colors that I often ignore the neutrals until I start a project. I love your idea and will practice this again in the future, I did it a year ago before we moved to Hawaii for a year or 2. Love living here but know we will be moving back to FL in 2015. Thanks for the chance to have a surprise package arrive.

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  8. Sewing has been a passion of mine for 50+ years. I started with clothes for myself and my sister. Fabric from the 60’s still lurks in my “stash” for the same reason as yours….emotional ties to the event. But, I can also relate to the task of organizing and purging, which is not an enjoyable thought. If I’m so lucky to have some of your fabrics, green would be the color I lack in my fabrics. Thank you, Laura.

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  9. I am a scrappy quilter but more recently I have been making 40″x40″ rag quilts made out of flannel 5″ squares. I give them to the highway patrol and tow truck drivers in the area to give to small children that are in accidents or breakdowns on the highway. Any small scraps of flannel would be gratefully used in these little quilts. I even got my 7 yr old and 11 yr old grandsons sewing them. They love to think of someone using their creations.

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  10. Wow I’m impressed with you! I just started getting into sewing and hoarding fabric, so we will see if I’m in your same situation 30 years from now. Crazy to think about! I love all blues, especially navy. And I am super jealous of your new storage units!

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  11. Since most of the sewing I do is for children, colorful and playful prints and colors that could be used for totes, pillowcases, stuffed toys, bibs and such would be my pick! Thanks for the chance! I’ve been purging too and trying to just keep things that I know I will use or treasure….it can be quite a process, but feels great to make some progress too and be able to focus on sewing what I love most!

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  12. Thank you for your generosity. I have recently discovered landscape quilts so I love colors of the land, sea, sky, and plants. This has really opened my eyes to the multitude of colors found in nature.

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  13. I am in a Quilting group that makes lap quilts for the homeless, V.A. Hospital and anyone needing a little comfort and warmth. Any pieces would go with our projects. I envy you the extra space.

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  14. Congratulations on getting your own space. I wish I had more neutrals. I never seem to have enough. Thanks and I can’t wait to see pictures of your finished room.

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  15. Congratulations on getting a sewing room. My stuff is all over the house.
    I love blenders (all colors(love the rainbow) rich chocolate brown is needed), Halloween and Christmas prints.

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  16. I have a dedicated sewing studio and while I love it, it just allows me to collect more.😦
    At my age I should definately be purging and I try to do it on a regular basis taking fabrics to my guild.

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  17. I started quilting again after retirement a few years ago and try to use fabric in my stash..but you know how that goes. Enjoy your books, and the Craftsy BOM you taught. I am not fussy, would be thrilled to have any fabric from you. Thanks. Retirement is great!

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  18. So awesome to have a dedicated sewing room. I just moved and now enjoy having a spare room to sew in. I love the extra space and being able to leave things out when I need too.
    I would love florals, solids, or blenders, in blues, purples, pinks, oranges,(ok, anything in the rainbow). =)

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  19. I love yellows and browns and I use a lot of wool. All and any fabric is beautiful. I have some 40’s early 50’s fabric that’s only 36″ wide. Some pretty ugly but will use someday.

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  20. I am making a quilt for an Army soldier who recently has been deployed overseas. The requsted theme is for a United States-50 Quilt Blocks for 50 Staes quilt top. Whatever fabrics (whether yardage, charm squares, hexagons, or remants) that you are comfortable parting with, would be greatly appreciated, in ANYcolor. Each block will measure 12 1/2 ins before assembly. Please sign or print your name, city and state to a 6in square so it may become part of that state block.! Thank you for youpur generosity!

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  21. Wow, you are really purging your stash. I love civil war and French as you know. I’m so proud of you. I need to follow suit, but I just added to my stash last week while on retreat.

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  22. What a lucky person you are to have a new room to organize and decorate. I am always needing whites, blacks and yellows, which I love, are amazingly absent from my supplies. I love fabric, and I really need to shop for what I need for a project, but I’m also determined to use my stash. However, I never seem to have quite enough of things. How do I overcome this problem? Let me know your ideas. cdahlgren at live dot com

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  23. How hugely generous of you to share your stash! I do know how tastes change, and I’ve looked at some things I’ve bought and had to shake my head. If I were to choose (and you ARE asking!), I’d prefer a mixture of colors that include burgundy, black, gold and olive green….I’d love to make a bed runner for my bedroom and if you supply the fabrics, I don’t have to go shopping! I promise to send you a picture of the finished project!

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  24. Before I started quilting, I had my favorite colors, and colors I just stayed away from. Now I find myself migrating towards colors I thought I would never use in my decor. I still have my favorites, but am now am much more open minded and have put together some amazing projects.

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  25. I always love a challenge so bring it on! I love bright colors and also flowers. If you are getting rid of it, I’m happy to take it off your hands! Doesn’t matter what it is. Organization is such a good feeling!

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  26. Good idea, organizing and destashing (if that is a word), I like cool colorways, blue green purple, so if I win send any of above and I will be thrilled, Thanks

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  27. Laura – congratulations on carrying out this task. I am sure it is not easy to decide what to discard. I am fond of bright colors but I could do with some neutrals.

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  28. I love all the uglies! Not kidding! I love taking a hideous print, or one that matches nothing, or just screams “I’m from a decade you would rather forget” and finding some way to make them look beautiful in a quilt (which usually gets donated)…and the PAX system is the BEST! We have used it in three different houses, in all shapes and sizes. The best value at IKEA (well, next to lunch!)
    allisonpogany@gmail.com

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  29. I adore surprise packages! love ordering the scrap bags. So if my name is picked SURPRISE ME! I have a pal I can share with…;-)
    gGood luck with your organizing!!

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  30. Those storage units look wonderful! I just reorganized my fabric stash and found I am very deficient in yellows and oranges. I also don’t have a lot of brights in my stash. It’s mostly 30’s repros.

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  31. The comment you made about taste changing certainly hit home with me. I no longer find the darker reproduction
    designs as appealing and prefer the brighter more modern patterns. You mentioned your wedding quilt — I remember
    seeing you in a fashion show with Empty Spools – wearing your wedding dress. I no longer live in the Bay Area but
    have many happy memories of it.

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  32. Hi Laura, How nice of you to offer us part of your stash! I am a huge scrap quilter so I LOVE smaller pieces of fabric, and right now I am especially looking for red.

    Good luck with the sewing room. I can’t wait to see the results!

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  33. I don’t NEED any more fabric but it would be such an honor to have something from you! I like brights to use with blacks. Feel guilty asking when I see all the wonderful charity things people do!

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  34. Nice idea. I try to purge my stash periodically, but we still have to keep a lot! I love reds, yellows and aqua. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. Dear Laura, My goodness, how exciting for you ! I have a fabric stash that is kind of like a garden, I love the earth tones, lots of greens & my flowers are so sweet. My love of all fabrics is never ending. My wish would be for any fabric selection in your giveaway. Thank-you.

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  36. My favorite colors are purple and lime green, but what I would really like if I win would be some neutrals. I don’t really have any, just some white. I love brights, stripes and flowers. I guess I would like anything since I have a very small stash.
    Wish we had an Ikea near here. Look forward to seeing your finished results.

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  37. Oh Laura! If by chance you had some fabrics that would work for binding on hot pads made with upholstery fabrics I would love them. I need about 45 inches of binding for each. I’ll trade you, I’ll quilt your chair fabric!

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  38. I think some red, white and blue fabrics would be most useful. I’d like to make some quilts for Project Linus to give to the summer camp for children of vets. Thank you and best wishes.

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  39. OMG! I’m going through the same thing. I just got notice that we have to be out in two weeks and I have tons of fabric I’m planning to move. But there is a place, besides quilt guilds that takes fabric in the Bay Area. It’s called SCRAP. Check it out here: http://www.scrap-sf.org. I’m donating some fabric, patterns, stationery, and some of my daughter’s art supplies that she doesn’t want to put in the garbage, but this will go to students in SFUSD. After teaching for 35 years, I know that teachers have to “scrounge” so this is the perfect place to donate things.

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  40. Sooooo, IF by chance I were to receive a box of fabric the style and colors that would make me happy are batiks and asian fabrics… particularly light values. 8>

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  41. thank you for your offer, but i am working through the same process with ALL of my “fun” things stuffed into my creative room. it seems every january i rethink my “collection” of things and how to organize my room. in january the container store has their elfe system 30% off, so i try to add to my organization system at that time. living in the same house for a long time certainly doesn’t help either. good luck in your organizing process.

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  42. Good for you Laura! I started doing the same thing earlier this year and it is such a great feeling! I love it when I see friends using books, patterns, tools, etc., I have shared – some were never used but at the time I “had” to have them. I have been thrilled to see some of my shared fabric appear in quilts at our local quilt show and much of my vintage stash is used to make comfort pillows for our hospital’s Oncology Department and/or placed on the “free table” at guild meetings. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of your “new” studio!

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  43. Laura, I love the blog today! We can all relate to how much fun it is to buy fabric with the hope that we’ll have enough time to use it. As my friend told her husband, it’s a cheaper habit than jewelry!

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  44. My stash is not huge (though I could make dozens of quilts without buying anything but batting!). Over the last couple of years I’ve gravitated more toward clear, strong colors. Also love stripes!

    This is fun to answer regardless of the outcome.🙂

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  45. I have just started studying color theory and I find that I don’t have many purples. I am going to be in the same fabric stash boat as your quilting friend’s son someday in the future; my mother won’t even let me in her sewing room. Good luck with your organizing. Sounds like you are already off to a good start. And remember, the Las Lomas Rummage Sale starts collecting in February.

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  46. Can anyone really resist a chance at more fabric? I know I can’t! I am also going through and purging though, for exactly the same reasons…I don’t want my kids to have to deal with it. It is like a weight lifts off my shoulders as I let go of things I no longer need or want.
    As far as colors and types of fabrics…I pretty much stick to blenders in rainbow colors these days. The brighter the better!
    Those PAX systems are interesting. I will be downsizing my studio over the next few years and the room I am moving to isn’t as large. I might have to think about one of those PAX systems! They are so versatile!
    Thanks for having a give-a-way! Love your blog.

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  47. I make tote bags for local hospital’s cancer center. The ladies get a nice reversible tote instead of a generic plastic one for their clothes. I love to use pinks for them or anything that is a nice sturday fabric, like denim or linen. Thanks for sharing!

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  48. Not that I need more fabric but….if you are wanting to clear out your stash, I would be happy to be a recipient. I’m fine with anything. I have confidence that you wouldn’t have anything strange. I find it interesting to see what types of fabric inspired other people enough to make a purchase.
    By the way, I have been inspired by your memory board post. I have a granddaughter who turns two in January who might have fun with making matches. I’m thinking I want to be able to change out the images so I thought it would be fun to make pairs of images. One of the pair to be placed on a felt board and the other to be ‘matched’ to it. That way different pairs could be made so that the game could be kept fresh. There’s enough time for me to make a starter set for Christmas and then provide additional images for her birthday in late January. I also thought it would be fun to make seasonal matches too.

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    1. Oh Ann, this sounds so fun. I love the idea and love to see photos of your finished board. Many thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas.

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  49. I’ve been collecting fabric with dots for a while now…I know I will make something wonderful one day with them. Retirement is coming soon.

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    1. Hooray for retirement! I’m not quite ready for that but my husband has recently taken this step. Lots of time now and many new things to do and see. Enjoy!
      Laura

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  50. I am in the same space, just haven’t found the time to sort! Time is truly the issue for me right now, so when I see all those things I sigh, close the closet and move on. Your message is so timely, I plan to do the same after the holidays.

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    1. Ahh, yes. It’s always seems to be an issue of time. It feels a bit overwhelming at the moment but I plan to take it one day at a time. My best to you. Thanks for sharing.
      Laura

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  51. As I have only been quilting for a little over a year now my stash isn’t very large. I find it hard to buy colors that I don’t really like. Colors like brown, green and golds. I wish you luck in your new “moving” adventure! My husband & I are planning our retirement home and one bedroom will be my sewing room! I am very excited!!

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    1. What an exciting time for you and your husband. My husband also recently retired. It’s certainly a new rhythm in the house, but all so good. Enjoy this special time.
      Laura

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  52. I started collecting reds about 6 months ago. I’d like to make some red and white quilts that I’ll give to each of my sisters one year at Christmas. I only buy fabrics for a specific project. Would be wonderful to have a stash someday to purge. Can’t wait to see your new sewing room.

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    1. Red is my favorite color! Can’t seem to get enough of it. Sounds like a treasured gift you will be giving your sisters. I’m sure they will love it.
      Take care,
      Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  53. Because my quilting style runs the gamut, pretty much anything but novelty prints would bring big smiles here. I have been looking for Asian prints recently–I have only two fat quarters in my entire stash.

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  54. Our guild supports a local women’s shelter with quilts and donations. We always have donated fabric available for those making quilts to donate. And once a year there is a sale of fabric donated from stashes. That’s a great source of inexpensive fabrics for me as a relatively new quilter. And I’m in love with Ruth McDowell’s quilts that have : multi colored fabrics, large prints to chop up, greens, blues, darker “earthy” colors, plaids, geometrics-everything! So I’d love to have someone else’s “no longer loved” treasures.

    p.s check out Ikea’s Algot wire basket systems as well.

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  55. Wow! I could never purge my fabric. My daughter quilts too, so when she needs something that she doesn’t have, I always let her dig thru my stuff, then twice a year, she helps me reorganize my stash. I love buying and hunting and getting fabric – it is so much fun!
    I can’t wait to see your new sewing room🙂 It sounds gorgeous!

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  56. Just purged myself, though I ran out of time to go through everything, but I can’t resist the chance for more fabric. My preference would be for very large scale prints, any colors.

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  57. I began quilting in 2002. Before that sewing machines and I had a hate/hate relationship. In that time I have gone from traditional quilts to jumping in to weird and wonderful experiments. So I love everything including tulle, satin, landscapes and panels, tri, ribbons, ric rack. Yea, I am way out there.

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  58. I never seem to have neutrals in my pitiful stash. I tend to just purchase fabric for the current project(s) I am working on…good luck with your organizing, and congrats on the empty nest!🙂

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