Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Accidental Stash Enhancement

No no, not a stash of weed, stash of fabric.

I've discovered that as loving and wonderful the crafty types are, we tend to be rather scatterbrained at times.

I am not immune to this.

Last night I was inspired (and slightly sickened) by the new show on A&E channel..."Hoarders". Hoarding is a mental disorder in which people do not throw away, use, or otherwise get rid of seemingly meaningless things. Some hoards are or include: newspapers, cats, dogs, magazines, craft supplies, clothes, toys, and/or mimentos of loved ones. (The star of last night's show had a problem hoarding food as well as a lot of other stuff. They REALLY focused on the food though.)

I used to be a lot worse at hoarding craft supplies, but two moves ago I downsized a lot of it. I did hang onto the majority of my unused fabric. It was carefully packed away in clear totes and stuffed in the basement.

There it sat, unused and unloved, for more than 3 years. I was going through a depression when we moved, and had no desire, inclination, or space to really get with the program.

By the time I started to come out of my depression, my treasured fabrics had been mostly forgotten, and instead of going through my fabric totes, I went and bought more.

We moved again a few months ago, and I once again found the totes with my precious fabrics, but didn't have the time to go through them.

Lately I've been buying FQ's (fat quarters. They are slightly smaller than quarter yard of fabric, typically 17 inches by 22 inches) to use for my coffee coozies, as well as other bits of fabric that are large enough for me to squeak out one or two coozies. Some of my coozie fabric is left over from other projects, which is why you often find different products that "match" in my ArtFire shop.

Anyway, I've got quite a collection. Most of it is scanned into my computer and on my website. After another mad dash through the stash (poetry in action!) of uncut/unused fabric and newest additions, I had 16 fabrics to cut and scan.

Then I had a light bulb moment.

Remember the aforementioned totes? I did. I also remembered that one of them had 6 or so FQ's in it, visible from the outside (this was a clear tote). I did what any other broke crafter would do, I went to get them so it was 6 less that I had to buy.

I pulled them out and looked at them carefully. I was quite happy I'd found them, and remembered why I had bought them but decided they needed to be used for coozies instead of a gay pride quilt for a friend that I haven't talked to in years.

I saw the corner of some pretty purple flowered fabric, and pulled on it.

Not only did it fall out, but so did a lot of other stuff, so I started digging.

I discovered the light blue dragonfly 1/2 yard I got for a quilt. I looked a little closer and found some fabric that was blue flames on a black background...2.5 yards...then the "vegetable birdhouse" fabric that would be GREAT for placemats (their original intent anyway) and about 9 yards of light yellow fabric to use as backing.

More digging, and out pops this bag.

It was tinted green and had the "write on" area. "Hmm. Must be an old freezer bag," I thought, and peeked inside.

Oh good heavens. My "LOST" FQ collection. As in: the FQ's that I'd been saving and hanging onto. My expensive FQ's. My hoard.

The ones I had bought years upon years ago, at LEAST 4 moves ago - or more. Some of them I KNOW are at least 10 years old. Some were gifts in a FQ exchange for a quilting group. Some were purchased by yours truly...at the quilt shop, where a yard of fabric started out at $9 minimum...10 years ago. As I was rootling through them I kept having to remind myself "I bought these to USE them, not just sit here and LOOK at them!" because I so desperately did not want to cut them. I remembered the TV show last night, and decided they will be cut and turned into coozies. I will keep one coozie from each fabric though, my single coozie I've kept for myself isn't enough for this house.

Including the ones I knew about, this brought the "toted FQ" total to 25. Twenty Five. That equals...a lot of yardage.

I also found a couple yards of velvet, 4 yards of navy blue lace, and another green-tinted gallon size freezer bag full of "charms". If you quilt, you know what charms are. If not, I'll make another blog post about them.

Another prize was the $150 worth of fabric I bought to make a memory quilt with the money my grandfather left me after he died. I'll finish that quilt eventually, but not today.

I was packing that tote up (minus the fabric I held out for coozies), when I spied yet another tote on the garage floor. It was not see-through like the first one, but it was labeled. (Thanks mom...thank you for making me anal-retentive about labeling things) "BIG PIECES" says the sign.

I pop open the tote. Inside, I found...BIG PIECES. I remembered where I got them. One of the quilters (remember the quilting group?) was downsizing. She sent me a gargantuan box of fabric. I paid $10 shipping on it (roughly 7 years ago). At least three pieces of fabric inside were ENTIRE BOLTS. Some fabric was truly awful, some was gorgeous, and some was "eh". ALL of it was name brand, high end, obscenely expensive fabric.

Oh. And 3 yards each of two easter egg print fleece.

I went for a dig-through of that stuff also.

I yanked out a gorgeous burgundy Northcott (2 yards), a really neat floral on tan (5 yards), 3 yards of the white novelty healthcare fabric, and this really unusual bolt. It isn't patterened evenly all over, but rather from side to side. Its this stunning eggplant at one end that fades to almost a brick red on the other, with neat...hell I can't describe it. I'll get a picture. There is absolutely NO information on the selvedge (like there is with the Northcott). Its stunning, to say the least....and there is a LOT of it.

Ok so wow. I'm buried in fabric, and I have to find a way to hide it from my husband.

If he sees it, I will be banned from JoAnn's until I use up at least half.

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