Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A nine yard yellow snake

With polka dots!

That's what I ended up with after washing the fabric for backing my Triple Star quilt.

I knew I would need a lot of fabric, since the Triple Star is queen size, so I figured out what I needed – 8.5 yards – and checked to see how much I had on the bolt. I had enough, with about a yard to spare. So it's now cut, washed, folded and waiting for me to seam together to make the backing.

The Triple Star is from an exchange in 2004, and the top has been complete since 2005 or 2006. The backing fabric, on the right, has also been in my stash for a while, since the fabric store where I got it has been gone at least four years.

The big accomplishment for yesterday was finishing stitching all the wreaths on my bow tie quilt, and starting on the background stitching. It's slow work, as I needed to take frequent breaks, but I think it's coming along well.

I also finished going through the strings and have a big bin of strings to play with, as well as plenty of new strips in the strip and square drawers. And, it's one more thing moved off the hanging rack and out of the way of one of my sewing machines. Another baby step toward making my studio look less cluttered.

Speaking of clutter, what's the difference between having too much stuff and being a hoarder? There are now two shows on television about hoarding, and they have a scary fascination. On the one hand we look at them with relief, saying, no that's not me. I don't save trash and my stuff hasn't taken over the house. But on the other hand we know that we have things, like old cotton shirts, or the clear plastic containers some produce comes in, that we have a use for but others would consider trash.

As a quilter, fiber artist and collector of antique sewing machines, I know I have a lot of stuff. It's not just fabric, it's batting and yarn and beads and odd bits to use in art quilts and, yes, old cotton shirts to recycle into quilts. And rulers and scissors and spools of thread and on and on.

I guess the difference is being able to recognize if things are getting a little out of hand. We join Stashbusters for encouragement to use our fabric and finish our UFOs, instead of just accumulating it/them. We make up some things to donate to charity or contribute to our guild's sale. We haul old clothes to a favorite thrift store or hold a garage sale to get rid of some excess. And when we realize we have too much, we slow down on acquiring new stuff.

That's what I'm doing now, a little at a time. I like my stuff and will probably always have more than a person without hobbies would understand. But I want people to be able to come into my house without thinking I belong on one of those shows!

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