(Recent fabric purchase from Mary Jo's.)
Why do we was women, and quilters, judge ourselves so harshly? I find myself wanting to go on a one woman crusade to say to all quilters everywhere IT IS OKAY!!! It is okay if you have lots of fabric, it's okay if you have multiple machines, and it is OKAY if you have dozens of ufo's!
Stop feeling guilty! RIGHT NOW. I want you to think about this for a minute...WHY? Why do you feel guilty? Why do feel badly about your unfinished quilts and unsewn fabric? What purpose does it serve to feel badly about it? Have you missed any deadlines? Has your fabric gone stale or rancid? Have your unfinished projects become unsewable? NO...They are fine. They are just as good as the day you bought them. Maybe even better, some of them may have become more valuable given that they are no longer available. 'Vintage' is in! 'Retro' is trending! Besides, mixing the old with the new isn't just for home decor...it applies to quilting as well.
If your stash feels like it is weighing you down rather than bringing you joy, here are some suggestions that may help you:
1. Make a donation quilt from the fabrics you have or blocks that you have sewn but no longer plan to use.
2. Bag up what you don't think you will ever use and bring it to a local guild meeting. Those girls will snap it up like it's chocolate! Trust me, I've seen this happen plenty of times!
3. Find local charities that need simple sewn items and recruit friends to help. Sew up some tote bags for a food pantry, or book bags for kids in need. A few simple searches on your computer will reveal lots of great places in your own community that could benefit from your fabric stash and a few minutes of your time!
4. Have a Sale! Advertize in your local paper and on social media. Set a time and place and unload what you don't want while making a few dollars for something fun. Sell by the bag or the pound if you really have lots to get rid of. Designate a charity for a portion of the proceeds. People spend more when they know a good cause will benefit.
5. Make kits for community quilts. Pull together the fabrics and patterns for some simple quilts and donate them to church groups or sewing circles that sew for the needy.
6. Make a quilt or donate the supplies to a charity for veterans. Many veterans spend years in and out of hospitals and rehab. A handmade quilt reminds them that they have not been forgotten.
7. Ask your local school or community that teaches craft classes. They may be grateful for fabrics, notions and supplies that you no longer need.
Or just set some achievable goals:
1. Finish or donate two ufo's before starting a new project. Eventually you will get caught up.
2. Finish one ufo per month, every other month, or per year.
3. For each ufo you finish, give one away.
4. Make a list of the order in which you plan to tackle your ufo's.
5. Can any of your ufo's be combined? Turning them into something new may just be all the inspiration you need!
6. Don't have enough fabric/supplies/energy left to finish that king size project? Turn it into a table runner or throw quilt. It's your project, you don't have to stick with the original plan. Make it work for you!
7. If your half finished quilt is no longer inspiring you, add a new fabric for the sashing or borders. Machine applique something fun on top of those points that don't match up. Practice your machine quilting on those smaller quilts. Try a new binding technique if that's the only step left.
Most importantly, change your opinion about the stash/supplies/ufo's whatever... is making you feel guilty. You bought it because you loved it (or because it was on sale) so now choose to love it or give it to someone who will. Stitch with joy and know that it's okay if you don't finish every project. It's okay if you don't make as many quilts as your friends do. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the fabric, enjoy just stitching...the guilt won't do you any good, so just let go of it!
Okay? Rant over.
You may now continue with your life (hopefully with less guilt and more joy!)