Monday, October 27, 2008

Crafting my way out of clutter

I confess I was a former fabric-a-holic. I used to haunt fabric stores for fun fabrics and dream of the projects I could create with the fabric as my centerpiece. Now I have several plastic bins full of fabric and taking up space in my house. What is a frugal gal to do? Use the fabric stash and turn it into whatever I can of course!

It all started in the late 1990s when I decided I wanted to learn how to quilt. Conveniently, an evening adult learning class on quilting was being held across the street from my apartment. I signed up for three sessions of six classes/session and learned how to rotary cut and machine quilt. In the frenzy of quilt making, I invested in vast quantities of 100% cotton fabric with many plans to make masterful quilts for myself and as gifts. Unfortunately, by the time the third set of classes came around, my interest and enthusiasm had waned. This is why I have a partially started quilt and bins full of fabric waiting to be turned into quilts.

Since I am interested in decluttering and want to add warmth to cold winter nights, I will make quilts I had planned and either give them away (or store) as appropriate. Quilting is the perfect activity to keep me warm as I try to keep my thermostat low during the winter. Furthermore, I have purchased patterns and fabric for clothing including pajamas. Producing something to wear (and not spending any money) is a good thing. Once the fabric that belongs to half or fully formed projects is taken care of, there is still fabric chosen because I liked it (who can ignore a fun cat pattern?) or thought it would be a great start to a quilt (that UFO pattern is so colorful and vibrant).

I have time before Christmas so I can make other gifts including gift bags, napkins and little girl's purses. It is difficult to find people who want to buy fabric so with leftovers, I will consider crazy quilts, doll clothing and even rag rugs. I have the glimmer of a denim chenille rug in my future. I just need to wear out a few more jeans...

Once my projects are completed, I am hoping to figure out what to do with the plastic bins. Maybe someone from craigslist will take them off my hands and store her own fabric collection in them thus keeping the balance of unused fabric in the world.

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