Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sweet F.A.

Hello.  My name is Sarah, and I am a Fabric Addict.
Seriously, I'm afraid I'm starting to see this could become a bit of a problem...

I don't really know when it started.  Some of my earliest memories are watching mum sewing, making me things.  I think my stash started when I was about 18.  Remnants and Grassmarket / Morningside charity shop bits 'n' pieces.  Just to make my room look pretty, you know.  Then a year or two later there was Prazers...  A beautiful district in Lisbon, where I had to go to pick up one of the kids I looked after, which just happened to contain a street with four or five large and fascinating fabric shops.  Which were pretty, and air conditioned.  There was so much fabric....

(havent quite figured the scanner out yet so this'll have to do for now)
(Yes, these are photos of fabric in a fabric shop... Yes that's a bit sad...  but it was the day before I was leaving and I already knew I'd miss sights like this dearly)

It was inevitable I was going to start buying some, I was in yet another room that needed brightening up ;-)  I was asked just what I planned on doing with it all...  I made a few cushion covers.  I was doing a distance learning Interior Design course, and visiting lots of fancy "home" shops at the time.  I think that's where the idea of a quilt came in...  Quilts were pricey.  Fabric was cheap.  I left Lisbon with my first two quilts (the second one never really got finished) and a whopping big suitcase of random bits fabric!

Of course I never did anything with it.  That suitcase sat under my bed gathering dust for years.  But the stash building and the idea of a quilt never left me.  Over the years I built up this.

Even now that I'm learning to quilt, it has sat untouched.  It was bought with a hexie quilt in mind.  It has also remained untouched because I've never stopped gathering bits of fabric...  And to be honest, as much as I still want this bundle to be a big cosy washed out comfy hexie quilt, the fabric just doesn't, well, it doesn't excite me.  I think I am addicted to fabric because fabric itself excites me.  I know, I sound like a right weirdo when I put like that...  but when I see a new print that really catches my eye, I do find it exciting.

I'm not much of an artist, I don't sketch or paint.  Fabric to me is little works of art, little chunks of a colour palette that even I can put together and make something pretty.  And that I think is the key.  Paints and pencils aren't necessarily pretty.  The colours might be nice, but it depends entirely on what you do with them.  Pretty fabric, luscious colours, are going to be pretty no matter how much I mess up what I'm doing.  Touch wood!  lol

So that is my confession - the history and the reasoning behind my fabric addiction, and why I love it.

So what's the deal with saying it might be a problem?  What's wrong is that I'm actually, and you've no idea how much this really pains me to admit, I'm actually running out of places to put it.  I'm quilting as fast as I can, but as it stands I've got one ready to quilt, two tops almost done, 4 patterns designed and fabric for them set aside.  I have at least 5 "bundles" I'm still messing about trying to make designs for.  I think it is fairly safe to say that I have enough to be getting on with.  I have a healthy stash.  And my little sewing cupboard is full...  
But I want more.
No, seriously, I really really want more.

I am trying to go a month not buying any fabric, unless it is genuinely for completing a specific project that really needs it.  The treat at the end will be spending the gift voucher I have.  I have to admit, I am struggling.  I am counting the days.
So, in an effort to stay away from online fabric shops I've cut up my first ever stash...

Its my first go at English Paper Piecing too.   I know I've still got half a dozen other things on the go, but really, when Lynne from Lilys Quilts said she was starting a Hexalong and I'm sat there with an 8yr old bundle for a hexie quilt...  I kind of had to didnt I?!  Starting to wonder if Lynne is actually a mind reader...


  1. Ahh! I can relate to the making of pretty. I'm terrible at drawing and painting and it always frustrated me, and I can never bear to do something so permanent as using the materials I have to make something (be it fabric or scrapbooking or making jewelery) but I take photos. Thousands and thousands of them :)
    Hopefully one day I'll get round to learning to quilt. At the moment I crochet badly with cheap wool and am meant to be making a dress (which has gone nowehere).
    Hurrah for the hex quilt :) My Mum is making one out of her huge collection of scraps, it's the size of a single bed with sides and everything.

  2. Wow. I'm amazed! haha! ;) I told you we needed a fabric addicts anonymous!

    I really like the fabrics you have for the hexy quilt, looks all vintage-y and comforting.

    Keep strong, you know you can make it to the end of the month!

  3. You said exactly what I fell..."I'm not much of an artist, I don't sketch or paint. Fabric to me is little works of art, little chunks of a colour palette that even I can put together and make something pretty. "

    That is totally hos I feel too.

  4. Great story - I'm so with you on fabric addiction, Sarah. I hoard everything fabric-y, even the extra buttons that come with clothes and the bottoms of jeans that I've cut off to make shorts!
    Seriously though, my favourite pastime is staring at fabric, online or in shops and pondering what I could make with you are definitely not alone! well done for abstaining though, the hexies look really cute :)

  5. Am I the only one that collects all the stupid ribbons that are put in tops to hold them on to hangers!?
    You are in good company!
    I am glad you are hexing, I reckon you will be really happy with what you end up with; I, on the other hand, if I used my old stash would have a fake fur, Orville nylon fire hazard of a quilt! Yours is going to look really pretty x

  6. I collect the ribbon hanger bits, too! And all the extra buttons you get in the wee bags with new clothes. I'm quite strict with myself with fabric buying because space is an issue for me, too. I don't browse online at fabric, either, unless I need something for a specific project. Too much temptation! I'm running out of room for finished quilts as it is!!

  7. Well.
    I, am on a Fabric Diet :-(
    Therefore, I, am Holier than Thou :-)
    But.....on Monday I have to take Mr T to hospital, in Chichester wherein resides a most wonderful shop called Eternal Maker, a veritable Warehouse of Fabric..........SHRIEK! Such temptation! How will I resist?! Oof, too hard.
    As for hexies - nope no temptation there, not at all at all. But no doubt yours will be wondrous :-)

  8. Thank you for being honest about your stash ... But don't expect the rest of the class to confess too! I tell husband that fabric stash is good insulation, but I'm still working on an excuse for the (embarrassed cough) seven sewing machines!!!

  9. Hello Sarah, nice to meet name's Marie and I'm a Fabric Addict too ;o) Your stash is absolutely beautiful, but I can shamefully admit that mine is even bigger. To make things worse, I'm also a vintage sewing pattern addict...I even buy patterns that I know I'll never use, just because they look so pretty. I've taken over out spare room and I'm spilling out! I need to seriously start making lots of things and soon...eeek! In short, I empathise!

    On the plus side, I look forward to seeing your gorgeous quilts!

  10. Lovely post ... and how great to be using that original stash the way you originally intended?! ...

    what I've loved about the Hexalong is how so many fabric choices are very delicate and how some fabrics I would have dismissed as too traditional and flowery, are just beautiful.

    Your Hexalong project will be fab! Can't wait to see your progress

  11. LOL I love you guys! You are all awesome :-)

  12. I can completely understand! I don't have any collections threatening to take over the house (erm, if you ignore my Cds and vinyl records which demand a room to themselves), but I never manage to throw away anything that I think "might be useful one day..."

    I've got old clothing which I have ideas might be able to get recycled into something, instructions for things I'm very unlikely ever to have the time to tackle... and now I've started accumulating fabric too! OK, so the picnic basket I got to house it is small and will slot unobtrusively out of the way, but I know it's the tip of the iceberg

    ... I realised this yesterday when I started reading all the posts on twitter with the word fabric in them... yes, several thousand... i skim read and filter out some non-sewing posts, but I realised very quickly that there is far far too much opportunity to find bargains of fabric, and you know how I am about resisting a bargain...

    Hello, my name if giles and I am a fabric adict ...

  13. Oh this was such a wonderful post, it had me laughing from start to finish - I think it resonates with all of us because fabric is what it's all about really - all those beautiful fabrics out there that the fabric companies keep creating for us to drool over. I totally hear you on every word of that post - but the final sentence was my favourite of course! And please post those pics in the group pages if you haven't already!

  14. Love the post and LOVE the post title. Made me laugh before I even started reading. If I had my way I would be buying fabric all the time. Only lack of money stops me. If I ever win the lottery, watch out. And wouldn't I love to come and have a little poke around your hoard of fabrics. I bet it is a treasure trove.

  15. Great post S, you should consider writing a book - you're a natural! I think we can all relate to the NEED for fabric - it gets to me in places way deep! Glad to hear you've had a crack at EPP, not that you needed anymore projects to be getting on with!! Jxo

  16. Your hexies are lovely! And I am a total fabric addict too. And I collect the ribbon hanger things too, and the buttons. And I ran out of room for my fabric a while ago. Now there are piles of fabric sitting in my living room...

  17. I have been avoiding the hexalong like the plague. I have too many ongoing projects and simply CANNOT start another right now. I am really enjoying watching everyone else play though.

  18. I totally know where you're coming from! I'm not an artist either but I so love working with fabric - it feels like half the work is done for me already...!
    I'm also just along for the ride with the hexalong, too much on - but I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

  19. I started to quilt simply because I came across the lovely fabrics people were using on line. I don't have a very big stash yet, but I'm working on it. I am going to spend time online at the weekend buying fabric to pick up when I'm in England next month, thus saving on the postage and allowing me to buy even more!