Thursday, 10 January 2013

FA anonymous....

I am so glad this isn't my first post of the new year....  Technically its my third as I forgot to tell you I was moonlighting at Rhondas last friday....  Oops.  Aside from that though, starting the new year with a cold wasn't nearly enough, so I managed to pick up an extra bug or two and a migraine just to make sure things were real low down and crappy.  I honestly do not know how I do it, do bugs sneak in with the mail?!  Anyway, if I missed anything feel free to point me in the direction for general catch up.

Let's put the last 5 days in the (unfortunately over-used) lavvy.  I usually have a crash period after something good, and last year was a pretty good year overall, so that sounds like a much nicer explanation!  I have a few plans brewing for this year, some of which I will share in time.  I want this year to be even better, which is a tough ask given that last year I met so many new friends and had my wonderful, blissful sewing getaways.  I should be going to Fat Quarterly Retreat again this year, touch wood, so that's a start!

As part of my FQ Retreat Saving Plan I really, really need to try and curb my fabric shopping addiction.

I have a nice stash.  I should not be so ashamed of that!  I have a nice stash.  I am a compulsive bargain hunter, coupon gathering, limited offer obsessive, you bet your ass I've used that to my advantage and eeked as much as possible out of my pennies!   I'm sure I don't need to point out to most of you that I am simply not capable of doing enough sewing to cope with even a quarter of my plans and wishes!   I am really going to need every penny for this years mid summer FQ Retreat... So,  enough is enough.

If I am being completely honest with you, a big part of my over spend on fabric is down to depression.  It makes me feel happier to think that there is a gorgeous, exciting envelope of fabric, which is in itself full of dozens upon dozens of possibilities for sharing, planning, and making, always "on its way to me".   It is comforting, and lifts my spirits.  As much as I really do love to plan what to make next and daydream about what's on the sewing table there is a touch of self loathing and disappointment mixed up in that as these expectations are almost always quashed by my limited capabilities.  Doing a wee bit of fabric shopping is something I can more or less control.  A week or two is a much more manageable wait for something nice to happen,  and that bit of fabric winging its way to me will still turn up, even if I am too tired to simply put it away never mind cut into it there and then.

I am not going to declare myself on any kind of "no new fabric" limit though.  I know myself too well... There is always something missing when it comes to completing a project, and then I cave.  And then because I've caved I have failed, that extra bundle that's on sale right now really doesn't matter in the scheme of things...  And anyway.  Ultimately I do not believe that there is anything wrong with me buying "some" fabric.  I could be getting a takeaway or going out for dinner once a week and dropping £20+ in a few chews... (Have I bitched mentioned before that I don't get much opportunity for going out with my mates?!)   I could still be spending £15 a week on tobacco... But I am not.  So no, I will not be proclaiming myself any kind of "no shop zone"..  A complete ban would not work.   But seriously, I most definitely do need to cut it down a bit a lot!

Make no mistake, it will NOT be easy for me.  I've been coping so far this year, hell, even I cant shop for fabric when I'm ill in bed....(I'm lying, I probably could have but there is no broadband signal in the bedroom...)  and well, its also half due to my last 2012 purchase still not having arrived yet!
It's one thing to tell myself "well, you managed to quit smoking, buying less fabric should be a breeze" but the truth is, I have no idea how I managed to stop smoking!  Its still something I think about, I still miss it, I still want to do it.  So how do I cut down on another addiction I really don't want to do without?!  I might have to cut down my Internet time this month too.  (please don't stop emailing me!)


So for now I'll leave you with a picture of my last purchase of 2012; what I'm really looking forward to in the post, sometime.  Anyone who has a good "how I went ... months without buying fabric" story feel free to let me know!




Mmmmmm  dots..... in a rainbow....  that sparkle.....  What more could you need?!  Photo stolen from the shop wot I ordered 'em from, which (a free ad to make up for the photy stealing) is HERE

38 comments:

  1. well that is a most tempting picture!!
    I totally know where you're coming from and love reading such an honest post. Also think it's quite magic that there's no broadband in your bedroom?!! All the better for reading books and sleeping :)

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  2. Good plan Sarah. It is easy to get sedeuced by fabric but it does cost. How about setting a budget and then spending that only on fabric at the END of the month. You might not want what is on your list by the time you reach the end of the month. Does that sound do-able? Di x

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  3. Gosh I had to check that I hadn't written this post myself! I am a single mum, and my daughter is now living in the city going to university, so my funds are very limited too. All last year I struggled with not buying as much as I used to. And I'm not saying I used to buy loads, heck there's heaps of blogs I read where they seem to buy way more than me. Like you, I don't have access to a patchwork shop in my area either so if I have to buy some fabric to finish something then I do have to buy it online. And we do have to fill those envelopes! So it's not realistic to stop buying altogether. I didn't do too bad last year, one thing I did try to do was remember when the big sales are online and tell myself I would wait for them to have a small splurge. That way I made sure I ordered what I really really wanted instead of just the next 'oh that's new and shiny and I want it'. The couple of big buys I did go for last year were some Birds and Bees, and some Up in My Room, and some Juggling Summer. I still really want some Chicopee so I think I will save for that and wait for a good sale! Best of luck, it ain't easy but I think being realistic and allowing yourself some treats is a good idea. Sorry this comment got so long, maybe I need to cut down on words this year too!

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  4. I'm liking the sentiments of your post. I'm kind of doing the same actually... not saying I'm not buying fabric, but just trying to be a little more sensible about what I do buy. Market and FQ retreat aren't gonna pay for themselves are they?!

    I've probably put that mirror ball bundle (half yards) and the same of the pearl bracelets in my cart about 5 million times. And yet I have resisted so far. I need them though. Maybe next month, hmmmmm.

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  5. One of my resolutions this year is to quilt the stained glass quilt. And use u my stash more than I buy!!

    Love the new fabric!!

    glen

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  6. I am on a fabric diet too, I seriously fell off the bandwagon around Christmas and bought two bundles (which I am waiting for- ANY DAY NOW, so that's me also waiting for a 2012 purchase too) about $65 at Pink Castle, then I bought some half yards from Cindy, then I went to my LQS on the weekend... I was reasonably good but I really don't "need" any more apart from solids, cheap backings and wadding. I'm with ya Sarah!

    (Kerry PennyDog- sorry can't seem to comment any other way)

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  7. Mmmm.... My oh says that he doesn't mind me buying fabric, providing I use it. I've looked in my fabric boxes and I see fabric from 12 months ago..... And it is still sat there. So looking at what is still on the list to be made seems to stop me from buying LARGE amounts of new stuff. The odd FQ's slip in there unnoticed though! The amount of tutorials available on line is fantastic and so I do not buy any magazines - I bought none last year....unless they were 5 for a pound at a quilt show. My FQ retreat partner likes nice hotels so the money is being saved! Best of luck with your mission.

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  8. If someone sends you buying reduction tips, please share them. Both my fabric and my yarn stash are completely out of hand and I can't stop buying - pretty much for the same reasons you can't. They are pretty and full of hope and promise of lovely things to be made. Plus if I see an amazing bargain, I feel obliged to buy, because I could never afford the truly gorgeous at full price. I have been so spendy this month because of the sales. I must STOP looking at the sales sections of the emails I've been getting.

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  9. I shop all the time, but don't press the buy button often. I think you should put a big note by your computer that says LONDON in big letters as a reminder of all the funds you will want to have so you can have loads of fun there. I'll escort you to Liberty if you like!

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  10. At least your honest with yourself about it - I am having slight panic attacks at my self inflicted fabric ban already. As a fellow reformed smoker I thought this would be way easier than quitting smoking - it isn't. I'm just hoping there aren't any really awesome collections out this year (or if there are I'm already trying to work out how to get people to get them for me as gifts... true addict!)

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  11. I totally know where you are coming from, and am trying to do the same thing too. Love that mirror ball fabric!

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  12. I so know where you are coming from. I have reduced my fabric spending to actual projects that I am working on, no purchases for the stash. I have a sewing retreat in July so would like some spending money for that. I also find a small purchase now and then is better than a huge blow out or two because you have deprived yourself.

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  13. Oh pet, you sound down...

    I think setting yourself a strict budget and spending it at the end of the month (and not borrowing from the next month!) may work but won't solve the 'flash sale buys' issue. You could try not looking?! Did you know that Amazon lets you add things to your wish list that aren't on Amazon? You could add all the things you see and really, really want to the list and then go through it each month and delete the things that you're no longer as keen on. Don't go on a strict 'no spend' policy because you'll end up feeling deprived and will spend more in a 'Sod it, I want it!' buying spree. Keep your eye focused on London and maybe keep track of the money you would have spent - if you can see if adding up towards a fabulous weekend in London (with spending money!) then it may help you over the bumps.

    I don't buy much fabric, as you know, mainly because I don't have any spare pennies (or even pennies, most of the time!) but also because I don't have the concentration for online shopping - I get confused by all the choices and end up giving up and not getting anything...not necessarily the solution you're looking for ;o)
    Take care, flower and shout if you need me xxx

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  14. It's funny, it seems many of us are on a Hobby Diet of sorts. You think I could sponsors to support that club? Prolly not! A report in every so often might be nice but then we have to be online and know what we are missing. Oh heck, let's Skype n sew instead!

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  15. It is so not easy to stop spending when it is so easy to hunt and find such beautiful goodness, you have explained your various dilemmas so well - I don't think I could manage to articulate it with anything like such clarity. Good luck! Hope the various bugs stay well away for a good while. Juliex

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  16. Ooh, pretty! Sorry, the photie distracted me ;o) I'm like you, an avid sale and coupon shopper - I can go several months without buying any, but mainly because I'm telling myself 'Oh, but if I wait til Black Friday/Christmas/Easter they'll have a big sale, and then I can get more!' which results in 5 parcels arriving stuffed to the gills *ahem* What I did do though was ask myself what I really, really wanted by way of fabric lines, and if I really needed the whole bundle or if a little of certain things would do, and I think I'm set for now. I'm waiting for a coupon for one shop to buy a kit for a Tula hexie quilt, but then I just sold some stash, so that's the money for that, and then I'm set, nothing more in my 'want' list, and nothing I can think of in my 'need' list for a while either.

    I might have a cunning exciting mail plan though, hmmmmmm

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  17. I agree with Sarah, you do sound down. We need to think of a plan to cheer you up......
    ( ps Emily tidied my stash when she was home for Crimble and left me a large note pinned to my den door saying "DO NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC MUM!- do you think she was trying to tell me something?)

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  18. I understand your sentiments about the depression lifter of waiting for parcels of fabric. I feel the same. I now phantom shop, as Susan calls it, put all I want into the online shopping basket but don't click proceed to checkout. I've found it really useful to question if I have a specific project for the fabric, or is it just a stash builder. I now only buy if its for a specific project. I love the mirror ball fabric.

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  19. Isn't Amanda great?! She's so fast getting orders out and sweet as punch.

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  20. you've clearly caught the mood of a lot of us. I'm with you on the buy to feel better vibe. I also do the "oh my that quilt/cushion/bag/pouch/thing looks fabulous I need to get the same fabric and make one of my own" thing - i bought chicopee precisely because of that - and then don't make it!

    Maybe we could run an online support group and come up with a 12 step plan or something? ;) Hugs x

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  21. i enjoy acquiring new fabric as much as the next person, but for me, the joy comes in using the materials to make and finish pretty things. maybe spend more time enjoying the process rather than the purchases? i dunno, it's all i got.

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  22. Aw honey, so sorry you've been poorly! What a rough intro to 2013! I think Helen (the wise wee owl that she is) summed it up. Everything in moderation. But it is so hard when the temptation out there is constant. Perhaps if you see something you like you could have a wee destash sale to get the money for it, like K did. Sooo looking forward to retreat! Jxo

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  23. Hope you're all better soon.
    As to fabric buying - I totally get it. Sometimes that little bit of retail therapy is just the thing. And the internet makes it so easy to do, just when we need it. I have no advice. I'm currently trying to curtail my yarn purchases. I have yarn for projects enough to keep me going the nect three years. At least. Fabric, I have a lot less. Mostly I buy what I want for a project, or a range to choose from for a project. But not always.

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  24. Rubbish that you have been poorly, hope you are on the mend now. I usually go on line and choose lots of fabric and then shut it down before I buy - and then go and have a look at all the fabric that I already have!! Just keep thinking of London :-)

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  25. AHHHHHH you are a complete enabler! I am ALSO trying to curb my fabric buying and that bundle is WONDERFUL! plus I love fat eighths... you can have enough to add to a project but don't break the bank buying them. trying to resist...

    I know what you mean about the depression and the purchasing - I definitely do that! I'm about to be decreasing my income though (by choice fortunately - going back to school!) so I've been working on some ways to NOT buy depression fabric! I know this may be a bit more difficult for you since you're prone to fall asleep, but my plan to avoid the depression-fabric buying is to make just one new block whenever I am blue. I really love all those X and Y quilts that I've seen and I've decided I'll just grab some scraps and make one block... it will keep me from being overwhelmed about making a whole quilt top and I think it will be nice to see it come together.... that's the plan anyway! If I come up with something better I'll let you know!

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  26. AHHHHHH you are a complete enabler! I am ALSO trying to curb my fabric buying and that bundle is WONDERFUL! plus I love fat eighths... you can have enough to add to a project but don't break the bank buying them. trying to resist...

    I know what you mean about the depression and the purchasing - I definitely do that! I'm about to be decreasing my income though (by choice fortunately - going back to school!) so I've been working on some ways to NOT buy depression fabric! I know this may be a bit more difficult for you since you're prone to fall asleep, but my plan to avoid the depression-fabric buying is to make just one new block whenever I am blue. I really love all those X and Y quilts that I've seen and I've decided I'll just grab some scraps and make one block... it will keep me from being overwhelmed about making a whole quilt top and I think it will be nice to see it come together.... that's the plan anyway! If I come up with something better I'll let you know!

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  27. Awe, being sick sucks! And so does not buying fabric, but be strong. I think Helen and Katie are right, decide on what you really want, or actually ned, I am right there with you on a fabric diet and am getting closer to a destash sale :). I'm lucky (?) my teenager goes on a rampage and sticks ticky notes everywhere and makes me promise not to buy any more fabric for x months! It works because we negotiate, borders backings and bindings only if absolutely necessary, and I am sneaky in agreeing weighing up the next shopping opportunity. Continue to coupon and sale buy its a good thing, in moderation, and maybe every time you don't buy, and make a little triumph put that money straight into you London fund and watch it grow!

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  28. I am trying to use at least as much stash as I buy this year, because my conservatory is looking like a fabric shop rather than a dining room and other people are starting to notice, usually with threads in their dinners!!

    I have just about swung from looking forward to the fabric mail to feeling a little bit sick/worried about it - and have resisted buying tonnes in the new year sales 'just because it is there'.

    Time will tell if I can maintain the momentum - good luck to you - we need you at Retreat!

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  29. Hope you're feeling better - I'm getting over my third bug in as many months and know migraines like the back of my clenched fist - so you have my sincere empathy!

    Also, I have been getting better at not going fabric crazy but it's always a struggle. I've tried to resist bundles and pull from the stash for a project before shopping, which has helped me be more choosy about what I buy, and I know all too well the endorphin rush of a nice pile of new fabrics that brightens a dark day so the odd splurge does happen. Maybe you could set yourself a budget with a monthly/weekly fabric 'allowance'? Good luck!

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  30. You know you can come in to the shop any time and "play" with the fabric. Spread it out, discuss the possibilities, draw a quilt map or two share a cuppa and then we can put it all away !!!
    Glad you're on the up.
    See you next week ?

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  31. I think that maybe if other nice things arrived you would not need the fabric. Next time you are compelled to shop, email me and I will send you some fabric or a thing (as long it is not too complicated to make) instead. It would be very nice. Also consider joining the FAL, there are a bunch of gift certificates up for prizes. Winning fabric or gift certificates at fabric shops is a lot cheaper.

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  32. Agree with the others that you should keep the eyes on the prize of London and other trips but don't be too hard on yourself for buying the odd bundle. It's not like you buy yourself much else. They'll be a parcel coming from me (as soon as I can get to the post office...which will now be next week...doh!).

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  33. I'm a bit of a fantasy shopper and have resolved to use what I've got more often too - not that I spend a huge amount on fabric! Good luck with your plan and enjoy those lovelies.

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  34. Isn't buying fabric like buying new shoes? They always fit, whatever dress size you are. You can always find room for one more pair. Shiny new shoes make you happy! Just like fabric! Right?

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  35. Wow - they are gorgeous, I'm not surprised you bought them. Like Annabella I am a bit of a fantasy shopper too - I think I have about 4 baskets currently on Etsy - and keep managing to shut down without buying.My secret? Totally indecisive! If I leave it long enough it will have sold out and I won't be able to buy it anyway..... All this dithering does however stop me eating (not normal meals - just all the high caloried stuff I really shouldn't eat in the evenings)

    Hope you're feeling better - sounds like a pretty miserable start to the year. Just to let you know I love reading your blog - and admire your creativity - and productivity. (And I also really liked the posts about your walks near you)

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  36. Oh dear, I ave no need for fabric purchases for sbout 10 years, but those fabric look yummy, so I think I'll have to visit (despite having a £80 ish lst at eternal maker at the mo!). Is your cunning own to make us buy more Fbric so there is less for you o be tempted by?

    Hope you're feeling better x

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  37. It's so worth it for London! We'll do our best to support you, my dear.
    Have you thought at all about having a stash sale to get rid of fabrics you have? That could go to London easy peasy AND clear out a little space in your stash (for more in 2014!??!)

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