Too much stuff!


Something usual happened to me this week, perhaps even cathartic.

I live in a rather chaotic environment of my own creation, with three young children and a home-based business. There are times when my house accommodates not only family and friends, but also hundreds of new garments, or dozens of bolts of fabric waiting to be cut, or dozens of boxes waiting to be packed and shipped.

Right now I’m busy preparing for the One of a Kind Show, which starts in a few days. But it’s my seventh year, so I know what needs to be done. The complication this year is that I’m selling my house at the same time.

The thing about selling a house that is challenging for people like me, is the fact that houses look much better when they are not cluttered with too much stuff. The five of us have accumulated a LOT of stuff.

When I was writing my bio for my website, I described myself (humorously but truthfully) as a fabriholic. I don’t love all fabric of course, but when I find a piece I love, my imagination runs wild. Whatever draws me in, whether colour, pattern, or scale, all beautiful fabric feels to me like a tantalizing design challenge.

This week I had to pack away that fabric. First went the bolts, nearly 100 cotton prints. Then I filled a dozen large bins with smaller pieces of fabric that cry out for transformation into a work of art… one day.

Seeing this volume of fabric was staggering. I immediately thought of the TV show “Hoarders” and the oppressive impact of possessions on people who can’t part with anything, even trash. I thought about my attachment to fabric and wondered momentarily “is that me?”

It’s not. But when I packed the extra fabric away, albeit temporarily, I looked around my studio and felt my creative juices flowing more freely.  And likewise, when my children saw their bedrooms reduced to a minimum of toys with everything neatly organized, they were elated. Contrary to my expectations, they loved it.

Some possessions truly are treasures. But as I learned this week, when there’s too much stuff it makes it harder for those treasures to shine through. And while I still believe that there are some beautiful quilts in my future, I’m happy to part with some of my treasured fabric, to share it with people who can transform it into treasures of their own. If you’d like a small bag of fabric pieces to add to a project, or if you’re involved with a charity that could use it for quilting or other sewing projects, please drop me a line for more details – I’m happy to share. If you'd like to see what it looks like, just check out my website for a little taste. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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