Personal Challenge: A month without buying fabric!

I am going to try this. Can I go an entire month without buying fabric? That’s like going a day without eating chocolate! (That will be my next challenge)  I hope I’ll be able to post every day for a month about my progress (or lack thereof) in this challenge. It will be interesting to see what projects I am able to complete (or at least get to top status) in this duration. I can’t take credit for this idea. I am on a Yahoo e-mail group called Stashbusters, they have 4000 members! I have been on that list for several months now, usually just reading the posts and lurking, occasionally chiming in with my humble opinon or suggestions. One of their ongoing challenges is a No Buy challenge, which I have never had the nerve to join. Their challenege is pretty strict, if you buy any fabric, you have to send a charm or fat quarter to the No Buy coordinator to put in a collection for the person who goes an entire year without buying fabric! Wow!  I think I’ll be lucky if I can make it a week. How’s that for confidence? But I discovered that buying fabric has really become an addiction with me, there is something about the thrill of finding something I completely love and being able to snatch it up. I think my “stash” of fabric is sort of unique because I probably have more actual kits or future projects than I do just fabric in my stash. I guess this is because of when I started with my quilting craze. I only started this about five years ago (I have a lot of catching up to do!) and that was after the idea of putting together kits was becoming popular. Actually one of the first fabric stores I was introduced to, Creations in Kerrville, TX, is a master at pairing their beautiful samples right next to the fabrics and precut kits for that exact sample. So, basically I can walk around their store and if I see a sample I LOVE, just look below where it is hanging on the wall and whatdoyaknow, there is the kit, all tied up in a beautiful ribbon and ready for me to put in my little basket. (The backings are sold separately, of course) Of the seven fabric stores in San Antonio, very few of them, if any, are able to accomplish this attractive marketing technique. So, since I have always fallen in love with and purchased the kits, I should be able to go a little while without really needing to buy any fabric (yeah right.)  The rule on the Stashbusters list is that if you complete a quilt from your stash, but you need to buy extra yardage for sashing, backing or binding, you are allowed. Those are the parts of quilts that are usually held off until the project is complete because the sizes never come out quite what you thought they would. That is the rule I’m going to use in my challenge too. Now, here’s the tricky part, I can’t buy anything, but that doesn’t mean I can’t window shop a little! Oh, that’s difficult! I’ve managed to reduce the number of e-newsletters that I get from fabric shops but I still get the one from the Fat Quarter Shop and from Hancock’s of Paducah. Talk about eye candy!  Oh, and because I have an account on Etsy, it is very difficult to resist buying fabric on there. The sellers on Etsy have the sorts of fabric that I really love and haven’t really been able to find in the shops in my city (for reasonable prices too!) So, since a blog is sort of like a journal, I think I’ll try to post daily about my progress.

Day 1, June 22:  Yippee! I made it a day without buying anything! The urge was there, that’s for sure, because with this down economy, the fabric stores are hurting and they are having some great sales. They’ve also really stepped up their e-mail marketing. I don’t blame them, it’s not like it costs them more to send an extra e-mail or two.  So instead of visiting a fabric store after work (the one I really like is closed on Mondays anyway) when I got home I decided to revisit my stash a little. I’m trying to get some quilts cut out so that I can just sit and sew at the quilt retreat in July. I’ve already got two cut, but I decided to start on one that uses a jelly roll. In fact, it was a jelly roll that I didn’t even realize I had! It’s the Portobello Market fabric, which is just BEAUTIFUL, it turns out. I am sure I snapped up that jelly roll way back and then forgot about it until I went through my jelly roll basket last night (yes, I have a basket with probably six jelly rolls.) I also saw that I have this great pattern for a quilt made with one jelly roll and two borders (haven’t bought those yet.) Last night, I unwrapped the jelly roll and laid it out on my kitchen island. I had forgotten how awesome those fabrics are! The pattern said I only needed 35 of the 40 strips and at first I wondered how I was ever going to choose 5 fabrics to take out of the group. Well, I managed and last night I pressed the creases out and tonight I hope to get them cut and ready to piece at the retreat! You know, I have a lot of jelly rolls and patterns, but I’ve never actually really made anything with a jelly roll! They’ve just been sitting in my sewing room, patiently waiting for me to find the right pattern, I suppose.  Well, now is the time and with my new challenge I hope I can actually get some of these projects finished. I even managed to get a UFO finished over the weekend (see yesterday’s post.)  Well, until tomorrow.

Happy Stitches to You (and stashbusting),

Anna

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June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . fabric, Goals, No Buy Challenge, Quilt Shops, Quilting, sewing, Stashbusters, UFOs.

One Comment

  1. Michelle replied:

    I just blogged about this yesterday. I too have many kits and projects organized and am committed to getting some things done. I went to a quilt store today to pick up a tool and I did not buy any fabric. Of course right at the counter I saw some fabric I fell in love with, but it will have to wait.

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