Did you ever play Truth or Dare? It was quite the thing when I was about 11 and if memory serves, it usually involved boys or cigarettes.
I don't think I ever completely out-grew the "oh yeah? You don't think I would do that... you think I'm chicken?" stage of my development. It isn't bravado or cheekiness, I just have this issue with folks trying to tell me what to do. It's been a lifelong problem... just ask my parents.
So when friends didn't think I'd have the nerve to show this to you... of course I had to do it.
But first I need to tell you how it came about. This past week, because I had nothing better to do... okay, I couldn't find what I was looking for and dire measures were required. So I started cleaning out "my stash".
I know the organizational gurus recommend regular weeding and pruning of closets, drawers and such but really, this is fabric. It's historical. We've got emotional attachments to some of it. And some of it just might be worth a fortune -- just check out the folks selling "OOP" fat quarters on Etsy. But a regular review is still beneficial because it let me know what I've got, and more importantly, where to find it when I need it.
Since I was starting to sort anyway, I decided to also do a bit of re-organization and improvement. Have you seen those pictures and blog posts from quilters who organized their fabric by folding/rolling it bolt-style on a ruler to make everything a relatively uniform size? That's what I did.
Of course I raised a blister flipping that ruler to roll/fold everything but it was definitely worth it as everything is neat and organized - mostly. I think keeping it this way will be far easier than getting it this way. Now, in the interest of full disclosure and honesty -- to keep it real -- this is what was left after the purge.
Yes, the purge... make that The Purge. (I really do fear that years from now, quilt historians will remember April 2012 as the date of The Purge. It lasted three long days... but now it's done.)
Even before this, I knew this to be true -- Hello. My name is Carrie and I have WAY too much fabric. More than I'll use in a lifetime. More than any one quilter will ever need or use.
But the reality is that I have fabric that I'll never use, fabric that I've outgrown, fabric that makes me question my sanity and ask "what on earth was I thinking?" I had fabric dating back 25 years, back to when I first started quilting. The only saving grace - if there is one - is that by cleaning out my closets, I can donate the fabric to groups that will happily use it to make something wonderful. So into bags it went, destined for a local guild/group that does a whole lot of sewing for charity. Lots and lots of bags. And a few boxes.
Note: I want it entered into the record that I drive a small -- okay, small-ish -- car. (Huh? Yes, it is the same car and trunk that I have bragged about as having a super-large trunk... something about superior German engineering in my VW... whatever.)
I took everything to my super nice and very kind quilter as she knows all the ladies who do the charity sewing. While I had warned her several times, and given her a couple of chances to bail on me, she burst out laughing when she saw the contents of my car. It took us less than five minutes to empty the car and deposit everything in her living room.
I didn't weigh the bags or even count them as that would have meant mentally calculating the amount of yardage, and then the aggregate cost of it all. I don't want to know.
The purpose of all this is two-fold. I already told you the first reason, I was "dared" to post the pictures. The other reason is that in chatting with friends about this, I know that I'm not alone. I'm not the only one with too much fabric that she'll never, ever use, and I'm not the only one who wants/needs to clear out the clutter. It took time that I would rather have spent doing something else but it was necessary and now its done. And it feels great to have it behind me.
Especially because I found something I knew I had... something I couldn't find.
Mel Fisher found the Atocha. I found Flea Market Fancy fat quarters... the original.
I also never outgrew the "finders, keepers" stage of my development. Just as my brother.