True Life Confessions of a Fabric Addict


I think I'm going to have to admit I might be addicted to fabric. This eye opening experience began a few weeks ago. I had read a post on one of the quilting lists about a guild's guest speaker who gave a lecture on organizing your quilting space. One of the points she stressed was sorting and folding your fabric. I printed off the instructions she'd given thinking I'd use them to fold any new fabric I bought and work on my stash "sometime".

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While straightening up my sewing room the next day, I came across a bag of fabric from my last shopping trip and thought I'd give this new folding concept a try. It turned out to be one of those light bulb moments. It was easy, fast and the fabric looked so beautiful all neat and folded up. Before I knew what happened I was hauling messy piles of fabric out of the closet onto the kitchen counter and folding like I was back in the quilt shop.

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I started with the pinks and after working on them for a couple of days, made the critical error of commenting, outloud no less, that I thought I might have a fixation on the color pink. Did you ever hear words coming out of your mouth you wish you'd never started saying and they're out before you know what happened? This was one of those times. My husband was within earshot and I quickly heard "You think?" and "this must have started about 10 years ago from the looks of things". I guess I could see why he might think that. Folded piles had migrated from the counter to the dining room table, the stairway railing, and the couch in the den before making their way back to the shelves. They sure looked pretty though!

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By the way, I really do have a lot of pink fabric including what I believe is every double-pink ever made.

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You're probably wondering what highly scientific process I'm using for this folding. It's not that complicated and you can adapt it to the size of your shelves and the rulers you have on hand. For me, if the piece was 1 yard or more I used my 6" x 24" ruler.

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If it was under a yard I used the 3" x 24" ruler. All you need to do is wrap the fabric around your ruler, pull the ruler out when you get to the end, fold it in half and you end up with the cutest bolt-like bundle.
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They fit perfectly on the metal shelves in my closet.
I've made my way through the pinks, reds, blues, greens, backgrounds and browns. I've swirled up enough dust in the house that I could be cleaning for the next month but I still have the purples and blacks to refold before I tackle my 1930s, batiks, hand dyes, holiday and novelty prints.

It could be 2008 before I tackle that dusting!

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Is a picture developing in your mind? Yes,
I realize I could never use even half of the fabric I own before I'm called to that big quilt studio in the sky. At first I felt a little guilty and then a lot guilty and finally decided - I like my fabric. It tells the story of my life maybe better than any finished quilt would. I could see the changes in my quilting styles, fabric tastes and level of experience over the years. I could recall the places I'd traveled to and friends I'd made while searching out that perfect piece of fabric. There were some pieces I looked at and wondered "what the heck was I thinking?" Luckily, those were few and far between. The guilt that had been building began to give way to a sense of peacefulness and calm as I remembered all the good times that make up this "patchwork life" I have.

I look forward to getting back to my folding in a couple of weeks but first there's Quilt Festival in Chicago and I'm attending a quilting retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana the week after that.

You should know the best part of this folding process is -- IT MAKES MORE ROOM ON YOUR SHELVES FOR NEW FABRIC!!!

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