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Friday, May 6, 2016

Now & Again: Fabric fancies and a whole lot more

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My name is Nancy . . . and I'm addicted to fabric. I can't remember exactly when the addiction began. Every time I went to a fabric store or the fabric department in a store I couldn't leave without buying at least one piece of fabric. I always said to myself, "Oh I can make such and such for so and so."

When I found the bargain tables it became worse because I would buy more since I was getting more for my money. I have carted my fabric collection to and from Montana and now after ten years in Cherokee I have discovered that the closet where I store only fabric is full to the ceiling. I take my life in my hands every time I open the door. Keep in mind I have ten foot ceilings in my house.

I have fabric stashed all over my sewing room too. There are at least three shelves full and another entire shelving system devoted to fabric for those someday projects.

Fabric was only the "gateway" item to my sewing addiction. I have a thing for sewing gadgets too. Some are quite useful and others - not so much. It's a lot like the cooks who collect kitchen gadgets only to resort to their favorite old stand by tools. For example, I have several pairs of scissors used for different purposes but I only use about three of them frequently.

Some of my sewing tools come from the kitchen too. Recently, I discovered that the bamboo skewer used for making shish kabobs works great as an awl. I feel like Tim the Tool Man when I get a new sewing tool and it works great. While at Bomgaar's I found one of those magnets that clip on a belt. It would normally hold nails or screws mine holds pins and keeps them handy at all times.

When I discover sewing items at auctions I am usually able to get them for pennies on the dollar. That put me further into the fiery pits of notion collecting. I probably have a zipper, rick-rack, bias tape, snaps, hooks and eyes, and thread for any occasion or use. An auction last fall in Marcus put me and other sewing enthusiast over the edge. We were all in sewing heaven especially when the auctioneers had no idea what they were selling, much less the value of the items. We all made out like bandits.

Included in my notion collection are buttons. Oh yes, buttons too are very addicting. At first I only purchased them at estate sales thinking they would be useful for projects I would make. It is true, I have used them often. However, I have since discovered another whole world of vintage button collecting, thanks is part to a book I found at our local library. It turns out some of the buttons I bought for pennies are worth two and three times what I paid for the whole lot.

All in all my collecting has been very useful even though it has probably become out of hand. I have resisted buying new fabric for quite sometime now. I would say I have been fabric sober for about three months. I don't want to buy anymore until I use up some, if not most, of what I already have. I haven't been to any auctions for a very long time and found only one garage sale this spring that had fabric. I think that was the last time I bought fabric.

In my opinion there are three levels of sewers and crafters.

Level one includes those individuals who only purchase items when they need them for a specific project.

Level two is the avid crafter and sewer. These are the people who are always planning ahead for the projects they some day want to complete. They purchase their items in advance and actually do complete those projects before moving on to the next idea.

Level three is the fabric lover. These individuals are the collectors of fabric and supplies for those projects they might someday do. They often shop at a fabric store every chance they get to see what is new and available. They are impulse buyers with no list or plan. If they see something they like or might like to try they purchase it. They will likely have several projects started and in progress at all times.

Which level are you at? If you are at level three then you have fallen into an addictive pattern that will find you buried beneath a pile of fabric when you open your closet door. If you are not at at level three yet then be careful not to get there. I know it is difficult to do because, after all, "She who dies with the most fabric wins!"