Fabric hoarding raises the emotional thermometer

American Jane fabric

Hello? Anyone still here?

Yeah, it’s been a while.

Sorry ’bout that. But I didn’t forget about you! I have no good excuse, really. I’ve been in a bit of a rut, both craft-wise and just everyday-wise. And you should feel bad for me! Because first of all, I didn’t win that contest. But you knew that already, because I would have been here posting about it long ago. Several wonderful people did win (though none of my faves), and they deserve it! Go see here.

While I have a feeling that winning a brand new $2000 sewing machine could have a way of healing many wounds, that has nothing to do with the rut.

See, for the first time in a while I had a few days to do basically nothing. Spring break arrived, two classes went away (yay!), and I had no homework for a whole WEEK. Which is great! It’s practically what I dream about. But for some reason, finally having nothing to do really messed with me.

I’m not generally one to sit still, so I thought that I’d be a whirlwind of activity churning out loaves of banana bread, filling my craft room with delightful bags, and getting an early start on spring cleaning (OK, stop laughing…but the baking and sewing are both real!). But even after a few days of requisite decompression, I felt bored, sad, and uninspired. Not even sewing a new bag could pique my interest! Can you believe it? Seriously. I think it’s safe to say that life is very difficult. Sniff. Poor me.

But you’ll be happy to know I’m emerging from my weird mood. Phew! I have considered many baking and sewing projects in the last few days and am raring to go again. (Coincidence that school is back in session? Probably not. I guess I operate best when there’s lots to do…)

In order to ease myself out from under the “uninspiration blues,” I turned to the best therapy of all – a little fabric shopping!

In the last few days, I’ve purchased all the tidbits you see in this post in various quantities. Isn’t the Internet great? I ventured onto a fabulous eBay store for the Ginger Blossom and Amy Butler polka dots. I never go onto eBay. I must really have needed the retail therapy!

But honestly, as I get more and more into this fabric thing, I have begun to notice how quickly things come and go. Here’s how the fabric life cycle seems to go:

Fabulous designer announces a new line of fabric. Teaser images appear to tantalize the fabric-obsessed. Date of anticipated fabric collection’s arrival is announced. Much enthusiastic blogging occurs on the part of fabric fans, generating hype. The arrival date occurs, and all the best patterns of the line sell out in an instant. Most coveted fabric patterns are scarce to unavailable on the Internet for several weeks. In the meantime you see fabulous Flickr and blog pics of other people’s creations. You stew with envy and self-hatred that you didn’t act faster. Vendors get restocked, demand levels out; you can’t justify more fabric just this moment, so you forgo a purchase. Several months later, the perfect project arises for that fabric, and, like a cruel joke, the fabric is nowhere to be found.

I think this is the cycle that leads to hoarding behavior. Beware! All of my fabric purchases this week were instigated by fear that it’d disappear! I think I’m becoming a hoarder!

The ovals fabric below is exactly some of the fabric that had disappeared for ages without me getting my hands on some. Now it will be all mine! Hahahaha!

I am awaiting the ovals as well as the top three fabrics from Sew, Mama, Sew. The top three American Jane designs make me want to sew some summer skirts and an apron to go over them, so I can run around in a meadow feeling like Laura Ingalls. Minus the braids, because I just cut all of my hair short. Oh well.


Are you a fabric hoarder? I’d love to hear about which designer sparked the most recent hoarding episode in your life!

Posted by robyn on March 23rd, 2008 under crafts

8 Responses to “Fabric hoarding raises the emotional thermometer”

  1. Kristine Says:

    Ah, I love Spring Break…too bad it’s past now! I’ve been on a sewing hiatus since the contest ended, too. None of my faves got won either!

    I got some fabric awhile ago on impulse:

    I’m trying to avoid buying MORE fabric because I have a whole list of stuff to make lol. But all the new stuff at Sew Mama Sew looks so great!

  2. robyn Says:

    Ooh, I love that fabric! I have toyed with the impulse purchase myself because I’m sure it will disappear when I need it most! I especially like the “green herb” pattern.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    Robyn, I completely understand your rut. I couldn’t wait to finish grad school, and when I finally did, it was fine for a while. But then I got depressed and I couldn’t understand why. It was because I didn’t have enough to do! Not having tons of stuff to do definitely takes some getting used to. I’m still adjusting, but luckily I’m feeling much better.

    Also, I understand the fabric hoarding thing. I buy up fabric now with the justification that it won’t be around forever. Amy Butler always does it for me.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    I love the new American Jane fabric. (I think each subsequent collection has gotten better, actually.) Alas, I’ll have to wait to buy it since I’m putting a self-imposed three month ban on new fabric purchases. We’ll see how well that actually works! 🙂

  5. Pat Jones Says:

    Robyn, please, be very careful about how much fabric you’re purchasing. I started buying fabric 40 yrs. ago and now am having a meltdown trying to get rid of some of it. I had 20+ bags in the car ready to deliver tomorrow to a foundation an hour away, and now I have half of it back in the house. I realize I’ve become a FABRIC HOARDER. I stood there, going through the fabric in my trunk, crying like a baby because I didn’t want to give up my beautiful fabrics, even for hospitalized kids and the homeless. Periodically, go through your stash and dispose of some of it; if not, you’ll eventually become like me.

  6. robyn Says:

    Pat, your warning of hoarding are words of wisdom to me. I thought of them when I recently suggested that I sell all my yarn to make room for more fabric. Thankfully, my husband talked me out of it (perhaps he could see the garbage bags of fabric in his future?)


  7. cate Says:

    Oh my goodness…..I just got into quilting fabric about 2 months ago and turned IMMEDIATELY into a nutcase. My favorite (and, believe me, I’ve spent HOURS and HOURS looking all over the web for fabric stores and lines of fabric and have become quite aware in a relatively short period of time on quilt fabric companies)is American Jane. My mother died a little over a year ago and there is something about the patterns and fabrics of Sandy Klop that make me feel close to my 40’s/50’s childhood and I can’t stop buying those patterns and fabrics, not to mention all kinds of other things that “speak to me”. It is, therefore, a really good thing I found your blog and hear what all of you longtime quilters are saying (I haven’t even started yet….am signing up for my first quilt class this week)about stash building, etc. I’ll get a grip thanks to you guys. Have enough projects (between the latest….quilting plus petit point, cross-stitching, and embroidery) to be working until I die (I’m 62)so thanks for the jolt. Loved reading about your funk, Robyn! Blogs are great….haven’t followed one before but may check in now and again as this one resonated with me! Happy working!!

  8. robyn Says:

    Hi Cate,

    Hope you enjoyed your first quilting class! Buying and putting different fabrics together is (in my opinion) the MOST fun part of quilting. You will enjoy it!

    I know completely what you mean about having way too many projects to do that is reasonable. Right now, in my craft room, I’m looking at two unfinished bags, about 15 unfinished PodPillows, an unfinished belt. And those are just the ones I’ve started. I’ve got a whole lot more in my head… Eeek! The good news? I should be getting a new fabric order in the mail on Monday!


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I'm Robyn. Thanks for stopping by! This is my craft blog.

Contact me at robyn [at] dognamedbanjo [dot] com.

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