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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why do we buy fabric

Ok, you already know that the opinions expressed in my blog are my own. Blogger takes no responsibility for my off beat thoughts. Right now I want to talk about one possible reason many quilters have such a large stash and how you may change your thinking to control your buying habits.

First let me set up a mental picture in your mind. You are in the market for a new pet. For illustration purposes let's say you are looking for a dog or a cat. You either go to a pet store or to an animal shelter to find one. When you are outside all is quiet. The minute you walk in the door you immediately hear the barking and meowing of all the dogs and cats. Its a really big racket as each one mentally tries to get you to hear them say "Pick me! Pick me! Oh, please pick me!"

They all tug at your heart strings to the point you wish you could take them all home with you. Each one has a personality or trait that urges you to pick them. Some are pure bred, some are sooners. Some are bright and alert, while others are laid back and easy going. And some are off in the corner with a forlorn look of despair. They realize they may never get picked to be adopted so they go off by them self to await their fate in life. A word of caution here....never look into the eyes of a dog or cat...the minute you do, you are lost. They have grabbed and latched onto your heart.

Uh, where was I? Oh yes, if you have any heart at all you are surely tempted to take them all home with you. But....could you? Could you handle 30 or 40 cats and dogs at one adoption? Could you give them all the love and attention they individually need? Could you train and feed that many all at once? Most people who own that many pets wind up with animal cops at their door taking away the hoarder's over abundance of pets. It's a sad scene to watch.

Oakie doakie, I've set up the mental picture so now let me tell you about the fabrics. Fabrics have a heart. Most are made from living plants or a combination of plant and man made fibers. Fabrics crave human contact. They send out a strong mental signal that reaches out to human beings. That's why we wear fabric clothing instead of walking around in fur. If you don't believe me, try walking through a department store where all the clothing is hanging....without touching anything at all. Walk straight past the luxurious velvet jackets and the nice new denim jeans without stopping to look and without touching anything. Its not so easy to do is it?

Now picture yourself going into a fabric store. You walk in to see all the nice pure bred cottons and the mixed cotton/poly. There are the brand new brights and the more muted reproductions. Then there are the fabrics that have resigned them self to their fate and are back in the corner on the discount table. Every one of those fabrics are mentally tugging at your heart strings. You may not hear it but the sound of "Pick me! Pick me! Oh please pick me!" is overwhelming.

Pulling a bolt of fabric off the shelf to examine it closely is the equivalent of looking into the eyes of a dog or cat. The minute you touch it, you are lost. The more fabrics you touch and feel, the more you are going to be taking home with you.

So lets go back to the mental picture. Suppose you did decide to adopt a couple of dogs and a couple of cats. Could you take them home, put them in the back room and never see them again? Never play with them. Never feed them? I don't think so...that would be cruelty.

So why would you do this to your fabrics? If you habitually go buy yards and yards of fabrics only to store them away in some box or closet or back room. Only visiting them when the mood strikes you to reorganize or to find some for a once in a while quilt....you are being very cruel to your fabrics. If you have a really large stash it's the equivalent of being a pet hoarder.

You know how dogs love to be trained so they are more acceptable company when people are around? Cats are more pristine but still want to behave around humans. Fabric feels the same way. It really wants you to cut it and manipulate it so it can stay in closer contact with humans. Fabric needs to be made into clothing, quilts, curtains, pillows, purses or anything that gets them closer to humans.

Next time you are in a fabric store and tempted to bring home 30 or 40 yards of fabric, think again about what you are getting ready to do. It is much better to only adopt a yard or two knowing you will actually make it happy by creating something from it than to store it with your already full stash. Fabric is really unhappy if it is stashed away all the time...only to eventually be pulled out of storage and tossed away. That is really a sad sight to see.......

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