Confessions of a Chronic Creative Collector

Asterisk Quilt Fabrics - detail of backgrounds
Asterisk Quilt Fabrics (Photo credit: Cut To Pieces)

I may have some hoarding tendencies.

One of my very good friends very delicately told me this once.  As I have spent the past couple of weeks or so sorting, donating, packing, pitching things I am more inclined to agree with her than I was at the time she said this to me.

I’ve had several kind and generous friends helping me sort and pack this week.  One of my young college student friends read me the riot act about how much “stuff” I have.  She challenged me to explain why I needed to keep each item as she was getting ready to put in her box.

After she left, I pondered my status as a hoarder.  Did she have a point?

I think my biggest collection is definitely quilting fabric.

Think?  Know.

Let me re-phrase that.

fabric stash
fabric stash (Photo credit: megrje)
Fabric stash 20-6-2012
Fabric stash 20-6-2012 (Photo credit: lindakl)

My biggest collection is fabric.  The majority of it is indeed quilting fabric, but there is a lot of “other” in there, too.

(Note: the photos here are not of MY stash.  I just googled fabric stash.  See?  I am not alone in my plight.  Plus, I have more than both of these combined…)

Some of it is unbelievably ugly.  I can not imagine what ever might have induced me to buy the stuff!  What was I thinking?  What possible use did I imagine for it?  Some of it still inspires me so much I wanted to leap out of my chair, cast off the bags and bins around me and run to the sewing machine to creative a wonderful new quilt design.

I tried to be firm with myself.  If I no longer LOVE the fabric, I need to let it go.  Over the course of several long days, I filled 9 large white plastic kitchen trash bags with fabric.  This is the fabric I’m letting go!!  By weighing the bags and using the formula of 4 yards of fabric equaling about 1 pound, we came to the conclusion that I donated nearly 400 yards of fabric!  (Nearly 100 pounds!)

The fabric going out the door is being diverted to several very worthy quilt groups in the area. It comforts me to know that the organizations that are receiving my fabric will make lots of people very happy and bring lots of joy to people and soldiers in need.  Quilts of Valor, our local guild, a local quilting bee, and the large guild in a neighboring city are all getting some of my former stash.)

storage bin
storage bin (Photo credit: giveawayboy)

I lost count of how many bins I’m keeping.  But my goal was to cut my stash in half, and I think I stuck fairly close to that goal as I went along.

poupées waldorf blonds
poupées waldorf blonds (Photo credit: littleshambles)

In the basement, I found large black plastic trash bags of unprocessed wool roving.  I was going to make Waldorf style dolls and stuff the dolls with this wonderful organic fiber.  (I made one doll.  I had a two Rubbermaid tubs full of wool roving leftover.  My daughter is now 14 so you can imagine how many years these tubs of roving have been sitting down there in the basement).

1 (The Beatles album)
1 (The Beatles album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another thing I have a lot of is CDs.  We have been a member of a CD club since about 1989.  I used to buy dozens of CDs a year, for several years there.  I bought them mostly on clearance or when they were on super low sale prices.  I also love a store called Frugal Muse that sells used CDs for $2 to about $5.  I like to have legal music, so I still buy CDs.  (I wrote a blog post full of resources for finding free mp3s  in cyberspace.  I have extremely eclectic taste in music.

Wicked (musical)
Wicked (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a musician, music teacher and pianist — I have many, many music books.  MANY.  Books for church music, books for teaching public school, books for solo singing, hymnals, classical music, pop song collections, musicals — I’ve got it all.

English: Salt and pepper shaker in the Pig Mus...
English: Salt and pepper shaker in the Pig Museum in Bad Wimpfen, Germany Deutsch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I collect salt and pepper shakers.  I like old ones that are out of the ordinary.  I never spend more than about $3 to $5 on them, and some I’ve gotten at yard sales and from elderly relatives’ estates.  I especially like animal shaped ones, and ones that are not alike.

Flow blue vegetable server in the "Norman...
Flow blue vegetable server in the “Normandy” pattern produced by Staffordshire potter Johnson Brothers c. 1890 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I collect blue and white dishes.  I have lovely white cupboards, sunny yellow walls and have blue and white dishes, plates, bowls, and cobalt blue glass all around the tops of my cupboards and hanging on the walls of my kitchen.

my button box
my button box (Photo credit: sarahgb(theoriginal))

I collect buttons.  Old buttons.  New buttons.  Not round buttons.  Glass buttons.  Buttons made from shells and other natural materials.

English: A Hakka-style floral print fabric tot...
English: A Hakka-style floral print fabric tote bag. ‪中文(繁體)‬: 客家花布包 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like old purses.  Actually I like tote bags, too.  Cool colors, interesting textures and shapes, well designed and crafted, handmade, leather, humorous sayings, canvas tote bags, well lined lovely fabric, fringed, beaded, small or large — you name it.  If it calls my name, I struggle to balance my needs and wants.

Eri Silk Scarf, Pink & Brown--$40
Eri Silk Scarf, Pink & Brown–$40 (Photo credit: Fair Trade Designs)

Lately I’ve been collecting lovely scarves.  This is a good thing because I’ve gained weight over the years, and no matter what size I am a scarf will still fit!

English: Gemstone Necklaces
English: Gemstone Necklaces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also love earrings, necklaces and watches.  (i.e. I have too many of all of these things.)

I probably have more cashmere sweaters than I really need as well.

(Yes, I do.)

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon

BOOKS!!  Oh my, do I love books!  I enjoy my Kindle very much, but I still love to turn the pages in a real book.  Books that touch my heart and soul are dear to me, and I have many that I love to read over and over.

Delicious Thai food!! :-) ..."Green PaPaY...

Cookbooks always inspire me.  I love to cruise the clearance cookbook area in bookstores.  We live in a town where the range of ethnic food available is Chinese or Mexican.  You can also have pizza or subs galore.  If you want Indian or Thai or Middle Eastern — you have to cook it yourself, and I do — frequently!  I also enjoy collecting community cookbooks; those  recipe collections made by church groups, community organizations, and clubs.

My family claims I have a lot of shoes, too.  No comment.