19 June 2010

no, it never ends

Me: {{determined silence as I lug six stackable baskets into the house and up the stairs}}

Mom: What are those for?

Me: Fabric.

Mom: What fabric?

Me: The fabric in my studio.

Mom: I thought you organized that already.

Me: I did. But this will be better.

Mom: {{thoughtful silence}}

Mom: Will you ever be finished organizing that room?

Me: Nope. Never. In fact, I plan to leave a clause in my will that it must be reorganized at least once a year until all of it is used up.

I know she has a point. I know that I've made a career out of organizing that small room stuffed to the gills with my beloved stash. But things evolve. What can I say?

I've been eyeing my fabric stash with a critical eye lately. About half of it is commercial fabric and I've got a little bit of mixed feeling about it. I've got nothing against commercial fabric, I like a lot of the stuff that is out on the market. But some of what I have hanging about in my bins now is simply not my taste anymore.

So its time to purge it again.

I got this far today:

The middle and bottom bins are all hand dyed fabric - both mine and other pieces I've collected. The top bin will have my own printed fabric (which is a stash that is growing steadily and sort of what prompted another reorg). There will be a second tower and the top bin of that one will also be printed fabric.

The little pile in front is some batiks. I plan to hang on to most of those but the herd will be thinned. And as far as the prints that are not batiks, I have yet to decide their fate. I don't really like to use random fabric for the backs of my pieces. I like a nice solid black fabric for that.

Here is the pile I still have to go through:

It may not look like a lot from this view but its a tall pile. It comes down to making decisions about what I'll honestly use and what I won't. Most likely I will kick this to the side and avoid doing it until the mess gets on my last nerve and I finish cleaning it up.

So I guess I'm wondering...what's the ratio of hand dyed/printed to commercial fabric do you have? Do you have a bias toward one or the other? Do you find that you have a particular kind of fabric that you pull for nearly every project?


master candy dispenser said...
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mary said...

ok my other comment had a goofy name attached. one that i used to use on another blog...so anyway what i said was you know the stuff i like ~i love batiks, not the super busy ones though with all the prints all over them. the more hand dyed look and the ones i dye and others have too. and i have very little "prints" or "cute" fabric...12 years ago thats all i had. but that was then. and i find i need a huge bolt of black now. i like to use the black for my backings too!

Jean Baardsen said...

Have you considered dyeing the commercial fabrics black? Might give some interesting effects and could be used for backings and stuff. By far, the largest part of my stash is fabric from thrift store clothes. Most of my commercial fabrics are batiks.

janice said...

I totally understand. I purged my fabrics about 6 months ago and I held on to stuff that I must have purchased 9-10 years ago. It is still pretty, or some of it is, and I was reluctant to part with it. Some I will save for Rayna's class at Fabrications, not because it is necessarily ugly, but I would like to make it into something I would like to use now. I see another major purge coming, but probably not until fall -- there's too many other things to do.

jill said...

Once I start inspecting the herd, I kind of enjoy it. It's therapeutic and I remember what I had forgotten about-- then I may add it to the "don't forget about me" bin.

The hand-dye and surface design stuff is slowly taking over but I still have about 1/3 commercial. Paisleys, prints, checks. So grateful I never bonded with reproductions or calicos.

The large florals I bought 10 years ago are . . . confusing. They are high quality so may force some pillowcases.

The ones I have to keep replenishing are the hand-dyed blacks and greys.

If you overdye your prints with black, it might be interesting to then discharge them.

Approachable Art said...

I have to be honest... I've winnowed the vast majority of my commercial fabrics out. I've sent them off to friends, or painted over them, or just plain thrown them out. It makes for challenging stitched collage work, though, because it means I'm wholly responsible for providing all of my own patterns and colors from nothing but my own images.

Wow, when I put it that way, I should probably stop beating myself up for not creating finished stitched pieces as often as I'd like- it takes a LOT of time to create all those fabrics! :D

Great post, Lynn.