nana_2009June 5, 2012

When does a quilter decide that he/she has way to much material and others consider her a hoarder?? My sister in law says that I am one...I don't consider myself as one as most of the materials in my sewing room came from a great aunt who left them to me when she passed on...Has anyone out there had the same comment...would be interested in hearing from others. Val

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I've never been called a hoarder, but I do consider myself to be well-supplied. As long as it's organized somewhat, and you can still walk around and work in the room, you're not a hoarder. If you can't work in the same room as where you keep your fabric stash, then I'd have to say you might want to stop shopping for awhile and use what you've got...lol!
Hoarding, as if!
I'm betting your sister-in-law would change her tune if you ever made her the recipient of a quilt or place mats!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Dan...she is more of a hoarder than I...she wouldn't appreciate anything...long story

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:41PM
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People make hurtful statements for a lot of reasons; usually it has more to do with them than with you! Maybe she's jealous, maybe she's trying to be funny, maybe she's trying to demean your hobby because she knows it will hurt you. Not knowing her, it's impossible for us to say. But I think most people who are passionate about a hobby have a lot of um... supplies! on hand. If you never intend to actually use any of these fabrics, then you might want to consider why you are hanging on to them. If it's purely sentimental because they belonged to your great aunt, then keep a few and donate the rest so someone else can use them. There are a lot of quilters who can't afford retail priced fabrics! But if you intend to make something, then keep them without guilt! I dearly wish I had a stash from my great aunt because she's the one who taught me about quilting. And if you really are hoarding fabric, that's OK too. There are a whole lot more destructive habits you could have than that!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:50PM
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I watched a 'hoarding show' where the woman made QOVs. Her daughter would not let the grands come over to visit, she was afraid they would get hurt. It was shocking to see so many stacks of fabric in every room of the house, even the bathroom was piled high.
Members of her guild came over to help separate and decide what fabric etc. to get rid of or keep. The show built huge floor to ceiling shelves in the double garage for her storage. She was so busy collecting that she wasn't quilting and became overwhelmed.

My beloved aunt grew up in the great despression and in her lifetime became a huge hoarder. She filled the barn and then the house with useless items she purchased at flea markets and garage sales. Baby clothes and other items that would dry rot before they would ever be used - or found for that matter lol!!!

As long as I can contain mine where it doesn't take over the house I'm OK with it - I also use the things - not just collect them.

BUT I also embroider, crochet, knit, paint, preserve foods, and garden. I don't know how I let my job interfere with my hobbies for 33 years lol!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:07PM
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My DH goes to work about 9 a.m. and I tidy up the kitchen from breakfast and then head upstairs to my sewing room...I have averaged about 3 quilt tops a week, sometimes more if they are crib size...when we head to the lake property for the summer..I take the tops and quilt them out in the fresh air...when they are done, they will be donated to charity. I have made quilts for all the grandchildren and our children as well. I recently went thru all the materials and sorted out the ones I would never use and gave them to the Daycare Centre for crafts and such...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:44PM
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If what I have was causing a health hazard or impacting our lives in a negative way, I might stop and consider whether I'm a hoarder. Other than that I say do what you want. It's all in the eyes of the observer. I know people who in my opinion have way too many pairs of shoes or sets of dishes, etc. - but that's because it's not my thing. I'm sure there are people who think I'm a fabric hoarder, but it's all contained in my sewing room and isn't doing any harm. And as long as I'm not harming anyone else I could care less what they think. I have seen those shows about hoarders and I think they are extreme cases and yes those people have big problems, especially when it affects their lives and loved ones.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:23PM
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In my opinion, as long as you aren't like the lady Rosa mentioned (too obsessed with collecting to actually make anything), then you aren't a hoarder! Yes, we may have large stashes of fabric and thread, but it's our hobby and we are using it! :)


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:07PM
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I think I am only a few steps away from being a hoarder. I simply love fabric...maybe a fabricoholic. I AM working on a quilt...maybe 3 works in progress, in various stages. I just run out of "interest" if I get stumped in any way. Right now waiting for some fabric to arrive in the mail and have my fingers crossed that it will arrive before that "interest" goes away. Yes, I need help, and read here every day to keep myself challenged. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Val, Nope, don't remember anyone saying that to me, and if they did, who cares? Does it matter to you what your SIL says? I hope not! If you and/or the family isn't tripping over your fabric and it's contained, in my opinion, you're ok. Some of us decide to not buy fabric for a few months which forces us to use what we have, thereby, getting a good rotation going.....at least we 'try' not to buy fabric. Again, it's my/your business and nobody has a right to say anything!

In fact, I'm looking forward to spending some money at Blue Bamboo next week!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:24PM
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A friend of mine is a hoarder. She has unopened bags of fabric and can't even walk in her craft/sewing room (and has the luxury of having a room for it) and when she does get to make a block or something sews on the kitchen table. I have tried to help her organize her space (at her request) several times, sent her to a class by an organizer at a LQS. In the 5 years since we met in quilt class she has only finished one quilt and keeps buying more and more fabric for things that will never be made or finished. Her partner has no idea how much money has been spent and both of them have been out of jobs at times during the past 5 years. This is in addition to a garage full of non-quilting fabric and other craft stuff she'll never use and more in storage. I think she has the intention to make things, but never will. If she never bought another piece of fabric she could probably make 50-100 quilts if not more. She has no idea even what she has and still buys new patterns and fabric as if she'll make something. It is frustrating but she's not going to change and I've stopped offering to help her. And she recently told me she accepted her neighbor's fabric bins now that she isn't sewing any more!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:35PM
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When I received my great aunt's crafting,quilting, sewing stashes...I would have said she was a hoarder. She was 92 and still going until the alzheimer's hit. I do not listen much to what SIL says but was just curious if others had had the same experience. Thanks for all the comments.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:00PM
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I don't think you are a hoarder unless you keep things for no apparent reason. I have sugar, flour, and feed sacks from my great grandmother. I have no project in mind right now, that is ok. If you purchase/inherit/find fabrics and actually use them, then you are not a hoarder.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:21AM
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I think keeping things that belonged to lost loved ones is different from hoarding. It's the sentiment value. I have some things that were my mother's and grandmother's that I might not ever use but there is no way I would get rid of them. Things like button boxes, old wooden thread spools, etc. Just the fact that they had them in their hands and used them keeps me from getting rid of them. When I'm gone and the kids/grand-kids have no idea about them they can do whatever they choose with them. I knew a woman years back that I think was in the same situation as the lady in the above post, she actually had so much fabric, etc. that her entire house was almost impossible to navigate through. It got to the point that I couldn't stand to be there for more than five minutes. She went into huge credit card debt buying all this stuff. She always had a project going but there was no way she would ever use it. The ironic thing is, I was probably the one who got her started with it because I was already involved with quilting and this person made the statement that she just couldn't stand calicos. I told her who said you have to use calicos? Well, when she realized that she could use any kind of fabric she pleased, she went hog-wild. But then she was also disabled and retired, no-one else in the house, who knows, this might have been the one thing that got her out of the bed every day, so I can't pass judgement.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:17AM
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I told my DH that I'm stocking up on fabric so when the global economy collapses we will have quilts to barter with! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:58AM
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I suppose a major part of fascination with patchwork would be the handling of fabric. I have watched programs on true hoarders and it's very sad, because I suspect there are some disorders present like OCD and that severely impacts their ability to see their accumulations accurately, or their ability to control their impulses. It's not benign in the same sense most 'collecting' is.

In the colloquial sense, yes I am a fabric hoarder. I don't have irrational urges to buy it but I get a rush when I am around expanses of fabric, I like to take it out and look at it and it brings me some sort of security to know I have enough of all different kinds of it that I can sew an impromptu set of curtains or a dress, or a quilt, or make pillow covers or a rag rug and never spend a cent doing it. I can't always throw together a quilt with a specific scheme, and may have to use some fabrics I might not have chosen had I bought more, but for the type of enjoyment I get quilting, and because my quilts are often scrappy, that doesn't bother me much and still brings me pleasure. Being frugal, and not dropping a fortune on each one is a big source of satisfaction as well.

As to the elderly women who have enormous stashes they've accumulated over a lifetime and who couldn't possibly use it all, I tend to say "so what?" It brings them pleasure and makes their hobby still seem possible, even if it isn't. I do think people who run out and spend a lot of their income on every new craft fad coming down the road they may do once and then move on have more issues.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:51PM
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i have a lot of material i got when my boyfriend's neice and i went through her sister law's trailer afteer she died everyone says get rid of all that stuff lol

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:11AM
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When I first started quilting, I'd buy fabric without really having an idea of what I'd use it for. Some of it has been used, some not. Since I've started teaching, I've used quite a bit of it for samples. I also use some for small projects. It is nice to have fabric on hand for things like that. Although now, I only buy fabric when needed (but usually a little extra) :) That may change when I get my own sewing room as for now, storage space is an issue.
I can easily see how fabric hoarding can be a problem for some--but I also think that people who don't sew, just don't get it--and to them we're probably all hoarders.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:49PM
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