Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.


Hello fellow sewers,

About a week ago I was inspired by a new book I bought while in L.A. about pattern drafting. I thought "this book really simplifies the techniques. Lets give it a whirl". So I went down into my sewing 'Dungeon' all excited and motivated to get started...... until I looked around. The room was a disaster. There was not one inch of space that was free of clutter. There were notions, fabric, patterns, books, paper, etc. everywhere. There was barely a clear path on the floor. My inspiration flew out the window. Not even my sewing machine was in the room. I had moved that upstairs weeks ago. And as I looked around the shambled room it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks - I AM A HOARDER OF ALL THINGS SEWING!!! The odd thing is that I am the very opposite in every other aspect of my life. I hate clutter and regularly clear out cupboards and closets throughout my home. SO why was this room so out of control and full of a million things. The truth is, my ambition was greater than my time and my patience in learning was lacking. I had also acquired a LOT of fabric from friends and family who did not sew and wanted to see their stashes go to a good home. So what is a girl to do??? Clean house of course.

It took me 2 days to complete but I was able to get rid of a little more than half of my fabric and notions. I decided to sell the fabric in a garage sale fashion and donate whatever was left after that. I ended up making 80.00. I am happy to announce that my sewing room is completely organized and clean ( I will post pictures soon)..... and my sewing machines are back in their proper home. While cleaning I also found that I had bought many notions and books which I had never used or read. I found that I had been buying all of these thing to make my life easier but had never taken the time to use them. Just like my sewing machine and my serger. I have amazing machines but again, I have not even touched on all of the things that they can do. SO now I have made a promise to myself - I will dedicate 2 hours a week minimum to learning something new and to mastering my machines.

So I am pleased to announce that I am no longer a sewing hoarder. I am looking forward to creating many new projects in my sewing room and curbing my spending on this craft as I remember how much stuff I had accumulated that I did not need.

If you can relate, please let me know. I would love to hear your comments and stories :)

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Comment by Melinda Sarpal on June 1, 2010 at 11:41am
It looks like this is a :) My biggest problem right now is that I am not sewing because I am scared to make a mess. ;) Oh my... maybe the 3rd cup of morning coffee will hold my motivation.
Comment by Meagon on June 1, 2010 at 11:22am
I'm not the only one! Yay! Unfortunately though, my bad habits spread out into all my hobbies, even ones unrelated to sewing. I haven't been sewing long enough to build up a hoard yet, but I know it will happen because it always does. *sigh* I need a mental restraining order on myself. And I'm sure it doesn't help my problems any when I work in an arts and crafts store! Lol!
Comment by Colleen Scott on June 1, 2010 at 11:22am
OMG! There are actually women out there that have the same disease. Is there actually a cure? I doubt it but maybe we can help each other cope with our wonderful disorder. I know every time I see fabrics that go together, I think now that would look good in this pattern or that one and zip - into my stash it goes - never to be seen again - or at least until I am hunting for something else. I am also that way with my beading - O God help me. I started on that and within a couple of months I was hopelessly hooked. And I even now have books on embellishing fabric with beads. I am a hopeless case either way. I too have started to use my machines more. I bought a bunch of good embroidery thread for my embroidery machine, which I hardly ever use. I was asked by a friend to make 250 napkins for her daughter's wedding reception using my serger and woolly nylon thread and thank goodness that isn't until August. I am so glad that I have found this wonderful group of sisters.

Comment by Lyn on June 1, 2010 at 11:01am
WOW!!! FINALLY, a whole group of people who understand me!! Hurray!!! We should all keep in touch and motivate each other! I have piles of projects in all phases of completion, and keep on adding more. Not to mention the mountains of fabrics, the shelves full of books, the notebooks, patterns, notions and storage totes and cases of all kinds. All full of course. And, the laces, ribbons, trims, buttons, notions, fabric paints, brushes, stamping supplies, drawing and painting supplies, the piles of upholstery fabrics waiting for 'someday' and all the odds and ends and remains of my mom and my grandma's stashes as well!! Phew! and the batting, and fusibles, and beads, and all the acrylic rulers, and~~~oh well, you all have the same kinds of stuff so y'all understand, right???
Comment by Linda Boyle on June 1, 2010 at 10:29am
OMG I have finally found my long lost sisters!! EVERY comment describes me to a T. All I do is look, buy, clutter & time left to create & sew!!! !Even have trouble parting with's like giving up on something I hoped to accomplish. All hubby says is he would like to hear to hear the "whirring" of that new quilting machine that I haven't really used in two years.. but just "had to have". My name is Linda and I need help!!!
Comment by Marilyn Jackson on June 1, 2010 at 10:27am
The yard sale of fabric is a good idea -- maybe bring things to a gathering of your quilting friends? (Just be careful not to come home with anyone else's stuff.) My quilt guild is having an auction of UFOs in June. I will bring a quilt I was working on this spring, for an experiment in color and to use up some fabrics, and it just came out in colors that didn't please me -- brick reds, gold, and black and white. I like these colors, but it just wasn't what I had envisioned. So this, sandwiched and basted and backed with a deep purple large print, and marked for basting, is ready to go to the auction. When the guild had a similar auction a few years ago, I made about $170 selling an unfinished top and a nearly-all-quilted huge quilt that had been made for a commission, but the fellow finally couldn't/wouldn't pay for it.
Comment by Elizabeth Smith on June 1, 2010 at 10:21am
Bravo! I have been feeling the same way and it seems the more I try to organize the less I seem to accomplish. As I sit here and read comments of others, I realize that we all have similar problems. I get so inspired and have so many things that I want to do but just don't seem to get around to everything. I just watched a "Hoarders" program yesterday and now all I want to do is PURGE. LOL
Comment by CarolAnn on June 1, 2010 at 10:08am
I understand how you felt when you seen your sewing room. I know I have walked into my sewing room (my office really because I work at home) and it hit me like a brick wall that it was unorganized. I think on average twice a month I have to do a clean sweep of my creative space. Cant wait to see your pictures of your room.
Comment by Betsy S Webber on June 1, 2010 at 10:07am
Funny, funny, funny! And what a coincidence this article should appear on the morning of my destructing a bathroom. We are removing a monster garden tub so I shall have some closet space for my sewing stuff! My husband shakes his head, the poor thing. Hope he took his blood pressure medicine LOL
Comment by Ann on June 1, 2010 at 10:03am
I could have written your blog!! Every word of it. Wouldn't it be great if we actually sewed everything we intended to sew when we bought that pattern or that fabric! Sometimes I am sure I must have ADD. What other explanation is there for it? Maybe we should just call ourselves collectors of fabric .... and buttons... and sewing machines.... and thread... and ....

One thing I have found is that when things get cluttered up to a certain point I quit sewing until I finally clean it up and get to start making a fresh mess.

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