Monday, June 04, 2012

S.A.B.L.E. Solution

Have you reached S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy)?  If so, you are not alone.  The South Bay Quilters' Guild receives hundreds of yards of fabric donations per month from heirs who don't know what to do with their loved ones' fabric stashes.

Quilting fabrics are cut up into 6.5 inch squares and turned into baby quilts.  We make 80 quilts a month, using over 160 yards, and the fabric keeps piling up.  And that's just the quilting fabrics.  The apparel fabrics are separated and sent out to other organizations that teach sewing or sew for charity.

Judging by the quality of the fabrics, our local stashers/fabric collectors have good taste in fabrics.  Here is a trio of quilts I pieced last month from pre-cut kits put together by our community services volunteers.  (Please follow the link and contact them if you would like to help make the quilts or donate materials.  We are swimming in fabric, but always need more batting and good quality thread.)

Surfing themes are popular by the beach.

 Making these quilts is like fabric archeology; the fabrics span different eras and styles.   Check out the mix of 1960s and 1970s orange prints, mixed with today's Indonesian batiks and machine-printed fabric made to mimic the mottled look of hand dyes.

Occasionally, the pre-cut kits come with extra scraps to use for the backings.  I pull scraps from my scrap bin and piece coordinating quilt backs for those.

I hope my heirs don't have to contend with my stash.  I plan to use up all my fabric.  Which means I either have to live a long, long, long time, I have to sew faster, or I need to collect fewer fabrics.  ;-)

Most of us who are already sewing and collecting fabric have been over-consuming--purchasing more fabric than we can sew.  We can't afford the space to collect more fabric, yet we can't afford to let the remaining shops go out of business.  (In our local area, we have already lost the nationally famous Treadle Art and Florence Fabrics stores, regionally famous The Cotton Shop, and the excellent Luella's and Sew Fun quilt shops.)

The only thing to do is to spread the sewing and fabric buying habit among more participants.  Does that make me a fabric proselytizer or a pusher?

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