Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Creative Space: the heart of my stash

Two little boys have been born lately, so that means getting into baby sewing mode. While I love the projects in Amy Butler's book with all that has been going on recently, I thought I would stick with the tried and true. I found this fabric at Ikea recently and while I try to use a lot of thrifted fabrics this collection was so cute and right there in front of me. Needless to say, I was unable to resist and as I knew there would be some baby sewing coming up, I already could see a purpose.

A hooded towel is my standard homemade baby gift in the last few years along with the occasional double layered receiving blankets. A lot depends on the season in which the baby is born. I made the first about twelve years ago after being unsatisfied with what was commercially available at the time (thin, non-absorbent stretch terry). I made that towel for our Preschool's annual fundraising auction at the request of the director who paid quite a bit of money to be the successful bidder. I had previously sewn items for the auction (over five years at that point) and the director knew that her daughter in law was expecting the first grand-daughter. It was very frilly with eyelet across the hood and lilac fabric on the hood. This lemon yellow towel was made shortly after for No.3 who was still doing internal acrobatics. I used the Hey Diddle Diddle Laura Ashley fabric for the hood and an accompanying stripe for the bias binding. The towel has faded considerably after being used by two boys for around three years each. For No. 4 I made two additional towels which I have packed away to give to the right person.

Here is another Laura Ashley fabric with just a little bit left over from some projects that I made for my first child. I am thinking of using this for one of the towels (I made one for No. 4 in this fabric). I really love this fabric for sentimental reasons and the quality which may be why I have yet to use it all up. I have no reason to hang onto it yet I have. I suspect that this may be a reason why sewers can have such large stashes. Of course, we are often addicted to buying new fabrics and could never possibly have the time to sew it all, yet some of it is truly difficult to pass on even when we know that we no longer have a purpose for it.

Here is some of my baby/child friendly stash which includes some pieces from my Mum. The fabric is two piles deep on the shelves and behind these pieces there can be found the Holly Hobbie fabric my Mum did not get to use for my sister and me back in the seventies. In this shelf there is some early purpose-made quilting fabrics which is where you might find some hidden hearts. Kristy has challenged us all to hide some hearts for us to find. I was always more interested in the hand quilting stitches than the piecing even though I love looking at other peoples traditional quilting blocks so most of my "quilting" fabrics have not been used for quilts. I am inspired by Jane's quilt and may try piecing in this way.

Another shelf two stacks deep of fabric (mostly) for children. This group contains flannelette and knits. Most of the knits were purchased while pregnant with No.4. I made towels, blankets and layette items and was thinking about some clothes but my iron died unexpectedly. It takes most sewers a bit of consideration time to figure out which iron they want to use with a fair bit of analyzing the pros and cons of the previous one. This is not a good activity for a very pregnant mother of three young children. By the time I replaced the iron, I was not doing much sewing or ironing. I now frequently review what is available in irons just in case I need to make an emergency decision.

How do you approach your stash? Is there a sentimental reaction? What about guilt? I like to look at mine and dream up projects. Look at others enjoy their creative spaces at Kristy's blog.


Anonymous said...

wow Jenifir I have sooo loved looking at your stash!! It's amazing. but I couldn't find your hearts I even enlarged the photo, I have become heat blind I'm afraid!!! I have just cleaned out my stash and it was great I put aside all fabric I knew I would never use and gave it to the op shop. Around the beginning of the year I decided not to buy any brand new fabric and use what I have and so far I have done that and it's a really good feeling. I am not afraid to cut up my stash now whereas before I wanted to keep it all!!

Anonymous said...

You have some lovely fabrics there Jenifir. Ikea have some great designs don't they? I particularly like the Laura Ashley/clown combo.

Jennifer Rose said...

ohh lots of gorgeous fabric to drool over :D ok maybe not drool, that would wreck it :p but still stare at and imagine the things I could make with it all :)

gardener-b said...

It won't be long before your stash can be considered vintage and then it will be worth more! Keep dreaming up more projects..the dreams alone are worth it.

Anonymous said...

What lovely treats and beautiful fabrics.