Accountability and finding time to craft

Mirriam-Webster defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

I’ve seen several quilting bloggers keeping track of how much of their fabric stash they’re using this year.  Since I just started actively following some of them I don’t know how they started, but I get the feeling they’re trying to “bust” their stash.  Starting today I am going to keep a running list of how much fabric I’m using this year.  With the exception of what I purchased recently, I’m not going to go back and “measure” all of the fabric I currently have, but I am going to keep a running total on the sidebar of what I buy and use from my stash with the hope that by the end of the year, what I use out of my stash will have the larger number.

The second part of my subject line is regarding a comment made on one of the email quilt groups I belong to.  We got into a discussion about organizing our stash and projects to make us more productive.  One of the members offered the following response (I have her permission to post her comment):

One thing that I have found and am not sure if others have commented on is the time we spend on the computer and shopping. I have found that I spent so much time on the computer looking at other’s completed projects I wasn’t getting down to working on my own. I would dream of making all the wonderful quilts others have done and downloading patterns that I will probably never get to. In the past month or so I have just walked away from the computer and I am finishing of some of my UFO’s. I have friends that spend all their free time out buying more and more stuff and not even beginning to start on a project. It is very easy to be lured in to it. We let ourselves become fabric, books and notion hoarders. We need to step back and be happy with what we have to work on and not let ourselves loose our objective in getting the sewing done. I don’t want to leave my children with a pile of fabric and stuff. I want them to have the quilts I have dreamed of making them and to know that there is hug from me in every one that I completed.

This is what repeats over and over in my head since she first posted that:

…spend all their free time out buying more and more stuff and not even beginning to start on a project…We let ourselves become … hoarders…We need to step back and be happy with what we have to work on…I don’t want to leave my [family/friends] with a pile of fabric and stuff.

I don’t want to be that person anymore.  And it’s not just in my quilting.  I have gotten myself so surrounded by things that I feel like I’m going to suffocate sometimes when I’m in my craft room.  It’s hard to be creative when I’m feeling that way, which is why I’m selling off a whole bunch of stuff.  Stitching, clothes, polish — I’m sorting through it and simplifying so I feel less surrounded by stuff.

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6 responses to “Accountability and finding time to craft

  1. Thanks for sharing. I want to think about what I do to hold myself accountable but I agree with what is said.

  2. I agree with what she’s said in her article. I hope to hold myself accountable to this as well.

  3. Tami Minor

    I love “stashing” too, but I agree…we need some finishes to show for it! A small house and an even smaller budget probably keep me more in check than most people, so when I get to go on a shopping spree at the fabric store or LNS, it is like heaven to me! But I think keeping things organized and clutter free certainly encourage the creative process! Best of luck with your efforts, Teri… I love seeing your beautiful projects.

  4. Very wise to get rid of ‘stuff’, indeed! We sold our home a few years ago and downsized considerably as we now share a household with my mother in our recently purchased home. (my childhood home!) It’s amazing how much one can get rid of, and never miss. 🙂

    The one thing I do tend to ‘hoard’ is stitching patterns, but I only buy a few new ones a year so I don’t know if that’s quite hoarding.

  5. Agreed! I’ve spent the last few months organizing all of my stuff – knitting, quilting, stitching. I’ve sold a ton of yarn and gotten my yarn stash down to an amount that doesn’t necessarily overwhelm me. My quilting and stitching stash are another story. I’m just not sure how to sell it. Etsy hasn’t been good and I think Ebay wouldn’t be either. I could donate it but I have some nice things that I spent good money on. I’d rather try and recoup some expenses.

    I really do want my stash to be manageable and reasonable. It’s kept my spending in check since the beginning of the year. That’s a nice added benefit to getting organized. : ))

  6. Yeah, I’m trying to figure out what to do about the stitching stash. I do have the majority of it listed in a spreadsheet and the total numbers scare the bejeebus out of me. The spreadsheet doesn’t include what I’ve already pulled to sell.