I suppose I should have known better than to go out today, but I was nearly out of my basting spray and had been meaning to get to the local quilt store to pick some up for days. There was that little nagging feeling telling me that it was a good day to stay home, that and some hardcore warnings: I seem to be coming down with a summer cold on top of already awful allergies, I have a horrible case of PMS crabbiness, I’m tired and it’s like 90 degrees out today.
Of course I was thirsty so I stopped at a coffee shop that shall remain nameless, where I was trapped into waiting for an iced tea no sweetener for over twenty minutes after placing the order. I got my tea, got halfway to the quilt store and put the straw in to take a drink and it’s sweetened. Bleah! So, BACK to the coffee shop I go, where I go inside this time, angry enough that I point out to them that I had waited over twenty minutes in the drive through for them to give me the wrong order. No apologies, however I was asked to wait a moment after being handed my tea, then was quietly handed a voucher for a free drink next time I’m in (which won’t be through the drive through mind you!) See, now in my mind the coffee shop and all the drivers getting in my way are now what is standing between me and my beloved quilt shop. The beast in me rages!
You been there right? Where all you want to do is get in the store, and start stroking the fabrics the way a three year old rubs the edge of their blankie? There’s a comfort there that we quilters are sometimes driven to seek out. You have umpteen fabrics at home, but some how, that new crisp fabric on the bolt or in the fat quarter bin are the only thing that is going to scratch that itch.
The danger here, of course, is that those fabric have the power of that tiny puppy or kitty at the humane society. They beg and plead with you to just take them home and give them love. Maybe you can resist that call, but I’m a softy. (Which by the way is why I do NOT go into a humane society unless I PLAN to come home with a creature!) I have been very good at working to get my shopping behaviors under control at most of my “go to” stores, like Target or Michael’s. I can’t seem to get that control and strength to resist the temptation to buy, buy, buy at my local quilt store.
I’ve struggled with this, and I am now trying to keep my trips to only once a month, to limit the damage. There are however some days, when a new line of batiks are in, that I go overboard. There is an excited about a color line, or texture feel to a line that I simply can...not....resist!
This exact scenario happened when I walked into the quilt shop. I grabbed my spray adhesive, the whole reason I was there..but then I noticed they had new batiks out on the fat quarter and half yard table - CURSES! Sometimes I feel like maybe they know when I am coming and intentionally put out all the fabrics I lack the ability to “Just Say No” to!
My work as late, has moved mainly into solids and batik fabrics. I seldom touch my commercially printed fabrics anymore. In fact, I have considered either selling off, or storing all of my commercial prints to clear room on my fabric shelf for other storage and more batiks. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet, as if feels like child abandonment! (Please tell me I’m not the only one to become emotionally attached to a piece of fabric that I purchased at the first national quilt show I went to, or out on a perfect quilt show weekend with my mother! Please??)
I’m not sure if there is a cure for my sickness, and if there is, I’m also not sure I want it! While this does cost me (and my husband of course) money, it also brings me joy, gives me an awesome palette with which to work with, and I’d like to think the local quilt store I go to genuinely appreciates the X average dollar amount I spend there a month.
The one thing I have come to the realization of however, is that I am extremely picky now in the fabrics I choose to buy. I buy higher quality fabrics (which isn’t a hard task when you buy all batik), and I know myself and my style now to know which fabrics will actually be used in my studio versus the ones that will sit on my shelf making me feel guilty because I know I won’t use them but can’t bear to part with!
We all have vices, and I guess sometimes if it’s not a vice that is particularly detrimental to your health or well being, maybe you should let it slide? Because to be honest, I would take a beautiful batik fat quarter over a candy bar just about any day!
For me, my fabrics are my canvas and my paints and I sort of feel like I can never have enough of either!
What about you? Are you addicted to fabric? Or maybe you can’t stop buying the newest craze in quilting tools or gadgets? Or maybe you have a taste for beads? Paints? Brushes? Pens? It’s okay, we won’t judge you!