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Monday, July 28, 2014

Facing Facts...

is a helpful, focus-inducing thing to do.  Fact.  I have too much fabric.  No, don't give me the whole, need a stash, nonsense; it's just not true.  Or at least, it's not true for me.  I have fabric for a number of different reasons.  Some I have, because I like it, some because it is Useful Fabric, the kind of thing that if you do make a traditional(ish) quilt, it makes good borders or backing.  Some I have because I dyed it, or dyed and painted it, intending to use it, and didn't; some because I dyed and/or painted it to sell, and didn't.  Some because it feels good (velvet and silk, in particular); some because I've written about it and am still exploring (lutradur and evolon).  Some, because it's fun; some because someone special gave it to me.  Like many of us, I have more fabric than I could use in three lifetimes.  And that's fine.

Except, it isn't.  It is getting in my way (fact).  When you can't see the wood for the trees, it's time to either go to the optician, or deal with the issue.  What I have realised is that, whilst I am great at finding focus, I'm dreadful at sustaining it, for a number of reasons.  I don't sell my fabric because I didn't persevere in doing just that, and because I find it difficult to believe that anyone else might want it, an inherent lack of self confidence that I thought I'd kicked into touch, but clearly haven't (it gets in my way, too, but it's not so easy to deal with).  So... I thought I would begin with my excess of fabric, decide what to keep, what to sell and what to donate, and I made a start today.  The image gives you an idea of what's what..and that's just the fat quarters...haven't looked at yardage yet... or hand dyes.  There is a hand dye mountain, and it is good... and it's also excessive.  So that too will go.  But wait a minute, I hear you holler... there's some hand dyes at the back, there.  And indeed there are, some muslin that I bought to cut up and sell in packs for embroiderers... you can see that didn't happen.  Sigh.  But I only brought that down so I could iron it and cut it up, honest.

There's some lovely fabric here, but I'm never going to use it in a million years, so sell it I shall.  Two stuffed bin bags are going to the Hub, so that the guys can enjoy it.  And once the stash is whittled down, the interesting work will begin, whittling down the ideas, being honest with myself about what I really want to make, and getting down to doing it.  And maybe after all that effort, I'll be able to walk in and out of the fabric studios without tripping up on piles of stuff (yes, when I've finished with the cloth, I'll be starting on the rest of it...).  It is going to take some time, but I think it will be worth it.

In the first instance, I'm going to set up a Facebook page to sell this stuff... and any that doesn't sell that way, will either go on ebay or etsy.  Email me if you want details.  And when I've done with the materials, I'll be going through the work, and either selling or donating it, too.  Time to take charge.


Julie said...

Marion I salute you for tackling this challenge that we all really should deal with. I feel overwhelmed too by the quantity of fabric I have, bought and acquired in all the ways yours has been. Not just fabric either but trims, threads, beads, buttons, paper, yadda yadda! It goes on. I still have the feeling that if I get rid of stuff I will need it next week but I have more than I can store and more than I can ever use. Well done for starting to tackle your heaps and I think I will have some serious thought about how I want to continue my textile art and have a sort out.

Wendy said...

I shove mine in the attic and forget about it.

Anonymous said...

marion, I need to read the rest of your post. It seems so like me, as well. Here is someone in your part of the world:
The thing that shocked me the most was her statement that 75% of being a working artist is the marketing; don't make work unless you have already set up the sale. sigh,
I am in the same bind here. I need to sell barrels and bins of stuff to get this house ready to sell. It's so stressful I think I will take a nap. thelma