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Are there any quilting therapists out there?

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    Are there any quilting therapists out there?

    I am in need of some quilting therapy. Last night I was going through my stash and started feeling so guilty because I have a lot of fabric. It is all paid for--no credit cards were used to buy it. I bought it during the time I worked outside the home because I knew my income would be drastically reduced when I retired. I bought several block of the month kits, precuts, yardage, books, patterns, and a lovely sewing machine and serger. I have forgotten even buying some of it. This is my hobby and I love it. I never dreamed that I would feel guilty about having all this lovely fabric. I have been retired for a year and I am not sewing it up nearly as fast as I thought I would. I just do not understand why I have such a heavy heart and feel so guilty. Sewing and quilting has always been my passion. I can totally lose myself in my sewing room. My husband supports me in my hobby. He will not retire unless he has to due to health. There is nothing else I had rather do than go to my sewing room with a cup of coffee and create. Please help me to understand why I feel so guilty.

    #2
    Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

    I feel like that sometimes too. I have sooo much, I will never use it all. I think that overwhelming feeling that you HAVE to use it up is what's giving you that feeling. I was an Etsy seller and plan on selling some things off.
    🌺 Lorie

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      #3
      Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

      I don't feel quilty about a thing! I spent a lot of money over the years on my kids on non-essentials and helping them out when I had very little to spare. I've also bought everything with cash. My biggest fear is when I'm gone to that sewing studio in the sky, that my kids will throw all my fabric in a goodwill bag and sell all my machines and supplies for $10.

      Enjoy your hobby!

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        #4
        Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

        My mom has gone through something similar in her retirement. In her case, is wasn't really about the fabric; it was about all the changes that came with retirement. I am at least 15 year from retirement. When I walk into my sewing room, I often look forward to the time when recreational sewing can be my full time occupation. Right now, retirement seems like heaven to me. But . . .having watched my parents go through retirement, I know that no matter how much I look forward to it, retirement is still a loss. Anytime we lose something, our lives have to change, and we ask ourselves "Why?" and "What if?"

        My mom has now been retired for four years, and there are times that she still feels the guilt, but is it much less prevalent now. I am thankful that she has talked with me about it because I know that it will help me in my future.

        So, when you walk into your sewing room and see all your fabric, imagine the beautiful projects you will complete. Imagine the smiles that will come upon faces when they see your work. Imagine the warmth that a quilt can bring into a life or a home. Imagine the comfort when you gift some fabric to a quilter whose house burned. Imagine the relief when a quilter finds that he or she needs just a little bit more of a piece of fabric that can't be found anywhere, but you have some to share.

        When you begin to feel guilty, focus on these things. You have invested in smiles, comfort, warmth, relief . . . and the currency is fabric. You have accumulated an unconventional savings account that will bring blessings to many lives. And please remember, the guilty feelings are very normal and can be expected to happen from time to time. What makes the difference is how you choose to deal with them. In the midst of these feelings, you may not feel like you have a choice, but you always do. We cannot change the past, but we can make choices that make today, tomorrow, and forever meaningful.

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          #5
          Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

          No need to feel guilty! It might make you feel better to make some quilts and donate them to a worthy charity.

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            #6
            Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

            I think getting a reality check on the stash every once in a while can be healthy. I had this rude awakening when I had to clear my sewing studio because of a flooded basement. For one thing, some of it was hidden for so long, I had forgotten about it. So it was like shopping a whole new stash all together! Then it gave me a chance to reorganize. Don't feel guilty, just go forward with a new perspective on what purchases you should make and what projects you should work on next!

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              #7
              Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

              Thank you all for your kind words. I was thinking while piecing a really time intensive block for a sampler quilt that if I didn't have this hobby I don't know what in the cat hair I would do with myself. Yes, I have spent literally thousands of dollars on fabric and machines but I have many friends who are retired and very miserable because they do not have a hobby that they enjoy. Their career was their life and now they have no life. You can go on just so many cruises and trips but I always have things that I am excited about in my life that are paid for and do not cost me a penny other than an occasional spool of thread or some batting. And yes, I can really see my kids selling the whole shebang for $10 but what a great gift that will be for some quilter! Guilt trip over and now I am going back in my sewing room to work on this UFO from last year that I cannot remember for the life of me what I was thinking when I chose this pattern. 30 or 40 pieces in one quilt block is insane and every single block in this sampler quilt is that way. I literally have to make myself notes to keep up with all the pieces in one block.

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                #8
                Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                I totally understand this... having worked in the "fabric" world or "yarn" world a lot of my life, no one understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with stuff more than me...
                When we moved to a retirement comm. 13 years ago i began with a very small walk in closet for my sewing... all fit very nicely, but was upset with having to "press" out side the room and no cutting space... FF to combining our sleep quarters.. LOL (which is actually better i feel as we age,, a feeling of security)...I now have one whole room that is mine... no having to pick up constantly...
                One of our dear forum gals and a few other's encouraged me to "get organized",, which for me was a FIRST... (see my album ).. I am now like a quilting fool!!!!
                I use almost totally the fabric i have and love making them work together using Jenny's most simple tutorials, or cutting up my own charms or strips as well..
                The other thrill is in "giving back" thru charity work thru donations to causes in my world or thru the great groups such as COC, Gabe's Friends and now the Shriner's raffle quilts that Terry is working on...
                In life, what goes around comes around and paying forward in this way is such a good feeling)
                "Each day well-lived and Happy;
                that's all there is to Life!"

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                  #9
                  Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                  I wasn't feeling too guilty, but I have reduced my stash quite a bit. Last fall I went through and sorted out any fabric that I no longer wanted or liked. Some had been donated to me for the same reason. I posted it in a local sale group on FB that it was free to a good home. I had 5 bags of it! A lady contacted me the next day and wanted all of it. She couldn't believe it was free. She was thrilled to get it. In return (which I did NOT ask for) she hand-knitted me a pair of boot socks.

                  Now, since fabric is so pricey here, I am only using from my stash and will only refill when needed. So far I've made 5 baby quilts, a large tote bag, and have started the 365 day quilt challenge and have not bought any fabric yet.

                  Oh, but the urge is there......i want. i need.

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                    #10
                    Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                    I am still working but like you felt a little guilty about all my fabric. Though in truth, I have no stash compared to lots of other people--three copy paper boxes full, one 12" square cubby of 1-2yd cuts, and one copy paper box of Kelly rolls and 2-1/2" strips.. But I also have about 75+ charm packs. Last week I cleaned out my sewing room, packed up one bag of material I do not like have had for years, took it to Goodwill. I cut 90% of my stash into 10" squares--they got in my 12" cubby with room to spare! The leftover yardage I couldn't get into 10" cuts I cut into "bricks" 2-1/2 x 5"--which is also the size of one charm square cut in half. I cut and cut and cut. For two whole days. It feels so wonderful to have smaller usable pieces and more room to move around.

                    I am making a scrap quilt now and only using my stash. It feels great to keep only what I think I will use. My scrap quilt is coming along great and it is really fun putting pieces together that are kind of wacky and funky looking but work in this project. I think I am in love with scraps! My challenge will be not to load up on excess fabric. My brother is a hoarder and I do not want to end up like him! But no worries there I am kind of like his flip side. (He has so much junk he doesn't even have room for a bed and sleeps on the floor in the hall--he lives in his own house thank goodness not with me!)

                    I would recommend at least going through your fabric and getting rid of stuff you know you will never use, for starters. Good luck!

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                      #11
                      Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                      I think we can all relate. I get that feeling, too. How in the world will I ever use all of this fabric? The answer - I won't. And to make it worse, I love buying fabric! I don't care about clothes, shoes and other things, but I LOVE fabric. I hope to make lots of charity quilts in my lifetime. I also know that once I retire - whenever that may be, I won't be able to afford fabric, so I try not to feel guilty about it, but I still do.

                      You have only been retired a year, so really a short time and it is a big adjustment. My Dad and his brother worked for the same company and were forced into retirement when the plant closed here. My Uncle couldn't wait - he all kinds of hobbies that kept him busy the rest of his life. My Dad - hated it! He had no hobbies and was bored stiff. The irony is my Dad live for 31 years retired - nearly as long as he worked.

                      My advice is to get in that sewing room and sew your guilt away! If you are actually making something, you will feel less guilty. I for one, tend to not sew when I feel like that and it just makes it worse.
                      Donna

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                        #12
                        Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                        I think as women and mothers we are prone to doing for others, so anything we do for ourselves feels selfish promoting guilt feelings. I know that is true for me. It has always been easier for me to give than to gift myself. I inherited stashes from my mom, mother-in- law, and her mother. With my own fabric collection, I have an insane stash. Currently, I am rolling and organizing the whole collection! Finally I will be able to find every precious piece quickly and be able to combine all the fabrics together in quilts for the next generations. I will be able to make and donate. I will have plenty to try new patterns, new color combinations, and just play. I will have the time to make clothing and toys for the grandchildren. Then when I am gone, there will still be plenty for others that will appreciate it. If my children have to unload my stash from its space, at least it will be organized and the auctioneer will know what is in every box. Who knows......maybe I will have a daughter in law or grand that will follow in my footsteps and adore my inheritance!

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                          #13
                          Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                          Always remember your local churches. Our quilt ladies are always excited when someone has fabric to share. We makes quilts for World Relief. We don't have funds to purchase fabric, only batting.

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                            #14
                            Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                            If quilting is my therapy, why should I feel guilty about that?! Yes, I have a very large fabric stash, but I'm using from it. This year, I'm limiting my purchases as well as working on UFOs. Since I am the caregiver for my DH, I have to be home a lot. Piecing & quilting is something I can do at home & still "be present" for him. He supports my hobby. I supported his HO model railroading hobby for many years & never resented the money he spent on it. It definitely helped him through some tough times, like a major depression. Unfortunately, the layout now sits idle, collecting dust. He no longer has the interest or the energy to keep up with it. One of his sons wants it, but I doubt if that will ever happen, since he lives in another state & has no room for it. There is no need to feel guilty over a useful, constructive hobby that brings you pleasure. It's a way to gift quilts & bless others. So, enjoy!!

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                              #15
                              Re: Are there any quilting therapists out there?

                              Well. I was recently the recipient of someone's excess stash to make quilts for the shriners quilt raffle. I can't tell you how greatful I am and overwhelmed with the generosity of our forum. I will pay it forward. Be blessed, enjoy your good life and you'll be amazed how much good is coming your way. I am always a little sad and anxious when I've used up almost every scrap in the house. There's always DH shirts. I've got to remember to revisit Swedish Leo shirt quilt. I loved it.

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