Being Creative With What You Have

I have spent a lot of time sewing this week in preparation for an upcoming craft show. I’m not making a ton of different items,  instead I’ve picked a few projects and am making multiples of them. I also challenged myself to use only what is already in my stash. The only thing I will buy are items I don’t normally keep a bunch on hand, such as Insul-Brite, or fusible fleece.

Casserole Hot Pads

My goal for this show is not to sell a bunch of quilted items, although if I were to clear my table I’d be happy. 🙂 I really just want to put myself out there and tell people what I do. Maybe someone will sign up for one of my classes at the shop, maybe someone needs a top quilted, or maybe they will become a fan of my patterns.

I will have all my patterns available, and my quilts on display. I am even putting together a few kits of some of the smaller projects (think casserole hotpad) for all the DIYers.

Knowing how I want my table to look and what my goal is has taken away some of the “oh my gosh I’ve gotta MAKE!” stress.

I have had fun sorting through the fabrics in my stash, putting them together in different combinations, and generally getting my creative on. It’s something I don’t take nearly enough time to do and I have found it to be mentally restorative. I’m also having a lot of those “I forgot about having this” moments. Well, if I’m honest, I have a lot of those in my daily life anyway, but still…

For instance, I found a charm pack of Basically Neutrals by Benartex. Who knew those prints were soooo pretty?? This pack has been in my cabinet for more than a year and this week became a table runner. I sewed the charms into nine patches, sliced and diced, sewed again, and voila! Table runner in neutral colors that will be perfect on someone’s table.

Neutral Table Runner

Because I was playing and the charm pack cost me next to nothing as a daily deal, I didn’t worry about messing up. If what I wanted to do didn’t work, I could just move on. To be totally honest, what I wanted to do didn’t work. But I like where it ended up and once I have it quilted, will be proud to add it to my craft table.

I think all of us should find time to just play. I know it’s difficult. Because I look at quilting and pattern writing as my job, I put extra pressure on myself to use my time in the sewing room productively. Sometimes I feel that if I walk in my room without a plan then I’m wasting time and resources. I need to remember how this week has made me feel, and take time to play more often.

Noise Table Runner

Deciding on a Quilting Plan

In addition to the mental vacation, this week has gotten my creative juices flowing again. It’s been fun to challenge myself to find ways to use what is already in my fabric cabinet. I shared a pic of my cabinet here, and as you can see, my stash is pretty small compared to many others I’ve seen. I’ve watched the piles shrink (maybe not as much as they should), and I feel good that some of this fabric is finally going to have a permanent home as a useful household item.

Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to take some time to play during these last few months of the year. It’s a busy time with many time commitments, so a fun-filled day playing with your fabric stash might just be the break you’ll need!




About Beth

I’m a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get “licking the spoon” mixed up with “licking the fabric”!!

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8 Responses to Being Creative With What You Have

  1. I really understand what you’ve shared in this post. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of your display at the fair and reading about the various comments you receive and the sales you make ☺

  2. Kate says:

    Sounds like a great way to play in your stash, move some older things out and leave room for some new down the road. You’ve made some really fun items for your table.

  3. It is so important to let your mind go free from time to time, to release that creativity. Good luck at the show.

  4. Tish says:

    I wish so badly we could make it down to visit you at your booth. I think it’s great that you have a plan and I think you will find that putting yourself out there in that way will pay off. I’m laughing so hard right now about your stash. You need to make it bigger…wink wink. I’m hoping to have some play time this weekend, since I’m ahead of schedule, and try making your hot pads.

  5. Jen R says:

    I have been feeling that need to go through my cabinets and drawers and boxes of quilting stuff lately and re-organize. Mostly to find those lost treasures so they will find a purpose. No matter how much you love a piece of fabric, it doesn’t do anybody any good sitting in a box. And I have so much fabric that I DON’T love anymore and I should take your advice and get creative and just play with it. Make it into something that someone else would love. Good Luck at your craft show!

  6. Karen Goad says:

    it always feels good to use fabric sitting on the shelves – sometimes it sits too long!

  7. I agree so much about taking some time to “play” and what you said about viewing quilting and pattern writing as your job really resonated with me, Beth. I am excited for all the progress you have made and look forward to seeing how your booth sets up and the fair goes for you.

  8. Patti A. says:

    Oh you are SOOO right! I have put the challenging myself part of quilting on hold for awhile and just gotten back to sewing for the fun of it. That is why I started quilting. I have had a project on my wall for weeks and instead of wanting to throw it away, it just never came together right, today it is turning into a table runner. Done and Done.

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