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Once upon a time, before I packed up everything I owned that was breakable (read: had children), I wanted to collect salt and pepper shakers. I really did. I just thought it would be a neat collection, but I found myself struggling too hard to make it work. What I didn't realize was that I was already collecting something, something that brought me far more happiness and sense of worth than a new set of salt and pepper shakers ever would.
I know, I go on and on about sewing. But here's the deal: I collect fabric. I love everything about fabric - the colors, the textures, the way it feels under my fingers, but most of all, what I love about fabric is it's potential.
I gravitate toward the remnants and the clearance section. It's like the lost souls of textiles. I want to bring them home, tell them they are loved and then cut them up and make them new and useful. I found my living room curtains in the remnant section - I just didn't know they were my living room curtains at the time.
I'm pretty sure I'll never run out of fabric. In fact, I bet if I sat down to use up every scrap of fabric that I owned that I would be an old, very arthritic woman when I was finished. I'm also pretty sure that I won't stop adding to my collection (I just hope that I can use it faster than I can add it at this point - I'm kind of running out of room).
I find that having my collection around me fuels my creativity. There have been times when it's been necessary to pack up the bulk of my fabric in places where I can't see it and visit with it. But one of the first things I did when I got to this house was put up shelving, and load up said shelving with all the fabric I own. I still have a few tubs and boxes, but most of my fabric is out where I can see it and be inspired by it. It gets me in trouble sometimes, as I should be working on other people's fabric and I find myself inspired to make something with my own.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I can make smiles with my collection. This is my most recent subtraction from my collection. Five yards of fabric, true to form - found in the clearance section - that became pajamas for the kids. It was supposed to just be the boys, but I had some left over, and the girl wanted to match her brothers. And match she does.