On July 25th we welcome a Japanese exchange student into our family for the next year.  We're very excited except for one problem:  he'll be staying in my sewing room.  Well, I shouldn't really call it my sewing room since no actual sewing is done in that room.  It's really just my fabric stash closet.  I have so much fabric I need an entire bedroom to store it. I actually sew at the dining room table.  My design wall is an 8' x 10' piece of batting on the main wall of the dining room.

I've been collecting fabric for 5 years.  My weakness is batiks.  I add 10 yards of fabric for every 5 yards I use.  I bet I have over 1500 yards of fabric:  charm packs, layer cakes, FQ bundles, jelly rolls, by the yard, by the bolt, and I save all scraps at least 2-1/2" wide.  I also have 1 queen size and 1 throw size roll of batting,  I buy fusible web by the 100 foot roll.  I own about 200 individual patterns, 50 books, and five 2" binders of free patterns I've printed out or saved from magazines.  I love notions, I'm a sucker for a new ruler.  When new fabrics are released I'm like a heroin addict needing just one more fix, I mean yard.  

My sewing room is usually fairly well organized, but when I'm feeling creative I kinda tear the place apart as I plan the next 4 or 5 quilts I want to make.  I have 20 Rubbermaid totes set aside with patterns and all the fabrics needed for a particular quilt. If I stopped buying patterns and fabrics today, I would probably go to my grave with fabric to spare.  

Silly thing is, I only finish about 25% of my quilts. I am the queen of UFOs.  I have 20 quilt tops hanging in the closet, some of them even have the backing fabric and binding ready to go.  Why don't I finish them?  Two reasons.  One, I get bored.  I love planning the quilt, cutting the fabric, piecing, and my favorite part, playing with the block and color arrangement on the design wall.  But before I'm done with the top, my mind is already thinking about the next quilt I want to make.  Lately I've been making one sample block to see if I like the pattern or the colors.  Then I'll set it aside and move on to the next idea.  I strive to learn a new technique with each new quilt.  My latest challenge is paper piecing.  I'm all set to start Judy Niemeyer's Confetti pattern.

A few months ago I bought a sit down free motion quilt machine, a Husqvarna Viking Platinum 16.  It's really great and has a stitch regulator.  I'm intimidated by it.  I can't get the tension quite right and I'm afraid I'll mess up my quilts.  Part of me wishes I had spent the extra money and bought the long arm Platinum 3000 with computer and 12' frame.  Part of me knows I don't have the room, can't afford it and if I'm intimidated by the 16, I'd probably be terrified of the 3000.  

So back to my original thought:  I have to empty out my sewing room for the next year.  I'm going to sell 1/2 of my fabric on ebay and hold a fabric yard sale/open house. The rest of the fabric will be stored in the garage and my closet.  My sewing machines are moving to the living room.  And I'm committed to stop buying fabric until our exchange student returns to Japan.  

.....except I NEED to buy a 1/2 yard bundle of 24 Hoffman 1895 color wheel batiks so I can make Jacqueline deJonge's "Endless" quilt pattern.  I'll stop buying fabric after that.  Promise. 

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Comment by Riana Noyes on July 2, 2014 at 10:41am

Oh boy, I wish I lived close enough to attend your sale! As for the midarm tension issue etc. Put together a couple of practice sandwiches of plain fabric, and using contrasting thread, practice! Sometimes it's the speed of hand's motion verses foot pedal . Learn from our freemotion w/domestic machine group on this site. Get on you tube & watch how others fixed the problems you're having. And PLEASE send some of those unfinished tops to someone in a charity group who will finish them & send along to a hospice patient ,veteran, or children's hospital!

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