July 17, 2008

How much does $600.00 weigh?

The answer? 40 pounds. How big a box is needed to hold $600.00? 18 inches tall X 20 inches long. How do I figure that? By filling the box with lost dollars of course. I'm part of a group of 4000 quilters who love fabric, fabric stores, having fabric, touching and smelling fabric, talking fabric, sharing fabric...oh, and incidental to that, sewing things with fabric. The problem is there are a lot more yards of fabric than there is time in a day. So this lovely lot of mostly quilters are faced with a conundrum now that we've bought fabric for 10 or 20 or 30 years. What the heck are we ever going to do with it all.

Like everyone else involved, I'm not as bad as some, certainly worse than others. I stopped buying fabric in October 2001. I looked at what I had and I took a second look at my retirement fund. I had lots of the first and little of the second. So I've been using my stash up for 7 years now, have it down by about half, but have added twice what I had to start with by inheritance from two quilter friends.
Three yards of fabric weighs a pound and is equal in size to say 3 pillowcases. So going by the weight of the above mentioned box, and using a median figure of $5.00 a yard, that 40 pound box has a price tag of $600.00. And you can see, going by the average sized cat by the box, that isn't very big pile of fabric.

For a double/queen backing it takes 6-7 yards of fabric, 7-10 yards for a top depending on how complicated the piecing is, because you use up fabric in seams too. So lets be generous and figure 18 yards of fabric in a nice big bed quilt. There is 120 yards of fabric in that little box. So, the question today is how much fabric do you have? And how much have you spent? This isn't a blame game, heaven forbid...stopping buying fabric for me was harder than quitting smoking. All I'm asking is that you be honest with yourself. How much do you have, how fast do you make quilts, and where will it all go when you are gone?

So what's she doing with that box of fabric you ask? Using the above weight and measurements I took a little over an hour this week to do a fast sort of about 1000 yards of fabric, pulling stuff I know I'll never use, not in a bazillion years. All the pinks, ditsy 70's calico, stiff cheap fabrics, holiday themed, I Spy type novelties, stripes. I'm going to put it in my garage sale next month at $1.00 a pound, smile, and wish it a pleasant journey.

Gratitudes for today:
I didn't have to wear a sweater all this 17th day of July
That I could afford the groceries I bought this morning
A perfect cup of coffee


Ruthie said...

I probably have 6-8 of those size boxes full of fabric. But, I have used over 200 yards so far this year. I am buying fabric if I need something special and am surprised by how much I have actually purchased. I had no idea how much I was buying.

Numismatist Facts said...

Hey, nice blog!

From a fellow stashbuster!

Daybreak*Dawning said...

I know...believe me I know. When it's in our hand at the counter we have a plan, or at least the promise of a plan...but the plan seldom happens or it doesn't work with what we have or... :-)

Bizarre Quilter said...

This is such a great article. I wonder if you would let us print it in our group's newsletter (around 40 members)with your name and blogsite on it??
Loz in Oz

Sharyn said...

Loz, you are more than welcome to use the info, it is quite an eyeopener considering a lot of quilters have literally rooms full of fabric. For that small of a box to have that kind of value...ouch!
Thanks for stopping by everyone~