In 1999, I moved into a new house with a shiny, clean and roomy double garage. I had shelves and cabinets installed and just stood back and admired all of the wonderful SPACE. Well as time passed, and I continued to purchase things, furniture, lamps, rugs, Christmas decorations, power tools, tool boxes, storage boxes, comforter sets, drapes, shoes, clothes and of course patterns and fabrics. Now I must interject here that the fabric and patterns were for many things; comforters, drapes, purses and handbags, clothing for the granddaughters school, summer and special occasions, drapes and bedspreads, pillows and place mats for my daughter's new home. So now my garage is filled with some Christmas stuff, a few power tools and regular tools, storage boxes and bins but mostly, I'm embarrassed to say fabric.
Now mind you, over the years I had planned to whittle it down. First there were charities and yes I did give some of it to the senior citizen center, friends who sewed, and church groups. However, the following incident most clearly describes how I REALLY felt (and still do feel) about my fabric. I had not sewn for a while and a dear friend suggested that I have a garage sale and include fabric. I thought this was a nifty idea and surely there were large groups of people who loved fabric just as much as I did who would be willing to take if off my hands a the bargain prices I was asking. Needless to say, I had few customers who were interested in fabric. Then it happened; my heart started to beat fast as I caught site of a little woman coming towards me with a stack of fabric almost as tall as she. Apparently she did not speak a lot of English as she pointed to the stack and said "Two dolla?" I asked incredulously,, "Each?" She shook her head and again pointed towards the stack and said "Two dolla all!" I wanted to snatch my wonderful fabric from her, but instead I reached for it and said very firmly "No". My friend walked away and I could hear him laughing hysterically inside my house. Immediately, I started to inform the customers as they were going through my things and bargaining that the sale was over and lowered the garage door. How could someone offer two dollars for my beautiful, cottons, silks, wools, and various and sundry other fabrics such a psaltery price? R U FREAKING KIDDING ME! (Sorry, let me compose myself)
Consequently, in my garage are trunks, large plastic storage bins from Walmart, decorative sewing boxes, baskets,other boxes and yes even plastic bags all filled with fabric of all types, sewing books, videos, sewing machine manuals, notions of every type and various and sundry other sewing stuff. Inside my guest bedroom are more sewing books, hope chests and dressers and chest of drawers all filled with fabric.
Now for the sewing room, it is organized, fabric neatly and exactly folded and color coordinated, thread on racks and drawers according to color and use and the patterns are all separated by type, for whom they were purchased and by pattern company. The secret is that it has taken me 40 years to come up with a system that doesn't drive me crazy. Now that I am happily retired, I get real pleasure in going into my sewing room and seeing every thing in order and in its place. Yet with all of this organization, if I put something down, like glasses, scissors, marking pens I catch you know what finding it immediately. I have now taken to saying out loud "That's why I have twenty of everything". Oh well..........
All of that being said and confessions made, I ask you am I a hoarder? I think NOT. I'm just one of thousands of women who love to sew, purchase fabric, patterns and other sundries related to the creative art of sewing. I know that I am happiest when I am creating and learning and doing etc........... all around the wonderful art of sewing.
Now for all of the "haters" suffering from "sewing room envy", here are a few photos of my refuge. lol.....Really, I'm kidding about the haters and envy, but here is my answer to those wonderful spaces we see in the magazines, catalogs and sewing videos.