Fabric Diet

Say it with me. “Fabric Diet.”

In reorganizing my sewing room (I’ll have pictures soon!) I found myself being pretty honest about the fabric that I have. I used to be a person who religiously did not buy any fabric other than what the pattern I had picked out required. I wanted no extra fabric just laying around waiting to be used. Ahhh….how I laugh at that person now. I didn’t know what I was missing. Although I also don’t think that there were so many lovely fabrics then like there are now. But I digress.

I have a lot of fabric. There I’ve said it. Admitting is the first step towards acceptance, right? My name is Angela and I have a lot of fabric.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not ashamed of my fabric or my collection. I have some gorgeous pieces and some hard to find fabrics, but I also have some things that I don’t really think I need. (You know, because I need all of the rest of it!) It’s time to purge or swap things away and finally finish up all those quilts.

So I’m setting a goal for the new year. I’d like to try to go 2 months without buying any fabric. See, I’m not being overly ambitious. I know that my desire for pretty things and a fabulous deal will get to me. But I think by not buying any more fabric for 2 months I will be able to work on the projects that I have started and finish them. Which I personally find to be a great way to start off the year.

Now here’s my challenge to you all. Do you find yourself in the same predicament? More fabric than you know what to with and not enough finished projects? Well come join me and we’ll help keep each other accountable. I think we can check in each week and console each other over the fabric that we wanted to buy but didn’t… or even admit that we did buy something (we’re all friends, it’s okay if you cheat LOL). And just because I like to have a good time even while denying myself something, I think we should make a bit of a contest out of this.

Every week there will be a check in post where you can comment on your success with restraint. We’ll do that for 8 weeks. For each successful week you have, you get an entry. An entry for what you ask? Well for fabric of course! There will be a delightful prize or prizes of fabric at the end of this challenge. After all, we’re not saints. We should reward ourselves for a job well done. And you know that I’ve got some good fabric…I’m always showing you…and just think of what I haven’t shown you. LOL.

So, what do you think? Would you like to join me? You can join at any time and tell your friends. I realize that not everyone needs a fabric diet, but I have a feeling that there might be enough of us out there who could use a couple months of not buying fabric. 😉 Just so the rules are clear, batting is not fabric….so go buy it to finish up those quilts! Swapping fabric is not buying fabric. In fact, it’s a great way to get some fabric that you want and move along pieces that you are finished with. Also, selling fabric is clearly not buying fabric (just in case anyone was confused about that. LOL) And if you need to buy fabric for a project, that’s obviously fine, but you just won’t get an entry for that week. So plan your necessary purchases wisely for the most possible entries.

I was going to do a little quilt along with you all with a lovely set of fabrics that I know many of you are thrilled over, but we’ll wait to do that until after our fabric diet is over…and then you can guilt free purchase what you need to make the quilt. I’ll be sharing more about that in the future! I think that you’ll like it!

So we’ll start this on January first…just because that will be easier for me to keep track of (and so you all can rush out and buy fabric right before your diet…admit it, you know you will!). Then we will check in here every week…same bat time, same bat channel.

I really hope that you will all help me stay accountable!

79 thoughts on “Fabric Diet”

  1. Hi Angela! I would love to join, because I am still in college and I neeeed to save money this year. I have a habit of constantly looking at etsy sites and buying fabric because it is on sale… so I am definitely in on this! Great idea, thanks!

  2. OK I'm in but one caveat … are we allowed to buy solids – you know, as in, we buy some solids to go specifically with a specific project? And are we allowed to buy backing or binding, you know, to finish a specific project? Because I have tons of things on the go but each project needs to be taken forward with solids or backing or binding. And what about if you need more of the same to finish something you've already started – for example, I've started a layer cake quilt but I've just realised it needs two layer cakes, not one so I need to buy one more. Maybe the answer is I'm in but I'll never actually have a week where I don't buy fabric so maybe I'm in but not doing very well. Wow, this is difficult.

  3. Great idea! I don't have a large amount of fabric but I only have a corner of my bedroom to work out of so it seems a bit overwhelming sometimes. Now that I finished my son's quilts I have a lot of 1/8 yard novelty fabric remnants. I had some time off work this week so I've been cutting those into 4 1/2" squares and what I don't use to make another quilt I'll put together as eye spy charm packs for someone else to use. I've been working on my scrap basket, using the bits up as hexies and dresden/mini dresden blades. My plan is to take all of my fabric that is 1/8 yard or smaller and prep it for use in future quilts. I see a lot of scrappy things in my future! I am totally on board with a fabric diet, I can't afford much so I'm constantly falling in love with a new design and I'll buy a small piece that I can afford. The problem with that is it will never be enough to plan a quilt around so it just ends up sitting. I'm excited about this!!

  4. Lynne you can buy what you need for your own projects. I understand that people might HAVE to buy some fabric to finish up a project…but if you do buy fabric then you can't get an entry for that week. That's why it's a challenge. LOL. I would just try to make purchases that you HAVE to have in one week or two out of the eight. I know you can do it! I think that I'll have some consolation prizes for those who tried but perhaps had a difficult time. 😉

  5. You know this is going to be a real challenge – my mate Mandy who lives in the same village as me opened an online solids (and now various fabrics) shop earlier this year so, if I need anything, I text her and she brings it on the school run – I mean I'm guessing that, if it's brought to you on the school run by a friend then it's not actual shopping as such – more like SWAPPing fabric for money. That's OK, isn't it? OK, I get it, I have to plan and, if I buy ANY fabric, even what I NEED, I won't qualify for that week. Angela, this is difficult. You need to add "difficult" into your button! Just kidding, this is a great idea and I will try my very hardest!

  6. LOL Lynne –

    Count me IN. I don't have too much fabric. No, really. I just don't have enough money to support my habit! Looking forward to being abstemious .. well, maybe not looking forward but you know what I mean …

    Here's to belt tightening …

    Just a thought – why don't we all try to put a sum of money into the piggy bank every week too … so we can gorge in March ?? heh heh heh

  7. I soooooo do not need new fabric so i'm in. In fact, i've already resolved to use up as much of my stash as possible in the coming year. Ok that one was also around last year, but i'm starting fresh so we're looking forward here. 😉 Count me in!

  8. I'm in and I think I need to get back to good ole (new) weight watchers. They holiday snacking has been fun but I think it time to get back to everyday life….

  9. Mmmm. I really don't like the sound of a fabric diet but my wallet says its a really good idea. I've splurged lots recently and could do to save money but what about the Delilah bundle I've seen or some Innocent Crush????!!

    Now I know I need to order some solids for my month in Fresh Modern Bee, these have been ordered but money will not change hands until the stock arrives next week? Does this count?!!

  10. Count me in! It's a good idea for me all the way around–perhaps it will make me evaluate what I have? Use some of it? Decide if I should do another round of destashing? Who can say?! I'd love to actually sit down and finish a few projects instead of just petting stacks of pretty fabric (though that's fun, too!).

    I've got plenty on-hand to finish all of my works-in-progress, and if I don't? I'll be creative! Thanks for hosting this!

  11. oh, i am SO in on this! i have such a huge stash of fabric, even though i de-stashed loads when i reorganized my sewing room a few months back. this will go great with a no-spending challenge another friend and i are doing for january.

  12. I'm in the same boat, and stopped buying fabric on 11/30/2010. I've decided the only fabric I'll buy for one year will be what is necessary to finish a project. I'm sure I have enough for 12 months of quilting and projects. If I run out, then I'll start buying. I have no UFOs, I'm religious about finishing what I start.

  13. Last year I had the same resolution and I pretty much held to it. I finished two old projects and only bought fabric for finishing one quilt or to make gifts. I was really proud of myself, and I got some of my old projects done as well!

  14. lol…..I'd decided to do a similar thing!!! I admit though, I hadn't gone as far as a fabric diet, BUT I will, because I really want ALL of the Sherbet Pips, I've never bought an entire range before! This will help me save for them. What I have done, is list on my blog some of the projects I want to finish within the first 6 months of the new year. So, I guess you can count me in!

  15. OK, I'm in – my stash is mostly donated fabrics for our quilt ministry, and it's a good discipline to work out of what we have on hand! PS If you need to de-stash, we take absolutely any kind of fabric donations for our quilt ministry, since we make all kinds of quilts! And when you de-stash, you've got more room for new fabric after your fabric diet ends!

  16. In … oh, so in! I have fabric from years ago and have thinned it out but, I have a son in college and need to save money, so, fabric diet … I've been attempting since September and have done ok, but my hubby is a bad influence!!!! So, I'm going to have to be strong and not let him make me buy fabric!! So, I'll chat soon!

  17. Perfect timing! My fabric accumulating habits have gotten a bit out of control. There is no reason that I shouldn't be able to go a couple months without buying fabric. My birthday is in February though, so I think I'll make sure I only get gift certificates. Then I can reward myself for 'behaving'. Right?

  18. Count me in. I NEED to do this and it will be good to have a support group. A place where I can confess about shopping on line for fabric at all hours of the night. hehehe

  19. Hi, my name is Barb, and I have too much fabric. I'm in! Of course it helps that I just bought a bunch of fabric in the after Christmas sales. Thanks for organizing this!

  20. I'm going to photograph my current stash in detail on Jan.1 so that I can see how it changes over the year. And a diet is definitely in order. I'll have to buy plenty of fabric tomorrow. Or am I missing the point by doing that?? 😉

  21. Well I don't have much fabrics and I can't afford to buy what I like either – So it's as if I'm already on a diet ;D.
    Anyway I hope to use the scraps my mom gave and the fabrics I have to make something beautiful.

  22. I read this last night but it wouldn't let me post a comment. I think it's a great idea as I really need to make stuff with the fabric I've got rather than buying up stuff that takes my fancy and may go OOP if I don't buy it straight away. I especially like the way it doesn't start until January 1 – that means I can do a little online shopping today and start the diet tomorrow!

  23. This is what I need, according to my husband. He was reading over my shoulder as I was looking at this and said "you DEFINITELY need to do that." I don't think I have too much fabric (one basket of fabric, plus one tote bag not even full of scraps, color-coordinated into their own color Ziploc bags), but he really does want me to finish up some of my more long-term WIPs. Too bad they're hand-quilted. Ugh. I want my fast machine quilting back!

    So, long story short, yes. It makes my husband happy plus I get a chance to win fabric? Yes! Count me in!

  24. i guess i'm in…lynne convinced me…and my boyfriend thinks my fabrics are EVERYWHERE in our home so, yes, i think i need a fabric diet.
    i'm glad thread and batting doesn't count. maybe i should order that bolt of solid today….lol…
    happy new year and thanks for that virtual kick in the… button! 🙂

  25. I'm In. I'm hoping this will keep me focused on the 10 WIP I'm hoping to get off my list this year. Besides…it's not like I'll actually get a ton done in 8 weeks (especially since most of my projects are hand work).

  26. My new year´s resolution is. don´t buy any fabric until march 6th (my b-day) and today i found your button over on flickr, so count me in:-)
    happy new year to you and your familiy ! thank you for sharing your story with your doll quilt, it was very touching, sending you love, Hanna (miekita on flickr)

  27. Having just bought my last bid of fabric for 2010 – a bit of white cotton for dyeing (now dyed) to be used on an appliqué challenge project, which I've got to get started in 2011 – I am now officially on a fabric diet. Though I'll have this NTA hand sewing project to do I've got plenty of UFO's to get finished too. So count me in.

  28. I'm getting a headache just thinking about this challenge…maybe I could try…..no I just can't do it. Good luck to all of you brave souls, just watch out for the faric binge when it's all over. Did I say that out loud? Not to worry that would only happen to me…the very reason I can't do it.

  29. Great idea. I have lots of fabric and 3 UFOs to finish in January and February. I may need to buy something to finish the two planned quilts if the fabrics I ordered don`t match for the backing or binding (and may need something to sash my second UFO quilt). But I am in!

    I`ve been trying to sew first from my stash over the last few years. I`m not sure how I did this past year as I stopped logging partway through the year… I will be starting my log again tomorrow as there will be no fabric purchases today.

  30. Count me in (glad I purchased 15 yards this morning! shh! don't tell dh) Actually I ordered lots of white to go with my brights he bought me for Christmas. Now though I should be good except for my BOM that I am obligated to buy, only 2 more months left, thankfully.

  31. Yes – I am in for sure!!! This is just what I have been thinking about all year – I am drowning in my boxes and piles of fabric – and have many projects in my head with which to use them! Thanks for the motivation!!

  32. Awesome! I think I have enough fabric to cover more than a years worth of projects, and this is just what I needed to keep me motivated!

  33. Ok I need to be in, I say that because it is true if I did not buy any fabric for the next 5 years I would still have fabric, I always have great ideas and see fabric I love and buy it but I have very little time to sew. I went on a fabric diet one time for a whole year than a great sale came and I have been buying every since but I did make it for a year but I have more fabric than ever. I just bought 21 1/2 yards last week at a 50% off sale and up north they had fat quarters for $1 …I bought 106 that was in the last 10 days so I NEED this diet desperately. Count me in!

  34. I am in my husband and I each gave up our fun money purchases for January so adding in Febuary should not be hard, but I will need some batting! Great idea can't wait to play along!

  35. What a great idea! Considering the credit card bill I just got that was full of Paypal payments to fabric stores, I'm all for a fabric diet! Day 1, here we go! 🙂

  36. I'm in. I just bought some last week so hopefully I can hold out…although there is Christmas money burning a hole in my purse. Guess I can use that for a new ruler. This is just for fabric and not other sewing supplies…right????

  37. Congratulations on taking the plunge. My diet began in Oct with a slow but sure reorganizing. This was out of necessity to see what fabric I have and how much there is and sew on a clean table top. It's been exciting to find the fabric for making scrappy quilts – a new experience – and art backs in, of all places, 'The Stash'. Who would have thought! As in all diets, especially when on holidays, there has been slippage. But, the little voice kept reminding me so slippage was extremely minor and now we are back in the groove.

  38. I dont think I need a fabric diet (started quilting 2 years ago and havent built up a huge stash yet)
    But I will join 🙂

    I would love to follow your blog but I cant find your follow button.

  39. Wonderful idea –I'm in!

    I'm in the process of relocating my sewing area in my house and had a very rude awakening about the amount of fabric I owned in the last few days.

  40. Hi Angela
    I'm totally in on this one. I've just moved into my own sewing space – a real eye-opener for the amount of fabric I actually do have!
    Jules xx

  41. I'm in! AnNd I was very good this week – no new fabric – just now I moved all my basket items to a wish list page and shut down that fabric purchase for now! Now to get back to quilting those projects…

  42. A great idea! I am a new sewer and it's amazing to see how fast fabric comes into my house. I need to really start using all my stash, and what my mother has given me. Thanks for the incentive!

  43. There's a lot of dieting going on out there in quilting blog-land! My own group of RL sewing friends is doing a 3 month diet. Good luck to you and all of us trying to follow "the plan"!

  44. I'm a little late in the game, but I'd like to join in. I told my husband I wouldn't buy any more fabric for a while, but I think this challenge will keep me more accountable than just a promise to my hubby. =)

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