I have spent a lot of time sewing this week in preparation for an upcoming craft show. I’m not making a ton of different items,  instead I’ve picked a few projects and am making multiples of them. I also challenged myself to use only what is already in my stash. The only thing I will buy are items I don’t normally keep a bunch on hand, such as Insul-Brite, or fusible fleece.

Casserole Hot Pads

My goal for this show is not to sell a bunch of quilted items, although if I were to clear my table I’d be happy. 🙂 I really just want to put myself out there and tell people what I do. Maybe someone will sign up for one of my classes at the shop, maybe someone needs a top quilted, or maybe they will become a fan of my patterns.

I will have all my patterns available, and my quilts on display. I am even putting together a few kits of some of the smaller projects (think casserole hotpad) for all the DIYers.

Knowing how I want my table to look and what my goal is has taken away some of the “oh my gosh I’ve gotta MAKE!” stress.

I have had fun sorting through the fabrics in my stash, putting them together in different combinations, and generally getting my creative on. It’s something I don’t take nearly enough time to do and I have found it to be mentally restorative. I’m also having a lot of those “I forgot about having this” moments. Well, if I’m honest, I have a lot of those in my daily life anyway, but still…

For instance, I found a charm pack of Basically Neutrals by Benartex. Who knew those prints were soooo pretty?? This pack has been in my cabinet for more than a year and this week became a table runner. I sewed the charms into nine patches, sliced and diced, sewed again, and voila! Table runner in neutral colors that will be perfect on someone’s table.

Neutral Table Runner

Because I was playing and the charm pack cost me next to nothing as a daily deal, I didn’t worry about messing up. If what I wanted to do didn’t work, I could just move on. To be totally honest, what I wanted to do didn’t work. But I like where it ended up and once I have it quilted, will be proud to add it to my craft table.

I think all of us should find time to just play. I know it’s difficult. Because I look at quilting and pattern writing as my job, I put extra pressure on myself to use my time in the sewing room productively. Sometimes I feel that if I walk in my room without a plan then I’m wasting time and resources. I need to remember how this week has made me feel, and take time to play more often.

Noise Table Runner

Deciding on a Quilting Plan

In addition to the mental vacation, this week has gotten my creative juices flowing again. It’s been fun to challenge myself to find ways to use what is already in my fabric cabinet. I shared a pic of my cabinet here, and as you can see, my stash is pretty small compared to many others I’ve seen. I’ve watched the piles shrink (maybe not as much as they should), and I feel good that some of this fabric is finally going to have a permanent home as a useful household item.

Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to take some time to play during these last few months of the year. It’s a busy time with many time commitments, so a fun-filled day playing with your fabric stash might just be the break you’ll need!