I have met some amazing women over the years who are artists in their chosen medium. If you meet enough people, it is probably to be expected. I am not jealous,; I know my limits. I can be a good craftsperson, but not an artist. What started me off on this particular train of thought was a bit more organizand a memory of a quilter in Pennsylvania who I met in the 1998-1999 time frame.
She was one of those people who won awards at National Shows and had quilts in several permanent exhibits (and I don’t mean her neighborhood fabric store). All of that is impressive, but what really shocked me is that she had zero stash. Yes, she had a good sewing machine which was tucked away when not in use. A closet which held a box of needles, pins, scissors, rotary cutters and some quilting rulers. A cutting board rounded out her supplies. She had no fabric and only half a dozen spools of thread. She explained her process: design the quilt; buy the supplies; make the quilt; toss out anything that was left over.
It was that last phrase that came to mind as I started consolidating loose skeins of floss. She threw out fabric. Each project started with brand new fabric, purchased specifically for that project. She never had more than one quilt in process at a time. Her quilts were amazing works of art; did I mention that they hung on walls?
As my friend Jill mentioned, collecting supplies should be considered a completely different hobby from the sewing, quilting, knitting, cross-stitching. And for most of it, making stuff is a hobby, not a calling or profession. We make things for ourselves, our family, and inflict gifts on most everyone we know. All of that calls for having supplies on hand. After all, how else did my long standing friend Carmen start making masks in 2020 when we were on lock down? Or fix a hem or make emergency repairs on a favorite shirt? You can’t exactly run to the store all the time.
Of course, being able to toss left overs, if they are small enough, might be a good idea. But then, I wouldn’t have had fleece scraps yesterday to back a couple of mug rugs. It is all perspective. I don’t have a bag of yarn marked “scraps to small to save” and I just might, perhaps, maybe, have tossed a few lengths of floss….