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The Stash Is Winning - Episode 3

Posted by Dawn Hunter on

Okay, so to recap from last time: 125 quilts that I have all of the materials for, 38 of which have been started and are therefore officially UFO’s. 

One of those UFO’s was a baby quilt for Spouse’s cousin that I had started on short notice and had not finished in time for the shower.  In my defense it was a little bigger than your standard baby quilt; at 54” by 66” it was more the size of a play mat.  But I still felt bad to take the unfinished top away from the parents at the end of the day.  That one got quilted in a hurry; then bound and delivered.

I also managed to finish the lighted tree quilt that I had been struggling with last time, beaded star top and all.  Wow!  Two projects finished!

And this is where my forward progress comes to a screeching halt.

Buoyed by my recent successes, and possibly blind to reality, I found myself signing up for a tablerunner class at my local quilt shop.  I know what you’re thinking: two completed projects and we’re ready for more?  Are you crazed?  I’m a crafter, so obviously that answer is yes.  I had purchased the pattern a few years ago when Spouse saw a finished sample and commented how much he liked it.  I take every opportunity to make the quilts that Spouse likes; I tell myself that this will somehow make him approve of my hobby.  The fact is that he really likes my quilts, is interested in each one I finish, wants me to make more of my own designs, and honestly prefers meander quilting to fancy feathers all over.  He’s taken ladies!

Anyway, this two-color tablerunner ends up being red and teal because when asked what colors he wanted it in, Spouse said red and teal was across the color wheel.  I really enjoyed the class and, as usual, saw many other color combinations that I wished were mine at the other tables.  By the end of the day I had completed a tablerunner top and, hooray!, another UFO.

Okay, one new UFO.  That’s not so bad. 

So confident am I that I’m still on top of everything, I look at a pattern I had been considering for about a year.  You see, early in the spring we lost our dog Riley.  We were supposed to foster him for a couple of days on behalf of a rescue group and 13 years later we were finally saying goodbye.  Riley didn’t behave very well.  He was an escape artist.  He wasn’t the brightest dog in the pack; not even close.  But he was so genuinely happy to be a dog and be with people that you couldn’t help but fall in love with his huge heart and his infectious goofiness.

Anyway I spotted this pattern with a cute outdoor scene; rolling hills and trees with a dog in the foreground lifting his leg on one of the trees.   With a simple redrawing of the ears and tail and a change to the dog’s coloring, it could easily be Riley.  Finally feeling like I can work on this quilt without breaking down in tears, I spend an afternoon pulling fabric and set it aside with the pattern.

Okay, so one new project bag and one new UFO.  That’s still not too bad.

And then I get an email from a quilting catalog that I get:  there’s a big sale on everything in their store.  Telling myself I’m just going to look, I go onto their website and leave with two quilt kits on their way to me.  Sure they’re small: a set of placemats and a wallhanging, no big deal.  But they are full kits and therefore have to go on the list when they arrive in the mail.

Shortly after this is yet another quilt show within easy driving distance.  Oh dear me!  I try to keep myself under control, but end up with two complete quilt kits and a new pattern.   I know the pattern doesn’t go on the list, but you haven’t heard about the rest of my month yet.

Next is a road trip to visit Mom.  Spouse and I make this trip every year and I have long since visited every quilt shop on I-80 between here and Michigan, so it’s easy to resist them now.  Not shopping with Mom once we arrive is a different story.  In our travels together we hit several quilt stores; at one I buy a little (13 x 21) applique kit, at a second I buy two patterns and at a third I buy the fabric to make one of those patterns.   Eek!

Returning home, a nearby quilt shop owner is retiring and surprise! is having a sale.  Fighting a rising panic, I stand in my studio staring at all of the UFO’s waiting for me.  “I will not shop aimlessly” I mumble over and over.  I end up going through my pattern files and find something that I *could* make *if* I manage to find the right fabric for it.  Naturally I do find the fabric and another quilt goes on the list.

Almost immediately after, my closest quilt shop announces their going out of business sale.  Truly panicking now, I look through patterns again and happen upon the pattern I had purchased at the quilt show.  It takes 2-1/2” strips in a quilt-as-you-go Christmas piece.  Surely after years of collecting I have Christmas fabric suitable for this one.  After pulling fabrics I start cutting the strips I need and, oops!  Now that I’ve cut strips this is another UFO.  Sigh.

The final nail in the coffin?  My Guild offered a class that looked interesting.  Resist you say?  But it’s supposed to help me use up my scraps.  And I have lots of scraps to try and use up.  Somehow, in the long run, I think this will help me.  So I take the class.  I make three lovely scrappy blocks.  And then I add this new UFO to the list.

So after staying neutral last month, I didn’t do nearly so well this time.  I finished two UFO’s from before (which is great) but I added eleven new quilts to the total list (which is not so great).  On top of that, of those 11 new quilts on the total list, I start in on three of them.   Now I have 136 total quilts on the list, 39 of which are started. 

Not only is the stash winning, now it’s running up the score too.

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