Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've done something very rash . . . .

I may live to regret this. Right now I'm feeling quite guilty. I thought I'd feel like a weight had lifted from my shoulders, but I don't. Maybe I will eventually - I hope so!

So . . . what is this terrible thing I've done? I've thrown out my crumbs. Totally thrown them out. They are in the garbage can by the curb waiting for tomorrow's pick-up.

Let me start at the beginning. I was taking a break from quilting by standing at the ironing board pressing scraps for cutting into squares, strips, bricks. I've been pressing and cutting for quite some time now, and have drastically reduced the number of scraps that are not in usable form. While I was pressing I started thinking about all the boxes and drawers of scraps already cut waiting for me to do something with them. I can't begin to imagine how many quilt tops I could make from those scraps - enough to keep me sewing for at least a year or two without ever touching anything else in my stash. As I was ironing I was also setting aside little pieces to go in the crumb drawer. The drawer that was still more than 3/4 full even though I sewed 1016 crumb chaos blocks last year. Hundreds of crumbs waiting for me to make Bonnie-style crumb quilts. I looked at those crumbs, and looked at all the scraps waiting to be cut, and looked at all the scraps already cut, and thought to myself "This is ridiculous!" Then and there I resolved to cut nothing smaller than 1 1/2" squares and triangles about that same size. The rest I would toss. That thought was quickly followed by another extreme - at least for me - thought. If I'm not going to save any more crumbs then why save the ones I already have. I certainly have enough to do without working with those. So, before I could change my mind, I took a plastic sack from the garage and dumped all the crumbs into it and then into the garbage can. As I was doing so I noticed some were probably big enough to cut a tiny square or triangle from, but I refused to allow that. I wanted them gone - I didn't want to have to deal with any of them.

So - am I going to miss those crumbs? No. Am I going to run out of things to sew without them? Hardly. Do I have an unlimited place to store stuff? No - I've already filled that drawer with something else.

Then why do I feel so guilty? I know why - because I hate wasting things. Even when I think it was the right thing to do.

37 comments:

Su Bee said...

Amen! I too am a crumb-tosser. I sometimes try to pass them on to a friend or guild, but mostly I just want them gone. Once I've used a fabric in 3 or so quilts, I feel like I've gotten my money's worth, and on to something else. Don't feel guilty, you've done your duty by them!

Patty said...

As far as I'm concerned if it was bothering you enough to get rid of them it was the right thing to do. Now you've freed up brain space for creativity. Go enjoy your fabric and make something beautiful - no regrets!

Pieceful Afternoon said...

I agree - I save nothing smaller than 1/8 yard. If it won't fold nicely - then out it goes. Sometimes if I have a lot of pieces left over I put them in a bag for a friend that collects scraps - otherwise - goodbye!!!

Sweet P said...

You did something you felt you needed to do. The crumbs will never be missed. Think of the quilts that are waiting to be made with the rest of your fabric. Now, go forth, and make some new quilts.

Meredith said...

Do what is best for you. Hugs mer

Pam said...

Hello Patti, have you been waiting for me to comment on this?? You KNOW I have something to say about this, don't you! LOL

Less Is More!! get rid of those crumbs, free up your mind to use what you have! Less Crumbs is More Time to work with what you have on hand now. Less Crumbs to press is More Time to pull out the scraps you have cut that are ready ~ now ~ without any more prep work.

You done good girl! Whoo hoo...living the LIM life!

Pam@
www.pamgwillim.com

Vicki W said...

Good for you!! Remember, quilting is your hobby and you are supposed to enjoy it. Once something about it gets on your nerves it's time to do exactly what you did! Don't you feel free now? Ahhhh!

Libby said...

I have come to the conclusion that there must be an end to the madness . . . I have been cleaning up scraps, too. A lot of probably usable but still quite small things have gone in the garbage. I felt a little guilt - but it's done now and I'm all good *s* Hang in there.

Lisa said...

Well done! Sounds very sensible!!!!!

Paula said...

I too got rid of my crumbs....I NEVER made a crumb quilt. I was just saving them for "someday". I recycled them though (hope I'm not adding to your guilt!) I posted about them on quilting.about.com and offered them to a good home. Someone snatched them up right away! So, there, we're both clear of crumbs and we both feel good! On to the strips and all the quilts we'll make!

Gillian said...

Yes, me too. I'm a crumb-chucker!

I don't even like the look of most crumb creations - they just look messy to me.

But, now I'm thinking... as it is so wonderfully liberating to throw things out in large gestures, perhaps I should start collecting the little pests so I can enjoy the pleasure of dumping them en masse.

I usually put my fabric scraps into our kerbside paper recycling bin -- I figure that they will get made into recycled paper.

Beth said...

I use my crumbs to stuff dog beds. Some doggy gets a nice cushion and I NEVER have any guilt~ I didn't throw them out! I re-homed them! lolol

Mary said...

How shocking!

I'm sure it won't take long to accumulate more if you find you can't live without crumbs in your life!

Kathie said...

Patti
I just offered my scrap bin to someone and the deal was she sent me 2 priority stamps for the flat rate boxes, well it took 4 boxes but at least the scrap basket is cleaned out...I just didn't want to deal with it!
plus my 1 1/2" strips I just couldn't fit themin my bins anymore...
instead of the garbage next time offer them on your blog with the person sending you the stamps to mail them
Kathie

Cheryl said...

Yeah to getting rid of crumbs and not feeling guilty about it! Good job :-)!

Carol said...

Good for you! I think it is so good to get rid of the clutter...I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how long we should keep those scraps and keep using them...we decided if we keep using them over and over until they're gone all our quilts will look the same...so get rid of them I say. I do put them in a fabric pillowcase that I've made from stash that I know I won't use and make pet beds from them for the animal shelter. They love them.

Terri said...

Now don't you feel liberated? Do the "snoopy dance", you're FREE! LOL

The Calico Cat said...

AMEN! (guilt is good for you.)

I am in the same boat - so I vow to never start saving them.

I cut down to squares & rectangles & toss the rest.

I haven't seen a dent in my stash yet.

atet said...

Good for you -- if you're not going to use them they are just taking up valuable real estate (space in your sewing area). No guilt for you -- I did something similar about a year ago -- of course, I've started saving them again. UGH. Ok, enough already -- I need to get my scraps under control! (either that or just get rid of the darned things!!!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

How liberating...I've got a box of 1 1/2" and smaller bits and pieces. I've very tempted to chuck them out...hey if you can do I can do it!!

Carin said...

I think you do what you need to do and when it gets to that point then its overwhelming. Good for you!

SalemHouse said...

Deja vu! Just last night I was looking at some crumb blocks that I had started, and thinking how tired of them I was. I thought of just tossing them, but decided to put them away somewhere that I wouldn't see them, at least for a while. I'm certainly not saving anymore crumbs, though. (Just strings, for HeartStrings.)

Thimbleanna said...

Oh the scandal! LOL. Good for you -- I don't save really little scraps either, but sometimes I think I should. I just know though, that I already have too many projects and I'd never get around to doing something with them. Hopefully they'll still be out there when the garbage man comes LOL!

Lynda said...

Sometimes, enough is enough! I certainly wouldn't save anything smaller than one and a half inches - life is too short! Wel done you!

Patty said...

I sure hope you feel better about your decision after reading all those comments!

Diane said...

I had a good laugh at your expense. I can't tell you how many yards of fabric I own that are "too good" to cut into, yet I feel compelled to use up scraps. many of which I don't even like! The most telling line in your post was "I hate to waste things." Think of the TIME you've wasted cutting those scraps ~ the EMOTIONAL ENERGY you've squandered thinking about them, and the CREATIVITY you've stifled by limiting yourself to sdraps. The quilt police give you a free pass to move on and enjoy yourself.

Katie said...

Finding the bottom of a basket, box or drawer is a wonderful feeling. Some times I have to cult the stuff several times to send all that needs to go on its way. You done good!

Eileen said...

I didn't read all the comments but what came to my mind was you should have sent them off to Bonnie. !!!

Don't feel bad I got rid of a few the other day also.

cher said...

you may feel guilty but I know and you know- there will always be more coming along the next time you start piecing/cutting/playing with your fabric! Good for you to move on and enjoy what you do have ready to play with.

andsewitis Holly said...

How brave and liberating!

Judy said...

When I started washing and rearranging from the last quilt show haul I actually tossed some fabric..not scraps, but some as big as FQ's. Old horrid yucky stuff I will never use and had no place to store for many more years. let it go, it's all good!

Tanya said...

Good for you! Maybe that is just the push the rest of us need. I've got a bunch... that I've never used. But I'd like to use at least once before I toss. I'm sure though that simplifying is better all the way around for all of us!

Kairle said...

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. So how long before the trash collectors come and take them away? At least now they won't be burdening you in your sewing room! Good job!

paula, the quilter said...

Good for you! I only go to 2.5" squares and strips about 1.5 x 4" (for strings). Anything smaller: out it goes!

Lea said...

Patti, I'll go to your garbage and pick them up before dumper come.*LOL*
I agreed with you about fabric crumbs. It's my biggest problem that I can't get rid off them!

ayala said...

OH NO I am too late!
why throw away and not give charity (me voor example)
I know, I know the saying "don't cry for lost crumbs" but it hurts!
*wink*

Carol Van Rooy said...

Had I of lived next door, I would have raided your garbage for the crumbs. I've a newbie and have recently fallen in love with scrap foundation pieced quilts.

I would have loved to take them off your hands.

If anyone ever wants to post them to me, I'd be THRILLED