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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: Confessions of a Compulsive Fabric Stasher
By Carolyn Bloomfield


I once saw a T-shirt that had the saying, “She who dies with the most fabric wins.” I thought, “Yes! Enter me as a top contender, but please, God, I don’t want to die soon, and I really don’t care if I win.”

By the time I was a teenager I had developed a love for fabric, sewing and needlecrafts because my mother and grandmothers all did these things. My maternal grandma made many of my dresses including a long gown for my first piano recital. Her sewing room was small but adequate. I spent time with her while she sewed, and often opened her sewing cabinet to look at all the spools of thread, buttons and other sewing necessities that filled the drawers.

After I got married I bought myself a used sewing machine determined to become a passionate sewer. I bought fabric, patterns, buttons and zippers. This was the beginning of my compulsion to stash. I was on a mission. There were finished projects over the years that testified to my intentions. I once made my son and daughter matching Christmas outfits for their part in a church Christmas program. I felt good telling someone, “Yes, I made my dress!” The continued to be that accumulated stash of fabric. Many time things I had cut out would end up on a shelf, with the pattern pieces still pinned to the fabric, and when I finally thought I would finish them my children were a size or two larger than what I had cut out.

Raising children and working outside the home left little time for sewing, but I continued to accumulate fabric. When my full time job was cut back to part time I applied for a second job at a fabric store. The manager must have instinctively known I was a fabric stasher and hired me. The generous employee discount, frequent sales and customers who shared what they were making only served to feed my creativity, and I began adding to my stash and determined to sew again. As before, my stash grew faster than I sewed.

My husband’s career necessitated a move, so we packed my fabric and made the decision that I would only work part time so I could have time to sew. When our church librarian needed an assistant, I looked at it as an opportunity to use my library experience to get involved in a ministry in our new church. In less than a year I found myself completely in charge of the library, and as donations of books began to grow, processing books took priority over sewing fabric.

Now, six years later, my sewing room is still set up and I continue to make a ritual fabric changeover twice a year. Selected fall and winter fabric from my stash is carried up from storage in the basement to shelves in the sewing room, and then this same fabric is taken it back down about six months later to exchange with spring and summer fabric.

My compulsive fabric buying has ended. A fabric store no longer draws me, and the sales flyers end up in the waste can the day they arrive. I still must have a “buy a piece of fabric” fix, but that only happens occasionally I finished a pair of pajamas intended as a gift for my granddaughter last Christmas, and I may even finish the ones I started the year before—if they would still fit.

I am thankful God doesn’t look at us as simply His stash. He designed a beautiful pattern for each of His children before they were conceived. Fabric must be cut and sewed in order to become the likeness of the chosen pattern. If we are to become the likeness of God’s pattern for us, we must allow God’s choice of fabric in our lives.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes03/02/07
Intriguing title and a funny first paragraph! Both made me smile! :) I would suggest proofreading your pieces before submitting, though, because there were a few errors in this. I enjoyed reading your account, and it had a good message at the end.
Jacquelyn Horne03/03/07
How well I know the feeling of your fabric-buying addiction. I start to give it away, and then I think, "I might wish I had it one day." Only we fabric addicts know!
JoReen Conkle03/11/07
I would just like to say this lady was a big part of God's woven fabric for my life. He Blessed me with this lady that led me to the Lord when I was nine years old. As I grew up, this lady was always there for me when I needed her to be. Her genuine love for the Lord is what I have looked up to all these years. So when I say this article is really good, it really is good and not because she's my sister.
Joanne Sher 03/12/07
Nice lesson and I love the detail! (By the way - you PMed me for help on an article, and the email address you gave me didn't work. Try again? Would love to help!)