bust my stash challenge

we are currently living in a time where marie kondo inspired minimalism is the trend, and stuff begins to feel excessive (though there is a difference between owning too much “useless junk” and having a home of character. i personally really enjoy the latter because those little quirks make me smile and feel that pang of nostalgia. maybe it’s just me though.)

there comes a time in every artist/crafter/maker’s life when we suddenly realize we are hoarders who can find sentimental value in just about anything – “oh, let me save that receipt, i might journal with it later…” – and throwing something away is frowned upon. even scraps of fabric can be used to make a scrappy quilt or bag (lauren of elbe textiles has made the coolest patchwork dresses and pouches out of her scrap bin). this is the creator mindset, one where there is value in every little thing, and it goes directly against the values of minimalism. it could also be an immigrant perspective. i read a really interesting article the other day from the atlantic about marie kondo and the privilege of clutter that made an interesting argument which had me re-thinking the minimalist trend. not trying to target marie kondo, i’m only using her because she is relatively well known as a face of minimalism that “sparks joy”. so which lifestyle do i want? i’m not sure yet. i love nostalgia, but i also love simplicity.

so musings on lifestyles aside, i have decided to clean my room. this isn’t like a three day, thorough spring cleaning, because i am trying to minimize the amount of waste that heads to the landfill. this is more of a year long cleaning, so i’ve decided to name it: the BUST MY STASH CHALLENGE. now it’s official.

basically the only rules are that i don’t buy any new fabric or notions (mainly zippers) until i’ve used up all the supplies i currently have. as you can see from the gallery of photos before, i have collected so much stuff over the past nine years. i’ve started projects, forgotten about them, and kept the fabric. and i have saved every scrap of fabric because i hate wasting pretty fabric.

a lot of the fabric, particularly in the bags in my closet, are old patterns that i really dislike now, or felt scraps that i’ve no use for. there is a substantial amount of yardage though, so i can’t bare to throw it away, especially thinking about the value. ah, i made such poor money choices when i was a kid. sadly, lamenting about my past self does not change anything, so this challenge is here to motivate myself to use it all. i have lots to work with, so this will probably take a while, but my ultimate goal is to have reduced my stash by 50% at the end of the year. i will be making lots of stuff, and experimenting with the fabric i don’t like, and getting creative as i decide how to use all my zippers and yardage. yay!!(?)

i would sell the fabric or give it away, but i’m too frugal and stingy to part with it, knowing that i will probably need some muslin fabric for future projects. also, some of the scraps aren’t that big, or the print is hideous and no one would likely want it…

so, let the BUST MY SCRAPS CHALLENGE commence!

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