I have an addiction, but I’ve been able to suppress it for several years without the help of counseling or a 12-step program.
Even so, I still have a “stash” in the house, hidden in drawers, plastic tubs, closets and boxes.
Like so many others in this country and others, I am addicted to fabric.
For many years, I couldn’t stay away from my suppliers. I’d cross town for a sale. I’d veer into every fabric store in my path. I’d buy fabric for some unspecified project, someday.
As a result, my sewing room became filled with yard goods of every color, print and texture. Black velvet? Yup. Lace edging? Check. Polar fleece in six colors? No problem.
Polyester prints were the gateway. Then came corduroy. Pretty soon, I couldn’t be happy without a wool plaid or a shimmery satin.
Florals, solids, geometrics. Then, when my son was small, an endless procession of dinosaur prints.
Some fabrics are like old friends, that old, familiar gang I hang around with. I’ve had them so long, I hate to cut into them. I ask myself, is this the right project for this fabric?
A few years ago, I recognized the problem and vowed not to buy any more fabric until I’d whittled down some of the inventory.
It hasn’t been easy, but that’s pretty much where things stand, with a slip back to my old habits every once in awhile. Falling off the wagon, so to speak.
By reading blogs online, I’ve discovered I’m not the only one similarly afflicted. I had a hint that was the case when a former co-worker, who also likes to sew, talked about how she organizes her stash.
Some of the folks online have an even bigger addiction than I do.
Many also suffer from a related disease. They have UFOs.
These are Unfinished Objects — projects that have been started, but never finished. I have a few, but not nearly as many as some people.
Last weekend I learned of a name for the UFO syndrome: PHDs, or Projects Half Done.
What makes me feel a little better about the whole thing is that I inherited a few pieces of fabric from my mother and grandmother, who also had stashes of fabric.
And, as one blogger pointed out, the UFOs and PHDs aren’t anything new either. Just look through online auction sites and you’ll find dozens of quilt tops that someone started but never finished.
The cycle of addiction continues.
Dee Camp is a reporter at The Chronicle. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.