Monday, April 25, 2011

Quilters' Diet

What makes a quilter happy, a well-balanced diet.  But, finding the right balance is sometimes hard to do.  I have been working on my plan since the beginning of the year and hope by the end of the year I will be well on my way to enjoying all the benefits of a well-balanced diet.

Finding a way to reduce intake was first on the list.  That would be on purchases such as fabric, notions, gadgets and books.  To help reduce intake, I have established the Expires in 30 Days plan which means before buying on impulse or starting a new project, I wait 30 days.  What I have discovered is how time can change one's mind.  It's almost magical.

Now, I do realize that it may not always be possible to wait 30 days, if it is a onetime chance to purchase something, and avoiding temptation can be difficult, but I think by keeping a list of items needed for current projects and limiting myself to a few extra purchases, by selective shopping, may be the answer. 

Knowing what you have in stock is very important, so keeping the pantry organized is a must and it is a good aid for trimming the fat.  Frequent visits, to the pantry, is a great reminder of what supplies I have on hand and projects waiting to be finished. 

In my pantry you will also find a Rainy Day Cupboard with ready to do projects.   By scheduling regular prep work times or using the kitchen timer to gain a few minutes here and there I am well on my way to a well-stocked cupboard.

I will focus on the finish line and challenge myself to more timely finishes of new and old projects.  This means increasing my hand quilting time and taking smaller bites (smaller projects) for faster finishes.  For me, variety is the spice of life and I will continue working multiple projects at one time.

Each year, I will select a Gift of a Year by making one project my top priority.  It doesn't have to be over 365 days nor is it meant to consume all my quilting time, but one that gets extra attention. 

And, lastly, it is time to say goodbye to the To-Do List and say hello to the Ta Dah List - a sizable handful of things well done.

Until next time.....happy quilting!



Robin said...

I love this!!! I might have to print this out and hang it on my wall as a fun reminder not to just cave to the cravings. :)

Yvette said...

That was great!
I love the 30 day idea and I need to start implementing it.

Jeanette said...

What a great idea Karen. During December i promised myself no more buying & i've broken that every month since. I think i'll print out your post & stick it on my wall to read every day. Hugs,

sunny said...

What a fantastic plan! I'm working on organizing my 'pantry', and plan to visit it more often, so I can shop from there, instead of buying more. Good Luck!

Teresa said...

Hey I'm going to follow these wise words in the kitchen as well as the quilt cave...great post!!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

quiltmom said...

Some great ideas to think about- I often do make a list of things in a shopping cart on line and then leave it for another time. Many times I change what is in it or don't buy it all.
Another thing I do is go upstairs and shop in my stash- it is amazing the things that you find when you are digging around and that helps to, to reduce spending.
I loved your list. Thanks for sharing.

Angelikas quilts and knits said...

That sounds really good :-) I´ll give it at try too.
This easter I didn´t start a new project, but finished two older ones - that feels good ! And before I buy a new book or a new pattern, I use one from my stash/library. Ok, it doesn´t work every time, but I try hard ;-))

Michelle Ridgway said...

I love the 30 day cooling off period. You are right the mind is a fickle thing and changing is what it does best.

Merilyn said...

My main problem is finishing what I have started LOL! I like the 30 day cooling off period, that could actually work!!! I agree I need to shop in my stash more often, good advice!

Paula said...

Very well said. I think I will have to print this one out, if it is OK with you. That 30 days wait is excellent idea. While waiting one can maybe finish a project :-)
Great post, thank you for sharing.

Cybele's patch said...

What a fun post! You are so right. I too decided to go on a diet and so far I only bought what I needed this year. Unfortunately I have to visit the European Quilt Championships in the week end. I hope the shops don't have fabrics that make me hungry or greedy.

Nicky said...

Wow! I just love this diet. I could definitely take a few hints from this list. Thanks for sharing,

Melanie said...

Common sense things that I never think about... what a great post.

Crispy said...

Woo Hoo!! Sounds like a great plan, especially that 30 day rule. I'll be cheering you on and applauding all of your Ta Da moments :0)


Gale, Ky quilter said...

I love this! Just balanced my checkbook last night wondering where my extra $$$'s were and guess what? They were spent in Hancock's, Michael's, two local quilt shops - what? I can't afford that especially with gas prices cause I spent $120 so far in gas this month just getting everywhere and my fabric shelves, cabinets, closets are full!!! Addicted to buying :-(. Thanks for this great post! I'm not alone!
Happy Stitching!

Vivian said...

I love this too! Just what I have been thinking and trying to implement. You codified it beautifully!

You are right about the 30 Day Pause -- it is a powerful tool. I have often been surprised how time has diminished the desire for something. Or better yet it's no longer available and not missed or something new has taken its place in the desire rotation! A great reminder that there will always be something to want in the future.

Marieke said...

That sounds like a great diet! I must confess: I was already following it, without knowing it. Your rules for a Rainy Day cupboard are great: I will be organising that too: thanks for being an inspiration!

Annemieke said...

Very well said. A lot to think about.
I love your little confetti quilt!

Karen said...

The thirty day think time before a fabric purchase would surely work for me. I find I tend to forget about fabrics I think I want or a new pattern if I give it a couple weeks thinking time.

Anonymous said...

Hi- just found your blog today and I can relate to this diet post! Your analogies are thoughtful, I will keep them in mind. Thanks! Sallee from NH

Saskia said...

Love this! Good Idea. Need to go on another diet. The quilter's diet. I too, want to reduce my UFO's, and stash! Love the 30 day's rule.

Mary said...

Very well thought out post and a very heathy way for all of us to approach our love of quilting. In a sub conscious way I have been using many of these techniques since the first of the year and I am feeling very good about the results. The test is whether I can stay the course.

Deb said...

Karen, I LOVE this diet. I think I will use this philosophy to help with my decluttering of my sewing space. If you don't mind...I will be referring to you and your Quilter's Diet!! Thank you!

Deb from