Monday, July 7, 2014

Purge-Along this summer

Purge buttonAre you ready for The Purge?  To turn those unloved fabrics into something you're proud to call your own?  Clear your sewing cupboards of those hairy bits and bobs that clutter up your space?  You could make anything with your unloved fabrics - small or large - or even just destash/donate your goods.

Share your progress here in link-ups every two weeks.  Each link-up is a chance to win some goodies sure to be more useful to your stash!

It's our summer purge-along. This is for all you peeps who bemoaned un-matching fabrics, dowdy stash and uninspiring scraps, when I asked, "What stops you from enjoying this hobby?"  Let's move what we've got!

Step 1:  Claim your Purgeables

From my humble beginning sniffing out unloved fabrics, I've now amassed a nice pile of not-so-inspiring duds.  Honestly, en masse they scare me a bit... but I guess that's the point. 

 my Purge

So go through your stash and/or your scraps and sort out those fabrics that you just don't love anymore.  Size doesn't matter.

Also, feel free to grab random things you cut, but never sewed or poor little orphan blocks.  Basically anything you'd rather not have, if only you could find a good way to send it off.

Step 2:   Make some Commitments

Ok, so what can you do with your pile of purge?  I offered lots of suggestions in this post, and you'll find some more from readers in the comments.  Now let's set some real goals.  This July and August, what can you do, given your time limits, given your purge pile, the size of your cuts, etc.?  I find it really helps to jot my ideas down:
  • Make a scrap quilt ("the Purge", tutorial this week)
  • Sew 5 little dresses for Africa
  • Quilt up 2 orphan blocks for Soy Amado charity quilts
  • Make bright, braided fabric pull handles
  • Bundle and destash what I don't use up
What are your goals?  I'd love to hear what you're thinking to do or make in the comments!

Step 3:  Do, Make & Link-up

The Purge is a process, not a one-time endeavor.  I'm allotting all of July and August, plus the first weeks of September.  I plan to make small incremental progress over the next weeks, so that by the end of the summer I'll have met my goals.

To keep momentum going, I'll host Purge ideas and link-ups every-other-week on Fridays.  Share a photo of your Purge progress to enter to win some very helpful prizes!  Here are those link-up dates:
  • July 18th
  • August 1st
  • August 15th
  • August 29th
  • September 12th
The September 12th link-up, being our last, will be for finished projects only.  Anything you've made, however large or small, with purge fabrics that is totally finished will qualify.  I promise to arrange for a very special prize.

If you'd like to sport a button, be my guest.  You can pin the Purge button (above) or use this html code to embed it in the html portion of a blog post.  Thanks for spreading the news!

the Purge


How do you plan to purge-along?

49 comments:

  1. Oooh such a great idea I have so many scraps laying about...we neatly packed into boxes.....that need a new life....will so be checking out all the ideas that come from this. I have my sketchpads at the ready!

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  2. I recently made a scrappy quilt that I called "Oldies" because the fabrics were things I bought long ago and no longer loved. Some of them I REALLY didn't love. But when it all came together I did indeed love the quilt. Well, maybe love is too strong a word, but I did like it a lot. Two inch squares make many unattractive fabrics look so much better! I plan to make another scrap quilt (or several) to clear out some old fabrics during the Purge.

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    1. That's great to hear, Lisa! I am doing 2" squares too. It's growing on me...

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  3. I don't know that I can handle 2" squares but I'm thinking I might manage some stacked coin quilts. I have lots of FQs that I bought when I first started quilting. I didn't pick them individually, they were bargain prices but you didn't get to choose. I thought it would help me build a stash but they haven't been very useful. The only thing I did get to decide a time or so was to say I made a lot of 'kid quilts' so I have a lot of novelty fabrics but I'm tired of them, too.

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    1. I find I tire of novelty fabrics the fastest. I guess that makes sense.... "novelty"!

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  4. What a great idea! I'll play along!

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  5. I'll try to play along as well. I've also got kid's fabrics and other things bought on sale. I think I'll make some fabric buckets and pot holders (to practice fmq) Maybe a scrap quilt as well.

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    1. Fabric buckets will be so cute in kids' fabrics!

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  6. I guess I should have kept all those scraps I threw away last weekend.... Honestly, I don't love this fabric so much that I don't know if I can handle even sewing with them. There are some prints I'm just so tired of seeing that I don't want them in my home at all.

    But I'll try to play along even just a little bit :)

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    1. Well, actually, getting rid of fabrics IS playing along, even if you donate or toss them. It's all purging. For anyone else tossing or selling fabrics, just take a picture of them before you do and you can use the picture to enter the link up giveaways!

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  7. I like your suggestions of making quilts or sewing items for charities. I'm going to start my first pile tomorrow, and my greatest fear is that I'll try to "fill the gaps" with new fabrics. ;)

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  8. If the photo up on top is a batch of unloved fabrics, I already see several ways to combine them. I think it is very important to remember that if one uses several fabrics in one project, said project is always the sum of the individual fabrics working together as a group, rather than as individuals. A successful bundle will be like 1+1=3 actually. It is easy to stare at single fabrics, but that is taking them completely out of context.

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    1. What a great comment, Nina. Thanks for sharing! by the way, you are a "no reply" commenter, so I can only respond to you via the comments, not via email. =)

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    2. Thanks for the heads up, I thought as much. I always post when logged in on my blog, but apparently that's not enough to provide blogger with wordpress details. Oh well, I'll just have to visit each time I've commented somewhere :)

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  9. I'm in too. I've already done lots of purging - recycling - AND have more to go. Good summer project!!!

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  10. I'll definitely be by to link up, since I'm on a year long purge, both for WIPs and unloved fabrics. :) I just pieced a backing for a 90" square quilt out of odd yard cuts that I had laying around. That's nine yards out of my stash, and since the top will be a postage stamp of 2" squares, a scrappy back seemed like a good choice. {yup, I made the back before the front}

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    1. What a super project! I plan to use a lot of my unloves as backing for my Purge quilt. I totally agree - when the top is crazy, a crazy back seems to fit!

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  11. I love this Rachel! I have a box in my sewing room closet with lots of pre-purged fabrics. I've been thinking about a scrappy Christmas quilt (if I start now, I may finish in time this year haha), so maybe I'll go through that box for the reds and greens I can cut up small.

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  12. I'll play as much as I can!

    Plan!

    1. Finish last 4 bottled rainbows blocks with scrap
    2. Make wonky star blocks out of entire box of triangle scraps and solid scrap bin
    3. Make something with or give away this 1 m of fabric I have had for 5 years!
    4. Finish up or re purpose fabric for skirt I started 2 years ago
    5. Use up scraps from capes to make fun iron on letters to sell at craft markets

    Now lets see if I can do at least some of that!

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    1. Awesome! Here, here for fellow list-makers =) I actually take delight even in other people's lists...

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  13. I know a group of women who make clothes protector for hospic that I just delivered a bad of unwanted yardage to last week. It is through WV 4H, it does not quilters quality either. It takes a yard and a half to make a protector. Large scraps can be used as pockets. I am cleaning out to and donating mine to them. So throw nothing away someone else out there can use them.

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  14. I like the idea of little dresses. Do you have a pattern? Is it easy?

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    1. Here's a link: http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/patterns
      These dresses are very easy to make. Our church made 90+ last year and sent them to a locally supported missionary. Bright colors, decorative pockets, buttons, ruffles, all make them extra nice.

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    2. I used this pattern designed for sewing from yardage: http://www.lbg-studio.com/2009/02/pillowcase-dress-tutorial-dress-girl.html Keep in mind you can make shorter or longer dresses, since they need a full range of sizes. Small = 2, 3, and 4 (16-22 inches long)Medium = 5, 6, and 7 (24-28 inches long)Large = 8,9, and 10 (30-34 inches long)X-Large - size 11 and above (anything over 35 inches long)

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    3. I love this idea! Thanks for the links!

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  15. I want to play along. I have been doing little bits already by keeping the leftover scraps from previous quilts out and then sewing them together. I want to continue as I have totes of fabrics I have not even looked in for a long time and they are just taking up space. I have thread I want to use up too...batting bits and so on. I do have a couple leaders and enders going to try to use up those tiny pieces I can't stand to throw. I feel I am caught in a huge cyclone of fabric and if I can just clear a space I can get out of the whirlwind a bit and get creative.

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  16. I want to purge along. I'll try to do steps 1 and 2 sometime today. Thanks Rachel :)

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  17. I went through every bit of fabric this spring and donated to the guild yard sale.

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  18. I'm thinking of possibly making a quilt that practices a new technique, such as light and dark value, and scrappy.....

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    1. That makes so much sense. Focusing on light vs. dark value will help bring unity to a scrappy work!

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  19. I started my purge last November cutting up my not so loved fabric into 2" squares for a scrap quilt. Have many blocks made and need many more made. I'll purge along!!! Also I use my not so loved fabric for practicing sewing techniques I have yet to master (like curves) or for practicing Free Motion Quilting.

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    1. Glad you'll be joining us. Great point about using unloves for practice. I've done that before, particularly to practice FMQ.

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  20. I have committed this whole year to purge the old and unloved along with cleaning up those scraps. I have been sharing my scrap ideas on my blog in my Scrap-A-Palooza series. There are lots of ideas there for using up unloved fabrics. I will certainly be participating and will share with my readers so they can participate too. Fun!

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  21. I wrote up a tutorial (will be posted on my blog tomorrow) for what to do with odd flannel scraps leftover from backing quilts. Is there anyway I could link that up with your purge-a-long? I think it fits right in!

    I'm mid purge and also on a fabric diet since March. I just organized my stash and scraps and have a whole box full of unloved and loved squares to make a scrap vomit quilt.

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  22. Such a great idea. I'm not sure time will allow me to participate, but I can't wait to follow along :)

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  23. Just saw someone mentioned fabric buckets. I thought of that today, too. I've wanted to make some so this might be a good time to try it.

    Of course there are ALWAYS string quilts, which I do love.

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  24. 1. I slashed my unloved uglies into thousands of little strips and turned them into a rustic knotted shag rug.

    2. I used scraps to make fabric garland for the Christmas tree. This goes super fast and is fun for the whole family.

    3. Cut up tons of hexes for my beloved Grandma's Garden quilt (hand sewn of course) I can never have too many hexes ♡

    4. Finally I diminished my scrap stash by making a huge stash of pot holders to use in the kitchen and give to friends and family.

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    1. i have a pile of too-skinny-strips i have been piling for a Christmas tree garland - did you just tie them together end to end or something else?

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  25. I'm purging my bin of kids fabrics and making 2 scrappy baby boy quilts and a bunch of owl pillows. I'm trying to purge my scraps and have two scrappy projects going, one is dresdens, the other stars. I figure if I make a block or two every couple of days, I'll have enough to put a couple of quilts together. I'm making lots of little stuff, too, mini quilts, scrap baskets, pin cushions, in an attempt to empty some of the overwhelming bins and bags of fabrics I've collected over the years that don't have purpose anymore.

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  26. Perfect timing, my scrap bin is starting to overflow! Plus I have plenty of fabric that I don't really care for that was given to me, time to crank out some projects!

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  27. I LOVE this idea. I have more fabric than I will ever use if I live three lifetimes. I vow to make scrappy backs for my quilts this year in an attempt to make a dent. I will also do some destashing in my Etsy shop. I've already given a large donation to my friend Sue who teaches quilting at a women's shelter.

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  28. Fabulous idea. I've been doing a version of this since January when I joined a fabric fast (no buying) challenge. Once I stopped buying, I could stop and really look at what I have and realized there was a lot of sewing to do!

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    1. That's great! Fabric fasts do make a lot of sense. Sometimes they spur new kinds of creativity!

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  29. For my, the stash that kills me the most is when I bought fabric for a specific project months/years ago. They sit there, mocking me for not having started them yet, making me feel guilty that I need to do those planned projects before I start new projects I'm inspired to work on right now, and not being a useful contribution to my stash since they are already reserved. It's not that the fabrics are by any means ugly - many of them are great, but its just the fact it was a project I never started, and now the excitement when I first bought fabrics for them has dwindled and it feels more like a burden to complete them. To the extent for some months now I've forbidden myself to buy fabric for a specific project unless I was able to start it immediately, so it wouldn't continue to pile on. So for my part in the purge, I'd like to work through those backed up stacks of fabric and actually turn them into the projects I intended them for.

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    1. you go, girl! purge #1 is looking fab - hope i get to see it finished at meeting in August!! (:

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  30. i have to laugh that there are at least 3 fabrics in your pile that i DO LOVE! all the more reason to get those fabrics out into the world where they can be (loved). i set many goals every month and quarter and one is a pile of donation quilts that are made up of just this - fabrics that are perfectly fine, but that i don't love. i'll use this to finish one of those up in the next couple of days. thank you (:

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  31. I just cleaned out my sewing room and discovered quite a stash of unloved fabrics. These little gems are going to be working there way into some needed quilts and pillows for the upcoming winter chills. Loving this idea! I'll be linking up on the 1st :)

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  32. I just started a baby quilt for our pastor's new baby with some leftover robot fabric from another baby quilt I made 2 years ago. The fabric is cute, but there is very little call for robot fabric in the quilts I make! Our guild will hopefully be making some NICU smocks with our guild in the new year, and I have set aside some fabric for those. Thanks for starting this purge, I suspect most of us need this!

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