Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Making It Happen

What It's All About
    When my husband and I first decided that the full-time RV lifestyle was for us, I had one request. We had to figure out a way for me to continue my hobbies of quilting, machine embroidery, sewing garments, and various forms of hand needlework.  With lots of planning and organizing and help from my husband with his wood working skills, I have everything I need to keep on quilt'n, etc. From surfing the web, I know that there are other quilting RV'rs out there who have figured out how to make it all work.  I also know there are wanna be RV'ers out there that struggle with how they might jump into a radically different lifestyle without sacrificing their passion for quilting or other crafts.  This blog is about how I worked it all out.  My solutions are specific to our rig and my needs.  But hopefully reading about them will inspire ideas that work for others in similar yet different circumstances.

Making It Happen - Shedding The Excess
     I was the typical quilter of a number of years.  I had a HUGE stash - fabrics, patterns, books, etc., etc.  The first step had to be disposing of things I couldn't take with me.  The only other alternative was to pay for long term storage for all of it.  Too expensive and not practical.  So I got tough.  And discovered that I had accumulated tons of things that I honestly knew I no longer cared that much for and would never do anything with.  The reason being that my tastes have changed over the years and I have developed a much clearer picture of  how and what I like to quilt.  I sorted out all fabrics that I no longer cared for or had no definite plan for, all scraps, duplicates of tools, etc., books and patterns I knew in my heart I would never use.  I scanned a select group of books that contained information I wanted to keep and put them in folders on my computer.  It was a big job but I discovered that most books only required scanning a small portion of the pages.  I didn't need all the the basic how to info or all of the projects detailed in the book.  Once scanned, I could add that book to the "sell" pile. I selected a few really neat books I didn't want to scan and entrusted them to a sister who is also a quilter.  She will enjoy them and I know they will be in good hands.  Also I plan to visit her in my travels!   I held two "Quilt Stash Sales" inviting all my quilting friends and advertising in a small local shoppers guide.  Reduced prices for the second sale gave incentive for repeat customers.  I had discovered a lady in our area in the business of buying and reselling quilting supplies.  She purchased the small amount of items that remained.  I tucked my proceeds away to pay for quilting supplies as needed in the future.  No "stashing" allowed.  Yes, I took a huge loss on what I sold.  But it was common sense to dispose of unneeded and unwanted items when the alternative was to pay to store them.  I ended up with one small plastic tub of patterns, a handful of books, a selection of fat quarters, UFO's that I knew I actually wanted to finish, and necessary quilting supplies.  These went into the RV.  I also kept some kits that I still like and a selection of fabrics I felt were worth keeping.  I made a list of the kits and fabrics with swatches and yardage info.  These things I did put into storage.  We have one 10 x 12 climate controlled storage unit for items we weren't able to part with and these quilting things tucked in nicely.  I also put most of my quilts in storage.  Some I will never part with. But others I am thinking of giving to family or friends.  Others I will sell in the future.  We will return occasionally to the area where the storage facility is located as our son lives in the area.  So I will occasionally have access to my remaining "stash".  Also it is well enough organized that I would be able to tell him how to find something and he could send it to me.
  Enough for now.  Next post will be about fitting it all in.  I need to get some pics for this one.

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