Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hi. My name is Diane, and I'm a fabric-addict.

I am breaking away from my Celestial Star QAL posts, just so there is no confusion. I do on occasion blog about other things. ;)


Hi. My name is Diane. 
yep, I made a button.

I think a lot of us use that term, fabric-addict, quite loosely. And easily so, there is a lot of amazingly beautiful fabrics out there, and it's easy to want to own it all. But I'm not using that term in jest. I can honestly say that I am, or at one point was, a fabric addict. And I want to share my story and experience, so that if there are others who struggle, or did, or are headed down that road, you can recognize it and know that you are not alone. As well as know that not everyone just buys all the fabric out there because they can. Some of us, and probably more than we realize shouldn't, or actually don't. And realizing that can be a great strength.

But I'm not going to talk about anyone else. I'm going to talk about me. Because I can't speak for anyone else, and I don't know their situation.

It's story time, go get your comfy clothes on, find a comfy chair, and maybe some cookies and a drink.

For me it all started when I opened up my Etsy shop. My oldest was about 8 months old, so about five and a half years ago. I made toys and games for kids, and decided to make and sell quite books (which didn't happen. But that's another story. I will say that I struggled with my Etsy shop for a few years, and had good times too. But it wasn't substantially profitable.) I made my first online fabric purchase at fabric.com. It was awesome! I bought some amazing prints for super cheap! I didn't know how awesome they were until years later, all I did was shop the last chance sale section. And later when I started learning all the big name designers, I'd find one of their prints in my stash, and I'd think, wow! I'm so cool for having this print!! Lol.

Anyway, as time went on, I thought of more projects I could make, and I'd buy more fabric. My husband was working on his masters degree while working full time, and I had big dreams of working hard, coming up with amazing ideas and making lots of money! Well, I'm a big dreamer, and while I like to work hard, my ideas came faster than I could make them, as they still do, and a lot of my ideas I realized were not things I wanted to do. By this point I had bought a lot of sale fabrics from fabric.com. Not all of which was awesome, but I was excited to have a good sized stash to work with.

During this time, I had a second baby, then became pregnant with my third. While I was pregnant with her, I found the online world of modern bloggers, as well as the awesome community that was once on Flickr. This was about two and a half years ago, so three years later. Well, I just new I was having a girl! And I had found the cutest quilt made from Heather Baileys Nicey Jane, and I knew that had to be the fabric for my daughters quilt. So I bought my very first fat quarter bundle! What a day! I was elated. It was so pretty!! I couldn't wait to use it. Side note, it did make a beautiful quilt!! That I finished a year ago in November. Lol. Two years after I started it. ;)

Well, this is where it started going down hill. Doing something once makes doing the same thing a LOT easier to do again. I had found a website that would have a daily deal, and they sold scrapbooking supplies (which I don't scrapbook, but love stamps and paper and all that stuff), and then started a site for fabric and yarn. And I'll tell you, they had awesome deals on fabric!! And I will tell you, I probably kept her in business. Probably not, but I was a regular customer. I now hate those type of sites. And I don't like to use the word hate. They are awesome for a great deal, and a great deal can be a huge blessing. But let me explain my perspective,  when there are limited quantities of something, and on some of these sites there is even a time frame that you have to make your purchase in. And add in that a lot of people are watching the site for new product posts, it almost becomes a race to see who can buy it first. Or, "what if don't buy it and I regret it later, and then have to pay twice this price", "I can't pass up that deal!", "I love that product! And at that price, it won't hurt anything.", "If i wait and think about it, it might be gone, so i just have to buy it now", or the classic, "if everyone else is buying it it must be awesome! So I have to have it too!" Even when you don't like it, or you don't want it, or need it, or don't even have the money for it. You buy it anyway. Those sites, I'm sure have good intentions, but it's the nature of the game, a tool to pull you in and make you feel a need and a desire to buy. And I feel it's deceiving and for the weak, it's a trap that can ruin ones life.

Anyway, it pulled me in and I was hook line and sinker. But not only did I buy fabric from that site, I'd go buy from fabric.com, and maybe a few other sites. There weren't as many online then. The UPS man and I were pretty good friends.  The worst part, I would watch all day waiting for him, hoping and crossing my fingers that he would come before my husband got home from work. I would hurry and stash the big box in the laundry room, or hide the fabric somewhere. Some how my stash kept magically growing. My husband was in school, we didn't have a lot of money, life was very stressful, and I was afraid to tell him. Growing up poor but with a rich dad, i was terrified to talk about money. I don't know why. I hated the subject. Anyway, not only was I overspending our budget, I was being dishonest with my husband. I don't care what it's about, don't keep secrets from your spouse!!!!! It's wrong!!

At this point, my over-spending, my addiction to buy, my secrets, they really started to effect me physically. A few months after I had my girl, I got really really sick. I would have intense anxiety attacks, I would get faint and weak and start to black out. Once it happened in the car while I was driving. I pulled into a parking lot and sat there with all my kids until I felt like I could safely make it home. Then once at walmart while I was with my the kids, I got really sick again. I was shaky and panicking and thought I was going to blackout. I waited by the dressing rooms until my mom could come take us home. Well, that time I went to the doctor. After a few months it was diagnosed as post partum thyroiditis. I didn't drive a car for three months. Luckily my mom lived two doors away and she could come over almost daily and watch my kids while I had anxiety attacks on the couch, or tried to recover from blacking out. I was a physical emotional mess. Now I might have really had post partum thyroiditis, but in the end, it was never proven, and I really don't know.

That started in August, and I think in January I was starting to feel better. During these months I started drawing a connection, evey time I tried to by anything at all, I would start to get anxiety. I would start to get physically sick, even if I was just buying bananas.  I realized that my addiction of buying things, including fabric, which I will admit had become my drug, because I was super miserable in my marriage at the time, and in life, and it became my drug. It made me feel "better". In reality it was making me sick. And I hated it! I hated that feeling, and it finally got to the point where it started to curb me from that addiction. And I got better.

Then I started selling patterns, and that was awesome, and a few years later, it's become a dream come true and a road to greater blessings! But I'm not done with my story yet.

We moved to Iowa, three and a half years after the beginning of all this, which was awesome. I loved it, and it brought with it a whole new set of problems, but also blessings. My marriage started improving, I loved my kids and they were improving and starting school, which we loved the schools there, good friends etc. Lots of good things. But I would still struggle.

For a few months I made some really large fabric purchases. I got sucked into a different trap. I now knew the big name fabric designers, and there were a lot of amazing fabric lines coming out, and no one ever reprinted any of their lines!! So it was this "buy it or lose it, or pay outrageous prices later" type thing. And I wanted the best fabrics. Well, I started having anxiety again. And it was really scary this time. My husband worked twenty miles away, the hospital looked like it was a hundred years old, and I was all alone in this small town in the middle of no where. And I was pregnant again. So one night I had the worst panic attack ever. God was going to take me from this earth if I didn't finally come clean with my husband and tell him everything. So I did. I bawled at him in the middle of the night while he was half asleep. I don't know what he got out of my crying, but he did understand at least some of it. And he understood how much I had probably spent over the years. And he didn't even get mad at me. He wasn't happy, but he didn't kill me, and neither did God.

That was the beginning of my healing, and my recovery. I still messed up, still bought fabric sometimes. But I became open with my husband about when I was struggling. I would tell him when I messed up and bought something. He became my support, instead of being afraid to tell him. He still hated it when I would mess up, but he would always forgive me!! It is SO important to have someone there to support you, and to be understanding and caring, and love you back to doing the right thing.

Now back to the pattern thing. As I started creating and selling patterns, I felt like I finally found my niche, a way I could help our income and circumstances. It also became so important to me to "pay back" everything I had spent. I had to reconcile my wrong. I think it was the beginning of this year that I finally made it to the black!!! Wahoo! It took a long time, but I felt good being even. And now instead of feeling like I was correcting my wrongs, I could feel like I was helping out. What an amazing feeling!! And it truly became a great blessing!!

Our six months in Florida was one of the greatest challenges I've ever had!! But also a huge blessing!! And exactly what we needed to become who we need to be, and who we are still striving to become. Feeling more in control of my spending, and with my patterns being more successful, I felt like I had the freedom to make business purchases, instead of fabric addict purchases. It's become a different dynamic, and it's been so much healthier and happier, and a much more peaceful feeling. And I will tell you, as I have been doing better with my spending and being honest with my husband, my health issues have been minimal and most. I know the two were connected.

So now here we are at today. Why am I telling you all of this? Although I have made huge strides. It's not over. Although our circumstances are better, we still have debt and student loans. We don't own a home, we aren't where we would like to be. And it. Is. Stressful!! At least to me. Financial stress has been one of the hardest burdens for me to bear. And before, I medicated by buying stuff. Stupidest prescription ever!! It's like giving someone with diarrhea a handful of laxatives. Sorry for the disgusting imagery. But that's exactly what it is. Disgusting. Why do we do it? I know I'm not alone in the shopping self medicated treatment. I'm not the only woman on earth, so I know I'm not the only one that struggles with that. ;) but anyway, about a month ago I felt like I finally woke up to our situation and, while it's not horrible, and we're better off that a lot of people, it has become a burden that is too heavy for me to bear. Last week, I felt like someone threw a flame to this pile of wood, and now it's on fire. I feel like I am back to square one with all my struggles. I just want to buy everything I see!! I made some business purchases to try and relieve some of the pressure, but still. It's not easy. It's not easy being stressed and burdened.

As I thought about it tonight, my current struggles, my story in the past, I thought about anyone else that is out there in the same situation. Who might feel alone, burdened, buried under a mountain of fabric and "hiding" what one really spent. I can tell you what, all those fabric shops can probably point out exactly who each one of us are, and I will be forever grateful that they don't announce my purchases!! ;) lol.

Have you noticed that I never post when I bought new fabric? Like on IG. I think it's fun to see what people buy, and I like to drool over pretty fabric. But for me, it is a real struggle to see that. If I see a lot of it, and especially when a lot of pretty collections are released all at once, it becomes a war to not dive right into a spending spree. And my heart goes out to others in that same boat. I'm not asking anyone to stop sharing, I'm not asking anything of anyone. My situation is no ones fault but my own. I own it. I take full responsibility for my own actions. But I also want to be supportive of others and not add to their own struggles, whatever they may be. I think once I wrote that I felt like a kid staring out the window, watching all the other kids play, and get ice cream from the ice cream truck, and all those favorite fun kid things. But I couldn't go out and play. And that is a hard thing for a kid. And can be a hard thing for us adults too.

The biggest strength I have found to overcome is the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I am still learning the full potential of prayer, and will probably never reach it, but I hope to get close. Prayer is powerful. The scriptures strengthen me everyday. Repentance, and making up my mistakes has been huge!! And most of all, having relationships built on trust and honesty. That has been the major key in all of this. Being able to be honest with my husband has kept me on track most of all!! And I'll add, honest with myself, and with God. And honest with my budget and finances - stay within your means.

I was recently told that I push people away, and it's true. Probably for most of my life I have. Pushed away their love, support, and help. I pushed away my husband for years as I dealt with my struggle alone. I was also told to STOP IT! STOP pushing people away. So in my efforts to let people in, I'm sharing my inner struggles right here on my blog. And I'm not afraid. Judge, criticize, agree, support, be annoyed, whatever. I am opening up my tender heart and letting you see my struggling imperfect self. Because how in the world can I ever let anyone in my life in, if I am not even honest with myself about who I am. I will probably be mortified if I find out that real people who I know if real life read this, but whatever. I guess it's all or nothing. ;)

Thanks for being patient, or not patient, with my long rambling post. I'd love to hear your comments if you have anything, experiences, helps, whatever to add. I guess another thing that has really helped is just to have the right perspective. Get rid of all the lies and misconceptions that the marketing world tries to throw at us and make us believe. That is where scriptures and prayer have really helped, to reveal the truths from the lies, and uncover all those wrong train-of-thoughts.

Alright, that's it now. Happy reading and happy sewing!!


You can read my follow up posts to this post in these places:

So Many Thoughts + Thank You! + "Nothings Allowed Pen Pals"
Shop Your Stash Weekend!!!
Nothing's Allowed PenPals +

Diane

56 comments:

  1. What a brave and honest post. So many of us are somewhere along this road. Thank you. One thing that has helped me is Pinterest. When I see something I think I want, I pin an image of it and wait for a week. Most times I can resist. I wish you success with your struggle. Your patterns are genius.

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  2. I buy for a specific project but sometimes don't end up making it and the fabric stash builds up. When I run out of room to put fabric in my storage boxes I dig in deep and try to use some of it so I can get the lids closed again! Usually about once or twice a year I get that have to have it and then I try and hold off but eventually give in! I managed to wait 6 weeks to buy Noteworthy! Thankfully this is rare enough but it's how you described it perfectly above!

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  3. Thankyou for you bravery and honesty!!

    Although my spending has never gotten that out of control, I have had to put my shopping onto a prepaid credit card.... My problem was like erosion.... $10 here, $18 there. I never realized how much it was adding up to!

    And I totally understand where you're coming from with the ice cream story. Because we are in Australia, fabric and shipping is soooo much more expensive. So its impossible to keep up with everyone else's fabric addiction and dangerous to try!

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  4. Bravo for sharing. This is so important. So much of this sounds familiar to me. Sending you strength xxx

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  5. Thank you for posting that!! I destroyed my credit with my spending habits and still haven't fixed it. I spent years fixing hubby's credit so we have at least one that is in shape. I still struggle with spending habits but my first priority is bills, food and our daughter. Then I look if I can selfish spend. I used coupons as my excuse, 50% off always allowed me to overspend cuz it was a deal. I hope your shopping struggles ease for you.

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  6. Wow, I had to breath out loudly frst, before I could open the comment button. Stunning that you could write this so free and frankly. Great respect fo that. I cannot compare my self with you, but I had an simlar Problem, because I bought fabric and fabric and fabric and now I really think twice and leave my online Shopping basket over night and decide, if I really want it. It´s funn, because I recently started to write patten to and it fels so satisfying - I wish you good luck to be strong!!! Aylin xo

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  7. Amen. Just now considering opening an Etsy store to sell some quilts I have made to help my family out. I have been resisting purchases for quite some time now. I to use Pintrest to "remind me" about a line I like. So often I find that my feelings change. New lines always come out, there is always something new I like...but honoring my family financially has become the greater joy. Praying for you.

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  8. Your analogy with the kids and ice cream truck are spot on. Those feelings don't change as you grow up, only the subject matter is different. Know that you are not alone and many people struggle with the same type of problem, and thankfully you have a relationship with Jesus to lean on and hold you up when you need it most! Thank you for sharing your story and being so open and honest, I have no doubt it wasn't easy for you. God Bless!
    Amanda

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  9. Hopefully this post is therapeutic for you. Often times addictions can stem from some unhappy place inside us and until we deal with it, we cannot overcome the behavior.

    It is good to know that you are on the road to recovery and have found a spiritual strength and have strengthen the family bounds. Stay tuned to your inner voice and make time for inner reflection and meditation. Trusting people can be difficult but put your faith first in all things and let it guide you.

    tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

    tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Thank you for this post. Our stories are all somewhat like yours. Having a wonderful husband is the best gift (next to salvation) from God. They can be honest but still extend grace. Good luck!

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  11. Wow! Thank you so much for posting. When I first started back into quilting I would see others work and fabric purchases and tally up the cost of their fabrics, even leaving their time costs out, and would think, "that is incredibly expensive!" I wondered how anyone could quilt so much with such prohibitive prices. But after years of seeing the gorgeous work others do, and the beauty I can make, it has desensitized me to the costs. I am also trying to be responsible with the resources and blessings I have. And it takes repeated conscious efforts. I so very much appreciate this post and I'm sure will reference it often.

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  12. I hear you! I only just started using IG for networking with other quilters, and so my problem only started a few months ago, and, luckily for me, I was able to notice it before I overspent too much. I did have several anxious nights recently though. Actually, remember when I posted about looking for Tula Pink fabric, and you linked an auction, and I said I was trying *not* to spend? Well, (because I don't want you to feel like you enabled my addiction), someone had clued me in to those auctions first, and even though I vowed to NOT bid, I did. And then I went on ebay and bid fifty friggin dollars on a yard of TP fabric, and then couldn't sleep the four nights until the auction was over, praying to Jesus that I *didn't* win, because good grief, $50 for a yard of fabric I may or may not use (probably not, because then I'd be like, "Wait, I paid $50 for this fabric, I can't cut into it!"). Jesus was kind, and I won zero of the auctions I bid in, so I didn't have to confess to my husband that I had spent far too much on so little, but I did need to come clean to him and tell him I was having a hard time controlling my impulse purchases. For me, confessing things to my husband, even though I feel ashamed and sometimes silly, is almost always helpful. It's like, because I've made it known to him, I don't just have to be accountable for myself, but also to him, because it is *our* money. He's never mean or angry, just supportive, which is the best.

    I used to have a rule that I needed to sleep on purchases like this, and not following that rule got me into trouble. I instituted a fabric fast for August, which has been helpful. Needed to work out the self discipline muscle and tell myself no more.

    Anyway, bravo to you for writing this. I bet it helps with your own accountability if you find yourself backsliding.

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  13. I read your post this morning while drinking my coffee, but I had to run out to a meeting so I didn't get chance to comment. I have to tell you, I have been thinking about what you wrote all day. It's especially timely for me since I spent all day yesterday totally stressed about my finances.

    I haven't bought much fabric in the last year or so (since I moved to Toronto and got a job and bought a house, etc), but in the years that I was supposed to be writing my Master's thesis I was really struggling and not accomplishing much, and I definitely fell into the trap of finding an odd sense of purpose and even accomplishment (crazy!) in orders of fabric and successful days hunting through thrift shops. Now that I've moved on from school, I have a larger student debt than necessary because of those purchases, and too much stuff for this small Toronto house! I'm literally tripping over my mistakes.

    I definitely think that social media is a double-edged sword. Finding the online creative community, first on Flickr and now on Instagram, was in some ways the best thing that could have happened to me at a time when I was struggling to defining who I was. But at the same time, seeing everyone else buying things that I wanted and couldn't afford made me feel "lesser" in some way. Like I wasn't really part of the group. And so I bought it anyway...

    Sorry for the long-winded response. Mostly, I just wanted to say that I empathize with your struggle, and to tell you that I think you are fabulously talented, and I can't wait to see what you create next.

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  14. Great Post! I think having free time at work is a bad thing for me. To much time to look at pretty fabric. I do try to only buy for specific projects. I have some stash but not a lot. I always find myself digging in the scrap bins to make a project so I can save my neatly folded fabric. CRAZY isn't it!

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  15. I have a fabric addiction, I have an obsessive personality and always do everything like 110%. This is the first time though I have really ever indulged in an addiction/want.

    I stored and organized my fabric stasg all the other day to truly get a look at it all, and shared it on my blog. Last year around Christmas I would hide the fabric in my desk at work before bringing it home, finally. We have since discussed it. My husband and I have well paying jobs but i would like to get me spending under control. My son (7 years old) is even asking now why do I spend so much and have so many packages come to the house.

    I have made the decision to reduce my spending per month to $100 (a significant decrease - its about 10-40% of what I was spending). If I want a line in the upcoming months I will either have to sell something I have made or save. If that goes well I may reduce it further.

    Thanks for sharing - I totally know how you felt.

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  16. You are extremely brave to divulge your heart, and to open it to everyone, You do know, unfortunately, you will have people say hurtful things because their lives are so petty and perhaps face the same problem. I, for one, appreciate your honesty. My problem hasn't become problem yet. I don't seem able to enjoy working on quilt projects, for reading blogs and saying I want to make this, and this and this, knowing I won't do it, but need fabric just in case. I have cut down a lot on purchasing fabric unless it is for the project I am actually working on now. Your heartfelt disclosure has made me decide that any buying I do for the rest of the year will be only necessity buys for backings mostly. I will use my stash!!! I will use my stash!!!! Bless your heart and I lift you up in prayers for peace. Thank you for sharing. poladydwd(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. WOW...thank you for writing this! I was actually sitting in an addiction recovery class (5th Sunday lesson, I'm a Mormon too :)) and somebody made such an interesting comment about addictions being so much more common than anybody realizes, and it was my first clue that I actually have one. As women and especially as moms, SHOPPING is such a huge part of what we DO, as is finding great deals and always being on the lookout for that next great thing that will make our family so happy or our next project so Pinterest worthy...but as soon as you even say that out loud you realize how little you actually NEED...my fabric stash especially is a source of equal parts pleasure and guilt for me. The other day the activity day girls came over and I gave them each a plastic bag and had them fill it up with scraps for projects they were going to do and honestly they probably walked out of my house with hundreds of dollars worth of fabric and...it was one of the most satisfying things I've ever done with it. I'm rambling...mostly just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this.

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  18. Wow, you have really made me think about my purchasing. Here via Alyce - Blossom heart quilts. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog.
    Anne

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  19. I know that you are feeling raw and bare, but we appreciate your honesty. You have made a lot of look in the mirror and examine ourselves. The Lord tell us that ...He cares for YOU!... and we have to trust in that to carry on. Thank you very much.

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  20. I read this post yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. I applaud you for having the strength to write it, as it can't have been easy.
    This post has been very timely for me. I can feel myself at the top of a slippery slope. When I first started quilting, I just couldn't afford expensive fabrics, family expenses came first. Buying from the States needs big purchases to justify postage and buying in NZ is really expensive.
    When I started selling patterns, I had a guilt free budget for fabric and yarn. Initially it took me months to save small amounts, but recently pattern sales have been going well and its been more and more tempting to buy all the fabric.
    I felt really bad about my last purchase. It felt extravagant. I have since decided to curb my spending and start saving. I also want to share my pattern money with the family more. I have a few great ideas what to save for and intend to stick to my resolution. Thank you for the warning.

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  21. I enjoyed reading your post and it's great to read about the reality of life, finances and relationships! I think the main message is honesty, honest with yourself and what you can afford. I don't have credit cards or loans and there are times we struggle financially but I do have that habit of 'treating' myself with fabric or other purchases. I only do that once all the bills etc are paid (if there's any money left!) and I look for the best deals I can or wait for sales. I totally agree about not falling for special offers or wanting what everyone else has. I often do that thing of putting items in the online basket and NOT hitting checkout, then leaving it for a couple of days and seeing if I still want it NEED it. Most often I don't and so I probably save myself a fortune by just imaginary shopping ;) xx

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  22. Your post is wonderful and speaks to a lot of us I think. I took up quilting as a creative outlet, as a way to feel connected with a community in a time when I was struggling with my personal connections. This is a daily struggle for me still. And because I want to be a part of the community, I also want what I perceive the community wanting. This is so dangerous for my personal mental health and finances, but also, as a community we value each person's individuality and creative vision. Being the same as everyone else does not add value to the community or to my personal life. Keeping this in mind has helped me tremendously just in the past few weeks. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. We can all offer support in times of need.

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  23. Wow, your post just rang some major bells with me. I am currently struggling hard with my marriage. My husband has been unemployed for two years and I had to leave the kids with him and go back to work myself. I knew that I was doing some "emotional" shopping but what really just hit home for me is the 'pushing people away' comment. That's exactly what I'm doing. Sorry to ramble about me, I'm just sitting here dumbfounded. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear you've made such progress. I don't know how to express what I want to say here, but we all use social media and sometimes those 'relationships' take priority over the real ones in our lives. This is so eye opening!

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  24. This totally resonates with me. It has been other things in the past. Shoes, handbags, slings, children's clothes. I definitely have a compulsion to buy *stuff*, regardless of my financial situation. Most recently it has been fabric. We have been financially secure, but I recognised it as a problem and have been on a fabric fast this year. No fabric. I've bought a lot of hab dash, threads and notions. You see? I want to start buying fabric again soon, I miss it. But I need to find the balance. I can buy no fabric, I can buy all the fabric. How to find the middle ground? Our situation may be changing and we won't have that kind of spare cash, so I have made a deal with myself. If I want fabric I have to sell something. I have so much stuff. Those clothes, handbags, shoes, slings, baby stuff? All sat unused. Sell it, raise the cash, then I can spend. We will see how that goes. Good luck to you too xx

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  25. Brave post...and one I think a lot of us could relate to...I have a huge stash and I have been doing better at not adding to it. Instead I go to the stash first when I am ready to start a new project and I shop there which has actually been really fun. I also stopped a lot of my email subscriptions because the hardest part is getting an email about a store sale and feeling like you just have to spend your money NOW. I admit that certain designers pull me in with a new collection... but now I can satisfy my urge to shop by buying maybe 4 fat quarters of my favorite prints instead of 1/2 yard cuts of the entire collection. Moderation is the key for me...but it is always a struggle to find the balance.

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  26. Thank you for your honestly painful post! I do feel a bit of your pain but I totally get where you are coming from and understand what you have said. I have fallen victim to the fabric addiction also, not as bad as you but I have more fabric that I will ever be able to use in my life. I also have grand plans of making this and that and in reality have made very, very few things. I work 50+ hours a week so how in the world would I have time to do much sewing. I have been able to control my buying habit now and what I do purchase I am very careful about my selection. Don't get me wrong I could go hog wild again and buy until it rains gumdrops. It is so easy to get caught up in it.
    I am trying to only purchase fabric if I have a project to make with it. I have followed you for a short time and am really looking forward to browsing your blog and seeing new posts from you!

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  27. I love watching you develop your patterns and business. The problems you describe ones that most people get help from the medical and addiction rehab community, they are very big, probably too big, to solve on one's own, I hope you seek that help out too. Sharing is a good start.

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  28. Thank you. Just.....thank you.

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  29. Thank you for being brave enough to share this. I find it effective to set a budget. I have also recognized that the marketing in the quilting community is aggressive -- just as the sweet sugary cereals are deliberately set at eye level of my 4-year old at the grocery store.

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  30. I read this last night, and have been thinking about it off and on all day. While I'm not in your situation, I have a deep admiration for your honesty and bravery in sharing this post. I'm guessing that you have helped a number of readers with your heartfelt post. This may be a long journey for you, but if you continue to turn to God and your husband for unconditional love and guidance then you'll make it out on the other side. God Bless. xoxo

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  31. Thanks for being brave, you're entirely right, there are a lot of us who do this! I'm one too and I have to really watch myself because I don't have the means to keep getting fabric as much as I want it. I will say that quilting for me actually started off as something life changing and saving at a very horrible time in my life, so it was a Godsend. But soon I got your symptoms so I'm working on it day by day. Hang in there, your coming along very nicely!! :)

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  32. Nothing is more powerful in fighting our demons than God's love, the support of others who understand us, and the truth. Your honesty is like a light shining on the part of us all that that would prefer to cower in the dark. At least, that is what this post has been for me today. Thank you for allowing yourself to be so open and vulnerable. I feel less alone in the world because of what you wrote, and to me that is truly God working through you. Bless-

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  33. This is sic a brave and raw post. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!! ❤️❤️

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  34. Thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly. I hope you find the strength to overcome this buying tendency for good. You have been blessed with a lovely family and that is something truly special. You are a wonderful creation on this planet, and as soon as you allow yourself to believe this and feel it in all it's glory, fabric will be just another thing, not what defines you. Wish you peace, health and happiness.
    Eva

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  35. Wow I totally love your post, so impressed of you telling all this. And you are so right. I was always the person who used her stash up, finished all her projects before starting something new, but since now nearly a year, its getting in the wrong direction. With each wonderful collection released, I feel the urge to buy it, its really horrible, coz I cant afford it. I always told my husband what I bought, but to be true, the last 3 times I did not, felt really ashamed, that I couldnt stay strong. Was nearly crying when I read your post, coz you have so many important points. Thanks for your post, it really helps others to keep strong, at least I will try. Wish you all the best

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  36. You have really given out a piece of your heart to support the rest of us and I thank you for that. I have struggled with shopping addiction for years. First it was on the kids (easy to rationalize), then thrifting and garage sales, finally fabric and quilting stuff. It didn't help that my best friend has a virtually unlimited budget to indulge her quilting hobby. I can't tell you why but one day I just woke up and clarity had set in. I no longer want to buy stuff and instead of the temporary "high" from the purchase I instantly feel almost a pre-regret. It has made it so much easier to walk away. I am now in the process of clearing out and giving away things I no longer have any interest in doing. I was lucky, I stopped before I ruined my life, marriage, and credit. My moment of truth may have come when I went to an estate sale for a home shopping club addict and was truly gobsmacked that anyone would want or buy all those things, 60% never opened. I guess I saw my fabric stash through everyone else's eyes finally. I still have issues letting go of things but I no longer struggle as hard with resisting the urge to buy. Much love to all of you out there with a shopaholic addiction, from a recovering "sister".

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  37. I cried reading this, because I saw myself so much in it! Thank you for being vulnerable!

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  38. Thank you for writing this post. Now many things have happened in the recent years that I have realised the close connection between my need to buy something new and thinking that it will make me feel better. I am trying to break away from this. Not having money to spend has made me have to face this problem but I am still trying to find a balance. Your post has given me lots to think about and is very supportive. Thank you again.

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  39. I am so like you in so many ways. I always push people away. I don't know why. I've worn glasses since I was 5 (I'm 67 now), and was a chubbie little girl. I was always made to feel fat and not good enough. REALLY poor body image and self esteem. I'm morbidly obese now, and, even though I've been married twice, with 7 kids and a lot of grandkids and great grands, find myself alone. I've always felt that now one could or would (or probably even should), ever love me. I have sewn since I was a little girl, made my three oldest boys ALL of their clothes except underwear and socks, but now I just buy fabric. I tell my (only) friend that it seems to fill that hole in my soul, albeit temporarily. I want to stop buying, but haven't had the strength yet. I think after I finish this post, I'll unsubscribe from all of the fabric stores' emails. Thank for helping me see myself in you.

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  40. Obrigada por ter escrito este post, eu realmente estava precisando ler algo assim.
    Bjs
    Marlene from Brasil

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  41. Thank you for this brave and moving post. Like Lisa, who commented above, I feel that the quilting industry have a lot to answer for. I wish you all the best for the future.

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  42. Thank you for your candor. Until we actually say it out loud, or write it out, it is so easy to be in denial. Coming to terms with a problem is to acknowledge it.
    We were so broke in our first decade of marriage, that I only bought fabric and wool and craft supplies when it was deeply discounted. I saved it for *the day* that I would need it.
    25 years later, I still have stash I haven't touched. Or can't find when I *do* want to use it. My saving grace: I don't have a credit card.

    I am now a grandmother, and while my brain still kicks in to "I want to make her ______", reality is that I would rather spend the time with her, reading her books and colouring. What I do manage to make is heartfelt. I don't have 100 quilts made or WIP. I have one made, in her crib. I don't have 500 cross-stitch pictures that are in my To Do pile. I have 2 finished ones on the wall.

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  43. Awesome thanks for sharing. It's so easy to get pulled in. And buying online it doesn't feel...real I guess!

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  44. Wow, bless you for your strength and honesty. You will probably reach and help more people than you will ever know, i am sure.
    Thank you

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  45. Thanks for your post (I linked over from Pretty Bobbins). I read through the comments and obviously you have touched a nerve. I loved the perspective from Pippirose (above) also commenting on our compulsion to "over make" which of course feeds the "over buy" fabric addiction about which you wrote so well. I learned long ago that my tiny brain is no match for the wizards of the marketing departments with their staffs, as they crank out one cute thing after another. I can never keep up.

    I work hard to focus in on what I can accomplish, what is reasonable for me, and have written about it several times on my blog as well. I'm LDS, too, so I also try to think of myself as a steward of my time, talents, and abilities, and when I'm overloaded with fabric and fabric lines and precuts then it's a pressure, not a joy. And as a result, then I'm not being a responsible steward with what I've been blessed. Some adjustments are necessary. I try never to beat myself up over my mistakes and that is one of the best things about your post--you accept where adjustments need to be made and move on from there. Thank you for such a great piece of writing, and such heartfelt sentiments!

    Elizabeth
    opquilt.com

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  46. Thank you so much for the honest, heartfelt blog post. I to have purchased an extremely large stash of fabric, rubber stamp paraphernalia and scrapbook supplies. I will never ever be able to use all of it in my lifetime. Though we are not rich, I have been able to make these purchases without there being a negative impact on our finances. The sad part of this is that most of this excess will never be used. How much is too much? In my case I reached the "too much" level a long time ago. I have periodically had a wake up call, but then slip back into my old patterns. I hope your story will resonate with me in such a way that I will begin to understand that I need to bring this to a halt. I need to use what I have and stop coveting all the new things that tempt me. There are always going to be new fabric lines, quilting accessories, rubber stamps, etc. but using what I have would be a wonderful turnaround in my life, and I think would bring much more satisfaction. Thank you!

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  47. Wow! Thank you for your transparency, something that is truly lacking in many blogs. I admire you for your openness and willingness to share your journey. I think we can all relate to one degree or another. Bravo!

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  48. I have decided that when I first see a new collection if I go, O M G I love that then maybe I will think about buying it when it goes on special! If I look at it and go Meh, like I did for Briar rose for example ( which everyone seems to rave about ) then I'm not going to buy it. Only fabric that I love love because it is easy to get caught up in the instagram Hype! I have five children and for the first time since before kids I am earning some money of my own so can indulge in this hobby of quilting I have become addicted to. When my family was young I had no spare money so I feel your anxiety! I think you have been very brave and I wish you the best and I know this will pass and you will sort your priorities. Kids grow up so fast enjoy them now and the fabric and quilting will still be there when they are older :) xxx

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  49. I commend you for your honesty and bravery. By reading all the comments above mine, it sounds as if you have touched a nerve with many women, including myself. Thank you.

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  50. I feel myself wanting to cheer for you. I want pom poms and banners and fireworks. Thank for you honesty and your willingness to share.

    Depression runs in my family, Dad, my Sister and Brother all suffer with it and so I went with my Mum to a day class for people supporting someone with depression. It was an interesting day. We learnt a lot but one thing they said that often plays over in my mind is that over shopping is a symptom of depression. Wether its compulsive spending on things you don't need or spending outrageous amounts on things it is a symptom of the illness. My Mother-in-law who also suffers from depression is a shopping addict. She will buy anything on sale. I often receive boxes of craft supplies from her that she found at a garage sale and I have managed to curb her buying for me to things I may actually use of I know where I can donate but it is still so hard to see how it affects her.
    Its a horrible illness. It is a nasty mean and selfish illness but treatable in most cases.

    I did find myself thinking on my own purchases of fabric and notions and I realised the ones I feel best about are from people or stores I feel connected to. If I buy a pattern I may or may not use but it helps a friend to stay at home with her kids or continue her dream job thats ok. Its more like philanthropy than wasting money. The same goes for fabric I feel better buying form smaller suppliers than the big chains it may cost a little more at times but that money is going to support someone doing her best for her family and self not a corporation.

    I hope you find lots of support in these comments and that you are sustained by the love of your husband as you come to grips with this part of your life.

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  52. I have a fabric addiction also. I have so much fabric and I don't know where to start. I can't even put a pattern and fabric together to start a project. I feel so guilty. Now I cannot even go into my sewing room to work on anything.

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  53. thank you for your honesty and for helping us all face the demon rather than enabling more purchasing, which so many people do! why can't more people say "enough is enough" rather than pat me on the back and excuse my bad behavior? it's a real problem. addictions of all types are everywhere. i thank my Heavenly Father i was raised with the Word of Wisdom so i don't have substance addictions, but that doesn't mean i don't have addictions. specifically spending problems. i saw Hoarders on tv while on vacation a few years ago and it scared the pants off me because i could see myself headed in that direction. it was other things first, but these days it's fabric. we didn't have the money in earlier years of marriage and it caused obvious problems. now we do have the money but it doesn't justify my spending and poor stewardship. i did a fabric fast last year. after stops and starts, i went a whole 6 months without spending and it felt fantastic! but when it was over i just bought everything i'd been waiting to buy and i only really managed to do it by basically dropping out of quilting. so i don't feel i truly accomplished much. maybe avoided some impulse purchases. knowing i'm not alone, that not everyone out there is blinded by what's going on or is playing the game, gives me courage and hope. i say that with compassion for the innocent also struggling. thank you very much for talking about this with a voice of clarity, ownership, and non-judgement.

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  54. Thanks for sharing: you are really brave! I've been feeling guilty about my "stash" lately, and I need to use your words to realize that it is a problem. We can afford it, but it is probably more than I can use in my lifetime!! Hope you are doing well: I'll pray for you, and maybe you could pray for me! Hoping that you have a wonderful weekend! Hugs from H in Healdsburg

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  55. Thank you so much for this post. Just thank you very much.

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