There is more than one way to use your “stash!”

If you are a sewer, rug hooker, knitter, fiber or mixed-media artist or a crafter, then I already know without even really knowing you, without ever having visited your home, sewing space or art studio that you have way more supplies than you’ll probably ever use.  There isn’t any kind of judgment in this statement. I understand. I’m right there with you.

Be warned, however, that having more “stash” does not make you more creative.  As a matter of fact, having more stuff can actually work against your creativity.

Take, for example, those of you who have boxes and shelves full of fabric for patchwork.  If, every time you walk past you fabric, you think, “QUILTS” then, without even realizing it, you have stifled your imagination.

Now, take another look at your fabric.  What else could you do with it?  If you weren’t a quilter and had access to all of your fabric and tools, what could you create?  What new ways could you use the fabric besides cutting squares, rectangles, and triangles?

Sit down and make a list.  No, really, a pen to paper list.

How many new, wonderful ideas can you come up with to use your fabric that has nothing to do with patchwork or quilting? What can you do with all of the supplies that you already have that will transform them, and your art, in a way that you can produce the unexpected, the unique, the creatively surprising?  How can you change your quilting mindset to a fresh, resourceful and powerful way of thinking that will transport you from the familiar and into the stratosphere of an artist?

Of course, I used fabric and quilting as an example in this post, but no matter what your craft or art of choice, take time to regularly work with your supplies, your technique and skill set to make them do more for you, to push your supplies and your talent in unforeseen and unplanned directions.

Once you challenge and change the way you literally see your booty of creative tools, you allow yourself the freedom, and give your unconscious muses permission, to break out of what has always been expected and move into the infinite possibilities of new, exciting creativity.

Pickle Road Studio, LLC

   I hope you enjoy my creative thoughts for hobbyists and crafters.  I post new blog thought entries every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Wednesday’s are reserved for Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski’s guests and new creative personalities that you’ll want to know and learn about.  Of course, I sprinkle things happening on Pickle Road throughout the week.  

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by clicking  the button on the left side of this post.  Also, why not share my posts with your creative friends and co-workers by clicking on any of  the share links?  If something really resonates with you, print it out and tack it to your bulletin board or tape it to the wall of your creative space, sewing or craft room as a gentle reminder that you can re-read!

As always, I love to hear about your creative life, wins and challenges!  Leave a comment here or email me at  Create and laugh through this week.  And , as always, always do what you love! xoxom


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8 Comments on “There is more than one way to use your “stash!””

  1. July 22, 2011 at 6:03 AM #

    I love how you keep putting the ideas and challenges out there for us, Mark. Through your blog and Creative Mojo, and the boisterous assistance of other creative friends, I am learning more about mixed media this summer, and having so much fun! I think this could be the piece that allows me to bring all my creative interests together “under one roof.”


  2. July 22, 2011 at 6:39 AM #

    I’ve stash yet most is remants etc as people donate to the Q4C charity ( cancer, children, comfort, community) and we’re short to make 300 quilts. I hope my grows as it lends to scrappy quilts Working on 300 50 x 70 for VETERANS now


  3. July 22, 2011 at 6:59 AM #

    This articulates something I already know but hadn’t really brought to the forefront of my mind. I’m very lucky as I have an excellent library and they are always getting new craft books in. New books are always displayed at the front of the library so I’m often seeing craft books for things I don’t normally do, but they give me great ideas for my enormous stashes of fabric, yarn and beads.

    Just in case any craft book authors are wondering, being able to see those books in the library benefits their book sales as I often end up going out to buy a copy of a book for myself that I never would have seen or thought about if I hadn’t seen it at the library first.


  4. July 22, 2011 at 7:02 AM #

    I’m so glad I found your online! I used to get your quilting magazine and now I assume you’re not doing that magazine anymore? I loved it! So now I’ll visit you here!
    I love to knit, quilt and sew. My Etsy site can be seen here:


  5. July 22, 2011 at 7:23 AM #

    I cut them into 1, 1.25, 1.5 inch strips for ‘locker hooking’. I’m trying to get ALOT so I can sit down and make whatever I want because I’ll have all the colors I could possible want!


  6. Anne
    July 22, 2011 at 8:04 AM #

    Great post Mark, another way I found to reduce my stash and open myself up to more creativity was to give or donate a few bags of fabric and extra books etc to new quilters/sewers etc, or even to some of the groups who make quilts etc for charity. Having less stuff/more space certainly helps me not feel so overwhelmed at times!

    I really love these posts and appreciate the time it takes to keep writing them, thanks again!


  7. July 22, 2011 at 8:51 AM #

    Great thoughts, Mark- excellent point about thinking “quilts” when looking at the fabric stash. I think I do tend to get hung up on the final product, and get swamped by the idea of “it”. I appreciate these positive encouraging posts!


  8. July 24, 2011 at 9:21 PM #

    I want to use my materials. I want to continue using my materials, but I want to continue to make quilts and do different things with paint and mixed media supplies. I need a buddy to do it with, though. Or, at least, I feel like I need a buddy. Perhaps I have that permission block going?


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