Stash Report

I hit up the thrift store when I went to the doctor.  It’s my guilty pleasure.  In 2020 I’m making a strong effort to try to cut back on my incidental purchases and focus on bigger things.

I started that in 2017 with my “fabric diet”.  I decided that I wouldn’t buy fabric unless it was for a specific project or something I REALLY needed to finish a project.  I did awesome at that.  It wasn’t so much that I wanted to tighten my budget as I wanted to afford some bigger ticket items.  I found myself wishing for better lighting but then I would spend all of my money on fabric and wouldn’t have money for lighting.  One day I finally figured out that I could have better lighting if I would just limit my fabric spending and that’s that I did.  That year I bought this  AWESOME light I use in my sewing room at my machine.  I loved so much that I went back and bought another.  I can’t imaging sewing without them now.  I’ve thought about buying a third.  That’s how much I love them.  HERE is the link.  It doesn’t look like it could throw much light but it is night and day difference.   It adjust nicely to every machine.


That year I also got a wool mat.  HERE IS THE LINK.


Those purchases did more for my sewing room than more fabric could have.  I also went to only Olfa Splash rotary cutters.

Olfa Blue Splash 45mm Rotary Cutter
Changing a blade on these is a breeze and since then I change the blade more often.  Silly I know, but I do.

Anyway, focusing my quilting money on big items that made my sewing life easier really paid off for me.

After that experience I started applying the “don’t spend on little things and save for the big things” to other parts of my life.  Since Kramer passed away and I’m in charge of all the money, it’s easier than it before.

I’ve been working on my freezer challenge…I am buying less food so when I do buy food now, I’m enjoying things like shrimp more often.  I’ve moved to quality more than quantity and that’s brought nice cheese which I love into our house.

Anyway…I’ve been doing this with toys for the kids and things for the house too.  I’m MUCH happier having quality over quantity.  I hope I can keep this all up as I really like it.

So back to my original thought….I’ve not been to the thrift store as often and when I go, I buy less.  It’s all good.  I spent $1.60.  This is what I got….
My green calico to add to my collection was 50 cents.
I got a magazine and this book just for something to page through at night before bed.  I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to get them, page through them and donate them back to the thrift store.


The one I was REALLY excited about was this one…..I won’t be giving this one back.  This one is a keeper.Back when the kids were little every so often we’d go to the neighboring town and visit their library.  The library there was MUCH bigger than our local library.  We’d spend a Saturday morning there browsing and reading.  They loved it and I did too.  I think a couple times a year I could check out this book.  Oh I loved it.  There are so many wonderful quilts in the book.  Seriously, if I had to get rid of my quilting books and cut my library to only a couple selections, this one is one I’d keep…so once I’m done paging through this at bedtime, I’m putting this one right in my own library.  YAHOO!!  I have my own copy now!

I checked and the book is still available on Amazon HERE.

There are so many quilts I love….
I love traditional quilts and this one has a treasure trove of them.
Granted there are a few dated projects….like this.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at this and wished applique was my thing.
I’ve had the book for a week now…yep…I have looked at it every night.  I read through a pattern and laugh at the instructions.  Everything is so different than now.  We all have rotary cutters for one thing!!  Oh we are so lucky to be living in this age of quilting.  We are so blessed with awesome tools like the ones I showed you at the beginning of this post.

What a fun $1.60 I spent!!  I could have easily spent another $25 but I kept reminding myself to pick a couple favorites and save the rest for a big project.

I’m so happy that back in 2017 I started my fabric diet and I learned that I can afford nicer things if I bypass buying so much fabric at the quilt shops.  Nowadays I can’t imagine sewing without my nice light and wool mat….I can’t wait to see what else I can afford to do this year if I’m not buying so much little stuff.

14 thoughts on “Stash Report

  1. Toni Wood

    I have both of those books in my collection. Like you I’m only buying fabric if absolutely nothing in the stash will work. Our local quilt shop closed two months ago and that alone is forcing me to look at my patterns and books rather then walking in the shop to see a drop dead “gawjus” quilt that I need to buy the kit like NOW! LOL I think this might be a fun time to examine and use what I’ve got!

  2. Donna

    I used to have both of those books before moving into the rv. Yep, they’re dated but so much fun. In fact, Georgia Bonesteel had a show years ago. I caught it on tv, was interested and never looked back! My first quilt was for my oldest was made using her methods.
    Love and prayers

  3. june

    I love the old quilt books. It’s very hard to find them at thrift stores any more as they go quickly. I learned off of them. Today we have mega variety of quilts – some we now call art quilts and new age etc But I never fail to be impressed by how much work and planning went into our “fore mothers (and fathers) quilting skills. The tools they did not have that we have today to make sewing a breeze. I came into quilting when the great debate was “ Is it a quilt if you do it on a machine and not all by hand?”
    Thanks Jo for sharing so much of your world with us. God Bless

  4. Elle

    Great find Jo! Something you already cherished and now it is yours.

    It is rare to find quality fabric at the thrift stores I frequent. A few weeks ago I found 1y of red stars on tan for $1.99 and yesterday I found a cream background 4y for $2.49. This is major here!

    You’re really applying mindfulness to your choices to spend. Good for you! It will serve you well.

    Happy Sunday!

  5. Stearns Carol

    I was at the bookstore yesterday and looked at the magazines. Was tempted to buy the one you are in right now. However, at $6.99 felt it was a ridiculous price. Maybe I’ll wait until someone turns it in at guild. I have a story about Georgia Bonesteel. We had two extremely large bins of stuff donated to our church, yarn, craft kits, fabrics, crafty items etc. Those bins just sat there and no one visited them. One day the craft group decided to clean them out, donate and keep what we wanted. In one of the bins was a large wooden hoop attached to a square piece of wood that you set on a table or held in your lap. That hoop was autographed by Georgia Bonesteel. I retrieved it but haven’t used it much. I need to get it out and see if my cross stitch piece will work better on it then what I am using.

  6. carolyn

    My mom had that American Patchwork book and I used to drool over the thousand pyramids quilt when I was in college! I should make one now, maybe I could steal her book! Thanks for reminding me of it!

  7. Linda White

    I have been looking at all the different wool pressing mats and just can’t convince myself they are worth the cost. Do you find it more helpful than a regular ironing board? Do you recommend that we get them? I just have so much trouble spending that much on it. LOL

  8. Judith Fairchild

    Jo,my mom bought me the American Patchwork quilt book back when I was in my early ’30,s I have made quilts from it and got lots of ideas also. When I downsized to a single room my sewing machine cutting table and best quilting books stayed with me. I didn’t have a lot of room to move around but I could quilt and be happy. Thanks to Mom. Enjoyed your post. I think I’ll try passing up the little things to save for that light and other big things I need. Thank you again for taking the time to help us save and have fun.

  9. Susie Q

    such a special thought ……… less of the little and something special later. No need to feel deprived.

  10. Lisa B

    Your description of what you call a fabric diet, or cleaning out the freezer, is very good. I’ve done similar things in my life, but I have never read about it in such a concise manner before. Life is about trade offs and your explanation is very good. Both of the books and the magazine were in my mom’s stash and the BH&G one went with her when she downsized two years ago.

  11. MaryE

    I recently donated two Georgia Bonesteel books to our guild. I know I’m never going to handquilt. But I know what you mean about stopping the small purchases to pay for larger and more beneficial items that enhance our enjoyment of quilting. Last year I added the computer guided software to my Millennium. It was a huge purchase and something I debated for many years. I am in love with it. My quilts are now quilted beautifully with designs I could never attempt to do freehand or with a paper panto. It has opened up a whole new world of quilting and I’m quilting a few for friends to help offset the cost.

  12. Jo Post author

    Linda-I do recommend the wool mats. I have the Nido brand. I got mine on Amazon for around $25. This one. https://amzn.to/2SXhZZE I recommend the small size to start with. It’s so portable and there really is a difference in how flat and nice you pieces lay.

  13. Marion Lyon

    Jo, your a terrific writer,I love your freezer story, so to the point. I need to cut back on buying fabric, I need to use what I have, I need to refocus and be more project orientated. Likewise i have 3 freezers full of food, there is me and my husband and a 14 year granddaughter who has come to live with us. We also have 3 locals grandkids who visit occasionally. Again, I need to be more focused. I think my food hoarding has got out of hand.

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