My Minimalism Journey, Studio

A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the Time

Have you ever purchased something for a future art/crafting project and you had absolutely no idea of what you were going to do with it at the time you purchased it?

It was just something you just knew you needed to have in your collection?

If you are an artist, crafter, quilter or any type of creative person, I am guessing the answer is “Yes” (at least for 95% of you – perhaps 5% of you only buy things for planned projects…)!

In previous posts I have shared My Minimalism Journey and my ongoing mission to curate my life. This curation involved not buying things I do not have a purpose for at the time. A recent experience is making me rethink some of the rules I have placed upon myself as I tried to embrace minimalism.

The perfect thing I needed for a recent craft project I purchased 16 – 17 years ago when I had not yet embraced minimalism (back then – if I liked it, I bought it!)

Cannon Beach Oregon

In the early 2000s, when Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I lived in Seattle, WA, we discovered the beautiful Oregon coast. We had no idea that someday we would be living in Oregon, but we knew the coast was beautiful and wanted to see the whole thing.

It took three vacation trips (the Oregon coast is long and there is much to see).  The first one focused on the northern Oregon coast (starting at the Washington State coast board); the second on the central Oregon coast; and the third was to see the southern Oregon coast (to the Northern California coast border).

Image credit: Oregon Coast postcard

There are many beautiful places along the Oregon coast. I have so many wonderful memories from those Oregon coast road trips which we made with our two miniature schnauzer at the time – Fritz & Snickers:

Fritz and Snickers on the Oregon Coast, 2000

Of all the Oregon coastal towns we visited, Cannon Beach, Oregon captured our hearts the most and remains our favorite place on the Oregon coast.

Image credit:

Cannon Beach has a charming downtown (we love to stroll it with the miniature schnauzers in their backpacks) with many quaint shops.

My favorite shop is of course the Center Diamond Fabrics Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach.

Our first trip to Cannon Beach was in 2000 and I was a new very new quilter. During my first visit to the amazing Center Diamond Fabrics quilt shop I purchased a Cannon Beach panel that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. 17 years later I figured out what to do with it – make a wallhanging for a friend of mine who loves Cannon Beach as much as I do!

By the way, my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna of the Woolie Mammoth blog, posted a recent video on her Quilt Roadies YouTube channel about this awesome quilt shop if you would like to get a first hand peek inside this shop:

The Wallhanging

Here is how I used the panel, 16 – 17 years later, I made a small quilted wall hanging for my friend Nancy who loves Cannon Beach. I used a folded log cabin technique to make the wallhanging, sewing folded strips of fabric in colors coordinating with the center panel.

Cannon Beach wallhanging with a painted center panel featuring Haystack Rock

My friend Nancy likes blues and green so I tried to include as much blue and green as I could in the piece. Put a hanging sleeve on back for a hanging rod.

She received it yesterday in the mail as a surprise and she is quite pleased with her gift! She plans to use a piece of beach driftwood to hang it it on.

I am so thankful I was not a minimalist 16 – 17 years ago when I bought it and put it away with no clue on what I was going to make with it!


I am very excited. I am treating myself to something special sometime after the holidays. I have ordered a custom tierneycreates CrawCrafts Beastie from my Ireland based blogging buddy Helen of CrawCraft Beasties: Adventurous Little Monsters Born in the Heart of Dublin City.

She knits these amazing creatures with adorable hand knitted sweaters and other paraphernalia. You should check out her blog and read some of her charming posts about the monster’s adventures or follow her on Instagram @crawcraftbeasties and see the sweet images of her creations and their adventures!

I cannot wait for my tierneycreates Beastie! I left it up to her to design what she thought a tierneycreates little knitted monster would look like 🙂

25 thoughts on “A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the Time”

  1. I have many a picture of Cannon Beach, but even more from Humbug Mountain state park, and I have climbed the mountain twice, laboring under the delusion there would be less fog at the top. One can never have too many ocean wave pictures. I would have to say, tho, that my favorite photos are the wreck of the Peter Iredale at the mouth of the Columbia. Visible wrecks of sailing ships are not common

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  2. I had to smile as soon as I started reading this. I think most of my crafting purchases didn’t (and in a lot of cases still don’t) have a purpose or project when bought! You have made a really lovely quilt – such lovely colours and patterns!

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    1. Thank you so much and she was really happy with the surprise gift so that means a lot😀 I think this whole experience has made me realize that I don’t need to be so strict with myself and it is OK to buy Beautiful fabrics that do not have a purpose at the moment😀

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  3. Hmmm. Early on I’d buy because I liked a fabric, having learned that it would go away and I’d not get a second chance. I’d try to determine if I thought it would go for accent or background when deciding how much. Now I buy with palette in mind, a range of tones of various colors. Occasionally I inventory what I’m getting low on and go on a shopping mission. I feel the need to have colors at hand to pull out when planning a quilt without having to go shopping for a color that isn’t currently in fashion. (I do buy for specific current projects as well.) My attempts at reduced possessions (never got so far as to really be minimalist) do not apply to fabric.

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    1. Yeah I think I can still embrace minimalism but I’m not going to stop myself from buying the perfect item related to my crafting that I come upon😀 thanks for your comments I really enjoyed them!


  4. Early in my interest in minimalism I read an article advising, “Don’t keep anything (no matter who gave it to you) unless you know or to be useful or believe it to be beautiful.” That has served me well and I think your panel passes the test. Happy Thanksgiving 🙃

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  5. Beautiful pictures of Cannon Beach, Tierney, and a great panel. Some treasures and finds are just too perfect to pass up. What a sweet idea to make a wall hanging with the panel; I love what you’ve done with the strips of fabric. 🙂 And, I’m so excited to hear you’ll be adopting your very own Beastie (YAAY!). I absolutely can’t wait to see the custom Tierney Creates Beastie; that combines some of my favourite things! 🙂

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    1. You should load up your “Clown Car” friends and do a girls trip to Cannon Beach – you all would have an awesome time – except you might want to do a “Clown Plane” and fly there – it is a bit of a haul from Texas! I agree – minimalist with everything except fabric 🙂


  6. I always love seeing the gifts you make and the reading about the thoughtfulness you put into each one! Of course I also loved the wall hanging!

    I also love the ocean and the coast–any sea coast! Unfortunately I’m pretty landlocked here in Indiana. We have lakes and aren’t all that far from Lake Michigan, but there’s just something about the ocean!

    What cool trips–to see the entire Oregon coastline! I loved the postcard as well which showed things of interest along or close to the coast. Maybe you need a travel blog too! LOL

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    1. Thanks so much! I do not travel that often so it would be a very brief travel blog – ha! I am primarily a homebody – I love just hanging out in Central Oregon and working on my crafts! My friend really liked the wallhanging (she was moved to tears) so it was totally worth keeping that item for 16 years 🙂

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  7. Oh wow, am I glad I got a chance to stop in and catch up with you today! Thank you so much for giving the Beasties a shout out on your wonderful blog… And I’m so looking forward to getting cracking on your Tierney Beastie once the pre-Christmas madness is over. I loved the story behind your Cannon Beach wall hanging, too – and you’re right, sometimes it is just best to jump in and grab things when you see them. I like to imagine that I’m pretty thrifty for the most part… But all bets are off when it comes to craft supplies! I know I’ll use them sometime 😉

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    1. Thanks and I think that is going to be the balance in my life – thrifty with everything else except craft supplies 🙂
      Hope you make it thorough the pre-Christmas madness and glad your products are selling well and keeping you busy!


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