Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Skeletons in My Closet

My husband and I are switching rooms again, his office and my sewing room.  I'm not-so-secretly THRILLED because that means I'm moving back into the room we originally planned to be my sewing room when we finished our basement: it is bigger, has much better natural light, has a closet and has walk-out doors to the yard.  Happy me!  Except moving all my sewing supplies is a lot of work, taking time away from actual sewing.

However, the beginning of the year is the time to re-assess and re-group and clean anyway, right?  I've been feeling a little overwhelmed in my sewing space, so time to get my act together down there. As I moved things over to the new room, I took time to organize them and make lists.

Oh, boy.  Making lists illuminates so much, sometimes things that you'd prefer to remain obscure.
Like how many UFOs I have: 28
Like how many completed tops I have that need quilting: 25
Like how many quilts I am currently quilting (I'm a hand quilter): 7
Top shelf = UFOs, middle shelf = flimsies, bottom shelf = being quilted
(ignore the defunct water softener in the yard outside the window - it is headed to the dump)
I know that I am a process person, not a finisher - that's no secret.  But this is a bit out of control, don't you think?

On to the fabric stash.  Much of it is contained in these drawers, neatly enough for me.  Then there's another HUGE drawer of a dresser that is also full of assorted yardage that doesn't fit in these drawers.
The smaller drawers are sorted by color - the larger drawers are for novelty (2 drawers) and multicolor florals (1 drawer)
But any of you who know me knows that I work primarily with scraps.  They make my heart SO HAPPY!  They are the first place I go when I start a block.  I pre-cut scraps into various squares from 1.5" to 5".  They are relatively neatly organized.
No worries - I won't be leaving these in the window for long; they are just here while I rearrange and figure out where to put things.  There is also a big drawer full of 5" squares and a baggie full of 3.5" squares.  I have the same system at work, with about as many pre-cut squares, but that's at work so it doesn't count, right?
BUT (and this is a huge but), I am a bit behind on my scrap cutting.  These 3 tubs, box and plastic bag are scraps (hangs head in shame).
Ignore the mess ON the futon - that's just stuff I haven't put away yet.
And then, there's one more skeleton in the closet that needs exposing.  Remember how I'm a process person?  Sometimes I make just one block.  For the process, not to make a quilt.  Or I abandon a quilt idea altogether after making some blocks.  So I have some orphans.  Or more accurately, HUNDREDS of orphans.
To be fair to myself, I did INHERIT some of these orphans, and I also dumped all of the bonus triangles I have sewn into this drawer, too.
But no worries, I have a plan!

  1. I will dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes a day cutting scraps.  I recognize that there will be days when I don't get to cut scraps, and that is OK, but it means I'll need to make up for it on other days.  I have already printed out a calendar to mark on for this, and have been keeping track since January 1.  I am giving myself the winter to get my scraps under control.  When spring arrives on March 20, any untamed scraps must leave my house!
  2. I have joined Aunt Marti's UFO Challenge (the challenge is at the bottom of the post).  Hopefully this will help me get 12 UFOs to the flimsy stage. 
  3. I will participate in Block Lotto again.  I've enjoyed this in the past, and it gets me using my scraps.  Plus, all the blocks I make LEAVE THE HOUSE instead of staying here and adding to the lists.  (of course, one time I won Block Lotto - those blocks are all together now on the UFO shelf)
  4. I will post at least 2 pieces of yardage for sale in my ETSY shop each week to help me de-stash.  Honestly, there's no reason to keep holding onto fabric without ever using it.  I actually started this a month or two ago, and have been headed to the post office at least once a week shipping off fabric.
  5. I will finish an orphan quilt by the time the Drive-In opens this season (end of March).  I made an orphan quilt years ago, and loved taking it to the Drive-In movies and on road trips.  In fact, it never left the car until it went missing.  I have plenty of orphans to make another.  I will tie it like I did the last one, not quilt it.  I can do this!
  6. I will finish quilting at least 4 quilts by July.  I owe quilts to two babies.  I'm working on one for my mother (shhhh...don't tell!).  And I'll need an entry for the local quilt show like I do every year.  That's a month and a half for each quilt.  The baby quilts and the one for my mother are small-ish.  Not sure yet which I'll choose for the quilt show.
I can DO this.  Just putting my hands on everything as I've moved has been inspiring to me.  I'm itching to get down there and sew, now that it is more organized and I'm in a bigger space.  GO ME!!


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I use to only hand quilt - and it made for a huge stock pile. I've since learned to FMQ or send out quilts for long arm with a mix of those special ones to be hand quilted. I love to make blocks and they can pile up - but I send those on to another group which they then make into some lovely and caring charity quilts. We can't do it all or keep it all and there comes a time that we have to make that decision.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I got burned out, while hand quilting my mil's quilt. I'd quilted over 120 hours on it, and it was only 1/4th done. Not sure I'll ever finish that quilt. From now on, I'll only hand quilt small projects, not full size quilts. Enjoy your new sewing room.