Archeological Quilting

And by that, I don’t mean studying the history of quilting. I mean finding the top of my work table is like an archeological dig!

Lynn Krawczyk decided to show her messy work space and invited us all to show and tell with her. I’m not looking at anyone else’s space before I show you mine because I’m playing a game with myself to guess who’s might be piled the highest.

Just to give you a little perspective, I have a 6 foot long work table plus a small shelving unit at the end that adds another foot.

Today's mess is concentrating on finding the right combination of fabric and beads.

Every inch of that 7 foot length is covered with stuff! But I have discovered something with this little exercise. I guess I knew it, but it can help me find stuff later…I am left-handed and on those rare occasions when I start with a clean table, I start on the left edge. As I work, I don’t always put stuff away, but start piling up leftovers on my left…until I work my way down to the right edge, run out of room and am forced to clean and start over!

Check out the bottom right corner...baskets under the table are great for just throwing scraps into. Sort scraps??? Surely you jest!

Right after I took this photo, I thought I should try to show you a bit of cleaning up and organizing. There really is a method to my madness. I almost always know what pile I have something in…that’s the visual learner part of my brain. And the previous mess was cleared away as soon as I found what I needed for the workshop I’ll be attending. This is the right side of the table, all set to go.

Project 1, Project 2, supplies...organized and ready!

And here’s the left side of the table…still a lot of clutter but so much better than it was!!!

Archeological digging done for the day…there are only remnants of my current projects. Phew…

I’m sure you will enjoy looking at everyone’s creativity corners…does the mess contribute to our creativity? I like to see it around me. Some people like a clean slate and calmness. Let’s see some other messes…should be fun!

Lynn Krawczyk

Holly McLean

Mary Cottingham

Joy Manoleros 

Judi Hurwitt

Deb Harowitz

Linda Marcille

Jacqueline Bryant Campbell

Jill Eudaly 

Jenice Jones

Ronni Hunter

Cheryl Sleboda

Carol Swallowcliffs

Ann Brauer


22 thoughts on “Archeological Quilting

  1. I love it! Seeing your creative mess made me feel right at home. I HAVE to take out all the stuff to find the right combination, then play and play and play until the right one emerges for an art quilt. Great fun. Thanks for sharing!


  2. I actually find your messy table inspiring! Your observations about the way the stuff piles up were great too. My mess develops in a similar way. My table is on 4×5 so it gets built up fast and I find myself hunting for things I know are down there somewhere…


    • And it’s so frustrating when you KNOW it’s there and it just won’t come to the surface! Or when it was just in your hand and now it’s totally disappeared! But I’m sure not going to develop new ways of working at this point.


  3. A clean space only works for me when I have an idea I can’t wait to start or my space is needed for a non-crafting project. My table is 4×8 and covered with piles all of the time. I’m inspired by color not stark cleanliness. In looking at all of the posted photos of the messy work spaces, I have decided PRODUCTIVITY and CREATIVITY are born out of CHAOS. Never apologize for the mess, just keep it from blocking the fire exits.

    A Glitz and Crap Sister


    • Glitz and crap and piles of stuff and color and distractions—that’s where all the ACTION is! When I have to clean, I can hardly wait to get stuff out again. I never apologize–I only state that this is a working studio and that’s my work laying all around! But good idea to keep it from blocking the exits!


  4. The mess means we’re being productive, right? RIGHT?? Or in my case – I just got back from out of town and had nowhere else to set everything down.
    I use the same “sorting” system for my scraps, too! ;o)


  5. I blame mine on mixed-media…too many supplies. Thanks for showing us yours. It’s oddly comforting, and now I’m inspired (embarrassed) enough to clean mine up!


  6. This was interesting! I keep a fairly buttoned up work space as mine is too small to be effective if it’s cluttered.


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