Let the purge begin…

Spending two weeks away from my studio, in a place with lots of peaceful vistas, a venue with a place for everything and everything in it’s place…lots of thinking got done. Coming home and unpacking led me to assess what I have in the studio.

Everywhere I looked, all I could see was disorganized chaos. Too, too much of everything and nothing really placed where it could be easily accessed.

I was thinking of the song lyrics–clowns to the left of me, jokers on the right, here I am–and all I could see was…projects to the left of me, samples on the right, woe is me!

Something must be done!

A teacher from camp will be able to use some yarn, if I get it to her, so I decided to start there. Didn’t get it all sorted yet, but there is a ton of it that I will never use! Time to move it on to where it will have a new and happy life.

There is still a bit more to sort through, and I should get it done tomorrow. I will be able to deliver it through a friend. Hooray! I’m pretty sure that teacher friend doesn’t know what she is in for, but she can always pass things along, too!

Purge is the word of the month for me. I had lots of time to think and there are certain things that I have played with in the past that I no longer wish to pursue. Those things will be GONE as soon as I can find new homes. Not much is trash, so craft adoption is the way I’ll choose to go.

Once again, I have a plan to clean up the studio space. I certainly hope I can stick to it all the way this time.

And maybe no new projects to show you for a little bit. If I stick to my guns and keep cleaning and sorting, new/old projects will be my reward!

 

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Overwhelmed and almost defeated!

Yes, I am declaring myself officially scrap overwhelmed! I keep my scraps in baskets, roughly sorted into warm, cool and neutrals. Then there was the huge plastic tub of kinda sorted scraps that I told myself I was done with…and then kept throwing in project leftovers without any sorting. I kept tripping over that one so I figured I could get it sorted and cut into some strips and sewn up and truly done with! Hahahahaha!

This is sort of what it looked like when I started, but it’s actually another whole pile of fabric to be sorted that I used to use when I gave a talk.

After pressing a few things, I remembered that the box contained mainly bright fabrics that I had used in one way or another for baby quilts and I was tired of them. Here’s the stack of quite small pieces–enough for a baby quilt here by itself!

And the pile of larger pieces, all nicely pressed! Probably 2-3 baby quilts here.

A pile of all orange……….

And bright and black that I thought I might start each block with….

except now I have no idea what kind of block to make! My original idea was a log cabin kind with logs added only on two sides. Large and fast, probably but not good for using up those smaller pieces….which have lots of matching parts with the larger pieces. Sigh…………….obviously I need to do a little research and planning before I simply start cutting. I’m not likely to want everything all one size, even if my scrap sizes agreed with that idea. Ideally it would all go into one large quilt, since it all goes together.

And I thought using up my stash was hard with fat quarter and larger pieces….HA again! These smaller pieces are trouble and I can’t seem to bring myself to pitch it all or chop it up into dog bed stuffing or inflict it on someone else to figure out a solution.

Yep, overwhelmed and walked away for today. Cogitation needed! And maybe a glass of wine…………………………………………….sigh!

Stashbuster 1 done

It really doesn’t take very long to make a quilt top, when you keep the design simple and limit the fabric choices! Hooray!

I forgot to measure it for final dimensions, but it’s a decent cuddle up size! In an effort to totally keep it simple, I used all the smaller blocks in a header section and all the larger ones in the bottom section.

Sewed together super quickly and now we are ready to move on.

As I looked at the shelves, I had a moment of being totally overwhelmed with the task ahead of me. Making one top at a time will not make a dent in the stash until about 5 years from now, but each top made will be progress. Something will change before then…………

I realized that my hand dyes are here to stay, so I started stacking those on two of the shelves. I think I may have three shelves of hand dyes when I’m done.

And there are some things that are definitely heading out the door–like fabric that I bought when my daughter was a toddler and never made clothes with. She’s an adult now, with a 9 year old son, so I think it’s safe to rid myself of those pastel pink and blue knits.

When some of those items are off the shelves, it may be time to sort through for things I just plain don’t like any more. Those, at least, will be useful cottons that I can pass on to someone learning to sew. (My preferred method of disposal!)

I’m no longer overwhelmed, but it is a formidable task.

Next step is deciding on the next quilt top. Simple and pretty, so it will get done!

Empty Calendar!

As I checked my calendar for March, I found quite a few blank days. More than usual. Empty, uncommitted, free time! It’s so easy to say ‘yes’ to things and fill up those days, but I refuse to do that!

And I don’t think I am going to concentrate on finishing up art projects. Whenever I go to the studio, THIS

greets me. I am sick of looking at THIS.

I want stuff to be GONE! I am so tired of saving things because I plan on using them someday, or “I’ll get around to it when I have some time.”

I found a picture that I took in 2013 of this same spot.

Doesn’t look much different, does it? I probably had the same ambition to clean it out then as I do now.

Well, it looks like the time is here!

That empty calendar is a clear sign that action time is available. And those actions usually work better with a plan. So in my time between now and the “after March 5” beginning date, I will locate those patterns that I liked, when I used other people’s patterns. I will select some fabrics for each project, though that is always subject to change! I will plan a project or two of original designs, that use up my fabric the way I usually use it. And I. WILL. SEW.

And scraps…………….I get distracted by scraps. They are usually bits of fabrics that I loved and a piece will catch my eye and I’ll be off on a tangent, creating with scraps. This time, everything designated as a scrap will be going into a container with a lid, so I can’t see them!

My ultimate goal here is to get my fabric stash down to one set of shelves. If the other shelves are piled with unfinished tops, that will be just fine!

March will be my month to get it all under control. When I write it down like this, it seems like a very ambitious plan, very challenging. But it IS a goal, and without goals we never make progress.

Wish me luck!

Sittin’ by the lake…

That’s what I feel like when I’m looking at this piece. I think it’s done, except for the mounting!

Since it’s part of a challenge, one of the rules was to finish with raw edges, no binding. Not a problem for me, since I love those raw edges, but it was stitched without a backing, since I didn’t know how I would finish it. I believe I have it figured out, but haven’t had time to actually TRY it out. Some days there are just not enough hours!

My water and sky were large areas of the total, but I didn’t want to make them focus areas. Similar big stitching, fat threads got the job done and I’m excited to get it finished!

Water

Sky

You never know where a little challenge in your art group will lead! I love this piece!

Slow sewing period

There has not been much sewing going on around here. I got a panel done for quilt as you go with my friend’s strips. Only 8 or so more for a full quilt…but it’s a project that only gets worked on when I have a bit of extra time…or can’t seem to get started on something new!

I’m taking a class so I had to get ready for that. I’m always so indecisive for that because no matter what I bring, it’s never what I want to work with when I get there!!! And next week I’m teaching in Kokomo, so there is some prep work to be done there.  Normal grandson night tomorrow night and soccer Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I’ll miss the soccer because it’s Quilt Guild Day AND a bridal shower. Doctor appt. rounded out the week and I’m looking forward to the long ride to Kokomo just for the time to do nothing!

Had some carpet inspiration last week. Looking forward to doing some stamping that might look a bit like this.

And TODAY–woo hoo–I had my KEQ group meeting. We brought our pie challenge pieces and it turned out pretty darn good!

Hope my phone camera skills get better–this is just a bit fuzzy. Mary Lee didn’t make it to the last meeting so she brought her weaving piece this time, along with a quilt she did with reverse applique circles.

And big news–both Trish and Julia won ribbons at the Sauder Quilt Show! Lots of ribbons! We are so proud of them…but I forgot about pictures until the quilts were back out in the car.  They do beautiful work.

Next meeting we will be making stamps. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while and just have not made the time for it. It’s long past time and I’m so glad the group is helping me out with time dedicated to stamp making! Hooray!

 

Uh-oh…trouble at the corners!

When I mounted the embroidery that I thought was finished, it did not lay nice and flat on the canvas. I was afraid that, even though I spread it out nicely, it would wrinkle up as the glue dried. Guess what? Unfortunately, I was correct. Damn!

I think you can see that, even in this low resolution photo. As you are reading this, the piece has been removed from the canvas—and who knew that that was so easy to do?!–and has had a layer of batting and layer of wool added. I will be doing more stitching on it. I have also decided that it will not be mounted on canvas, but will have a hanger of some kind added and be a flat wall hanging. At least, that’s the plan right now! You know that these things have a fluid decision life!

As I fiddled with this, another unfinished project came to light. My class with Frieda Anderson produced this piece and it needed to be quilted and finished.

I had almost forgotten how to quilt anything but straight lines!

And now I have one finished project for this month, anyway!

Wacky Quilters group is up next this week and we will be exploring working in a series. Who knows what I’ll come home with from this group, but I surely know that I will enjoy whatever we do!