After a long night of sorting, cleaning, and purging, my sewing room is finally where it need to be! Clean, organized, and ready for anything! Last year I purged many fabrics and donated it to a worthy cause, Victoria’s Quilts, and organization that makes quilts for individuals going through cancer treatments. It was an amazing, freeing experience. This past weekend my friend Lyn Marie from Sew Out Of Control came over for a sewing night that turned into a sorting, purging, cleaning spree that finished up what I avoided the last time-patterns. I have oodles and oodles of books, magazines, and patterns all over the place in here. And notions. Oh good gravy the notions were EVERYWHERE!! In short, it was clutter, and my poor bookshelves were so bowed out of shape from the weight that when I flipped them over to try and let them relax back into shape, I couldn’t actually get any books on the shelf, there wasn’t enough height! Yikes!!
I managed to get the books and magazines under control. I am donating many of the magazines to a thrift shop by Lyn’s place that caters to an older crafty/sewing clientele. She was nice/smart enough to take them from my house that night so they didn’t migrate back into the shelving. A few choice pieces of fabric may have made it into the bags too, but who’s counting. She may also have a super special, out of print fabric in enough yardage to make something amazing waiting for her after the holidays. *wink* There will also be a smorgasbord of books and magazines and notions at my next guild meeting on the free table for anyone who wants them, and the rest will go back to the same thrift shop. Many of the books have sure, solid techniques and patterns that could just use a little updating to bring them up to date, so I hope they find good homes.
I also discovered just how many quilts I have. It’s a scary number. Not just UFO’s, which are much more numerous that I would like, but are pretty well all tops in need of quilting with the exception of a single set of blocks for a pattern I am developing. I have a set of quilts that are just in need of binding, probably another dozen UFO’s, 2 of which are actually basted! and in the finished quilt category the pile was probably another dozen high.
Now, I know what you’re thinking- holy cow woman, how-why-how-when-how?!? The quilts span a decade or more of sewing and quilting. I have my very first quilts from back in 2002 when I started to quilt. I have my very first original designs, pattern quilts, challenge quilts and show quilts. It is a biography in fabric. Each quilt tells a story, and holding each one, running my fingers over the seam and stitches, I can remember where I was, what I was doing, how I was feeling with each one. I put a little of myself into each quilt, and that i probably why I still have so many.
When I first started out, I would give away everything I made. I spent a lot of time making the good ‘ol Stack and Whack. I still have the book, (the author bears a remarkable resemblance to an ex boyfriend from around the same time and I think I want to try the technique with a bold modern print, maybe an Amy Butler or Joel Dewberry. Ooh, or Tula! You can never go wrong with Tula!) and as my skills progressed, more and more of my quilts started staying close to home. If I didn’t have anyone in mind for something, it just made its way into my finished pile and there they sit. I finally decided that it is time to give them to new homes.
It comes down to the core of why we are quilters and makers: we make to use and love. If no one is using or loving the quilt, why bother making it? (I don’t include show quilts in this, those are works of art in fabric and thread and really should not be balled up on a couch) With the help and support (and a little tough love) from Lyn, I have carefully folded each and every quilt and earmarked them for people. I am going to start handing them out after the holidays. It feels great to finally have homes for some of these quilts. There are a couple that need binding (thus the after the holidays, I may be crazy but I am not completely nuts!) but each one has a name and a new home where it will be used and loved and appreciated. Some I am going to offer as raffle quilts, and a very select few are going to be featured next year in a new blog series I am intending to write. My mom gets to take an armload home with her as well, and she doesn’t have to try and hide them in a suitcase this time! Love you Mom!
It is an amazing feeling, walking into the room. I know everything is done, there is room again to create, to breathe, to be my best creative self. There are many amazing things happening in the next year, and I feel prepared and ready. This room is a clean slate, and I cannot wait to fill it!
Happy Sewing, and a very Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! I will see you all next year.
Thank you so much for taking part in my journey!