Anita's quilts and quilting

A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.

Snowed in and organizing

Our area, like so many areas, got snow and very cold temperatures.  I woke up to no water yesterday. Yes, I did have it dripping but evidently it wasn’t dripping enough.  Well crap!  No coffee water.  Then I realized ice cubes can be thawed for coffee.  I had plenty of those in the freezer.  I was not going to walk through all that snow to catch a bus to get bottled water. The snow is too dirty to use for anything except flushing a toilet.  It has black dust of some type all over it.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 013Thankfully, a neighbor braved the cold and brought me water for making coffee and I hired a neighbor kid to shovel the sidewalk.  I saw this no water thing as an opportunity.  It means no cleaning, no mopping, no canning, no washing, no cooking, and no excuses.  Yeah, it’s an opportunity to organize quilt stuff. Quilt stuff collected from machine quilting customers over the years when they were cleaning out their stashes. Quilt stuff I bought and never had the time to create something from it.  Lots and lots of quilt stuff gathering dust and taking up valuable space.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 010I hate STUFF!  STUFF is an overwhelming amount of things that crowd out other things in my life.  Not just quilt stuff but all STUFF I seem to hoard.  It overwhelms me and I feel like I’m suffocating from it.  In this one room there are 10 large storage tubs of quilting fabrics.  Some are hidden behind the rolls of stabilizers and stacks of other stuff.  I was anxious to get started and forgot to take a before photo. I also have these rollie cart drawer towers filled with more quilting stuff.  There are actually five towers with six drawers in each.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 014I have lots more fabrics in my studio.  There are several rollie carts under the quilting machine and five tubs of fabric in the studio and a bunch of my ufos too.  Gosh, I must have enough fabric for a couple of lifetimes worth of quilts. Enough fabric for hundreds of quilts.  Plus enough for hundreds of rugs and undies and a ton of other crafts.

Hmm…. where to start?  As a low income person I tend to be a hoarder.  Having little money tends to make a person hold onto things that might be too expensive to replace.  I see value in everything that might be useful later. Fabric, and even tiny scraps of fabric, draws me in because I’m a quilter and a thrifty person.  I want to save the fabrics from a landfill by creating a quilt or something.  Even tiny 1/2 inch pieces bring out my rescue mode to save them. I’ve created whole bed size quilts from tiny bits of fabric.  Here’s an example.  This is a full size quilt I made for my bed several years ago. The blocks are 5″ x 5″ and each square has 37 pieces in it.  I believe there are 117 blocks. That was a lot of teeny tiny pieces.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 018I know that I MUST rid myself of at least 95% of my accumulated fabric.  I have way too much.  The fear of letting it go has a grip on me.  What if I got rid of just the right one for my next quilt?  What if the person who gave it to me gets upset? What if the cost of fabric gets so high that I can’t buy it anymore? What if….. What if……  What if…..

Once again I go back to memories and the wisdom of my Grandma Mama, the thriftiest person I ever knew.  She made beautiful quilts without having a house full or room full or even a large plastic tub filled with fabric. Even still,  she made quilts regularly.  Well by golly, if Grandma Mama could do it so can I!

The weather is not going to be warmer for several days.  What that means is my water pipes won’t thaw.  I’ll make the best of this time by sorting and purging fabrics.  It ain’t gonna be easy letting go of them but it MUST be done.  I’ll be putting a give away post on freecycle as soon as I’m done and the weather clears up.  I’ve tried to do this time after time after time and always something stopped the process.   Even when I get rid of bunches and bunches of fabric it multiplies itself when I’m not looking.  Geeze, it seems to multiply faster than rats and mice.

Time to get off the computer and back to work.  I’ll post again about my thinking process and how my purging progression is going.

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5 comments on “Snowed in and organizing

  1. Beth in AZ
    February 19, 2015

    Anita, glad to see , that even tho you might not have water and its REALLY too cold to do much else, you have a PLAN! I am about to embark on a purge/organization also. I have the calendar pretty clear. My main goal is to organize one area of the sewing room each day, not leaving a huge mess in the rest of the house! Today I am quilting and devising a plan for my cones of quilting thread. I want the roll-y bins they are dumped in for my precut scraps. Thinking of you today as you travel to and from your Doctor’s appt..

    • Na Na
      February 21, 2015

      Oh, glad to see we are thinking along the same lines. I believe my house will feel better when it’s emptier. Feel better to me. I hate being overwhelmed by stuff.

  2. kathi
    February 18, 2015

    Oh my DEAR “BIG” sis!!! We are both pondering the same things. I was going through fabric for a quilt back. YIKES. I found a wee tad that smelled “musty”. OH NOOO!! PANIC has begun to set in. ALL THAT FABRIC. and “musty” is NOT a good thing.

    I have actually, not very long ago, given a TON of fabric to a friend. Her job situation is horrid and she has been selling “groups of fabric” on Ebay. OK. she can USE some of this. Naturally, as i was looking for backings I realized i had given her a great deal. hmm?

    My studio time has been severely limited the past several years. By limited I mean near zero. BUT NOW Things are looking up. i CAN get atleast an hour, TWO if i say,, dinner? LATE dinner. So. I am determined to GET to at least a FEW of the projects I have accumulated fabric for. Me thinks my “star” quilt may end up a SQUARE of the fabric i like, and not a star. hmm? that might work. I have a BAZILLION projects in my head. and for most of them. already HAVE the fabric, or most of it.

    but WHAT FIRST? the studio, BOTH rooms are in a total state of chaos. when i do get studio time, i DO. When things get removed from upstairs. oh oh, they seem to have been “parked” in the studio. hmm? GOAL for today. Get LARGE TRASH BAG, and FILL IT with some of the STUFF. the REAL TRASH stuff. I mean. how long does a bottle of fabric stiffener last? I am pretty certain at 12 years old it has expired. THAT kind of stuff.

    You are correct. Your no water situation leads to a “free to do other things” time. GOOD. Always making lemonade out of lemons. YOU GO FOR IT!! I am pretty certain if you DID AWAY WITH atleast HALF of that fabric, you would still have more than enough to last TWO lifetimes.

    YOU GOO GIRL!!!!

    • Na Na
      February 18, 2015

      Kathi! Hi! I’ve been thinking of you during all this snow stuff. Are you snowed under? You, my long time friend, do know the struggles I’ve had with getting rid of the STUFF in my life. Hopefully this will be the last major purge and in the future I can keep it under control. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow which means I’ll be out catching a bus in below zero temperatures. I would skip it but its too important for me. I don’t want to wait another two or three months if I reschedule. If the doctor can get there then so will I.

      I do hope you find time to purge some things too. 12 year old fabric spray is NOT good. Scotch maybe but not fabric spray. Just remember a goal starts with the first step. Whether it’s tossing one musty fabric or one bottle of 12 year old stiffener it’s the first step.

      Hugs to ya!

  3. Jackie
    February 18, 2015

    I have this exact same problem. I will be watching you with interest cause I will more then likely be doing this next.

    God bless.

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